178 episodes

Best Of Belfast is a podcast that celebrates Northern Ireland and the incredible people in it. We publish unfiltered, hour-long conversations every Monday morning with someone interesting from this part of the world.

With 80+ episodes featuring: Oscar-winning directors, 91-year-old park-runners, Silicon Valley CEOs, Michelin Star Chefs and bearded candle makers there’s plenty of episodes to listen and learn from.

Find photos of guests, sign up to our newsletter and support the show: https://bestofbelfast.org/

Best Of Belfast: Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast Matthew Thompson: storyteller from Belfast, Northern Ireland

    • Places & Travel
    • 5.0 • 90 Ratings

Best Of Belfast is a podcast that celebrates Northern Ireland and the incredible people in it. We publish unfiltered, hour-long conversations every Monday morning with someone interesting from this part of the world.

With 80+ episodes featuring: Oscar-winning directors, 91-year-old park-runners, Silicon Valley CEOs, Michelin Star Chefs and bearded candle makers there’s plenty of episodes to listen and learn from.

Find photos of guests, sign up to our newsletter and support the show: https://bestofbelfast.org/

    [Documentary] Lilian Bland: "The First Woman To Design, Build & Fly Her Own Airplane"

    [Documentary] Lilian Bland: "The First Woman To Design, Build & Fly Her Own Airplane"

    Lillian Bland was the first women in the world to design, build and fly her own airplane.
     
    She was also a sports journalist, photographer, investor, gambler, smoker, mechanic, hunter, markswomen, the owner of Belfast’s first Ford Dealership and the first woman in Northern Ireland to apply for a jockey’s license.
     
    Living at Tobercorran House in Carnmoney near Glengormley, her curious, defiant free-spirit shattered the societal norms of women living in Presbyterian Ulster during the 1900s.
     




    But despite all her achievements and quirks, very few people in Northern Ireland today even knows the name Lillian Bland, never mind the inspiring details of her story.
     
    In today’s episode, we set out on another journey through the pages of local history to find out more about this incredible woman, and the streets she once called home.
     
    Check it out.
    //
    This episode is part of The Streets Where They Lived: a new documentary collaboration between Successful Belfast, Belfast Buildings Trust, and Best of Belfast. The Streets Where They Lived will feature the stories of six incredible but sometimes overlooked men and women from Belfast and some of the buildings and places in the City with which they’re connected.
     
    The project is a collaboration with Successful Belfast, a project of Belfast Buildings Trust. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Belfast Buildings Trust is a charity founded in 1996 to regenerate Belfast’s landmark buildings. The Trust works to ensure that the City’s authentic heritage is made relevant for people today. One of its projects is Successful Belfast, which champions new and creative ways of involving people in Belfast’s future development.  
     
    The beautiful song played at the end of the episode is from musician Fionnuala Fagan. You can discover more of her work here.




     
    //
    To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Lilian (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/lilian-bland-mayfly-plane
     
    Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland.
     
    To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/
     
    Cheers!
     
    — Matt 

    • 44 min
    #173 Julie Andrews: Linenhall Library

    #173 Julie Andrews: Linenhall Library

    Julie Andrews is the current Director of the Linen Hall Library: Belfast's oldest and last-standing private Libary.
     
    Located just opposite City Hall, the old Linen Warehouse has some of the most interesting and important historic collections in Northern Ireland.
     
    In today's episode we chat with Julie to discover:
    The history of the Linenhall Library What is was like for her switching from the corporate to the charitable sector Why LHL is undergoing a huge digitisation project The most interesting items in their collection And the greatest successes/challenges they've faced along the way  
    Check it out.

    • 41 min
    #172 Dennis Coppel: Medic, Father, President

    #172 Dennis Coppel: Medic, Father, President

    Dennis Coppel is an 85-year-old former Anesthetist and the current President of the Belfast Jewish Community.
     
     
    Some of his early memories include growing up in North Belfast, exploring Cave Hill and seeing the Antrim Road on fire after the WW2 bombings. 
     
     
    After juggling Hebrew School in the evenings with his ‘full-time’ education as a boy, Dennis later went on to become a medic.
     
     
    This career led him all around the world, including a stint in Israel and later Texas where he was trained in the hospital JFK was taken after his assassination.
     
     
    These experiences proved critical during The Troubles when Dennis and his team were responsible for responding to the many explosive, gunshot and burn wounds that came through their ICU doors during those dark days.
     
     
    In this episode we talk about:
    The things Dennis has learned in his 85-years What it was like growing up in a tight-knit Jewish community The importance of loving your work And the greatest challenges/successes he’s faced along the way  
    Check it out. 
     
    //
    To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Dennis (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/dennis-coppel-northern-ireland
     
    Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland.
     
    To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/
     
    Cheers!
     
    — Matt 

    • 53 min
    #171 Virtual Tour Of The Belfast Jewish Synagogue

    #171 Virtual Tour Of The Belfast Jewish Synagogue

    As part of our documentary on Otto Jaffe and the history of the Jewish Community in Northern Ireland, we paid a visit to the Belfast Hebrew Congregation on the Somerton Road.
     
    The North Belfast synagogue is the third synagogue built in Belfast, the first one being built by Daniel Jaffe on Great Victoria Street and the second by his son Otto Jaffe on Annesley Street near Carlisle Circus.
     
    While there, we were given a tour by Michael Black: the current chairman of the Northern Irish Jewish community and someone with a lot of knowledge about the history of the building.
     
    We had such a great time with Michael and were so interested in what he had to share that we've decided to release our full rough-cut with you so that you can enjoy a virtual tour of one of Belfast's best-kept secrets.
     
    Enjoy!
     

    • 40 min
    [Documentary] Sir Otto Jaffe: "The Linen Entrepreneur Who Changed A City"

    [Documentary] Sir Otto Jaffe: "The Linen Entrepreneur Who Changed A City"

    Sir Otto Jaffe was one of the leading entrepreneurs responsible for the boom of the Linen Industry here in Belfast in the 1800s.
     
    Through a lot of hard work and determination, the young German-born entrepreneur rose through the ranks of the family business and went on to become the Lord Mayor of Belfast. Twice.




     



    Yet by the end of his life, Sir Otto was forced out of Northern Ireland. Forever.
     
    But that’s not all.
     
    In the 100 years after Otto left Belfast, the Jewish community in Northern Ireland has fallen from 1500+ members to just under 80 men and women today.
     
    In today’s episode, myself and producer Owen set off on another journey through the streets of Belfast and the pages of local history with one goal.
     
    To find out why.
     
    Check it out.
     
     //
    This episode is part of The Streets Where They Lived: a new documentary collaboration between Successful Belfast, Belfast Buildings Trust, and Best of Belfast. The Streets Where They Lived will feature the stories of six incredible but sometimes overlooked men and women from Belfast and some of the buildings and places in the City with which they’re connected.
     
    The project is a collaboration with Successful Belfast, a project of Belfast Buildings Trust. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Belfast Buildings Trust is a charity founded in 1996 to regenerate Belfast’s landmark buildings. The Trust works to ensure that the City’s authentic heritage is made relevant for people today. One of its projects is Successful Belfast, which champions new and creative ways of involving people in Belfast’s future development.  
    //
    To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Otto (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/sir-otto-jaffe-linen-entrepreneur
     
    Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland.
     
    To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/
     
    Cheers!
     
    — Matt 

    • 55 min
    #169 Mark Goldstone: Pharmacist, Copywriter, Investor

    #169 Mark Goldstone: Pharmacist, Copywriter, Investor

    Mark Goldstone has worked for more than 25 years in the healthcare/life sciences industry.
     
     
    He has a passion for technology, new “stuff” and all things creative.
     
     
    Currently based in New York City, Mark spends his days working as the General Partner of Forepont Capital: a performance-focused venture capital firm that invests in early-stage life science companies.
     
     
    Mark began his career as a pharmacist with the UK retail giant Boots before his love for writing led him to a new career in advertising as a copywriter — which has unexpectedly led him to where he is today. 


     
    In today's conversation we talk about:
    The value of learning how to write well Why "Big-Pharma" isn't all bad How to deal exponential change in a fast-paced world And the successes/challenges faced along the way  
    Check it out!
    //
    To see a 'treasure trove' of all things related to Mark (including a photo) please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/stories/mark-goldstone-forepont-capital
     
    Best Of Belfast is Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast. We've shared 100+ hour-long conversations with incredible people from Northern Ireland.
     
    To find out more, or join 'The Producers Club' please visit https://bestofbelfast.org/
     
    Cheers!
     
    — Matt 

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
90 Ratings

90 Ratings

Hiimynameismark ,

Great podcast for anyone from N.I

Heard about Matthew’s podcast when it started and only recently started listening to podcasts and thought I would get stuck into this one from the beginning. Some amazing stories and a really enjoyable listen!

niko8675 ,

a must listen...

I've listened to I think pretty much every edition of this podcast - it's absolutely essential for anyone from northern ireland to learn more about the many, many interesting folk from here. total honour to be on an upcoming edition too, really enjoyed chatting with matt.

iphotouser4534 ,

Celebrating people from Belfast

Matthew’s podcast brings you on a fascinating (and often unexpected) journey with all kinds of people that share the common ground...being that they come from Belfast. Lovely personal stories and insightful questions from Matthew throughout.

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