'Boot and Bonnet' Check Point, Royal Regiment of Wales, Queen's Bridge, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1976
Oil on board by Ralph Lillford, 1976.
This painting shows a vehicle checkpoint on Queen's Bridge, Belfast, Northern Ireland. In the middle distance on the right-hand side of the picture a soldier is looking inside a car and talking to the driver before carrying out a boot and bonnet inspection. On the left two soldiers stand together keeping a look-out, one holding a riot shield, the other, a lance-corporal wearing an anti-gas respirator, holding his L1A1 self-loading rifle, mounted with an L2A1 infantry SUIT sight, to improve the identification of targets in poor light or at night.
In the background is a Humber 'Pig' support vehicle, a 'Flying Pig', so called because of the modification introduced in 1976: metal grille side-panels that looked like wings when folded up but could be pulled out at right angles for crowd control.
Between 1971 and 1976, drawn by an interest in the civil conflict, Ralph Lillford made repeated trips to Northern Ireland to draw what he saw in the streets.
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