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Titanic-linked SS Nomadic returns to Belfast birthplace

The historic SS Nomadic, a tender that ferried passengers to the doomed Titanic, has been moved back to the place where she was built almost 100 years ago.

Led by Belfast Harbour and Titanic Quarter, the process has been more than 12 months in planning and paves the way for the start of the ship’s restoration work.

The move to Hamilton Dock in Titanic Quarter, a 142-year-old dry dock, involved major planning.

This included a detailed docking plan to map out how Nomadic would be supported once in dry dock, the use of a 500-ton crane to move the dock gate, three tugs to tow the ship across to Abercorn Basin, four pumps to drain the dock and the assistance of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service’s HVP (High Volume Pumping) unit.

“Nomadic’s arrival into Hamilton Dock marks the next significant milestone in this project and it’s a fantastic achievement to successfully reach this point,” Denis Rooney, chairman of the Nomadic Charitable Trust, said.

Roy Adair, CEO of Belfast Harbour, added: “Apart from her connections with Titanic, the Hamilton Dry Dock is an important piece of Belfast’s maritime heritage in its own right.

“It was the first dry dock to be built by the Harbour Commissioners on the Co Down side of the port and was required to service the increasingly large ships being built by Edward Harland’s yard. Countless ships were fitted out in the dock, which at 140m long, 25m wide and 6.7m deep was a marvel of early Victorian engineering.”

Mike Smith, CEO of Titanic Quarter, said: “Nowhere else in the world can tell the authentic story of the Titanic and her sister ships.

“Belfast’s Titanic legacy — the Thompson Dry Dock, the drawing offices, the slipways, Nomadic and now Hamilton Dock are being brought back to life.

“Belfast’s maritime history is a tremendous asset which can and should be used to market not just Titanic Quarter, but Northern Ireland as a whole.”

Hamilton Dry Dock took over four years to construct between 1863 and 1867.

Nomadic’s arrival in Hamilton Dock also facilitates the temporary opening of the ship to coincide with the Tall Ships Maritime Festival.

Nomadic will open for a two-week period from next Monday (August 10) to Sunday August 23 giving the public a special opportunity to board her before restoration starts.

For more information log onto www.nomadicbelfast.com .

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