And I don’t mean blog updates!
RMS Titanic is probably the most famous ship in the world, everyone knows the story. What a lot of people don’t realise (Irish people know this, I hope!) is she was built in the industrial powerhouse that was Belfast, Northern Ireland. You think I’m joking? At the start of the 20th century Belfast was a world powerhouse in rope making – yep we had the largest rope factory in the world. As well as the biggest tobacco factory; the largest linen spinning mill in the world it was also home to the world’s biggest aerated water factory (I have no idea what that is, but it sounds impressive!) And not to forget, Belfast also made the largest ships in the world.
Apparently there are over 200 dedicated RMS Titanic museums all over the world, guess where there isn’t one? Correct – Belfast. Up until the last few years there was very little to indicate that RMS Titanic was designed and built here. Thankfully things have started to change.
Opening just in time for the 100 year anniversary is the spectacular new Titanic Visitor Experience. A ninety seven million pound building, built between the slipways where Titanic was lunched and the Drawing Offices where she was designed.
Travel further down Queens Road and you will come across the massive and impressive Thompson Graving Dock. After her launch RMS Titanic was floated around to the new dry dock where she was finished to the highest standards by the finest craftsmen of the day.
Like everything to do with Titanic the stats for the Dock are pretty impressive. It held 21.000.000 gallons of water, and could be emptied in about 1 hour 40 minutes with 3 huge 1,000 horsepower engines.
Nowadays there is a 30 foot full scale replica of the lower bow section of the RMS Titanic including rivets. The Thompson Dock Pump House is now a coffee shop sitting yards from the dry dock.
My next blog post should hopefully be in less than 100yrs!