Friday, July 21, 2006

SS Nomadic returned

The SS Nomadic has finally made it home to Belfast, after a very long time in service and a long rest in the River Seine in Paris. The tender to Olympic and Titanic has been a restaurant since 1974 and will, provided around £7m can be found, become a museum permanently morred in Belfast’s historic dockyard.

My father and I were arguing, rather heatedly, the other night about whether the seven million will actually be found to restore her. I reckon it will. Belfast currently has grand plans to build a museum about our notoriously ill-fated export, as well as full restoration and sensitive tourist development of the dry dock and harbour areas where she was built, launched and fitted.

Those plans can’t all happen, and won’t, given the parlous state of support for the arts and culture here. But Belfast, and those abroad who are fascinated by the White Star Line and what it produced, should find the time, money, creativity and commitment to ensure that the money and knowledgeable manpower is found for this one cause.

So if you’re interested in donating to the charitable trust which is raising the money, go here, read about the people on the team, and give some money.

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