Belfast was once home to a mighty shopbuilding industry including the yards of Harland & Wolff, where Titanic was built. Alas shios are no longer built and there is no work for the two enormous cranes known locally as Samson and Goliath .
They were commissioned as part of a massive shipyard expansion in the late 60s and can lift 840 odd tons each. They are also a well known landmark and visible from much of Belfast, being over 100m tall and painted bright yellow.
It is to be hoped that they will be preseved - any one know of a cheap soource of banana coloured paint?
The Harland and Wolff Shipyard is the worlds largest dry-dock.
Towering above it are these 2 huge gantry cranes, which are a landmark of Belfast.
Nicknamed Samson and Goliath- the cranes span a width of 140 metres. Goliath is 96metres high, and Samson is the slightly taller at 106 metres. Together they can lift a weight of 1600 tonnes!
Goliath is the oldest, being constructed in 1969, Samson was built in 1974.
The Harland and Wolff shipbuilding firm was created in 1861.
to be continued...
These two massive cranes still loom over the Harland and Wolff shipyards, said to have the largest dry dock in the world. The cranes are the second and third largest in the world and, even for someone with little interest in industry, they are pretty impressive.
The Titanic was built here, of course......s new museum will soon open on site, and there are plans for its re-development, with hotels, bars and restaurants, as 'the Titanic quarter'. I expect it will be pleasant enough, and hopefully will bring more prosperity to the city.
I saw the cranes during my bus tour. The offices where the Titanic's creation was overseen were also pointed out; they will soon be a 'boutique' hotel, each room apparently based on a room on the Titanic.
The Belfast shipyards were once the focus of much unrest; they employed an almost entirely Protestant workforce.