The Ramble began at the car-park opposite the old Harland and Wolff drawing office (where the Titanic plans would have be created) which is now largely inaccessible, except for the offices of “Titanic Quarter”, which was our first port of call (so to speak).
Here we were given a very informative talk about the former history, current development, and future plans of the area now referred to as the Titanic Quarter.
Leaving the old drawing office building (soon to be a “boutique” Hotel) the ramble headed on to another old building now put to a very different use – the H&W paint shop. Where in the past mighty ships would have been painted now there is a film studio – the biggest of its kind in Europe. Ramblers had the chance to see some of the back-stage (literally) work that goes on in the production of a major film, in this case, one called “Your Majesty” which will be filmed during July.
After failing to land themselves jobs as extras the ramblers headed on down Queens Island, past the HMS Caroline and on to the Thompson dry-dock, where the Titanic was given her final spruce up before leaving Belfast for the first, and last, time. We had another very interesting talk, about the Titanic and the workings of the dock itself, including the pump-house, which still houses the original pumps.
This ended what was a very interesting day seeing how the shipyard of past years was being transformed into something very different, but in many ways, equally impressive.
Mark Logan (Ramble Organiser)