SS Nomadic misses Titanic boat but restoration continues

SS Nomadic, Belfast The Nomadic is being restored in Belfast

Related Stories

Better late than never is the message from the decks of the SS Nomadic, after it missed the boat in terms of capitalising on the Titanic anniversary.

While the new Titanic visitor attraction was selling out of tickets, Nomadic remained closed to the public as it enters what should be its last phase of restoration.

During a visit to the vessel, Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said she would have "preferred" Nomadic to have opened at the same time as Titanic Belfast last Saturday, but it will not happen until November.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, whose department rescued the ship from the scrapyard in France in 2006, said failure to open during Titanic centenary events "cannot deter us from seeing this project through".

Mr McCausland added: "Then, visitors to Belfast will be able to enjoy it for many years to come."

He said critics would be confounded.

Riverside restaurant

In 1911, the Nomadic was used to ferry passengers out to the Titanic, anchored off Cherbourg before the outset of its doomed voyage.

It saw service during both world wars, before ending up as a riverside restaurant in Paris prior to purchase by the Department for Social Development and its return to Belfast where it was built by Harland and Wolff.

Start Quote

Nomadic is the most significant bit of Titanic heritage not at the bottom of the sea”

End Quote Paul Mullan Big Lottery Fund

In 2009, the Northern Ireland Audit Office questioned the project's ability to raise funds and hit completion targets, either by its 2011 centenary or by April 2012 and the Titanic commemorations.

The Nomadic's interior will now become the focus of work, after Harland and Wolff signed off on rebuilding its upper decks and funnel.

More than £3m of Heritage Lottery Funds have been secured for the project's final phases.

About half the money will be used on the boat, the rest on a dry-dock, its permanent home beside Titanic Belfast.

"Nomadic is the most significant bit of Titanic heritage not at the bottom of the sea," said the fund's Paul Mullan.

Those engaged in the interior restoration said most of what people would see will be "the authentic material".

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features

  • How ebola spread graphicPatient zero

    How one boy’s death triggered Ebola outbreak


  • Passport control at airportNews quiz

    How much do you know about migration?


  • Phillip Hughes playing cricket for Australia in September 2014Brain trauma

    How is the brain injured and protected from injury?


  • Passengers pushing planeHeave!

    How many people does it take to push a plane?


  • Complainant'Like being in hell'

    The story of one victim of paedophile care home boss


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.