BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014
your place and mine
Your Place & Mine Radio Ulster Website

BBC Homepage
BBC Northern Ireland
greater Belfast
contact ypam
about ypam

print versionprint version

Contact Us

Harland & Wolff -
the nude swimmer

There are countless tales of the 'goings on' through the years in the Harland and Wolff. Seemingly the shipyard harboured more talent than it paid for! often not.

The Shipyard

writeAdd a new article
contribute your article to the site


Article contributed by Davy Wilson - (2005)

The photo below used to be the Musgrave Channel, where the launched ships would be towed & made fast to one of the many jetties. Store rooms lined the north side of the channel.

In the late 50's & early 60's we had 40 minutes for lunch. On summer days the men would sit with their backs against this wall & watch "Dick", the nude swimmer entertain them.

Belfast's Musgrave Channel at H&W
The Belfast Musgrave Channel


Most of the lunch-time was spent bantering Dick. He had a whole repertoire of tricks, cartwheel, floating on his back & his "piece de resistance".... wait for it,he would climb up a ship's hawser as far as his age would let him & then he would let go, to tumultuous cheers. He thrived on this.

He wasn't a young man - in his 50's I would guess. What made him mad was when he was floating somebody would shout "hey Dick! @#$@*floats too!!".

Dick's response was "come on down here & say that to my face". The crowd egged them on something shocking, all in good fun.

This was in the musgrave channel, which was a back water. Because of this the water never circulated & there where all sorts floating. I'll leave that to your imagination.

All the best - Davy Wilson

We might have another reference to the mystery swimmer

Related links

Use the form below to post comments on this article
Your Comments
Your Name (required)
Your Email (optional)

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy