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18 June 2014
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Legacies - The Yard

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the imposing yellow cranes of H&W
© BBC 2004
The Yard

An unlikely Anglo-German partnership spawned a shipping dynasty which once stood head and shoulders above anything else the industrial world could muster. The Belfast shipyard of Harland and Wolff produced ocean-going liners, bigger and more luxurious than its competitors in the dynamic era of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Today, two huge yellow cranes, known as Samson and Goliath, dominate the skyline of Belfast, their shadows cast over a community where very few families could deny a link, past or present, to the yard.

The excitement and flurry of activity surrounding the launch of the Titanic, all 46,328 tonnes of her, as she crashed into Belfast Lough, in May 1911, contrasts starkly with the barren emptiness of the 21st Century yard, where much of its 300 acre site has been flattened and sold off. More...

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