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Old 11th June 2021, 12:49   #1
BRG75
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Default Harland & Wolff crane(s) - my (failing?) memory

For 18 odd months (August 1986 to early 88) I flew into Belfast, once or twice a month, to visit a customer.

Driving from the airport down to the city, the famous Krupps crane(s) was / were clearly visible, for much of the journey.
My customer was actually located in offices that were on the H&W site, overlooking their slip ways; I would actually park the hire car adjacent to them.

Now here is my question.
I only ever remember there being 1 crane, whilst Wikipedia states Goliath was completed in 1969 and Samson, in 1974

Is my memory completely at fault, or did one possibly have some major maintenance done?
For instance, a replacement bridge section; thus I would have seen 1 crane and two (apparently unrelated) towers.

Possibly a N.I. member can answer this (or any member, of course)

Thank You

Regards

Mike
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Old 11th June 2021, 13:02   #2
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There were two the last time I was there!
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Old 11th June 2021, 13:26   #3
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Yes, there was always 2, albeit built a few years apart.
Drove past them for many years on the way to work.
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Old 11th June 2021, 13:52   #4
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Depending on the angle passing the yard it is very easy to think there is only one crane



This is usually when they are doing heavy lifts as pairs, but it's common they work individually.



Also mid 80s they painted both to yellow, as previously they had been a light white yellow, but due to the Belfast City Airport opening after being converted from a testing departure site for Shorts Brothers to commercial airport in 1983 they where both painted to the dark yellow-the colour they are now (Goliath), and one was a very pale yellow (Samson). You can tell this as they had black stripes in the top right corners then before the full repaint.

If you want Belfast Harbour history I'm your man, my father has worked there 43 years, I was in it for several and my great grandfather was an assembly rivitor on Titanic, Olympic and Britannic.
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Old 11th June 2021, 14:29   #5
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Many thanks for that Colin,

Yes, it was, they were, the darker yellow when I was there.

Interesting about if the pair were working as a pair, that an illusion can make them appear as one.

If I recall, you first see them about 5 or 10 mins down the motorway, from Belfast International, and then for most of the time. They are of course a distant view, when first spotted.

Belfast City was up and running, during my time there.
Short Bros. were immediately opposite the office block I visited, on Coal Island?

Regards

Mike
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Old 11th June 2021, 17:32   #6
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Commuted regularly mid 70's to late 90's, Manchester to Aldergrove sometimes 3 times a week (BA Super 1-11, 5:40am red-eye outbound and 8pm snoozer return, rarely stayed over and only visited the city when absolutely necessary 'cos it was too damned dangerous - actually managed a couple of overnights at the Europa Hotel, big glass frontage was popular as most of the time it was getting bombed out). Later years I used the City Airport occassionally and also drove to Carrickfergus from Aldergrove quite a lot so passed the cranes by road rather than flying around them in the distance - always thought they were a pair never realised they were singletons 4 years apart, thanks for the memory.
At one point often shared the flight with the Administrator for DeLorean who did the commute daily, he used to turn up at Manchester in a Ferrari, wonder why!

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Old 11th June 2021, 19:41   #7
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Originally Posted by BRG75 View Post
Many thanks for that Colin,

Yes, it was, they were, the darker yellow when I was there.

Interesting about if the pair were working as a pair, that an illusion can make them appear as one.

If I recall, you first see them about 5 or 10 mins down the motorway, from Belfast International, and then for most of the time. They are of course a distant view, when first spotted.

Belfast City was up and running, during my time there.
Short Bros. were immediately opposite the office block I visited, on Coal Island?

Regards

Mike
Ah the coal road. Haha. Plenty of times we went up there with the bicycle with the trailer attached to load up on loose Coal as it was fair game on the ground.

That's where the old coal yards used to be where the Victoria channel meets officially becomes the River lagan.

Cant remember the name of the road it was officially called but its the old loading point for the ferry also before it moved up the lough. Now its where the odessey arena is now.
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Old 11th June 2021, 21:00   #8
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...... my great grandfather was an assembly rivitor on Titanic, Olympic and Britannic.
A very dangerous job from what I've read. I'll bet he had some tales to tell

Cliff
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Old 11th June 2021, 23:10   #9
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A very dangerous job from what I've read. I'll bet he had some tales to tell

Cliff
By time I was old enough to listen to him, after 1983 Titanic had been found, and the rivots at the time where the primary theory instead of the 30 foot slice through the panels. He wouldn't talk about the ships with anyone and unfortunately passed by the time I was 10 ish circa 1993. He took it very personal over the rivots theory being why it sank and frankly that's why he just kept quiet over it all.
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Old 12th June 2021, 08:43   #10
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Many thanks for that Colin,

Yes, it was, they were, the darker yellow when I was there.

Interesting about if the pair were working as a pair, that an illusion can make them appear as one.

Regards

Mike

Memory is a funny thing Mike - I worked in Ballymena years ago and used to fly into Belfast and if you asked my I would have said one.


Amazing just how big these cranes are. Also worked in Malm÷ and the Kockums crane used to dominate the skyline. I was there when they dismantled it and close up on the ground it was huge!

They had a plan to convert it to a restaurant but sadly it didn't work out.
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