Since the moment Dock Cafe opened its doors, everyone’s favourite window & preferred sofa has been the one at the corner looking out onto SS Nomadic. The little tender ship is, hands-down the best living link to Titanic anywhere in the world, a hugely evocative piece of history as well as being a gorgeous sight in her own right. She was built by the same men, using the same metal, the same rivets, the same design features as Titanic and her sister ships. She carried some of Titanic’s best-known passengers from Cherbourg harbour to board the mighty liner. She acted in all sorts of other capacities – tender, troop-ship, restaurant, cinema – through a long, varied, turbulent century of service. And now she’s sitting, 100 years later, right on the spot where she was fitted out and sent on her way in May 1911. Amazing.
And now – the Dock gets to be part of the Nomadic story. The restoration team – who are doing an incredible job of refurbishing the ship to her 1911 glory after the batterings of a century – have asked for our help. The teak railings, bannisters and doors which were fitted during the exterior renovation are in danger of drying out while work continues on the interior. And so, as next-door neighbours, we’ve offered to help out – and the offer has been gratefully accepted.
So, are you up for it, people of The Dock? We’re talking about a once-a-month trip onto Nomadic, on a dry day (yes they do happen in Belfast), armed with equipment and teak oil which will be provided by the restoration team, and elbow-grease which will be provided by us. The team, and the day-of-the-week, will probably change month-by-month as we fit in with the weather and the availability of volunteers. But if you’d like to be part of the gang, just send me a message, and we’ll be in touch with times and details as each Nomadic Day approaches.
You won’t be committing yourself to anything, and if you’re not free for every session don’t worry. But if you want to be a small part of this amazing Nomadic tale – if you want to sense the shiver of history as you step on board to play a part in her story – get in touch.
(And PS – sorry for the late notice, but if anyone is around the TQ at 11am tomorrow and able to call into Dock Cafe, we’ll have a rather special visitor calling in for a cuppa and a scone. He wears some serious bling around his neck, and he’s coming to the end of a very eventful year… guess who it is yet?!)