Aerial view of the Musgrave Channel at Harland and Wolff's shipyard in Belfast. The yard was last profitable in 2015 and the following year it had an operating loss of £6 million. In 1791, William Ritchie of Saltcoats, Ayrshire brought large-scale shipbuilding to the River Lagan. They became profitable due to Wolff’s connections through his uncle Gustav Schwabe of Hamburg, Germany. Whilst Harland & Wolff has had no recent involvement in shipbuilding projects, the company is increasingly involved in overhaul, re-fitting and ship repair, as well as the construction and repair of off-shore equipment such as oil platforms. Located in the port area of Belfast is a not to be missed tourist destination. Despite these provisions, Belfast was not prepared for what was to come. [2], As of 2011, the expanding offshore wind power industry had been the prime focus, and 75% of the company's work was based on offshore renewable energy.[3]. Harland & Wolff was formed in 1861 by Edward James Harland (1831–95) and Hamburg-born Gustav Wilhelm Wolff (1834–1913, come to the UK at age 14). An economic slump following the war coupled with a global recession in the 1920s brought an end to the Workman Clark yard. The Belfast Blitz was the name given to a series of Luftwaffe raids on Northern Ireland in 1941. Harland and Wolff is at risk of closure after its parent company ran into severe financial problems. During the Second World War, this factory became synonymous with the Short Stirling Bomber. Commercial. Harland & Wolff is famous for having built the majority of the ocean liners for the White Star Line. Guided by the history and culture of the shipbuilding location, the hotel remains true to the story of Harland & Wolff. As a result of this, in late 2007, the 'Goliath' gantry crane was re-commissioned, having been moth-balled in 2003 due to the lack of heavy-lifting work at the yard. It bought the former London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co's Middleton and Govan New shipyards in Govan and Mackie & Thomson's Govan Old Yard, which had been owned by William Beardmore and Company. Along with Armstrong Whitworth in Northumberland, they pioneered work on diesel rail traction. Cruise & Ferry. 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit was one of the first to roll off the production line during wartime. [1] Well-known ships built by Harland & Wolff include the Olympic-class trio: RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic, the Royal Navy's HMS Belfast, Royal Mail Line's Andes, Shaw Savill's Southern Cross, Union-Castle's RMS Pendennis Castle, and P&O's Canberra. [5] The nearby shipyard of A. Harland & Wolff is a shipyard, specialising in ship repair, conversion, and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It would take another 20 years for more well-known rail companies such as Brush Traction and English Electric to catch up. Renewables. For example, the United Kingdom planned to build 7,500 new offshore wind turbines between 2008 and 2020,[15] creating great demand for heavy assembly work. A total of 13 people died in the Docks and Queen’s Island area on that night including several Firewatchers at the shipyard. Riveting Rightness! History of this Location Established in 1853 Harland and Wolff produced 174 warships (excluding auxiliaries) for the Royal Navy between 1868 and 1969. Construction of the vessels below took place in Belfast's most famous shipyard. Photo copyright Harland and Wolff. In September 1939, a request was made to Harland and Wolff to design a large infantry tank. In the mid-1960s, the Geddes Committee recommended that the British government advance loans and subsidies to British shipyards to modernise production methods and shipyard infrastructure to preserve jobs. [16] This was the second offshore wind farm assembled by the company for Vestas having completed the logistics for the Barrow Offshore Wind Farm in 2006. Find out more about our team and how to get in touch. When Britain declared war on Germany on 3rd September 1939, Harland and Wolff was the only shipyard left in the city. On 7th April 1941, the Luftwaffe arrived and everything changed. History of this Location Established in 1853 Harland and Wolff produced 174 warships (excluding auxiliaries) for the Royal Navy between 1868 and 1969. Harland made a success of the business through several innovations, notably replacing the wooden upper decks with iron ones which increased the strength of the ships; and giving the hulls a flatter bottom and squarer cross section, which increased their capacity. [23] The deal will see the shipyard renamed H&W Appledore complementing the H&W Belfast shipyard by focusing on smaller ships of up to 119 metres in the shipbuilding and ship repair market. It was in this period that the company built Olympic and the two other ships in her class, Titanic and Britannic, between 1909 and 1914, commissioning Sir William Arrol & Co. to construct a massive twin slipway and gantry structure for the project. The three neighbouring yards were amalgamated and redeveloped to provide a total of seven building berths, a fitting-out basin and extensive workshops. Continuing financial problems led to the company's nationalisation, though not as part of British Shipbuilders, in 1977. 4. Their design was the A20, an early prototype for what would become the Churchill tank. They say the best team consisted of a left-handed man to help hammer the rivets in place as the job was done quicker! The museum stands on the site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard. In August 2020, InfraStrata also bought the dormant Appledore shipyard for £7 million. This led to Harland and Wolff constructing a series of bridges in Britain and also in the Republic of Ireland, such as the James Joyce Bridge and the restoration of Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge, building on the success of its first foray into the civil engineering sector with the construction of the Foyle Bridge in the 1980s. Faced with competitive pressures, Harland & Wolff sought to shift and broaden their portfolio, focusing less on shipbuilding and more on design and structural engineering, as well as ship repair, offshore construction projects and competing for other projects to do with metal engineering and construction. For the Royal Navy, they constructed aircraft carriers such as HMS Formidable and HMS Unicorn. In the First World War, Harland and Wolff built monitors and cruisers, including the 15-inch gun armed "large light cruiser" HMS Glorious. The Norwegian ownership of Harland and Wolff Industries went into administration on 5th August 2019. Throughout the war, Harland and Wolff Shipyard began producing vessels at a rate not seen since The Great War or since the Golden Age of Victorian shipbuilding. Titanic Belfast is a visitor attraction opened in 2012, a monument to Belfast's maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city's Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built.