Belfast Maritime collectables – About us – where do you start, Derek Booker and I both are avid collectors. We like industrial vintage maritime collectables, rusty metal, art and fabric. Lagan Boat Company started 22 years ago and in the early days, we operated both up the River Lagan and down into the Harbour with the Titanic Story. People thought we were mad! This was long before Belfast became known as the home of the Titanic.
‘She was alright when she left here’®️
One day an elderly gentleman proudly proclaimed one day ‘she was alright when she left here‘®️. Straightaway Derek said that is our Trademark/logo going forward. We registered it and it is now found on the back of our exclusive Titanic T-Shirts. These T-Shirts have been shipped all over the world.
Demolition of Harland & Wolff Abercorn Works.
In early 2001 the industrial heartland of Harland & Wolff was demolished. From the Joyce Too we watched the destruction of these buildings daily. We were telling visitors out on the water about the design, building, fit-out and launching of the RMS Titanic as the heart of this vast area that was being flattened. So much heritage in terms of architecture and industrial maritime history was destroyed. This area is now known as the Titanic Quarter and is home to the awarding winning tourist attraction Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic.
The Drawing Office
The ‘Titanic made in Belfast’ Festival in March 2002. This Festival marked the 90th Anniversary of the day when the Titanic left Belfast for the first and last time. Harland & Wolff invited us to exhibit our Titanic Collection of books and artwork in Lord Pierre’s office in the derelict Drawing Office. The Drawing Office is now the iconic award-winning Titanic Hotel. Prior to the opening, we were pleased to supply the Titanic Hotel with Rigging Plans. These framed images of sections of the vessel are located in the hotel’s bedrooms. They show a very different aspect of many of the Harland & Wolff vessels.
In addition to telling the Harland & Wolff story, we saved a sizeable archive of documents and engineering plans from destruction. We started the Charity Lagan Legacy along with friends and with the help of Heritage Lottery Fund we recorded and researched the stories from the former shipyard workers. These stories and part of the archive now form part of the ‘Greatest Story Never Told’ downstairs on the Belfast Barge at Lanyon Quay, Belfast. The majority of the archive was returned to Harland & Wolff and we retained part of the collection which we now wish to share with collectors from around the world. In 2003 Derek received an OBE for his work in this field.
Highlights of 2020
The visit of the Irish Pickers, to the Shop in 2019 was finally shown a year later in May 2020, watch it here to see how they displayed the Harland & Wolff Time Bourds.
Supplying the online Titanic Museum with Harland & Wolff TimeKeeping Bourds and a large yellow Pulley Block for their online museum
We continue to purchase many items relating to Belfast’s maritime industrial history. We are located at 66 Obel Tower, Donegall Quay. Before March 2020, you could browse around the shop, now we open the Shop on request.
This is only the starting point, as we hope documents and products will be added to this site regularly. Enjoy!