Excited spectators in three piece suits mingle with workers in boiler suits as Harland and Wolff prepare to launch the refrigerated cargo vessel. Riveters continue their work high up in the impressive forest of scaffold. As the camera sweeps upwards it reveals the majestic scale of the 11,232 ton ship. The MV Cedric was sold to Liberia in 1976 and renamed the Sea Condor. It was scrapped later that year in Taiwan. The ship plans are in the National Maritime Museum.
Next to the Linen Industry, ship building was one of the biggest industries in Northern Ireland. One of the most famous companies associated with ship building in Northern Ireland, Harland and Wolff, was established in 1858 building over 1700 ships. The shipyards for much of the last century have been the life-blood of Belfast. Sadly during the following decades, work at the Belfast shipyards began to decline. At one point Harland & Wolff employed just over 100 staff, a far cry from its heyday in this film. Today the company has reinvented itself for a new industrial age, making offshore wind farms, oil rigs, and bridges. This material comes from the collection of National Museums Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive is a free public access resource for teachers, students, historians and anyone who has an interest in moving images. Spanning from 1897 to the present day, the films in the Digital Film Archive cover all aspects of life in Northern Ireland and includes everything from dramas to documentaries, newsreels and features, animation to amateur footage.