Belfast Ships: The Nomadic
The last White Star Line vessel still afloat
The Nomadic was launched on April 25, 1911, measuring 67m in length and weighing 1273 tons. It served the larger liners that called at Cherbourg, carrying mainly first class passengers. It attended both the Olympic and the Titanic on their maiden voyages.
During the first world war, the French navy requisitioned the ship. It was stationed at Brest, unloading American troops from larger ships and bringing them into shore. The Nomadic then resumed its service at Cherbourg, and in 1933 its name was changed to Ingenieur Minard.
During the second world war, the ship was used to evacuate some British troops from occupied France. In June 1940, the Royal Navy requisitioned the Ingenieur Minard, using it as a patrol vessel.
At the end of the war, the ship was again returned to Cherbourg and serviced ships until November 1968. In 1974, a private buyer restored the name Nomadic to the ship and brought it down the Seine. The Nomadic was moored close to the Eiffel Tower and opened as a restaurant on June 25, 1977.
After lying empty and unused for three years, the Nomadic was moved to Le Havre to be put in dry dock. It will be sold by public auction, and the date of the auction will be decided in Paris on February 17, 2005.
In 2006, the Nomadic came home to Belfast in the glorious summer sun on July 17. Enthusiasts attended a gala official welcoming celebration at Queen's Quay, which was led by the then minister of social development.
Today, the Nomadic is undergoing a complete restoration. But more funds are always needed.For more information, contact The Nomadic Appeal, Belfast Industrial Heritage Ltd, c/o Mersey Street Area Residents Association, 38 Banbury Street, Belfast BT4 1FG, Northern Ireland, or call +44 (0) 28 9045 8845.