Life for Harland & Wolff shipyard workers

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Keith Farrell

Guest
Hi,

I have run across a bit of a dead end and I am looking for a bit of help. My name is Keith Farrell, I work for Granada TV in the UK. We are currently making a docu-drama “Building the Titanic” which aims to tell the story the Titanic's construction and those who built her. We are looking for the stories of real Harland & Wolff workers who may have worked on the design or construction of the Titanic. Of course no one who worked on the construction of the ship is alive today, so I would like to speak to the family of ex-Harland & Wolff staff who worked on the Titanic while she was at the shipyard.

Do you know of anyone who had family member that worked on building of the Titanic or did your ancestors help build the ship? If so have you investigated their life story?

I would appreciate anyone who can help me to collect stories and recollections from those who built the ship and enable me to build the story of the men who built the ship.

If you can help contact me at [email protected].

Cheers

Keith
 
TimTurner

TimTurner

Member
I'm not sure what this forum's policy on necro-posting is, but considering that they were making the docu-drama in 2003, (10 years ago and a day ahead), I suspect that they probably don't need this information any more.
 
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Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
We don't have any "policy" about that, Tim; we leave it up to the membership by its action or (much more commonly) inaction to pass judgment on the merits of such messages.
 
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Shel Cooper

Member
Did not know. There's lots of dead threads here. If you have an issue with "necro-posting", then close them off. We're here to share info, not condemn people for not knowing something. Chill out.
 
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Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
No one's "condemning" anyone here, Shel. Tim asked a question and I answered it, that's all. You're "chill out" command is inappropriate; please refrain from posting that type of comment.

As a general policy, threads here are never closed or archived; there are open threads which date back to the creation of the Board in 1999. Members are presumed to know how old the message(s) they're responding to are.
 
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Shel Cooper

Member
Understood. Apologies. Since many threads are left open, and there are are lots of new members coming on board, comments may be added because there may be new info or someone wants to get answers to a question. I don't see anything wrong with asking questions or pursuing information.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Actually, it's not a bad topic. I have details of the terms of employment somewhere, but I'll have to dig. They were not as bad as Shel seems to think. There were various breaks and special overtime rates, much like today. As I recall, they worked a 48 hour week, spread over 5½ days.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
It seems I neglected to copy a key document when I had it. I did discover a few facts that show the workers were not as badly treated as some think. Overtime was paid much like today. The first two hours were at time and a quarter, any further was at time and a half. They didn't normally work on Sunday, but if they did, it was at double time.

One strict rule was that if a worker left the job for no proper reason he lost the entire day's pay, even if he'd been at work most of the day.
 
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indybelle

Member
I am new to this forum and am interested in the workers at H&W in the early 1900s - what were their work days like, normal terms of employment - anything to flesh out what their lives were like in and out of the shipyard. Any help or references I can find would be awesomely helpful.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
A few links that might get you started. There's a lot of info out there on this. The first link starts of stating the "brutal working conditions". Take that with a grain of salt. Yes by todays standards they were rough but back then you have to remember those were sought after jobs. Men were lined up to take them. Anyway good luck on your research.


 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
If you are new to H&W. Three groups stand out for me.
Mr Edward Harland who kicked started of H&W and what amazing man he was to. With finical help of from Mr Gustav Schwabe who saw a future in Mr Harland where banks could not see it. Followed by Mr Gustav Wolff a nephew to Schwabe. Without these three men there would never been a H&W. Personally think was quite out standing remarkable achievement to start up a new company, facing fierce and stiff competitions from many other well establish shipyards In Scotland and England.
In more modern times I turn to Tom McCluskie MBE the 5th generation of H&W. Who has published books on H&W.
The third is Ulster Fork and Transport Museum they have huge amount of information on H&W and the other shipyards in Belfast to.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
You are right the museum. I've looked at their website a few times. I kick myself for not going to see it when I was over there. Don't know how I missed it but I did. Oh well next time.
 
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