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Displaying items by tag: Belfast Titanic Quarter

#TitanicBrexit - Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, which is home to Northern Ireland’s and Europe's most popular tourist attraction, has reported losses for last year of £333,111 (€383,329), newly filed accounts show.

Titanic Island Limited, which controls the group of companies working in the quarter, said pretax losses narrowed from £1.16 million in 2014. The group previously reported a £68,000 loss for 2014, down from £33.9 million in 2013. It said the previous year’s results had been restated due to a transition to the FRS 102 reporting standard.

Turnover totalled £10.9 million for 2015 with operating profit rising from £1.96 million to £2.49 million.

For more on the potential of the Brexit impact to one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects, the Irish Times has a report by clicking here.

Published in Titanic

#RareOptic - Commissioners of Irish Lights and Titanic Foundation have been awarded a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund for saving, restoring and displaying the old optic from Mew Island Lighthouse, a very rare hyper radial Fresnel lens, in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

The award, along with early support from Ulster Garden Villages, will allow the project to progress to the second stage of the HLF application process. If successful, the optic will be restored and housed in a new interpretive structure, made to resemble a lighthouse lantern room where it would add an iconic element to the Titanic Quarter public realm. With free public access it will tell the story of lighthouses, their technological development, their light keepers, and their role in the proud maritime & industrial heritage of Belfast and Ulster.

Mew Island lighthouse, on the outermost of the Copeland Islands, is one of the tallest lighthouses in Ireland. It is an important Aid to Navigation at the southern entrance to Belfast Lough, built at a time when Belfast was the world-centre of linen, ship-building and rope-making, and one of the most important ports in the World.

The optic is the internal apparatus which gave Mew Island Lighthouse its traditional revolving light. Made in Paris in 1887, it is possibly the largest ever constructed, at a staggering 7 metres high, 2.6 metres wide and weighing up to 10 tonnes. The optic is one of 29 of the largest optics ever made, with only 18 still in existence across the world. It’s one of only 3 similar optics in Ireland, none of which are now operational.

Over its life, and as technology has developed, Mew Island optic was lit with town-gas (derived manually on the island from coal), vaporised paraffin, and electricity. Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation commented, ‘This remarkable object is an amazing piece of industrial and scientific heritage and our proposal has really captured the public’s interest. We’ve received letters of support from the World Lighthouse Society as well as the UK Committee of the International Year of Light 2015.

‘We are delighted to have secured support from Heritage Lottery and Ulster Garden Villages; this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to save and restore an artefact of national and international significance and create a legacy Belfast landmark which will inspire future generations’

Paul Mullan, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, said: “The Mew Island optic is of great scientific and heritage value so we were delighted to receive these ambitious plans to restore and put it on public display. The project has the potential to create a truly unique and wonderful heritage attraction in the heart of Belfast’s maritime quarter and we look forward to receiving the full proposals in due course.”

Irish Lights, recognising the importance of the optic within Belfast’s maritime heritage, have been working for over 3 years to find a suitable home for the optic. Through the partnership with Titanic Foundation, the charity that owns Titanic Belfast, they are delighted that Mew Island Optic will be located in Belfast.

Barry Phelan; Irish Lights Project Engineer said; “ This project will ultimately develop a brand new tourist attraction in Belfast, and will provide a permanent home for the magnificent Mew Island Lighthouse Optic beside a very worthy neighbour - Titanic Belfast. The project will also shine a light on the wonderful Great Lighthouses of Ireland nearby, which offers you a chance to stay in, visit, or learn about lighthouses and the Irish Lights at; Blackhead Antrim, St. John’s Point Down, Rathlin Island, or further afield.”

The optic, which was recently replaced by a modern solar-powered, flashing LED in March 2015, has already been transferred from Mew Island to the Irish Lights’ offices in Dun Laoghaire where they are carrying out initial restoration works.

Published in Lighthouses

#HMScaroline - The Belfast Telegraph writes on the count-down for the opening of HMS Caroline in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

Following the award of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £11.5m and a further investment by Northern Ireland’s Department for Enterprise Trade and Investment, repairs to halt the deterioration of World War One light cruiser were completed earlier this year making the ship safe for the next stage of restoration.

Now the final leg of restoration and interpretative work can be completed to allow the ship to function as a world-class museum, a cross-community centre and a meetings and conferences venue.

National Museum of the Royal Navy Chief of Staff Captain John Rees OBE has been leading the complex funding and restoration programme in partnership with the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

To read more and for a list of key dates to held during the 2016 Opening schedule and over the course of the following year, click here.

 

Published in Belfast Lough

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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