Life never stands still for long in The Dock. We’ve just welcomed our new next-door-neighbours on one side – the TQ Mace – and now we’re getting ready for the grand opening (at the beginning of June) of our next-door-neighbour on the other side: the lovingly-refurbished SS Nomadic.
Long-term Dockers will know that we’ve been following the fortunes of this fabulous old boat with great interest. Nomadic is our last best physical link back to the Titanic – built by the same men, at the same time, with the same metal and rivets (and even the same door frames and light fittings), Nomadic was the tender (taxi) boat that carried out some of the great and the good to the Titanic when she docked at Cherbourg. (Although in fact her story doesn’t begin or end there – the little ship has had a tumultuous, fascinating century before ending up right back where she started).
As the Dock has progressed from vision, to walk, to team, to pop-up cafe – Nomadic has progressed from rusty wreck, to scaffolding-encrusted project, to shining beautiful ship (albeit with a few tarpaulins still in place for the finishing touches!)
And I’ve been onboard!
And for once – words just fail me. It is sensational.
This is just a little sneak preview – the work that’s been done on the interpretation and presentation of Nomadic’s story is absolutely stunning, and I promised not to spoil any of the surprises for when (not if) you visit yourself.
Now I know I’ve been known to get a bit enthusiastic about these things. Rusty old coal-cart tracks out on the slipways send me into raptures of joy. But I really, really thought that Nomadic was absolutely out-of-this-world.