The historic Harland and Wolff shipyard could well be about to sever our links with the great days of the ocean liners, as the administrators are expected to be called in to shut up the business and sell off the machinery.
The Belfast boat builder's lineage goes back to 1861, with H&W's generations of local workers assembling many of the legendary names of early 20th century cruising, including the iconic White Star trio of Titanic, Olympic and Britannic. Obviously it all went a bit wrong in later years when the ships started being built overseas and H&W retreated into marine maintenance – and a convoluted sequence of nationalisations and private sales diluted the bloodline – but still. The cranes remained.
But the business is expected to hit administration today or tomorrow, after which some or all of the assets may be pre-pack sold off to other companies, with the 130 current workers facing redundancy. At least there will be some nice mementos in the offices for workers to loot on their way out. [BBC]