SS Nomadic is in desperate need of funds for restoration
The SS Nomadic, a tender vessel for the Titanic and the last White Star Line vessel in existence (The Company that Owned the Titanic) is in need of restoration work, according to the Nomadic Preservation Society.
‘She is in a very poor state,’ according to Nigel Hampson, an official at the Society. ‘We desperately need to get the word out to people that help is urgently needed.’
Currently lying in Belfast, the SS Nomadic was built in 1911, on the slipway next door to the Titanic at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, as the tender vessel to be used in transporting first and second class passengers out from Cherbourg to the Olympic Class Liners.
She ferried 147 passengers out to Titanic on Titanic’s one and only voyage, such immortal names as Molly Brown (“The Unsinkable Molly Brown”), millionaires such as Benjamin Guggenheim and his mistress and many others.
She served the British Government as a troopship during WWI and made a heroic escape across the channel at the fall of France in WWII carrying hundreds of French troops to freedom.
She had an incredible career of well over 50 years as a tender, even carrying passengers out to the Queen Mary in the 1960s.
Eventually in the early 1970s she was retired and became a floating restaurant on the river Seine, in Paris opposite the Eiffel Tower.
Falling on hard times she was impounded by the French authorities, and put up for sale as scrap.
However in a huge internet campaign, a group of people, which became the Nomadic Preservation Society, raised about £50,000 and with the help of a £120,000 grant from the Department of Social Development (DSD) in Northern Ireland, managed to purchase the vessel and numerous original fittings.
She was moved to Belfast, where a limited amount of work has been done and an official government trust (The Nomadic Charitable trust – a registered charity) was appointed to oversee her restoration.
‘Now however the money has run out and help is urgently needed to preserve this hugely important vessel,’ says Nigel Hampson. ‘She has had an incredible life story, which deserves to be told. A great deal of work needs to be done just to stop her deteriorating any further so we are looking to attract sponsors/benefactors or even industry help with materials.’