These adverts provide fascinating glimpses of shipbuilding and marine engineering on Queen's Island over six decades.
In the challenging economic climate of post-war 1920s Britain, the great reduction in shipbuilding prompted the Company to concentrate on promoting its repair and engineering divisions as many shipowners decided to overhaul and refit vessels, particularly passengers ships, rather then order new tonnage.
Above, the launch from No. 1 Slip (next to the Arrol Gantry) of the Union-Castle liner Arundel Castle (Yard No. 455) on 11 September 1919, together with her identical sister Windsor Castle, marked the closing chapter of the era of the four-funnelled liner.
The primary function of all these funnels was to allow smoke and steam to escape from the boiler rooms, but the funnel came to represent ocean liner power, prestige and safety.
The first example of this exuberant form of ship design appeared in 1897 with Norddeutscher Lloyd’s Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse.
At just over 14,000 tons she was small compared with Titanic's 45,000 tons, yet the German liner still gave an impression of great size. In the case of the ‘Olympic’ class it was not necessary to have four funnels, the fourth simply added to make the class appear more impressive, its only function to help ventilate engine spaces and galleys.
Above, the new realities of shipbuilding and operation in the early 1920s were vessels of moderate size like White Star’s Doric (Yard No. 573) originally designed for operation on the Company’s Canadian service; the liner called regularly at Belfast en route from Liverpool, Montreal and Quebec and during low season on the North Atlantic went on pleasure cruises.
Above, fifteen years after her introduction to service in 1911, White Star’s Olympic (Yard No. 400) still featured in many Harland & Wolff adverts, her graceful lines represented to many commentators the final word in four-funnel liner design.
Next... the 1930s