Tom Thompson

Auld Hands

The story of shipbuilding in Belfast is legendary — the mighty ships, the towering cranes, the Titanic legacy. Less well known, but just as fascinating, is the remarkable story of the Islandmen — the men who made Belfast’s shipyards great.

Tom Thompson comes from a proud line of shipyard workers. In 1949, aged sixteen, he started work in Harland & Wolff’s Joiners’ Shop. He found himself in a new world, of apprentices and Gaffers, Hats and Bulkies; where lunchtime religious services ran alongside illegal gambling, and where hard graft and good craic went hand in hand.

This book is a first-hand account of the close-knit community that flourished in the yards, and a wonderful compendium of memories that captures the spirit of a bygone era.

214 printed pages

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