Belfast Barge

Discover The Greatest Story Never Told

Lagan Legacy’s barge bears a precious cargo – the extraordinary story of Belfast’s epic maritime and industrial past, told in a spectacular exhibition called ‘The Greatest Story Never Told.’

The River Lagan is the star in the epic. The co-stars are ubiquitous – on the films, screens and photographs, representing the hundreds of thousands of people who made Belfast one of the most vibrant industrial centres on earth. Down the centuries, hundreds of millions of tons of raw materials arrived on Belfast’s quays, and left from the same quays, magically re-formed as ships and machines, trains and trucks, fabrics and foodstuffs. Enriched with this legacy, today’s transforming city is racing forward with all the innovation, confidence and determination of its forefathers, but we risk losing the traces of Belfast’s unique industrial past in the rush. So we’ve stowed some of it safely in this barge’s hold, in the exhibition. We encourage you to inspect our precious cargo!


Words that flow like the river

In the beginning was the word, the greatest of history’s survivors! Much may have disappeared and gone from times past, yet many historic moments flow onwards to a new era, on words – spoken and written. Vital to Lagan Legacy’s ‘Greatest Story Never Told’ are the recorded voices of men and women who helped create the unmatched industrial history on the Lagan.

  • Billy Nelson - Senior Foreman

    Billy Nelson - Senior Foreman

  • Dorothy McCormick Tracer

    Dorothy McCormick was a tracer. Her job was to draw up the final copies of the ships plans, including the Canberra.

  • Bill Harrison Sea Trials

    Bill Harrison describes how important it was for a ship to be designed so that it could carry as much cargo as possible, as fast as possible

  • Billy Nelson Plumber

    Billy Nelson was a plumber at the shipyards. He describes the work of fitting out a large passenger ship.