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Samson and Goliath are huge gantry cranes completed in 1969 and 1974 by Harland & Wolff, the owners of the shipyard. These cranes span one of the largest dry-docks in the world.

In 2003: "Northern Ireland Office Minister Angela Smith said: "These cranes are an essential part of our city, our roots and our culture." The cranes have been "scheduled" under the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 which ensures that any action to alter or change them would need consent."

I'm not sure I totally get all this. In 2003 these cranes were 29 and 34 years old. It's hard for me to see things so recent as essential to an ancient city's roots and culture. I do think they are representatives of a better time though, including the early 1900s when this shipyard built The Titanic and all her sisters, when the shipyard employed 35,000 workers, when it had its Golden Age.

Harland & Wolff are diversifying their focus into offshore projects, ship's maintenance and refit, alternative energy technologies, and other efforts as well. But Samson and Goliath, I guess they do represent the historical past and hope for the future.

(internet pic .. wherever this picture was taken from, I couldn't get there.)
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