Harland and Wolff - Shipbuilding and Engineering Works

  • 1850
  • 1858
    EJ Harland purchased Robert Hickson & Company shipyard and renamed it Edward James Harland & Company.

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  • 23 July 1853
    The first ship to be built at the yard - The Venetian

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  • 1860
  • 01 Jan 1862
    New years day 1862 the name of the company HARLAND & WOLFF was born, under which it still exists today.

  • 11 April 1861
    On April 11st 1861, Sir Edward James HARLAND set as partner his chief draughtsman Gustav Wilhelm WOLFF

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  • 1870
  • 1874
    Walter Henry Wilson became a partner in the firm.

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  • 1874
    William James Pirrie was taken into partnership by the two founders of the firm, Edward Harland and G. W. Wolff

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  • 1890
  • 23rd Dec 1895
    Sir E.J. Harland dies at his residence, Glenfarne Hall, near Enniskillen, from heart disease

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  • 1900
  • 14th May 1904
    Walter Henry Wilson died suddenly on a train between Portstewart and Portrush

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  • 1908
    Became a private company.

  • 1910
  • When Mackie and Thomson sold their old Govan yard to Harland and Wolff in 1912, part of the deal was that a four ship contract would be given to them to build four ships at their new six berth yard, based at Irvine on the coast of Scotland.

  • 17 April 1913
    Gustav Wolff died at 42 Park Street, London. He had been suffering from a serious internal complaint for some time.

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  • 1911
    Started to acquire yards on the Clyde - the London and Glasgow Shipbuilding Co shipyard, Robert Napier and Sons old yard, together with the adjoining yard of Mackie and Thomson. These three Govan establishments were laid out as one large modern shipyard.

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  • 1912
    Lancefield Works, Glasgow Purchased - Harland & Wolff opened the engine works in 1914 to provide diesel engines for their ships. The site was sold in 1965 to be redeveloped as a printing works for the Daily Record Newspaper.

  • 1913
    Liverpool Works open

  • 1916
    Owen Philipps and William Pirrie acquired the yard of Archibald McMillan and Sons of Dumbarton through the Lamport and Holt company which passed the management to Harland and Wolff.

  • 1916
    A year after the death of Robert Caird in 1916 Harland & Wolff Ltd purchased Caird and Co, Greenock for £432,493. The firm continued trading as a separate enterprise, with Arthur and Patrick Caird on the board, until 1922. .

  • 1918
    Built 4-engined bombers to a Handley Page design, which were converted for passenger use post-war and demonstrated in flights across England

  • 1919
    A third shipyard the East Yard was opened, and at 85 acres was one of the largest shipyards started in Britain during the war.

  • 1919
    Company takes over A&J Inglis

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  • May 1911
    Ship No.401 the ill-fated Titanic, was launched from the yard

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  • 1920
  • 1920
    Acquired a controlling interest in the Motherwell steel works of David Colville and Sons, together with their collieries, to supply the yards.

  • 1924
    Harland & Wolff opened new works at North Woolwich

  • 1924
    Lord Pirrie was returning from a voyage to Buenos Aires, recuperating from pneumonia, when he died at sea.

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  • 1930
  • 1930
    New Chairman - Fredrick Rebbeck

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  • March 1930
    From 1919-30 the yard at Archibald McMillan and Sons of Dumbarton , was modernised and expanded, involving significant investment,however, each new ship returned smaller and smaller profits and eventually the yard closed in March 1930.

  • 1940
  • 1941
    The chairmanship went to Charles Palmour from the accountancy firm who were Auditors of the Midland Bank.

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  • 1960
  • 1961
    Govan Yard Closes

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  • 1962
    New Chairman - John S Baillie

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  • 1962
    A&J Inglis Closes

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  • 1965
    Denis Rebbeck followed his father Sir Frederick Rebbeck as Chief Executive of Harland & Wolff.

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  • 1966
    In exchange for a 1.5 million pounds loan in 1966, the government effectively assumed control of the company, appointing John F. Mallabar as chairman and financial controller.

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  • 6 Sept 1967
    The tanker Myrina, the first supertanker built in the UK and the largest vessel ever launched down a slipway

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  • 8th Jan 1966
    The largest oil rig launched in the UK. The Sea Quest was built for BP

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  • 1970
  • 1970
    Sir John Mallabar announced his resignation as chairman in March 1970 and was replaced by J.R. Edwards. By December 1970 Edwards resigned as Chairman.

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  • 1971
    The Arrol gantries were demolished to give way to a parking lot for employees of the shipyards.

  • 1971
    Goliath Commisioned

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  • 1975
    The British Government acquired all the company shares. The yard was not nationalised because it was a special Government funded yard.

  • 30 June 1972
    North Woolwich Works Close

  • 6th July 1971
    The Minister of Commerce for Northern Ireland, announced the position of Chairman as Lord Rochdale

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  • 1980
  • 1980
    It was announced on 31st October 1980 that Mr. V. A. Cooke, had been appointed Chairman of the Company to succeed Sir Brian Morton.

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  • 1981
    On 16th April 1981 it was announced that Dr Vivian Wadsworth, had been appointed Chairman of the Company for a period of three years with effect from 1st May.

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  • 1982
    The Government announced the appointment of a new chairman and chief executive John Parker.

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  • 1989
    The company was bought from the British government in 1989 in a management/employee buy-out in partnership with Fred Olsen; leading to a new company called Harland and Wolff Holdings Plc

  • 2000
  • 23 July 2003
    Last ship
    Anvil Point completed

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  • March 2008
    The construction of the world's first commercial tidal stream turbine, for Marine Current Turbines, was completed

Timeline