An East Belfast woman with family connections to Carrick shipbuilder Paul Rodgers has told of her wish to see his last remaining ship fully restored.
Joy Kane, whose maternal grandmother married into the Rodgers family, visited the Civic Centre last month to view former councillor Sean Neeson’s exhibition on the Port of Carrickfergus.
Mrs Kane, 85, also travelled to the town in October to see a display on Rodgers’ surviving vessel Result, compiled by Carrick Grammar student Christopher Kenny.
Speaking to the Times this week, Joy said: “My mother’s mother married Rodgers who at that time was a joiner with Harland and Wolff. When my mother got married at age 24, my grandmother was already a widow but we always grew up hearing about Paul Rodgers from her.
“I myself married a shipmaster from Islandmagee, and it was only at a meeting there about 30 years ago - mainly a gathering of people who had connections to the sea - that we first really started to pursue the Rodgers connection.”
As Joy examined her family history, she discovered the significant impact Paul Rodgers had had on the maritime world.
“He was born in 1834 and started off at 18 as an apprentice in the shipyard; by 1870 he owned the yard, which would have employed about 150 people at its height,” added Joy.
Launched in 1893, Result is the last Carrickfergus-built schooner; during the 74 years of its sea-going life, the steel schooner was converted to a Q-ship equipped with an engine, guns and torpedoes to face German U-boats during World War One.
The vessel also carried cargo around the British Isles and even featured in the 1951 movie ‘Outcast of the Islands’.
In 1970, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum bought Result and in 1979 she was transported by road to the Cultra site.
Joy is joining other maritime enthusiasts in a call for the ship to be fully restored and transferred to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, where it is hoped it will be exhibited along with the Nomadic and HMS Caroline.
“Paul Rodgers really was ahead of his time when he designed Result,” she said. “It would be wonderful to see the ship in the Titanic Quarter; it’s where it deserves to be as it’s played such a big part in British shipping history, particularly its contribution to the First World War.
“Sean Neeson did a fantastic job in putting the exhibition together as did Christopher Kenny with his. I really hope they have brought the story of Paul Rodgers and Result to more people.”