Thompson Graving Dock. The RMS Titanic, everyone has heard of it. The ship that the White Star Line said couldn’t sink, but which struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank with the loss of more than 1500 lives. The hull of the Titanic was constructed next to its sister ship, the Olympic, in yard number 401 of the Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast and the massive Arrol Gantry supported the two ships as they grew upwards from their keels. The Titanic’s keel was laid down on 31st March 1909 and just over two years later it was launched – on 31st May 1911, it slid down Slipway number 3 to float for the first time. Despite the sheer scale of the gantry that supported the ship during the construction of the hull, there was still much work to be done to complete the ship and make it both seaworthy and suitable for carrying passengers – much of the superstructure such as the funnels, its engines and machinery and of course the luxurious furnishing and fixtures all needed to be fitted. Within an hour of its launch the Titanic was towed to the deepwater fitting wharf where much of this work was to be done, but some of the work required a dry dock – the Thompson Graving Dock had been constructed for just this purpose. After the fitting out process was completed the Titanic sailed for the first time under its own power on 2nd April 1912. Twelve days later it struck an iceberg.