Sculpture's Tribute to Shipyard Men

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EAST Belfast artist Peter Nelson honoured his grandfather and greatgrandfather, as he unveiled his bright yellow sculpture at Queen's Island yesterday.

Both men had worked at the shipyard and Harland & Wolff men were the inspiration for the Blinks welded metal sculpture. 'Blinks' is the irritation of welders' eyes, suffered when they watched the arc of their weld without eye protection.

Nelson, 39, based his idea for the piece of Titanic Quarter public art on the Victorian children's toy the zeotrope, a revolving cylinder, but he had some help when he produced his first small model.

"I've added Dee Street bridge to the sculpture, at the suggestion of the shipyard men who helped me produce it," he said. "They also made sure that the names of the trades were on Blinks."

Named on the sculpture are Eddie Harrison, Ernie Darragh, George Kitchen and Jackie Hutchinson, who were present on the windswept Queen's Road for the ceremony.

Eddie spoke of the crowds who would once have been there at lunchtime: "See those sheds; it was like a small town down here. …