Volunteer Now - Volunteer Stories

Skip Navigation

Roy’s volunteering helps create a Lasting Legacy!

Volunteer Now is saddened to hear that Roy Snowden has passed away. Roy was an inspirational man and his passion for all things Maritime was infectious. Read about his volunteering experience with the iconic HMS Nomadic here..

Roy Snowden welcomes us aboard to hear of his volunteering experience and how his involvement has helped create a lasting legacy at Titanic Quarter.

“I was forced to retire from my work for personal reasons. In 2006 I was asked if I would like to get involved in the Nomadic Preservation Society as this was of great interest to me. I am on the Board of the Nomadic Charitable Trust, which was set up by the Department for Social Development to oversee the restoration of the Nomadic.  

Nomadic was originally built as a tender to service the large liners sailing from the Port of Cherbourg in France. She is the last ship in the White Star fleet and the only ship still sailing that serviced Titanic. Nomadic was launched on 20 November 1911 and set sail from Belfast on the same day as the Great Ship. Throughout her life she was also put to use in two World Wars but then lay idle for some time until 1972 when she was bought for the sole purpose of being a floating restaurant on the River Seine in Paris. She stayed in that role until 1999 when the owner declared himself bankrupt. In 2006 DSD bought Nomadic at a Paris auction with the view of bringing her back to Belfast and to her former glory through a restoration programme.

I took the voluntary role of project manager and it has been a large part of my life since then. I was delighted to see her coming back to Belfast, back to her home where she was built as it would have been awful to think that the last remaining link to the Titanic could easily have ended up going to the scrapheap! We put out a worldwide call that we needed volunteers to get involved and the interest was immense! For the past seven years I have watched many volunteers participate in the programme and they have all left with the experience that they helped restore in some part, a lasting legacy to our rich industrial and maritime heritage. The icing on the cake for me was the official opening of Nomadic on 31 May 2013 and knowing that this amazing ships history will now be accessible to visitors from all over the world. What a journey – not only for Titanic’s ‘Little Sister’ but for me personally in my volunteer role. It has been an amazing experience!”