Tracey brothers continue to build on their award winning reputation

3 May , 2019  

Tracey Brothers were again successful at this year’s Construction Employers Federation Constructing Excellence awards in the Culloden Hotel.

Recognising the achievements of the construction industry in Northern Ireland, the Awards are hotly contested every year. Tracey Brothers, who have over 60 years’ experience in the industry and have grown to become one of the leading building, fit-out and civil engineering contractors in Ireland, were delighted to have won the General Construction ‘Restoration’ Award for works completed at HMS Caroline.

Tracey Brothers were also shortlisted in the Infrastructure Training Award Category and are previous multi award winners at the Construction Excellence Awards.

The restoration of the HMS Caroline, Historic Buildings and Landscaping Works at Alexandra Dock in Belfast was a complex and challenging project. Works commenced in January 2017 and were completed in April 2018 when the handover to the client – NMRN – took place. During this time the HMS Caroline tourist attraction remained open to the public, thus secure access to the attraction for all users had to be maintained, adding to the complexity of the works.

The landscaping works around Alexandra Dock and restoration works to Thompson Dock Pump House provides a new quayside visitor centre and exhibition space dedicated to telling the personal stories of those who served on the HMS Caroline.

Traditional building skills were used in diverse elements such as stonework, lead work and conservation brickwork.

Specialist craftsmen were sourced to carry out the works and a combination of different specialists’ crafts and intricate skills made it possible to carry out the complete works to a superior standard. The cobbles of Alexandra Dock’s refurbished wharves were removed, washed and individually repositioned by hand in their original locations and patterns.

Highly specialised bespoke items including the gangways and a highly complex permanent mooring were designed and fabricated within critical deadlines.

Meanwhile the Historic Pump House building is now home to the HMS Caroline Visitor Reception and Tickets area along with dedicated Exhibition space featuring much of the original Edwardian-era machinery and associated technology.

Given that Alexandra Dock, is a Scheduled Monument and Thompson Dock Pump House is a listed building, Tracey Brothers had to work in close contact with the NIEA and archaeologists to ensure that works were being carried out in a sympathetic manner.

A 25-metre footbridge was installed across the mouth of Alexandra Dock. Director of the regeneration project, Captain John Rees OBE, says the bridge is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw. “The bridge effectively opens up access to Alexandra Dock from the Pump House for the first time in many decades”

In a complex sequence of works, three brows were attached onto the HMS Caroline vessel, which is the only floating surviving ship from the famous World War I Battle of Jutland in 1916.

 “We were delighted to receive the Award,” enthuses Alan Brennan, who was the Contracts Manager on the project.

“The project prevailed over robust competition in the Restoration Category. Thankfully, all the hard, painstaking work we put into the project paid off. It was real team effort and the Award is great recognition for the work that Tracey Brothers carried out on this project, and, indeed on each and every project that they undertake.”

Alan is full of praise for Site Manager Gerry McClintock and Site Foreman Charlie McKelvey and the how they managed the site team to ensure the design aspirations were implemented practically on site whilst protecting the historic fabric of the existing features. Gerry proudly collected the Restoration Award on the night on behalf of the company. He also highlights the key roles played by the wider project team including Steve Prowse, Head of Project Delivery at Artelia UK and Graeme Moore, Specialist Conservation Architect at Consarc Design Group. The Client and Design Team were highly complementary in particular for Tracey Brother’s attention to detailing and the effort and collaborative approach they used to achieve the changing client requirements throughout the life of the project.

This recent award builds on the over sixty years’ experience Tracey Brothers have in providing high quality restoration projects with past award winning projects including, the SS Nomadic at Hamilton Dock (2014) and Riddle Hall for Queens University, Belfast (2012). More recently Tracey Brothers have continued to be involved in restoring and breathing new life into historic listed buildings in Belfast’s city centre including Cleaver House and McAuley House on the city’s Royal Avenue.

John Tracey (Managing Director) said; “Our continued success is a testament to our committed and experienced management and workforce who work closely with our supply chain specialists to ensure we correctly interpret client requirements and deliver them to a very high standard, on time and within budget.”

Tracey Brothers carry out works in a varied range of construction sectors, including education, health and research, commercial, industrial, leisure, culture and arts, retail and residential. This broad-ranging portfolio allowed the company to successfully trade during recent difficult trading times in the construction industry.  The company is currently working on sites both sides of the border with ongoing education, industrial, retail and office projects.

Tracey Brothers Ltd

Drumlyon House,



Co. Fermanagh BT74 5TB

Telephone: 028 6632 3471

Fax: 028 6632 3843

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.traceybros.com

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, January 2019, Vol 5 No 1