Titanic 100

  x42 Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW

Does anyone else think Olympic's No 400 is really at the bottom of the ocean and not Titanic No 401 


Belfast has spent close to £100 million on an impressive new museum to capitalise on global interest in the ‘Titanic’, which sank nearly 100 years ago

“It was fine when it left here.”

– The invariable Belfast response when outsiders query why the city is so attached to a ship that sank. 

BELFAST HAS A story to tell. On the site of the city’s old Harland Wolff shipyard, now the expanding Titanic Quarter, a new structure has risen. Covered in 3,000 aluminium panels, reflecting water and shimmering light whenever the sun chooses to shine on the city, the building will soon be home to an exhibition on the construction, and the sinking, of the Titanic .

Project manager Noel Molloy notes parallels between the creation of the Titanic and the new building that commemorates the ship. “We started in May 2009, roughly the keel of the Titanic was made in May 1909,” he says. “The fit-out of the ship was in May 1911, and ours was more or less the same time. The maiden voyage was on April 2nd, 1912 – we’ll be open on March 31st, 2012.” And that is where he wants the similarities to end.

The world has been captivated by the Titanic since the ship struck an iceberg on the night of April 14th, 1912, and sank two hours and 40 minutes later into the depths of the north Atlantic. Belfast has spent almost £100 million (€120 million) seeking to capitalise on that global interest. It is hoped the exhibition will attract at least 425,000 visitors annually.

Molloy has overseen the construction of the Titanic Belfast building, from the digging of the first sod to its imminent completion. He is the project manager with the builders, Harcourt Construction, and is confident the structure will be shipshape for its opening on March 31st.

Molloy, from Co Offaly, sees this as an emotional as well as an engineering enterprise, and knows its importance for Belfast and Northern Ireland. He is quite taken with some lines from Thomas Hardy’s poem The Convergence of the Twain , about the ship, which are inscribed on one of the walls of the exhibition: “And as the smart ship grew/ In stature, grace and hue/ In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.”

“For three years they were building the ship here, but for three years – maybe 1,000 years – there was an iceberg growing,” he says. “The Titanic was late sailing here because Olympic came in to get repaired. It was late in Southampton because there was a coal strike. If it all had been an hour later it might have missed the iceberg. It’s as if the fates conspired to bring the two together – the convergence of the twain.”

There are still some final touches to add to the building, so on the day Molloy guides The Irish Times around the site, it’s all hard hats, boots and high-visibility jackets. The seagulls circling overhead would see the building as a huge star, an architectural reference to the White Star Line that commissioned the ship. Standing underneath the building, you have a sense of being under the giant prow of a ship – rather as the Harland Wolff workers would have perceived the vessel 100 years ago.

The sense of scale continues indoors. A high wall of rust-toned steel plates captures the sense of a powerful engineering achievement a century ago. It’s a six-storey building, with the first four storeys containing nine interpretive and interactive galleries. The top two floors feature a 1,000-seat banqueting suite that includes a staircase partially modelled on the staircase in the first-class section of the Titanic . This part of the venue has already been booked for weddings.

The tour is divided into nine sections, starting off with 1912 boomtown Belfast, moving to the building of the ship, its launch, the style of the ship from third-class to first-class cabins, the maiden voyage and the night it sank, to the aftermath, the popular culture it inspired, and how it was located in 1985 by the American oceanographer Prof Robert Ballard.

The story is recounted by sights and sounds and even smells, including recorded reminiscences of survivors, and film and photographs. There are also touchscreens and interactive exhibits to command the interest of what Molloy says are the four categories of people who attend such exhibitions, from those with minor interest to those obsessed with Titanic : “Toe-dippers, paddlers, waders and divers.” Molloy stresses that the tour, as well as being entertaining and informative, is mindful that more than 1,500 people perished on the morning of April 15th, 1912.

Titanic and Olympic constituted “a feat of engineering that was never seen before,” says Molloy. “It was about human toil and endeavour, all about engineering and steel and hard work, so right from the start we wanted to build up that emotive experience. It had to be big, but subtle – not Disneyland.”

‘These are the two key years to reposition Northern Ireland globally’ 

THE YEARS 2012 and 2013 are a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for Northern Ireland to build a tourism platform for many years into the future, according to the North’s DUP Economy Minister Arlene Foster. Seize the opportunity, is her message.

These are the “tipping point years” for Northern Ireland, echoes Alan Clarke, head of the Northern Ireland Tourism Board (NITB).

“These are the two key years to reposition Northern Ireland globally,” he says. They hope that a series of events with tourism potential – including the Titanic  anniversary, the Irish Open golf tournament, and Derry becoming the UK City of Culture 2013 – will make up for the years of conflict when the North suffered from visitor drought.

But such events come at a cost, and the biggest expenditure is on the Titanic Belfast building at the old Harland Wolff shipyard. Late last year the North’s audit office queried the long-term viability of the attraction. After all there are just 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland, and some 6.4 million on the island.

Some 425,000 visitors are expected each year, but the venue could potentially run out of audience. Titanic Belfast must be a global as well as an Irish tourist magnet.

The cost of the building, including the value of the land donated by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners, is estimated at £97 million (€117 million).

That’s the investment. From here on in it must survive as a going business concern . Its chief executive is Tim Husbands, who for 16 years ran the Waterfront Hall, a building that helped the North put on a bright face in hard times – and a project whose merit was also questioned initially.

Titanic Belfast is hoping to bring in more than 110,000 foreign visitors each year. The estimated break-even figure is 290,000 visitors in total. “Given that the Belfast Zoo gets 300,000 visitors annually that really shouldn’t be beyond anybody’s expectations,” Husbands says.

He acknowledges the audit office’s anxieties but believes this project will work and survive in the long term, a confidence buoyed by the fact that almost 50,000 tickets have so far been sold. Tickets cost £13.50 each for adults with discounts for groups, families, children, students and senior citizens.

“We will make sure the exhibition is refreshed every two or three years, not wholly, but in small sections so that people have something to come back to,” adds Husbands.

“We know that the Titanic story is a significant one of international renown. It is a very human story. It’s been around for 100 years, and it’s up to us as a city and a country to make sure we make the most of this opportunity.”

Our Time, Our Place, is the tourist slogan for 2012 and 2013. For Southern tourists heading North, it’s being sold as Your Time, Our Place. This “ perfect tourism storm ” kicks off with the opening of the Titanic Belfast building on March 31st, followed by a festival.

On June 21st a Peace One Day concert will be held at the old British army Ebrington site in Derry – another new arts and tourist facility.

On June 28th, after an absence of almost 60 years, the Irish Open will be held at the Royal Portrush Golf Club. It is hoped that event will attract 25,000 visitors daily.

The new Giant’s Causeway visitor centre opens in early July.

As part of the Cultural Olympiad running in tandem with the London Olympics and Paralympics , a series of summer events will be held throughout the North, including the Land of the Giants theatre and arts production under the great yellow Samson and Goliath gantries in the Titanic Quarter.

In July the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race comes to Derry. From mid-October to early November theUlster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’ s will, even in these straitened times, offer a top-class cultural programme to mark the 50th year of the festival. Next year, Derry is the UK City of Culture, the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil will be held for the first time north of the Border, and Belfast is expected to attract 25,000 international visitors to the World Police and Fire Games. - GERRY MORIARTY 

The other ‘ Titanic ’ town Cobh launches its own experience 

COBH IS FORTUNATE – in a way – to have associations with two of the most famous ships in maritime history: the Lusitania and the Titanic .

Victims of the Lusitania ’s sinking are buried in the Old Church Cemetery outside the town, while goods and mail were ferried to the Titanic from the port of Cobh, or Queenstown as it was then called, when the ship anchored in Cork Harbour in April 1912. Tenders also carried 123 passengers out to the ship.

A new visitor attraction, the Titanic Experience Cobh, hopes to tell those passengers’ story and to explain the vessel’s links with the town.

The exhibition is located in the original offices of the White Star Line, through which the passengers would have passed before being brought out to the ship. The building lay derelict for several years before being leased by the current tenants.

Visitors go through the boarding process, and along the way learn the fate of the passengers and of the ship. Much of this is done through audio-visual presentations, holographic images and touch-screen technology, while some information is held behind makeshift portholes that can be opened.

Gillen Joyce, managing director of the Titanic Experience Cobh, says: “We wanted it to be fun and entertaining and also to give information that captured the poignancy of the fact that the last 123 persons left from this building for the Titanic .”

A large-screen presentation shows the sinking of the ship from the passengers’ viewpoint, while a narrator describes living conditions on board and the history of the vessel. However, there is very little here that a person couldn’t get online or in a book. Mostly, the story is told through sights and sounds, with little physical interaction.

On entry, visitors are given a ticket that doubles as a boarding pass. While waiting to board, a scrolling digital sign provides information. It’s out-of-step with the early 20th-century, and for me it’s an introduction of modern technology that adds nothing to the experience.

Actors appear on screens to guide the audience, sometimes popping up in clever places, such as on mirrors in the first-class cabin, but I miss the immediacy that real-life actors would bring to the experience.

I find myself making comparisons with another maritime exhibition, on the Dunbrody famine ship in Wexford, which is in a similar price range and employs real actors. There, visitors can sit on the cabins and bunk-beds that passengers would have used. In the Titanic Experience Cobh, two replica cabins are roped off and a hologram is used to tell us about the splendour of other rooms. If no original artefacts are being presented, why rope off the rooms?

The experience gets more interesting when it briefly moves outside. Here are the remnants of the old pier, which was used to load goods and people on to the two tenders, Ireland and America, that serviced the Titanic . However, parts of the pier are in a very poor state of repair.

That the White Star Line building has been restored and saved from dereliction is to be welcomed, and plans are afoot to put a design and craft centre and a restaurant into the lower areas of the site.

Gillen Joyce, who has put significant personal finances into the project, says it is still in development and will be added to in the future. Entry prices have been reduced while the owners continue to hone the experience. – BRIAN O'CONNELL 


Sponsored advertisement

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Albert Caldwell’s love for photography eventually saved his and his family’s lives on April 15, 1912, when the Titanic struck an iceberg in the middle of the north Atlantic.

Days earlier, the 26-year-old Caldwell, traveling with his wife, Sylvia, and 10-month-old son Alden, had toured the engine room of the massive ship, eventually talking a coal stoker into taking a picture of him with the stoker’s shovel.

Minutes after the Titanic hit the iceberg, Caldwell was on the deck. The ship seemed stable, and he was fretting about putting his wife and son on a lifeboat — he couldn’t see the water below, and his wife had a history of seasickness.

“And then here appeared a bunch of stokers from below,” says Julie Hedgepeth Williams. “One of them recognized him from the day he took the photograph and locked eyes with him, addressing him by name: ‘Mr. Caldwell, if you value your life, get off this ship. I’ve seen the hull below, and it’s filling with water.’”

The Caldwells jumped on lifeboat No. 13 and were taken to safety. More than 1,500 others lost their lives that night.

The Titanic story has been told many times, but for Williams, who teaches journalism at Samford University, it’s personal. She grew up hearing stories from Albert Caldwell, the great uncle she knew as Uncle Al, and now she’s written about him in “A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival.”

“I knew him all my life,” says Williams, whose previous work includes a book about the Wright Brothers’ time in Alabama. “He died when he was 91 and I was a senior in high school. Oh, how I loved to hear him tell the story.”

“The story” began with Uncle Al living with his wife, Sylvia, as Presbyterian missionaries in Thailand. In 1912, they decided to leave. Some research told Williams the reason was the birth of their son, Alden, but Williams says her Uncle Al said it was because Sylvia had health problems and had been prescribed rest in Naples, Italy.

A small ship took the Caldwells to Naples, which they immediately decided to leave because of widespread cholera. A ship called the Carpathia was docked.

“Sylvia took one look at the Carpathia and said, ‘I don’t want to be on a small ship,’” Williams says. “She was tired of being seasick.”

And then they saw a placard for the Titanic.

“Their whole motivation was that the Titanic was the biggest ship on the ocean,” she says.

It was on the dock at Southhampton that Williams says Sylvia provoked one of the most famous lines about the Titanic, one that has been used in books and movies since but attributed to other people. Williams’ exhaustive research has her convinced that Sylvia was involved.

“As someone is carrying their trunk in for them, she says, ‘Is this ship really unsinkable?,’” Williams says. “He answers, ‘Yes, lady. God himself cannot sink this ship.’”

Caldwell often spoke of the opulence of the Titanic.

“He said the tables were piled high with all the delicacies one would want, and no one was seasick,” Williams says. “He talked about the electric elevators between the decks .¤.¤. And there was music everywhere. It was as opulent as they say.”

On that fateful Sunday, the Caldwells attended a worship service in the 2nd Class dining room. “Uncle Al would always say, ‘Little did those worshiping God know how soon they’d meet him,’” Williams says.

In the middle of the night, while in bed with Alden, Sylvia felt the ship hit the iceberg. She called for Albert, asleep in the bunk, and they gathered some of their things. Most of their clothes, as well as $100 in gold in a trunk they couldn’t find the key for, now resting at the bottom of the Atlantic, Williams says.

Contrary to Titanic mythology, many men were on the lifeboats that made their way from the Titanic, and Albert was one of them, Williams says.

“They pulled away from the ship, and not long after, he watched it go down,” she says. “He said that first, the lights burned from underneath the water. Then the stern was there and rose higher and higher. And then, he said, with a gentle swish she was gone.”

Later, the Caldwells would end up with other survivors on a ship that came to help them — the Carpathia.

“I understand the Carpathia went through some storms, so I imagine Sylvia was seasick, but I don’t know,” Williams says.

Sylvia and Albert divorced in 1930, and Albert married Williams’ great-aunt in 1936. He told his story often through speeches and interviews. He worked for years for State Farm, based in Virginia.

Williams was able to record her great-uncle’s tale of the high seas before his death in 1977. Caldwell’s Titanic memorabilia went to the great-niece who was so interested in his story.

“Among his things when he died, we found a photograph of all of them on the deck of the Titanic,” Williams says, adding that the photograph was taken by a friend in London and sent to the Caldwells. “It’s now the cover of the book.”

Caldwell didn’t live to see James Cameron’s movie version of “Titanic,” which is being re-released in April to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster. But Williams, of course, has seen it.

“I think it’s technically right on, because I think they paid a great deal of attention to how it looked,” she says. “But the love story between Jack and Rose is so not going to happen. It’s so unlikely.”

And, of course, there’s the quote.

“The fact that they stole Sylvia’s line really gets under my skin,” Williams says with a laugh. “Kate Winslet asks the question Sylvia asked, and it’s Kate Winslet’s yucky fiance who answers her.”

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

UK. New Titanic Commemorative Booklet published by IMarEST Charity

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Sea travel is one of the safest forms of travel both for people and cargo; however recent events off the coast of Italy remind us only too well that the unexpected can happen. Ironically the Costa Concordia incident happened just three months short of the anniversary on 15 April of the centenary of the sinking of one of the most famous ships of all – RMS Titanic.

To mark the centenary, a new a 16-page fully illustrated commemorative booklet has been published as a tribute to the engineering staff, all of whom lost their lives on that fateful night working in the depths of the ship to supply power for lighting during the evacuation and to enable radio distress signals to be sent until just three minutes before Titanic finally sank beneath the waves.

The legacy of the sinking of Titanic comes in many different forms according to the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) – this booklet published by the Guild of Benevolence, the only charity in the world with a direct connection to the Titanic is just one of those legacies, and it spells out the others along with illustrations of the engineers; and of the ship itself.

The practical legacy
Immediately following the sinking in 1912, regulations were introduced to provide lifeboats for all on board and this led to developments in the design of lifeboats, life rafts and the means of launching them under all conditions. Safety exercises are now mandatory for all new passengers joining a passenger or cruise ship and for the crew to undertake lifeboat launching and evacuation exercises before the ship leaves harbour. Similar regular exercises are required of the crews of all commercial ships. Major improvements to the design and safety of all ships directly result from the sinking of Titanic.

Legislation was prepared in 1914 under the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention following the investigation of the sinking. This encompassed international requirements dealing with safe navigation, watertight and fire resistant bulkheads, lifesaving appliances, fire protection and fire fighting appliances. It also required subdivision of ships into several compartments with watertight bulkheads extending to the main deck to ensure that, should the hull be breached in any two adjacent compartments, the ship would remain afloat.

Sadly this initiative was interrupted by the 1914/18 world war and was never ratified. However, the second SOLAS Convention came into force in 1929, based on that of 1914, and included chapters dealing with construction, navigation, radiotelegraphy, lifesaving appliances and fire protection.

The SOLAS Convention has been updated and amended ever since to reflect developments in technical design, scientific knowledge and seaborne trade. Today it provides the key international regulations governing maritime safety.

The International Ice Patrol, an organisation with the purpose of monitoring the presence of icebergs in the North Atlantic and reporting their movements for safety purposes, was established in 1914 as a result of the sinking. It is still active today operated by the US Coastguard.

The charity legacy – that continues to this day
There is another important legacy: All the engineers on board the Titanic were lost through staying at their posts to maintain the ship’s services for as long as they could. In 1912 the UK newspaper, the Daily Chronicle, initiated the Titanic Engineering Staff Memorial Benevolent Fund to assist the widows, orphans and dependents of the engineers who died so heroically at their posts below decks on that fateful night.

This fund was administered by the Institute of Marine Engineers (now the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology). In 1934 the Fund was renamed The Institute of Marine Engineers Guild of Benevolence when the Institute Council drafted new rules and regulations extending the provision of relief from hardship to qualified marine engineers and their dependents worldwide. Several smaller charities were absorbed into the Guild.

Since that time its work has grown significantly through the years in supporting marine engineers and their dependents who have fallen on hard times. For example, during the past five years the Guild has received many applications and after due and sometimes difficult consideration distributed £1 million of benefit to those in need. Now it is raising funds to ensure that it can continue this invaluable work well into a new century. http://www.imarest.org/guild

The new legacy
Last but not least, there is a new legacy – the Guild’s 16-page fully illustrated commemorative booklet. It contains the history of the Titanic, drawings and photographs of the ship and its machinery; a tribute to the engineers – all of whom are named and whose photographs appear in the booklet, along with details of the safety measures that resulted from the Titanic catastrophe, and information on the Guild of Benevolence. Already one cruise line has ordered several hundred copies; and discussions are under way with others as well as with land-based organisations.

The commemorative booklet can be ordered by calling: +44 (0)20 7382 2644; or email:guild@imarest.org. For further details, visit: http://www.imarest.org/guild.    Minimum donations of £10 + P&P, or more, for each copy are requested, with all funds going to the Guild or from The 

  Railnthusiast Chief Commissioner

Location: At the computer

Very fascinating. Thanks for posting. I think it could possibly be rubbish, for a few reasons, but I do not claim to be an expert. 
I just REALLY think that IF the Titanic was the Olympic, someone would of noticed back in the 80's when it was discovered. 
  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

A menu, dated April 14 1912, shows the luxury food offered up to first-class passengers on the last day on board the stricken ship.

The menu was on the table of first-class passenger Dr Washington Dodge, a prominent banker from San Francisco, who was travelling to America with his wife, Ruth, and son, Washington Junior.

Over several courses, and with 40 options on offer, the cream of Edwardian society were served a choice of such dishes as eggs Argenteuil, consomme fermier, chicken a la Maryland, galantine of chicken or grilled mutton chops.

The menu was on the table of first-class passenger Dr Washington Dodge, a prominent banker from San Francisco, who was travelling to America with his wife, Ruth, and son, Washington Junior.

Mrs Dodge slipped the menu into her handbag before carrying on with her day - unaware of what was to come.

Mrs Dodge and her son survived the tragedy after being ushered on to a lifeboat and the menu, which had remained in her bag, has stayed with the family ever since.


The sale is being held by Henry Aldridge & Son - the world's leading auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia - to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic on March 31.

''The sale will be 100 years to the day after Titanic was finished at Harland and Wolff,'' spokesman Andrew Aldridge said.

''The star of the auction is one of the rarest items of Titanic memorabilia to be sold in recent years.

''Any menu from the Titanic is highly prized but collectors will be offered the opportunity of a lifetime when a first-class menu from the last lunch ever held on board the Titanic goes under the auctioneer's hammer.

''The menu carries the all-important date of April 14 and gives the reader a fascinating insight into the culinary life of Titanic's elite passengers.

''This remarkable relic from one of the most infamous nights of the 20th century carries a pre-sale estimate of £60,000 to £100,000.''

RMS Titanic left Belfast on April 2 1912 - the start of a journey which ended in tragedy in the cold North Atlantic on April 14 with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

Dr Dodge was saved from the sinking vessel by steward Frederick Dent Ray, who had served the family on a previous crossing and pushed him on to the 13th lifeboat, full of children, saying he needed his help in caring for the youngsters.

''Shortly after arriving in New York aboard the rescue ship Carpathia, Dr Dodge was interviewed and gave his account of the last hours of the ship,'' Mr Aldridge said.

Dr Dodge said in interview: ''The passengers were constantly being assured that there was no danger, but that as a matter of extra precaution the women and children should be placed in the lifeboats.

''Everything was still quiet and orderly when I placed Mrs Dodge and the boy in the fourth or fifth boat.

''I did what I could to help in keeping order, as after the sixth or seventh boat was launched the excitement began.

''Some of the passengers fought with such desperation to get into the lifeboats that the officers shot them, and their bodies fell into the ocean.

''I have learned since that 12 of the steerage passengers were shot altogether, one officer shooting down six.

''The first-cabin men and women behaved with great heroism.''

Mrs Dodge is said to have added: ''I will never forget the awful scene of the great steamer as we drew away.''

:: The auction will take place at Henry Aldridge & Son's saleroom in Devizes, Wiltshire.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Going through Downton Abbey withdrawal? Unfortunately, Mister Bates, the Dowager Countess and O'Brien won't be back for a third season on PBS until next January, but ABC hopes you'll bide that time by tuning in this spring to Titanic, the next project from Downton creator Julian Fellowes.

Like Downton, Fellowes' take on the Titanic will focus on the divide between the upper and lower classes as he looks at the doomed ship's final hours. U.K. broadcaster ITV will air the four-hour miniseries in April, timed to the 100th anniversary of the tragedy. But at press time, ABC was still deciding whether to run the miniseries in April - and risk being drowned out by other anniversary events including the rerelease of James Cameron's feature, in 3-D - or wait until May.

Either way, it was a stroke of good fortune that ABC found itself with the rights to the next project from the writer behind what's suddenly one of TV's hottest shows. Now that Downton's swimming in such buzz, ABC may want to take extra care that Titanic 

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Exactly 100 years ago on April 15, more than 1,500 passengers died when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk into dark, icy waters. The catastrophe, despite its enormity, possesses an air of romance.

“Here’s a tragic event, but it’s been re-created in this very romantic film. It’s been re-created in a Broadway-style musical,” said Frank Barnhart, a Columbus State theater instructor who has written a new play about the ship. “It’s hard to imagine Sept. 11 being portrayed as a musical theater piece.”

Beyond the vessel’s beauty and the exoticism of sea travel, modern audiences are drawn to the accounts of heroism and devotion, such as the women who refused spots in lifeboats because it meant leaving their husbands behind.

“Those stories are the true tests of love,” Barnhart said. The last thing Barnhart wanted to do, though, was to romanticize their stories.

His “Titanic: A Retrospective,” which Columbus State students will premiere this week, follows about 50 characters from the beginning of the ship’s journey until they’re rescued by the RMS Carpathia. All of the characters were real people, and the words they speak are quotes Barnhart found in newspaper articles and transcriptions of witness testimony from trials investigating the accident.

“It was important to me that the words spoken in the play be words that were actually spoken by witnesses and survivors,” he explained. He also gives the passengers who didn’t survive a voice. “Some of it is, ‘The last thing I ever heard him say was ...’”

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Published on Friday 24 February 2012 08:21


ULSTER-Canadian musical icons the Irish Rovers have recorded a song telling the story of the Titanic with its beginnings in Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.


Rovers’ founder George Millar, a Ballymena man domiciled for most of his life in Canada, says: “Irish pride was at its highest, and the sinking devastated the Belfast shipyard and its workers. To this day they say with a wry smile – ‘she was all right when she left here’.”

The legendary Irish Rovers group, who were massively popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, are releasing their 40th north American album that will include the song which pays tribute to the Titanic.

The release of this album was prompted by millions of views of the Irish Rovers’ Drunken Sailor recording on YouTube. No one was more surprised of this attention from a younger generation than the Rovers themselves, but they’re happy to see it.

So the band decided to produce an album full of tales of the sea, and the sinking of the Titanic is one of the largest maritime tragedies in history.

The legend of this mighty ship has both intrigued and haunted Millar for most of his life.

That may be because his birthday is April 14, the date in 1912 the ship met its icy end on the maiden voyage across the Atlantic.

The veteran singer/songwriter says he felt compelled to finally put this song down on paper for the ship’s 100th anniversary.

Recently, George has been nominated on his home base of Vancouver Island for his songwriting, and last year he won the VIMA top song honours for his composition, Gracehill Fair.

For this landmark 40th album, Millar wrote a number of new songs of the sea, including The Titanic, which gives one a feeling of descending the ocean depths to meet the great ship at her resting place, then being quickly swept away on a journey to her glory days, while charging across the high seas.

The Irish Rovers were created in 1963, named after the traditional folk song.

The group was best known for their international television series, networked by Ulster Television and Canadian broadcasting over a number of years, and renditions of traditional rollicking Irish drinking songs.

The primary voices in the group’s early songs were Will Millar (tenor), Jimmy Ferguson (baritone), George Millar and Joe Millar, and in the last 20 years, also John Reynolds and Ian Millar.

All of the band members are from Ireland. Founding member George and his cousin Ian are both from Ballymena, long-time group member Wilcil McDowell is from Larne, Sean O’Driscoll from Cork, with John Reynolds and percussionist Fred Graham both from Belfast.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Family appeal over Titanic letter
(UKPA) – 10 hours ago  

The family of an officer who chose to go down with the Titanic have appealed for help to return to his home town a letter he sent from the doomed liner.

The two page personal note Dr John Edward Simpson wrote to his mother days before the ship sank is due to fetch at least 50,000 dollars (£31,500) when it is sold at a New York auction house at the start of next month.

His relatives, who say they cannot afford to bid for the valuable artefact, desperately want to see it brought back to Simpson's native Belfast, where the Titanic was built, to be put on museum display.

Fearing it could be snapped up by a private collector and lost from public view forever, they are hoping a benefactor can step in.

"We're at a point now where the family can't afford to buy it and it would be great if a donor or benefactor could be found who would purchase and return it to Northern Ireland for public display," said his great nephew Dr John Martin.

According to eyewitnesses who survived the 1912 disaster, Dr Simpson, 37, the assistant surgeon on board, stood with fellow officers on the deck of the stricken vessel as it went down, resigning themselves to their fate, making no attempt to board the lifeboats and instead calmly helped others to safety.

Dr Martin explained that the letter had been passed down through several generations in the family and the plan was always to have it placed in a permanent Titanic exhibition in Belfast.

But he said 15 years ago Dr Simpson's 81-year old daughter-in-law gave it to a Titanic enthusiast in Holland in the hope it would go on display.

However, what happened to the letter after that remains a mystery to the family and Dr Martin said relatives have always regretted its loss.

He said they thought it was gone for good until they heard it was to be sold at Philip Weiss Auctions in New York city.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW


In 2002 The History Channel released a two-disc set entitled Titanic: The Complete Story that consisted of three full-length documentaries about the famously doomed ship. Now - ten years later - they have once again issued another two-disc set entitled Titanic: The Complete Story, also consisting of three full-length documentaries. For this new set, however, two of those original docs (Death Of A Dream and The Legend Lives On) are still here, with the third (Titanic's Achilles Heel) a new addition, being a relatively recent production - from 2007 - that looks at exploration of the wreckage and possible design flaws in the ship. As with that 2002 set, there is a lot of content here, runtime-wise, but much of it is repetitive and suffers from way too much narrative padding, which was obviously designed to individually stretch these to fit within a two-hour broadcast window. 

Death Of A Dream (01h:35m:47s) was directed by Melissa Jo Peltier, and this 1994 production is narrated by David McCallum. The story begins with the building of the great ship, and concludes with the eventual sinking in the North Atlantic. Along the way we learn unnecessary facts about marginal characters and passengers, and the whole thing seems to take forever to get to the maiden voyage. The Legend Lives On (01h:35m:52s) is another Peltier-directed/McCallum-narrated piece, also from 1994, and essentially is a bookend to Death Of A Dream, opening with events immediately after the ship sank, on through the Senate hearings to find someone to blame. The second half concludes with some rather exciting coverage of Robert Ballard's celebrated search and discovery of the wreckage. 

Offering far too much information that is only marginally important, the content here is textbook stiff. Of mild, passing interest are the comments from actual survivors, but their input is ultimately quite minimal. The Ballard material is interesting, in a nerdy explorer kind of way, but it takes way too long to get there. 

The History Channel ditched the previously released Beyond Titanic from the 2002 Complete Story in favor of a newer production entitled Titanic's Achilles Heel (01h:29m:54s). I'm not going to wrestle with semantics on which release is really "complete", so I'll leave that to you. Directed by Kirk Wolfinger and narrated by Edward Herrmann, this time the thesis is what went may have gone wrong, with experts analyzing a possible design flaw. Of the three docs here this is certainly the most engaging and concise, offering a mixture of CGI-theorizing and wreckage expeditions amidst the usual batch of now familiar archival material. Bear in mind the word "concise" still means a bit too much padding for my tastes, but apparently that's to be expected, I guess. 

If you're a Titanic-geek with the ability to remain awake during excessively long and dull recountings of historical minutiae then this might be your bag. Yes, Titanic's Achilles Heel is fairly informative but then - if you're a real Titanic-geek - you probably already own the 2002 Complete Story, making this release only 1/3 new to you. Those with just a casual interest in the history would do best to find something a little more bite-sized and not so laborious. 

Disc one's Death Of A Dream and The Legend Lives On are presented in their original 1.33:1 fullframe, and are fair but hardly remarkable in any way. Most of the content is closeups of black & white photos, but the occasional color interview segments look fairly bright. Disc two's Titanic's Achilles Heel is presented in nonanamorphic widescreen and certainly looks more vivid - with more natural colors and hues - but then it was made in 2007 and consists mostly of interviews and modern day explorations of the wreckage. 

No complaints on the 2.0 digital stereo tracks, which are clean, with surprisingly rich, deep bass. Narration is equally clear, and mixed well above the score. Nothing terribly fancy here, but more than workable for the material. 

The only extra is a timeline feature on disc one that allows you to click on key dates for a sentence or two of information. 

Final Thoughts
There's a lot of repetition in the content here, and I'll wager that if you have even a passing interest in the story of the Titanic then you're already familiar with much of it. 

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW
Even Trains for April has now moved into Titanic territory with an article about the sinkings effect on US railroading.
  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

RICHMOND, Va. — The April auction of more than 5,000 Titanic artifacts a century after the luxury liner's sinking has stirred hundreds of interested calls.

Auctioneer Arlan Ettinger says his New York auction house has heard from some descendants of more than 700 survivors, including one offer he describes as morbid: papers from the body of a passenger found floating after the ship sank.

The Guernsey's Auctioneers & Brokers sale April 1 will offer a more poignant item: a children's bracelet with the name Amy spelled out in diamonds.

The auction involves clothing, fine china, gold coins, silverware and a 17-ton section of the Titanic's hull from the ocean floor. The ship sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Titanic frenzy has begun. Across the world, Titanic-themed museums, exhibits, and events are marking the centennial of the ship's sinking.

The Titanic Belfast complex is opening in April, and a museum has also opened in Southampton in England.

At Titanic: The Experience in Orlando, a "Jack and Rose look-alike contest" was held earlier this month to promote the characters in the 1997 hit movie, which is returning in 3-D format to theaters for the anniversary of the ship's sinking.

In Missouri, at Titanic Branson, every day an actress playing a shipboard maid reads a story of a survivor or victim in a 100-day webcast countdown to the anniversary.

"I go to another city, and it's, 'Oh my God, the Titanic exhibit is still there,'" Kevin Sandler, an associate professor of film and media studies at Arizona State University who has written about the Titanic and culture, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "They go on for years."

In Denver, one of the Titanic's most iconic figures is being resurrected. Janet Kalstrom, a retired information technology specialist and Titanic buff, is playing the unsinkable Molly Brown in a new exhibit at the Molly Brown House Museum, where the Browns once lived. In April, the 61-year old Kalstrom will embark from Southampton, England, on a re-enactment of the fatal cruise, planning to lead "fireside chats" as Molly and blogging about the experience along the way.

The sold-out cruise will hold more than 1,300 passengers, guest lecturers and authors.  On the evening of April 14, the Balmoral cruise ship will arrive at the spot where the Titnic sank 100 years ago. At 2:20 am on April 15, at the time the ship went down, a memorial service will be held.

Howard Owens, an accountant from Riverside, Colo., is one of the many people who can't help but be lured by the myth and memory of the Titanic.

The 56-year-old Owens and his wife, Terry, spent nearly $11,000 each for the 12-night crossing. The adventure will require him to close his office at the worst possible time for an accountant.

"A client of mine said, 'Why would you close at the middle of the tax season?' I said, 'I didn't pick the day the Titanic sank,' " Owens said. "I have to be there. I just have to."

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

"Dangerous Waters: An Adventure on the Titanic" by Gregory Mone. Roaring Book Press, New York, March 10. Softcover, 216 pp., $15.99.

Greg Mone has delivered a riveting story of life and death at the turn of the 20th century aboard the Titanic, one of the last symbols of the oversized Gilded Age.

It's an adventure thriller that covers the mores and customs of an often graceful era that catered to the super-rich, and it also takes us behind the scenes to show the grittier side of life serving the nobility of that time.

Mr. Mone combines the sinking of the Titanic story with a mystery-adventure plot to steal a rare medieval book in which the formula to alchemy (a long-held theory that gold can be made from base metals) is secreted.

The biggest secret for me came after I finished reading it and discovered the book was written for young people. "Dangerous Waters" is real literature. The tale unfolds primarily through the eyes of 12-year-old Patrick Waters, an underaged Belfast urchin who manages to get a junior steward gig aboard the mightiest vessel ever built. Young Patrick's job, from dawn 'til exhaustion, is to care for gentlemen's spittoons on the first-class deck.

There he meets Harry Elkins Widener (yes, the Harvard College library Widener) whose 16th-century copy of Sir Francis Bacon's essays contains the alchemical in the view of two intellectual rare book thieves. Alexander Rockwell, the tubby felonious mastermind and John Berryman, his accomplice,
conjure images of Shakespeare's Falstaff and Dickens's Uriah Heep, with really bad attitudes.

I learned more about the Titanic and its era in this book than from the ludicrous though insanely popular 1997 movie. Mr. Mone has carefully recreated the culture of the period, including speech and dress. He researched the letters of Mr. Widener, a Harvard graduate and rare book collector in whose memory Harvard's great library is named.

Mr. Mone is good at that sort of thing, given his primary living is derived from writing for magazines such as Discover and other popular science publications. Mr. Mone does this work because he's seen that kids will read, even gobble up, literate books. He will be on the Island April 10 to discuss "Dangerous Waters" with students at the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School.

In a phone interview this week from his South Shore Massachusetts home, where he lives with his wife, Nika, and three kids, Mr. Mone laughed when he learned I hadn't realized he was writing for a young audience. "You know, my Dad said he loves this book more than anything I've written," he said.

This reviewer outgrew kid's books about the time Titanic went down and the change to reality-based fiction for young people is an unexpected pleasure. I mean, Jim Kjelgaard had nasty people in his sagas but mostly they were about very nice dogs. The Hardy Boys' parents were never bitter, hadn't failed at life, nor drank too much.

"I think a good young person's book can be layered and textured," Mr. Mone said. "The story is told from three different character perspectives. I'm having fun with it, delivering a gripping, entertaining story but writing so kids get exposed to good writing early, as opposed to adventure novels full of clichés. I like to surprise them with a big word now and then, shifting narrative perspective so kids can see the world through different sets of eyes.

"I think it would shock a 12 or 13 year old today to see what was expected from them in those days. Patrick's schedule was not unusual for the times."

This is Mr. Mone's second book for middle-school readers. His first was "Fish," chronicling the adventures of a 12-year-old boy aboard a pirate ship who loves to swim and hates to fight, an obvious career-killer if you happen to find yourself living with pirates. The critics loved it and gave "Fish" several snappy literary awards.

Mr. Mone has also written some whimsical books about the scientific tricks Santa Claus employs to span the globe in a single night, and "The Wages of Genius," a present-day office comedy about a slacker with great aspirations. "No, it's not a kid's book," he said.

Mr. Mone said he wrote a good deal of "Dangerous Waters" on the Vineyard in the West Tisbury studio of the artist Nick Thayer, his father-in-law.

"I have not found that it to be true that kids only watch movies and play iPhone games," Mr. Mone said. "My experience is that kids do get engrossed in books. Only once in 50 to 75 talks in schools it was it difficult to keep kids' attention.

"There's nothing like watching dead words on a page coming to life. I tell them it's like making a movie in your brain. I think kids will keep reading books. I just love writing these stories, bringing characters to life, writing good sentences while telling a good story."

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

MTV plans concert for Titanic event
(UKPA) – 2 hours ago

A spectacular open-air concert staged by MTV will headline a three-week festival to mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic.

The music channel has announced plans to return to Belfast, the home of the ill-fated liner, to host the gig six months after it held its European Music Awards in the city.

The announcement came as plans for a major £1.5 million Government refurbishment for the dry dock where the White Star Line vessel was built were revealed.

The Thompson Graving Dock in the east of the city is being given a new lease of life after 100 years.

Titanic Sounds will feature several artists staged against the backdrop of the new Titanic Belfast tourist attraction on April 13. It is part of the £2.4 million Titanic Festival commemorating the loss of the liner in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage.

Belfast hosted last year's MTV European Music Awards in November, with top acts including Lady Gaga, Jessie J and Justin Bieber.

An MTV spokesman said more details on the performers booked for the Titanic gig will be announced in the coming weeks.

Organisers of the festival, which will stage 120 events, have also promised the world's biggest ever digital projection lighting show and a public service marking the unveiling of a Titanic Memorial Garden within the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

Belfast's Lord Mayor Niall O Donnghaile said the festival would attract visitors from all over the world.

"This is such an exciting time for our city and this festival reflects the incredible interest in Titanic," he said.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The biggest ever Festival marking the significance of Titanic has been launched today in Belfast.

Titanic Belfast Festival 2012 runs over three weeks, from 31 March to 22 April – coinciding with the opening of the multi-million Titanic Belfast visitor centre. Details of the programme of events were unveiled at a reception in Belfast City Hall this morning.

Organised by Belfast City Council and supported by NITB and part-funded by DETI, the packed programme will mark the cenetary of Titanic’s fateful voyage.

Speaking at today’s launch, Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile, praised the Festival for its appeal in attracting visitors from all over the world: “This is such an exciting time for our city and this Festival reflects the incredible interest in Titanic.

“While commemorating the past, we are also ensuring that the legacy of this important part of our history is celebrated as an investment in our future. Belfast has already proven its ability to host world class events – and the exciting elements of this £2.4m Festival will enhance that reputation even further.

“2012 will be a great year for Belfast. I am proud to be First Citizen at such an exciting time – and particularly with all that Titanic Belfast Festival has to offer those who live here and all who will visit,” the Lord Mayor added.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board Chief Executive Alan Clarke said: “A huge investment of almost £300 million has been channelled into tourism and over 200 projects have been completed within the context of NITB’s five signature projects, our key tourism assets.

“To kick start this momentous year of opportunity we have invested £2.5 million on a marketing campaign within Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to raise awareness and to drive participation towards the great events happening throughout 2012. Feedback has been tremendous with tens of thousands of followers on social media sites alone, delivering fans of Belfast in greater numbers than ever before.

“Belfast City Council has developed a world-class programme of activities for the Titanic Belfast Festival and we have been delighted to work with them and help in its creation. I encourage everyone to embrace the festival and the wider NI2012 campaign.”

Full details of the many exhibitions, screenings, tours, dramas, talks, music and family fun events are outlined in the Titanic Belfast Festival 2012 programme. It is available from Belfast Welcome Centre and various outlets across the country or through the Belfast City website.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Hundreds of books documenting the sinking of the Titanic have been written. Then there are the movies and novels that depict the 1912 disaster.

But too many accounts of the doomed luxury liner don’t tell the whole story, said Halifax author John Boileau.

"They might mention in passing that there were inquiries conducted by the British and American authorities," Boileau said in an interview Tuesday. "They might even mention there was a recovery operation, which might get a paragraph or two or maybe a page, but generally the books end with the rescue operation."

With his book Halifax and Titanic, which will be launched Thursday, Boileau hopes to fill the gaps in the Titanic tale and dispel some of the myths surrounding the disaster.

Above all, "I wanted very much for this to be a people story," he said.

For example, there is the tale of Hilda Slayter, the daughter of a well-known Halifax doctor. She was engaged to a British lord, who lived in British Columbia, and was returning on the Titanic after picking up her wedding trousseau in England.

"She survived in Lifeboat 13," said Boileau, a retired army colonel who has written eight previous books. "She even put in a claim for her trousseau."

He begins his account with the story of the White Star cruise ship line and construction and launching of the Titanic. But most of the 168 pages dwell on the backstory of the passengers’ lives and their experiences after the ship hit the iceberg at about 11:30 p.m. on April 14.

"I wanted this very much to be a people story," said Boileau, whose book is published by Nimbus as part of its Images of Our Past series.

He uses the launching of the ship’s inadequate supply of lifeboats as a mechanism to drive the story.

"The lifeboats, to me, are key to the whole Titanic story," Boileau said.

"When I talk about the errors and omissions that resulted in the Titanic disaster, about seven or eight of them are related to the lifeboats — not enough of them, no lifeboat drills, the crewmen not knowing how to row them — the list goes on and on.

"When I realized there was almost a five-minute interval between every lifeboat, I thought, this is a good way to drive the point home how quickly things were happening."

Boileau also delves into the recovery operation, involving the Mackay-Bennett and other Nova Scotia ships. It took 11 days for recovery crews to pick up 337 bodies from the frigid North Atlantic. Of these, 128 bodies were buried at sea and 209 were delivered to Halifax.

The Halifax undertakers John Snow and Co. Ltd. prepared the bodies for burial, both on the Mackay-Bennett and on land in converted facilities such as the newly opened Mayflower Curling Club.

Between 701 and 713 of the ship’s roughly 2,220 passengers survived, Boileau said. Precise numbers are still not known, he said.

He based his book on research using photographs and accounts from the Nova Scotia Archives and the wealth of information available on Titanic websites. He also credited previous books that explored the Nova Scotia connections, such as Titanic Victims in Halifax Graveyards by Blair Beed and Titanic Remembered: The Unsinkable Ship and Halifax by Alan Ruffman.

"The research is fun, it’s great, it could consume all my hours," Boileau said with a laugh. "The writing is a pain in the butt."

Halifax and Titanic will be launched Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street in Halifax.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, the Titanic app is getting ready to set sail into the App Store. The iPad app, created by Britain’s The History Press, arrives on March 12.

Since her maiden voyage sinking on April 14, 1912, the story of the RMS Titanic has fascinated generations of fans and researchers alike. Now, as the world prepares for the centennial of the “ship of dreams,” a new app is arriving that looks back at its history and features.

The app (price to be announced) includes knowledge collected from many of the world’s leading Titanic experts. It includes rare archive footage, details and photographs of the ship’s construction, a sinking timeline and “Did You Know?” facts.

Other unique features include an interactive deck plan, detailed biographies of the ship’s key features, contemporary films, narrated survivor accounts and a wide range of photographs from every stage of the ship’s life.



The History Press’s sales and marketing director Tim Davies says:

”This year’s 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship is already generating huge interest and is an opportunity to maximize the value of our extensive and definitive Titanic content and to deliver it in a new way. The Titanic App looks fantastic and we’re confident that both enthusiasts and general consumers alike will enjoy it enormously.”

As a fan of anything Titanic, I am looking forward to this app’s release. How about you?

This article originally published at AppAdvice here.
  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Work has begun to protect the Belfast dock where the Titanic was fitted out.

On Thursday, the Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced that his department was providing £1.5m for preservation work on the Thompson Graving dock.

The 880ft (268m) long dock was originally opened in 1911.

The funding is the largest single investment ever made by the Department of the Environment in support of an historic monument.

The work will involve the construction of a new structure outside the existing 150ft (46m) wide steel dock gate in order to safeguard the dock from flooding.

The dock is currently maintained by the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

Announcing the funding, Alex Attwood said: "The importance of the Thompson Graving dock should be acknowledged; when it was completed in 1911 it was the largest dry dock in the world and without it the Titanic and its sister ships Olympic and Britannic, could not have been completed."

He added that the work was needed to ensure the dock's future.

Public Access
"The work will not only preserve the original dock gate but will also allow better public access to the dock and the working dock floor," he said.

"It is a vital element in the Titanic experience and in itself conveys the achievement of the original build, the devastation of the loss of life and the engineering achievement of the ship designers and builders."

The Tourism Minister Arlene Foster also welcomed the announcement.

"This a very significant project and will be another important part of our tourism offering," she said.

"It will maintain the dock gates and ensure the Thompson dock continues to be an integral part of the whole Titanic experience."

The public will be given access to the dock floor for the first-time ever in April 2012.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The bidding started at $27,000. Within 10 seconds, it was at $33,000.

Suddenly silence, no more bids. The auctioneer gave “fair warning” at $33,000, but what he said next drew murmurs from what had all day been a quiet crowd of about 30 bidders.

“It’s going to pass at $33,000; it does not find a home today,” announced Philip Weiss, the auctioneer and owner ofPhilip Weiss Auctions in Oceanside.

The item in question was a handwritten letter from Titanic assistant surgeon Dr John Edward Simpson to his mother in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The letter was emblazoned with the letterhead “On board R.M.S. Titanic,” and was dated April 11, 1912—just four days before the ship sank on April 15.

The story behind the letter

Simpson is believed to have gone down with the ship. A report in the Belfast Telegraph on Feb. 26 said: “Simpson, 37, the assistant surgeon on board, stood with fellow officers on the deck of the stricken vessel as it went down, resigning themselves to their fate, making no attempt to board the lifeboats and instead calmly helped others to safety.”

Poignantly, the same auction included a letter from another person who witnessed this.

The auction consisted of 530 items, or “lots.” Simpson’s letter was Item 348. It came directly after a typewritten letter, also on Titanic letterhead, written by Charles Hubert Lightoller on May 1, 1912. Lightoller was the second officer on the ship, and he survived the sinking. His letter gives details about Simpson’s death.

“I may say I was practically the last man to speak to Dr. Simpson,” Lightoller’s letter reads. “They were all perfectly calm in the knowledge that they had done their duty and were still assisting by showing a calm and cool exterior to the passengers.”

That letter sold for $14,000.

Simpson’s letter became the subject of an international controversy when his descendants heard about the Long Island auction.

The family, who could not afford to buy the letter back themselves, appealed for a benefactor to purchase the letter and bring it back to Simpson’s native Belfast for public display.

A handwritten letter from John Edward Simpson from on board the Titanic failed to meet its reserve price at Philip Weiss Auctions on March 2 (Photo courtesy of Philip Weiss Auctions)

Belfast is also the city where the Titanic itself was born. The ship was constructed at Harland and Wolff shipyard in the Northern Ireland capital.

Weiss still expects the Simpson handwritten letter to sell in an “after-sale.” He was contacted by someone in Ireland who could not get the funds together soon enough to purchase the letter before the auction. Weiss speculated that now the buyer may have a chance to bring the letter back to Belfast. The deal could happen over the weekend.

“Who knows, maybe it will end up going back home,” Weiss said.

More on the auction

Bidders in the well-lit Oceanside gallery sipped coffee, ate cookies and occupied themselves with tablets and newspapers while waiting for a chance to bid on whatever items they were targeting. The room had the same quiet tension as an Atlantic City poker table.

Gallery employees placed bids for people who telephoned in. Weiss, the auctioneer, sat behind a computer screen where people could place bids in real-time over the Internet.

Some in the crowd, such as  Brian Merlis, a photo archivist and author of books on local history, were uninterested in the Titanic letters.

“Maybe collectors want them as historical relics; to me they are unattractive memories of a tragic event,” Merlis said.

It had been expected to fetch more than $50,000.

“Any time a ship has been sunk or goes down, those items carry far more value,” Weiss said. “Titanic is the most well known ship to have gone down.”

Weiss previously auctioned an archive of letters and photographs from a family who survived the Titanic. The archive sold for over $100,000.

As for the Simpson letter, the reserve price, or the minimum the seller would accept (for those of you who have not yet used Ebay), was $34,000. In the end, the letter fell just one bid short of selling.

“A little disappointing,” Weiss said. “The family’s appeal might have scared a few buyers off.”

Weiss has owned his auction gallery for 25 years. The Weiss Gallery sold the stamp that, according to Weiss, holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a U.S. postage stamp at $1.2 million. The stamp was one of three known copies in existence. It was a $.24 stamp with an accidentally inverted depiction of Christopher Columbus issued in the mid-19th century.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

The Rev. Robert Lawrence has been a lover of history for as long as he can remember.

One of the events he is particularly fascinated with is the Titanic sinking. The pastor emeritus of the First Congregational Church in Fall River owns a number of Titanic-related artifacts, including a replica of the bell that was on the ship and several newspaper clippings about the tragedy. He is a longtime member of the Titanic Historical Society, and among his 25 Titanic-related books is a copy of “A Night To Remember,” signed by survivor Marjorie Newell Robb, a native of Westport.

Robb was the final remaining first-class survivor of the Titanic when she died in 1992 at age 103. She spent the final years of her life at a nursing home in Fall River. When she was 23, Marjorie Newell boarded the vessel along with her father, Arthur Newell, and older sister, Madeleine. The two sisters survived, though their father perished.

Six weeks ago, a stunned Lawrence received an email asking if he would be available to be a clergyman for the 100th anniversary Titanic Memorial Cruise, which takes place this spring.

“I said, ‘Ma’am, without even looking at my calendar, I’m available’” Lawrence said. “It was quite an honor to be chosen.”

Lawrence will be leaving from New York City aboard the ship Azamara Journey on April 10. The ship will visit Halifax, where a number of bodies of those that perished were recovered. From there, the ship will proceed to the spot where the Titanic sunk, 400 miles east of Labrador in the north Atlantic.

The ship will be meeting up with another ship coming from Southampton, England. At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, the precise moment the Titanic sunk, Lawrence will be presiding over a 30-minute service commemorating the tragedy. It will include prayers, litanies and responsive readings in addition to a wreath-tossing to honor the 1,503 people who perished. An identical ceremony will be taking place aboard the British ship.  

“This is one of the most exciting ministerial roles I have been called on to provide,” said Lawrence, who has served as a clergy member for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and will be serving in the same role for the Summer Games in London this year.

Lawrence has been serving as a minister for the Cunard Line of cruise ships for the past four years. It was through his connection to Cunard that he was selected for the Titanic event. Ironically, the Titanic was owned by a company named White Star that years later became part of the Cunard cruise line.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Titanic history buffs will have a chance to travel back in time and participate in a re-creation of the last dinner served on the luxury liner.

The Greater Monessen Historical Society will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 14 with a benefit dinner at Jozwiak Hall at the St. Vincent DePaul Society building on Grand Boulevard in Monessen.

Tickets are $40 and available by calling the museum at 724-684-8460. Cocktail hour will be from 5 to 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:15 p.m. Ragtime music will be played. Proceeds will benefit the heritage museum.

The dinner will feature the same items served on the ship hours before it sank after hitting an iceburg in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, including hors d'oeurves, punch romaine, beef barley soup, salad, vegetables, fresh fruits, desserts and coffee.

Historical society board member Candis Kelley said guests are encouraged to dress in period-style clothing, either "showcasing the elegance of the first class travelers or the simplicity of the third class steerage passengers."

Local connection

The largest passenger liner in service at the time, Titanic had 2,223 people on board when it struck an iceberg April 14, four days into the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City.

It sank a few hours later, causing the deaths of 1,517 people.

Six passengers aboard the RMS Titanic listed Monessen as their destination. Seven said they were going to Coal Center.

According to the "Valley Historian," the historical society's newsletter, the Monessen travelers were: Pekka Pietari Hakkarainen, 28, Elin Matilda Hakkarainen, 24, Helga Elisabeth Lindqvist Hirvonen, 22, Hildur Elisabeth Hirvonen, 2, Eiriik Jussila, 32, and Eino William Linqvist, 20.

They were all Finnish and traveling in third class. Pekka Pietari Hakkarainen was the only Monessen passenger who died.

The Coal Center passengers were Susanna Juhantytar Riihivuori, 23, Ernesti Panula, 16, Jaakko Panula, 14, Juha Panula, 7, Maria Panula, 41, Urho Panula, 2, and William Panula, 1. The family died while traveling to join their husband and father.

It would take more than a week before news of the tragedy reached the Mon Valley.

John Sawa, of Donora, a "Titanic expert," will be at the event to display his collection of Titanic memorabilia and discuss the "unsinkable ship."

Historical society board President Daniel Zyglowicz said the event will be a chance to remember the ship and the local people who were lost.

Another upcoming event

Kelley said there are many more upcoming events at the museum.

The annual spring ethnic exhibit will open March 11, which will pay tribute to the Jewish immigrants of the greater Monessen area.

The museum is still collecting photos, items and memorabilia that tell the story of their contributions to history in the Mon Valley.

The exhibit will open after the annual historical society public meeting at 1:30 p.m. March 11.

The museum will resume spring hours on March 13. The museum, at 505 Donner Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Titanic Reference Map

The award-winning map tells the story of the doomed ocean liner from a geographic perspective. One side shows the ship's route (and the iceberg's) and tells the story of the wreck's effect on shipping and iceberg patrols. The other offers a detailed geography of the ship itself, and tells some of the cultural history of the ship and its tragic end. Our folded paper maps are printed on a single sheet of regular paper and folded down to a convenient size.

Price: £6.95


Rough Guide to the Titanic


A century after the most famous shipwreck in history, The Rough Guide to the Titanic tells the full compelling story of the supposedly unsinkable liner. A comprehensive history, it covers every moment of the journey and the Titanic's final hours, from striking the iceberg to disappearing beneath the freezing Atlantic waters. You can discover the epic human drama at the heart of the tragedy, with a rich cast of characters including the heroes, villains and victims aboard the Titanic, and the adventurers who re-discovered it in 1985. 

Plus, there are maps, diagrams and images to illustrate the disaster at every turn. The focus also stretches from the people who built the Titanic - with their faith in progress and technology - to the controversies and conspiracy theories that have raged ever since its sinking. "The Rough Guide to the Titanic" also looks at the fascination that surrounds the Titanic, including the books, music and movies that have kept its memory alive - from the stiff upper lips of 1958's "A Night To Remember" to the tear jerking romance of James Cameron's "Titanic".

Price: £9.99


Titanic on Trial : The Night the Titanic Sank

Capturing the disbelief, the chaos and the terror of the fateful night the Titanic sank 100 years ago, Titanic on Trial brings to life the tragedy through the voices of those who survived it. Stories about the sinking have become legendary - how the band played to the end, how lifeboats were lowered half-empty - but amongst the films, novels and academic arguments, only those who were there can separate truth from fiction. This book gives the story back to those people. 

After the sinking, inquiries into the loss of 1,517 lives were held in both the UK and US. The 1,000 or more pages of transcripts represent the most thorough and complete account of the sinking, told in the voices of those who were there. For the first time, these transcripts of the courtroom questions and answers have been specially edited and arranged chronologically, uncovering and drawing out the real drama of the Titanic's final night. 

The witnesses are transformed into characters in a much bigger story, and the events are described from the perspectives of people in every part of the ship, from a stoker in the boiler room escaping just before the watertight doors sealed behind him, to first class passengers trying to buy their way onto lifeboats. This compelling book provides a unique insight into what really happened on the night, and the terrible, courageous, cowardly and tragic choices individuals had to make.

Price: £8.99


  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

Angus MacDonald


As the last living man to see the Titanic before it sank, Angus MacDonald returned to Belfast recently to celebrate his 100th birthday in the same year that the sinking of the Titanic reaches its centenary. MacDonald was cradled in his mother’s arms as an infant when they watched the Titanic set sail on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that MacDonald returned to the Titanic Quarter site where he saw the Titanic set sail nearly a hundred years ago from Belfast. The same location is now prepping for the much anticipated grand opening of the Titanic Belfast center, which will provide an interactive experience with all things Titanic for visitors.

MacDonald, who was joined by his thirty grand and great-grandchildren, said of the nearly completed Titanic Belfast center ““It’s amazing what they are doing here (in the Titanic Quarter) now.”

MacDonald was born in 1912 in Islandmagee in Antrim. As a teenager, MacDonald began his 45 year career as a seafaring man which took him around the world to places like the Suez Canal and the Far East. After living in Aruba for 17 years, he finally retired in 1974 and returned to Islandmagee.

“It’s been a long, long road,” said MacDonald of his long life, “and I travelled it as well as I could. When I left Belfast’s docks (in 1929) they were going full blast. Finally, I have arrived here in this beautiful building and I find everything really super.”

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Last-man-alive-who-saw-the-Titanic-returns-to-Belfast-141408253.html#ixzz1oGjp80m1

  Tonymercury Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Botany NSW

In the 100 years since the Titanic sank, one group of people on board have been reduced to the role of mere ballast. Nameless in almost all accounts of the sinking, they were nevertheless the most numerous, and suffered losses which made even third-class passengers seem privileged.


They were the crew: the poor bloody, loyal crew. As the ship slowly went down by the head, the engineers and firemen stayed below, keeping its electrics working until the final moments. Stewards ushered passengers to the boat decks, helped with life jackets, or gave them their own to wear. No member of the crew rode away in a lifeboat, save those ordered into one by an officer. They knew they were the lowest priority on a doomed liner, and some, such as the restaurant staff, even accepted being locked into their quarters. They did their duty, which – on a ship carrying 2,223 people and lifeboats only for half that number – was, basically, to die. Of the 899 crew who sailed on the ship, 686 perished – a death rate of 76 per cent, worse than any class of passenger, even steerage.


These, truly, are the forgotten victims of the Titanic – hundreds of husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, and sweethearts reduced by history, as they are by any film of the sinking, to mere anonymous extras: the little people, just so many figures making up the crowd in that night's panorama of desperation. Even more ignored by any film or popular account of the disaster are the families left behind. Few towns can have experienced the shock and drawn-out wait for firm news endured by the women and children in hundreds of Southampton homes, or the wholesale bereavement they suffered when they got it. Of the 724 crew who came from Southampton, no fewer than 549 died that April night.


Even for someone like myself, who has lapped up every Titanic book and documentary for 20 years or more, this statistic comes as a shock, so comprehensively have the Southampton crew been written out of the script. I thought they deserved, on the centenary, some effort to remedy this. And so, using the superb Encyclopaedia Titanica website, records of the Titanic Relief Fund, and the city's heritage collection, I set about collecting stories of Southampton's lost crew and their families.


A lot of people relied on the port and its ships for employment in 1912, just as they do now. Southampton's population had grown rapidly to 62,000 by 1901 and, with major shipping companies transferring there, as White Star did in 1907, another 33,000 were added by 1911. Here was work, albeit of an insecure, voyage-by-voyage kind, not only for local men, but also increasing numbers of incomers from London, Liverpool, Glasgow and elsewhere. The grimy workers in engine rooms gravitated towards the close-built terraced streets of Northam and Chapel (the kind of hard-drinking neighbourhood on whose Albert Road six pubs could be found side by side). The stewards, engineers, electricians and officers, meanwhile, settled in areas rippling out from the town's centre in strata of ever-increasing gentility. Such social divisions continued at sea. At the top, on the bridge, were the captain and senior officers. Then came the crew's middle class: junior officers and the like, followed by the lower-middle class of stewards, waiters and clerks, and then, at the bottom, toiling in the bowels of the vessel, were its working class: the "black gang" of firemen, stokers and greasers without whose sweated labour the ship would not have moved at all.


It was on 10 April that this crew of around 900, serving about 1,300 passengers, left Southampton. On Sunday 14 April, just before midnight, it struck an iceberg 400 miles off Newfoundland and sank within two hours 40 minutes. The actions of the nine senior officers (four of whom survived) are well known, but of the Southampton men – the bell boys, lift boys, boot boys, bakers, soup cooks, wine butlers, stewards, stokers, clerks, and greasers – there are only glimpses. Here is Eustace Blann, a fireman/stoker aged 21, rushing into his dormitory quarters holding a piece of ice and saying: "Look what I found on deck!". He died. There is Thomas McCawley, the 36-year-old Scot in charge of the gym, who remained at his post until the last, then declined the offer of a life jacket on the grounds it would slow him down as he swam. He died. So did John Jago and all the other postal clerks who, as the ship went slowly down by the head, manhandled 200 sacks of mail, each weighing as much as a small woman, to higher and higher decks in a vain attempt to keep them dry. They all died.


And then there is William Mintram: fireman/stoker aged 46, resident of the tough Chapel Road, father of five, grandfather, and convicted killer. On 18 October 1902, he had come home from the pub at around 10.30pm, slapped his wife Eliza round the face, argued with her, grabbed a knife, and fatally stabbed her in the back. At his trial for murder, Mintram said his wife nagged at him when he complained about her pawning the boy's boots to buy drink. He said she rushed at him, but he could remember nothing more. The court – perhaps more concerned with not making orphans of the five Mintram children than an example of William – convicted him of manslaughter, and sentenced him to 12 years, of which he served only three. Such a blot on his CV was no bar to working on the black gang of the Titanic, and Mintram signed on, along with Walter Hurst, the husband of his daughter Rosina. As the ship neared its end, the two met, and Mintram, seeing his son-in-law had no life jacket, gave him his. Hurst was saved and the convicted killer perished.


More glimpses: maître d' Paul Mauge – the only one of the 69 restaurant staff to survive – jumped into lifeboat number five, landed on a woman occupant, and broke both her legs. They both lived, unlike stewards William Cox, Albert Pearcey and George Dodd, who ushered groups of steerage passengers up to the boat decks and a chance of salvation while the lifeboats they had been allocated left without them.


When the last of the lifeboats had gone, there were still around 1,500 people on board, half of them crew. Among those Lowry-like figures we see crowded by the rails in the film are storekeepers Michael Kieran, Frank Prentice and Cyril Ricks. As the Titanic's bow took its final plunge, and the stern rose, they jumped. Ricks was killed by falling debris, Kieran was never found, and only Prentice was saved. Greaser John Bannon, 32 and married, jumped, and found a wooden grating to use as a small raft. He was last seen paddling it towards a distant light, almost certainly a low star.


Very few of those who plunged into the sea survived. The temperature of the water was barely above freezing, and even a healthy, fit young man couldn't last much more than 15 to 20 minutes before hypothermia, and a merciful unconsciousness, kicked in. A small number, such as 29-year-old married bedroom steward Sidney Siebert, were hauled into a lifeboat, but he was too far gone and died before daylight. Not that there were many so picked up. Only lifeboat number 14, navigated by fifth officer Harold Lowe, risked capsize by returning to rescue those in the water. The rest ignored the cries – one man was heard to cry "Mother! Mother!" until his strength had expired – and rowed away.


By contrast, there was the Boy's Own Paper cheerfulness of purser Hugh McElroy who, at the last moments of the ship, was seen near the gym with a few other crew. He shook them by the hand, and said: "Well, goodbye, fellows. It looks like sand for breakfast tomorrow."


Back in Southampton, what had happened to the Titanic came first as rumour. And, in a town where more than 600 homes had men and women aboard, word passed from k person to person, from street to street, like a city-wide game of Chinese whispers. One of the first confirmations of sorts appeared in the window of the Southampton Times where a notice said the Titanic was "probably sinking". Soon that Monday morning, crowds anxious for news had gathered outside the offices of the White Star Line in Canute Road, and the Seafarers' Union in Terminus Terrace. There was talk that the Titanic had been holed, but was still afloat and being towed to the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. No doubt there were some who said the worst could not be true because "they" said the Titanic could not sink. But, at some point on Monday, the following was posted outside the White Star offices: "Titanic foundered about 2.30am April 15. About 675 crew and passengers picked up... Names of those saved will be posted as soon as received."


And so began the wait. The Hampshire Independent reported: "As darkness grew, the crowds increased, both outside the White Star offices and the west gate side of the docks. It was an impressive and pathetic scene. The street lamps and the white light from the arc lamps flickered on hundreds of faces which were wan and grey by anxiety. The crowd was very dense around the entrance to the Company's offices, but frequently a gap was formed to allow some grief-stricken relative to pass in and inquire if any more news was to hand. But each time the answer was the same, and the inquirer turned once more towards the street with head bowed."


By Tuesday, most were probably resigned to the worst, but of firm news, there was none. The vigil outside the White Star offices continued day and night. Dolly Curry, daughter of White Star's office manager, brought out trays of coffee to those still keeping watch. On Wednesday, workmen came and nailed to the railings blackboards on which would be posted the names of the saved. The Daily Mail described one woman who waited with two babies in a pram and toddler holding her hand. "'What are we waiting for, mummy? Why are we waiting such a long time?' asked the tired child. 'We are waiting for news of your father, dear,' came the choked answer, as the mother turned away her head to hide her tears."


On Friday, five days after the sinking, a clerk appeared and pasted on to the boards strips of paper on which the names of those saved were written in large blue letters. And thus became apparent the scale of the loss. More than 500 households lost at least one person. Whole streets in Northam and Chapel were drab with black crepe. At one school, the headmistress took a visitor into a classroom and said: "Stand up any child who has a relative on the Titanic." Every chair scraped back, and the whole class stood. At another school, in Northam, half the 240 pupils lost their father. And the words of one woman to the Daily Mirror capture how concentrated the deaths were: "Mrs May across the way lost her husband and oldest son... Mrs Allen round the corner lost her husband, George. And the young girl there in black is Mrs Barnes. She lost her brother. The woman going into the shop is Mrs Gosling. She lost a son..."


At Victoria Road, Ethel Burr, wife of first-class steward Ewart, had recently received a letter from her husband, posted as the ship stopped at Queenstown. "Dearest Ethel I need not mention to you to take care of our little son as I know you love him as much as I do. Give him my love and kiss him each night from daddy." Not long afterwards, a knock at the door brought a telegram. "Much regret," it curtly informed her, "Burr not saved."


Also not coming home were junior assistant engineer Henry Dodds, due to be married on his return; John Brookman, wed only three days before the ship sailed; and father and son Arthur May senior and junior, whose deaths left no fewer than 11 dependents: the elder Mrs May and her eight children, and May junior's young wife and six-week-old baby.


Not that the loss of the unmarried was any easier to bear. The parents of bell boy Archie Barrett, just 15, placed "In Memoriam" advertisements in Southampton papers for many years after the sinking: "...As we gaze at your picture that hangs on the wall, Your smile and your welcome we often recall. We miss you and mourn you in sorrow unseen. And dwell on the memory of days that have been."


More haunting still is the case of electrician Herbert Jupe, whose body was recovered, buried at sea, and his effects – watch, small pencil, and a single brass screw – returned to his parents. His father subsequently wrote: "I should like to thank you for the great kindness you have done my precious son... I am very pleased with the watch, pencil and screw. I have got it mounted on a round black polished stand with a glass shade over it with silver plate with inscriptions as family memento on our sitting-room table. He was a dear boy to me and mother and he would never have married while we were alive."


The body of saloon steward Fred Wormald was also found, but sufficiently intact to be taken to Halifax. White Star arranged for his widow Emily, and their six children, to sail over on the Olympic to pay their respects. They travelled third-class, of course, and so in New York were dropped off at Ellis Island for immigration and health checks. Officials there took one look at them, rejected their story and put them back on the returning Olympic. Passengers had a whip-round and raised £40 for them, which was just as well because when they got back to Southampton they found their landlord had rented their home to another family, and dumped their furniture in neighbours' outhouses.


Their salvation, as it was for so many of the bereaved, was the Titanic Relief Fund, an amalgam of the appeals launched by the lord mayors of Southampton and London, The Daily Telegraph, and some unlikely fund-raising ventures on both sides of the Atlantic. Enrico Caruso gave a benefit concert, the FA Charity Shield match between League champions Blackburn Rovers and Southern League champions Queens Park Rangers was brought forward, and there was a charity record of a song based on the Titanic captain's alleged final order to his crew: "Be British!". The Shipping Federation gave £10,500, George V gave 500gns, Queen Mary 250gns, and Queen Alexandra £200. Eventually, £450,000 – the equivalent to about £21m in today's money – was raised. Trustees invested it in such reliable stock as Canadian Northern (Ontario) Railway 3 per cent debentures, and the fund was still making payments in the late 1950s.


Some 2,396 dependents made claims on the Fund, more than 1,400 of them in the Southampton area. For the crew's families, payments were about half the pay of the lost man (only three of the 686 crew who died were women). The widow of a bedroom steward could expect £1 12s 6d, with 6s 3d (31p) for each child. Salaried employees of White Star were granted outstanding pay in full, plus £300 under the Workmen's Compensation Act, but these were few in number. Most of the crew was hired for each voyage, and so their families were not entitled to such a payout. With little work available to married working-class women except taking in washing or seamstressing, it was the fund – or the workhouse.


Besides the standard weekly payments, the fund's minute book records ad hoc grants: "One quart of milk per day and six eggs to the value of per week to be continued to Mrs Johnson (widow) for a further three months"; 8/6 to Miss Penrose for a pair of spectacles; "£5 to purchase surgical appliances for Mr Reed"; 4gns so that Ethel Duffy, widow of engineer's clerk William, could buy a set of false teeth; and, on 23 April 1914, for stoker's widow Amelia Barnes and her four children: "An order to supply groceries to the value of 2s (10p) per week be given to Lancaster & Crooks Ltd for the period of 12 weeks." They were still giving her an allowance of 3s a week 10 years later. The fund paid out so the children of lost Titanic crewmen could start apprenticeships: "Melita Wallis (daughter, nearly 15) be apprenticed to Mr Proust, hairdresser, at a premium of £20 for a period of 3 years." There was even £5 given to Mrs Bristow, widow of saloon steward Harry, "to take her children to the seaside" – generous indeed to a family living a short walk from the English Channel.


The fund's administrators took a close interest in each dependent family, which was not always to their advantage. Payments to the parents of fireman/stoker Edward Biggs were stopped in 1914 because his mother Rose had been "up before the magistrates for drunkenness"; and "Mrs P" had her allowance stopped the same year "as the committee were dissatisfied with her mode of life". And then there was Mary Foster, widow of storekeeper Albert, whose payments were stopped in February 1914 because "certain facts of an undesirable nature" had been reported. Had Mary Foster been finding comfort in a variety of different tattooed arms? Or was she the target of malicious gossip? Probably the latter, since payments for her two girls continued, and, come October, those to Mary were restored. So the valuable, if paternalistic, work went on, until 1959, when the remaining money was converted into annuities.


Next month, exactly 100 years to the day that the Titanic sailed, Southampton will open its new Sea City Museum with special exhibitions on the Titanic, its crew and their families. It, and the city's remarkable archives, guarantee that the death of all those men and the endurance of their families, will not be forgotten. Maybe one day, someone will even make a film about them.

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