Tuesday, 10 April 2012

100 years ago today...

So, 100 years ago today is the day that the most famous ship set sail on her maiden voyage to New York, a voyage that sadly was never completed as she famously met a watery end following a collison with an iceberg.

I am of course talking about the Titanic. A story that still fascinates thousands of people a hundred years on - me included.

The descendants of those who sailed on the ship are setting off today dressed in Elizabethan attire, retracing the steps the Titanic took. Even though they may not have known the relatives that sailed on the doomed ocean liner - most of them would have perished - it must be very haunting to set off on the same famous journey as those relatives did so long ago without any clue as to what disaster lay ahead. I have been on a Titanic experience and you do get a sense of sadness and feel the tragedy which I am sure most people can relate to, whether you had a relative on board or not. Anyone can get a sense of how frightening and upsetting that fateful night would have been.

TITANIC: This photo was taken during a trial on April 2nd, 1912.
I would be on deck watching the sea and wondering 'Was the weather like this the day they set off?' or when having a drink 'Did they have a good drink to celebrate setting sail?' and with most of those on board dressed up, it would almost feel as though you have stepped back in time and are chasing ghosts.

The only positive thing to come from the disaster was the beginning of a class revolution. The pompous attitude of those who made her and sailed first class on her, nicknaming her 'virtually unsinkable' and keeping lifeboats on board to a minimum, ate their words (at least!) when the 'unsinkable' ship perished.

I think it is wrong to say we are commemorating the Titanic disaster, I would say we are remembering. Thinking of those who never came back and died so tragically. Because I apparantly had two relatives aboard who were said to have been waiters (None of my current family members have been able to trace who they were when doing a family tree so am not entirely sure if it is true) and my Grandad told me of a woman who lived in his street when he was growing up in Salford, who was a survivor, I think it is why it has always fascinated me and moved me.

A FEW LITTLE FACTS:

  • The cost of a first class ticket for Titanic was £500 which is the equivelant to £35,000 in today's money. 

  • Third class rooms were said to be of the same standard of any Second class rooms on any other liner at that time.

  • The youngest survivor was Millvina Dean who was just nine weeks old when she sailed. She passed away on 31 May 2009 aged 97. Her brother Bertram died aged 81 on 14 April 1992, 80 years to the day that Titanic sank. Their father perished the night of the sinking.

  • The ship carried 2,224 people and of that amount 1,514 people died.

  • The wreck of the Titanic sits on the seabed at a depth of 12,415feet.




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