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Titanic Centenary

Titanic Quarter Belfast
 
 

This year marks the centenary of the Titanic disaster. The White Star passenger liner was the biggest and most luxurious ship of her day but, to worldwide disbelief, sank on her maiden trans-Atlantic voyage after hitting an iceberg on 15th April 1912. Commemorative events will be taking place across the country to mark the illustrious launch and untimely demise of history’s most famous ship.

 SeaCity Museum, Southampton

As her last British port-of-call, Southampton played a key role in the Titanic’s tragic story with 714 of her 897-strong crew also hailing from the local area. In tribute to this timeless association, the 10th April sees the opening of Southampton’s new £15m SeaCity Museum. This state-of-the-art visitor attraction is dedicated to the port city’s rich maritime heritage and will form the hub of Southampton’s new Cultural Quarter. Visitors to SeaCity can examine genuine artefacts, hear the harrowing testimony of survivors and explore the 1:25 scale model of the doomed liner. There will also be a series of commemorative events happening throughout April, including concerts, author talks and a special remembrance procession through the city.

Titanic, Belfast

Taking us back to where it all again, Belfast’s colossal new landmark Titanic centre is situated right in the heart of the iconic Harland and Wolff shipyard. Its dramatic design mirrors the height of Titanic’s ill-fated hull, giving visitors a real appreciation for the sheer scale of this feat of early 20th century engineering. Housed inside is the world’s most extensive Titanic exhibition featuring a multimedia extravaganza of interactive exhibits, full-scale reconstructions and an electronic ‘dark ride’ into the heart of the liner’s construction. Innovatively contemporary yet staunchly proud of its heritage, Titanic Belfast is a fitting analogy for this dynamic and resurgent city itself (N.B. Cool Places Belfast guide coming soon!).

Titanic Remembered; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum commemorates the 1912 disaster with a small exhibition at the magnificent old naval college in Greenwich Royal Park. This free-to-enter exhibit centres around the personal testimony of some of the Titanic’s survivors. Their poignant accounts, as told to the author Walter Lord, formed the basis for the book, and subsequent film, A Night to Remember. The display will also feature genuine artefacts from the Lord-MacQuitty collection including clothing and toys from the doomed liner as well genuine photographs from the site of the sinking itself.

Titanic and Liverpool: The Untold Story; Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool

The Merseyside Maritime Museum seeks to highlight Liverpool’s largely forgotten role in the Titanic tale with this major new exhibition at the regenerated Albert Docks. Boasting some never-before-displayed exhibits including items from the North Atlantic wreckage site and the only known surviving first-class passenger ticket, this landmark retrospective traces the ill-fated cruise ship’s fate alongside that of Merseyside’s own nautical history (N.B. Cool Places Liverpool guide coming soon!).

S.O.S: Titanic Centenary; BFI Southbank, London

While James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster gets its glossy 3D makeover this April, the BFI on London’s Southbank showcases some of the Titanic’s lesser known screen portrayals. Highlights include original newsreel footage, Hitchcock’s legendary abandoned Titanic project and, the earliest known dramatisation of the disaster, an extremely rare German silent from 1912- complete with piano accompaniment. With over two weeks of screenings, this special exhibition seeks to get to the heart of cinema’s enduring fascination with the once fabled ‘ship of dreams’.

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