While post-Titanic, Browne went on to become known as one of the most important Irish photographers of the early 20th-century, documenting everything from the rigors of daily country life to the European trenches of World War I, he didn’t have the means to pay for the high cost of developing all of his film. So when the current owner of Lough Eske Castle (who also owns the Titanic Hotel Belfast) purchased a set of Browne’s old trunks at auction a few years back, he found inside numerous rolls of undeveloped film—which, now processed and remastered, form the basis for the largest private collection of Father Browne images.
After over a hundred years of stories and legends of page, stage and film, the ship continues to captivate generations, particularly travelers eager to visit the cities that figure prominently in Titanic’s story. Situated in both Europe and North America, here are some major sites for the Titanic enthusiast to visit during their travels.
Titanic Builder Harland And Wolff Thrown Lifeline In £6m Deal (Financial Times, 1 Oct 2019) Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic, has been saved from collapse after UK energy infrastructure group InfraStrata agreed a £6m deal to buy the struggling business from administrators. InfraStrata said the agreement would save the jobs of the remaining 79 Harland and Wolff workers who did not opt for voluntary redundancy earlier this year.
Titanic Survivor’s Famous Walking Cane Valued At Over $100,000 (JustCollecting, 1 Oct 2019) A walking cane which survived the sinking of the Titanic is expected to sell for more more than $100,000 when it goes up for auction this month. The cane, which features an electric light in the tip, was used by passenger Ella Holmes White to signal to other lifeboats after the ship sank on April 15, 1912, killing more than 1,500 people. The historic cane will now be offered on October 19 at Henry Aldridge & Son, a world-renowned auction house which specializes in Titanic artifacts.
1. Bideford Blacksmith Is A Walking Titanic ‘Encyclopaedia‘(2 Aug 2014,North Devon Journal) A former shipbuilder is creating “fireworks” with iron in a workshop at Bideford’s Pannier Market. Michael Burton, 56, is part of a long line of his family to work in the shipbuilding industry and has worked in some of the major shipyards in the UK and now runs his own blacksmithing business. Before Michael took up residency at the Pannier Market, he worked at Appledore Shipyard for years as well as Belfast Harbour – where the Titanic was built. The self-professed Titanic “encyclopaedia” has always had a passion for the ill-fated ship and has even hand-crafted 3ft models of the vessel. Through research, he also found out one of his relatives, John Edward Burton, worked in the furnaces and died on the ship.
2. Long-Lost Anchor May Soon Be Identified(28 Jul 2014,Discovery.com) After decades, possibly centuries, at the bottom of the sea — and a 2,200-mile-long (3,540 kilometers) road trip wrapped in damp blankets in the back of a pickup truck — a barnacle-crusted anchor arrived in Texas this week for a major cleaning.The men who raised the object from the floor of the Puget Sound hope conservation efforts will uncover proof that they found the long-lost anchor from a historic British voyage around the world.
3. Hall Things Considered: God’s Faithfulness Is Our Anchor(30 Jul 2014,TheTimes Tribune)A review of Titanic Pigeon Forge. Once you enter the museum, you are given a passenger boarding ticket. The ticket has the name of an actual Titanic passenger telling you which class they were traveling. At the end of the museum, you enter the Titanic Memorial Room to find out if your passenger survived. But before you get to the end, you get to take part in a two-hour self-guided tour designed to give guests the sensation of being an original passenger on the Titanic’s 1912 maiden voyage. There are about 20 different galleries of actual items salvaged from the ship after it sank. The items included old photos, letters, clothing, silverware and many other personal effects from the folks who were aboard the Titanic. You also get the chance to place your hand in a little pool of water that was the same temperature as the water the ship sank in.
4. “The Bravest Man I Ever Met” Father Brown In World War I(29 Jul 2014,IrishCentral.com) Ministering to soldiers in the thick of the action, Father Browne was wounded five times and badly gassed. “Father Browne’s First World War” gives an account of his wartime experiences and contains 100 photos from his remarkable collection. There are also extracts from his letters home describing his experiences, and from his messages to the families of the fallen. The book includes a moving account of the time he spent working alongside fellow chaplain, Fr Willie Doyle, killed by a shell.
5. Slumbering Off Louisiana Coast: Sunken Nazi Sub(16 Jul 2014,Fox News) Many never knew how close German U-boats came to US soil during World War II, but new high-def footage reveals several wrecks on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Ballard, known for discovering the Titanic, is now mapping some of these wrecks, including the SS Robert E. Lee that was torpedoed by the German U-166 in 1942 and sank 45 miles off the coast of Louisiana. While most of the Lee’s 286 passengers survived, the U-166 was hit by the Lee’s Navy escort and sank less than a mile away with all 52 still aboard; it now slumbers as a protected war grave.
*There is a petition going round demanding Titanic be raised. It is a daunting task. The wreck is two miles down requiring special equipment to get down that deep. Then there is the fact the rusting forward section is embedded into the sand making it very difficult to dislodge, if possible at all. Most experts argue it it is not. And if if it did work, what would you do with a rusting piece of ship once you brought it up? Sure you could tow it to a dock somewhere but considering it has been down there since 1912, it is not going to be pretty. It is an idea born out of boredom not realizing Titanic is not just in two pieces, but disintegrating beneath the waves. Bringing it up will not slow that down but likely speed that up. Best to leave it exactly where it is. In peace, two miles down.
*The Titanic Letter of Marine Protest is once again making news. Or should I say that press statements are making it news. This insurance form from 1912 includes a statement by Charles Lightoller (the surviving senior Titanic officer) as to what happened and signed by the other surviving officers. Some are saying that Lightoller is trying to play down the disaster for insurance reasons. Which is not possible considering how Titanic was front page news in 1912. For insurance purposes they needed to know the who, what, where, how, and why. And it is up to them to decide to pay or not. What was known was Titanic struck an iceberg and the resulting damage resulted in its sinking. Trying to claim Lightoller was minimizing what happened is nothing more than puffery to sell this item. The insurance was paid and the rest is history.
*Father Frank (Francis) Browne, SJ (1880-1960) was a well regarded photographer, Jesuit priest, and a war hero. Early in his life he developed a love for photography.That would prove fortuitous when he was aboard Titanic and took photographs before disembarking at Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland. Those photos would be reprinted in newspapers and made him well known. In 1916 he joined the British Army as a chaplain where he was wounded five times and received the Military Cross & Bar, and the Croix de Guerre. He took many pictures of his time during the war, collected them into a book, and gave it to his fellow members of the Irish Guard. Taking a trip to Australia to help him recover from ill health offered him a chance to take even more photographs there and of places on the way back home. In 1929 he was appointed to the Retreats and Mission staff of the Irish Jesuits which afforded ample time to take even more photographs. So well known for his photography that Kodak gave him film for life. He passed away in 1960 and as time passed his connection to Titanic and photography was largely forgotten. That is until Father Edward E. O’Donnell SJ, found a large metal trunk that once belonged to Browne containing negatives. The photographs were assembled into books most of which have been published including his Titanic photos. A new book The Life and Lens of Father Browne (E.E. O’Donnell, Messenger Publications) is coming out that focuses on Father Browne. And possibly the first self photograph ever taken on its front cover.
*Hell’s Kitchen has finally hit that moment when it is clear that not one of its contestants can cook well enough to be considered a recipe of the month for that shows calendar. Recently the remaining cooks were told to create a dish that was both stunning for the eyes and palate. Three former contestants from that show, who each have recipes in that calendar, assisted Chef Ramsay decide who won. Each judge could award a maximum of 5 points for each dish. Not one of them achieved anything above a 3, which is simply okay or average. One gal did the unthinkable and put raw flour in her mashed potatoes. One does not need a degree in food science to know that raw flour needs to be cooked. And putting it in mashed potatoes will not thicken it up but make it inedible. Finally the last person up presented a dish whose ingredients she had never cooked or really tasted before. That sent Gordon Ramsay banging his head into the proverbial wall and leaving the judges incredulous. Jason, who is a real donkey’s behind, has gotten steadily nastier on the show. At this stage we ought to be seeing the best rise to the top. Instead we get nothing but average to substandard cooking from people who cannot seem to manage their time or bother to cook their dishes perfectly. This could be the season where Gordon says no one impresses him enough to be hired. On Kitchen Nightmares he walked away from Crazy Amy when he realized he could change nothing. Perhaps this is one season where there will be no winner.
*It never ceases to amaze me when I see a news blurb saying “new information about Titanic sinking!” and it turns out to be a shill for the Titanic/Olympic switch theory. The theory is bogus and demonstrably false. All one has to do is look at the wreck to see it is not Olympic. There is an industry to feeds on such conspiracy theories from saying the moon landing never happened to 9/11 Truthers saying it was a government conspiracy.
*Ghost sighting at Titanic cemetery! A man claims he captured the image of a ghost. Real or imaginary?
Have a great weekend everyone.
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