Tag Archives: Harland & Wolff

Recent Titanic News: Titanic Hotel Opens and More!

Titanic House (former Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices), Queens Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 2012
Photo:Ardfern(Wikimedia Commons) Is Now A Luxury Hotel.

1. Belfast’s Titanic Hotel Finally Opens After Birthplace Of Tragic Cruise Liner Is Transformed With £28MILLION Make-Over (Daily Mail, 11 Sep 2017)
Chairman of Harcourt Developments, Mr Pat Doherty – who managed the project – welcomed family, friends, tourists and locals into the brand new site, which sat empty for thirty years. The dilapidated property, which is located on Belfast’s Queen’s Road, has been revived thanks in part to a £5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Inside the new Titanic, however, guests will be housed in 120 rooms over four storeys, each with a classic, maritime-chic design. Thankfully, however, many of the original architectural features have been retained. The famous Drawing Rooms, where draftsmen sketched their designs for the ill-fated liner, have been sympathetically transformed into a function room and a bar. One even features the same tiles that lined the Titanic’s swimming pool.

2. Titanic Voyage To Be Recreated On Sydney Harbour (Guardian News, 21 Aug 2017)
Beyond Cinema will take up to 1000 passengers on a sightseeing cruise boat for a screening of James Cameron’s hit movie, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from 1997. After buying tickets to first-, second- or third-class decks, they will dress up as if it’s 1912 and eat meals appropriate to their class, with actors on board helping simulate the experience of being on the Titanic. “We’re going to fully theme the boat itself and recreate the atmosphere of the early 1900s,” the company’s creative director, Aden Levin, says. “Everyone will be given instructions on what clothing to wear. “They’ll also be given different characters that they will be on the boat.”

Premier Exhibitions News
1. Premier Exhibitions and StoryTech Immersive to Partner on 2018 Expedition to RMS TITANIC(Press Release, GlobalNewsWire 7 Sep 2017)
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/09/06/1108171/0/en/Premier-Exhibitions-and-StoryTech-Immersive-To-Partner-on-2018-Expedition-to-RMS-TITANIC.html

2.On 17 Aug 2017, a default entry of judgment was entered regarding the French Titanic Artifacts. Premier was required to file adverse legal action to compel France to declare whether they claimed ownership of these artifacts. They did not respond so the court has entered a default judgment in favor of Premier Exhibitions. This will allow these artifacts to be put up for auction. Source:Andrew Shapiro,Equity Security Holders of Premier Exhibitions, Inc


Harland & Wolff Headquarters To Become Titanic Themed Hotel

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that the former Harland & Wolff Headquarters, adjacent to Titanic Belfast, is going to become a boutique hotel. The four-story, 84 room hotel will be managed by Titanic Quarter Ltd. who claim it be “world’s most authentic Titanic-themed hotel.”

Titanic House (former Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices), Queens Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 2012 Photo:Ardfern(Wikimedia Commons)
Titanic House (former Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices), Queens Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 2012
Photo:Ardfern(Wikimedia Commons)

Titanic Foundation, with the help of a £4.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Heritage Enterprise programme, is supporting the restoration of the Drawing Offices. The scheme, which will include three pavilions, will be publicly accessible for tours, events and exhibitions. Both projects are due to open in 2017, creating 100 new jobs.

The announcement has generated mostly positive reports in the Belfast Telegraph and elsewhere. Certainly it will draw people and because of its close proximity to Titanic Belfast will become destination all its own.

Source: Harland & Wolff Headquarters Set To Become ‘World’s Most Authentic Titanic-Themed Hotel’(Belfast Telegraph,9 Mar 2016)

Titanic News:Historic Drawing Offices A Future Hotel and Captain Smith Statue Controversy

Former Harland and Wolff Headquarters Building and Drawing Offices Photo:Ross(Wikimedia Commons)
Former Harland and Wolff Headquarters Building and Drawing Offices
Photo:Ross(Wikimedia Commons)

1. The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices (closed since 1989)have a new lease on life. There is now a plan for a 84-room boutique hotel and using the space to “tell the story of Belfast’s industrial heritage, focusing on the Board Room, Telephony Room and Entrance Lobby.”
Source:Luxury Hotel Has Designs On Derelict Titanic Offices In Belfast(18 Feb 2015,Belfast Telegraph)

Captain Edward J. Smith Statue, Beacon Park, Lichfield UK Photo: Bs0u10e01(Wikipedia)
Captain Edward J. Smith Statue, Beacon Park, Lichfield UK
Photo: Bs0u10e01(Wikipedia)

2.A statue to Titanic captain Edward J. Smith stands in Lichfield but how it came to be there is an interesting story. Locals did not pay for it but wealthy Americans and Britons. And its placement in Beacon Park was not without disagreement. Locals did not like a statue being paid for by wealthy Americans who sailed on a British ship. The statue was put up anyway but omitted any reference to Titanic until much later. Today of course it is a popular stop for tourists.
Source:The Way We Were: Controversy surrounding the statue of Titanic captain Edward Smith(The Sentinel,18 Feb 2015)


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Titanic Week In Review

1. Rare Titanic Menu Auctioned Off
MSN News reports the rare Titanic menu auctioned off by Henry Aldridge & Son fetched $96,000 (£60,000).  A small locker key from Titanic topped $99,000 (£62,000). MSN reports the bidding was fierce and bidders were from around the world. Andrew Aldridge is quoted to say “Some of the items we had on sale today were extremely rare, which prompted a lot of interest from people here in the UK as well as from Monaco, South America and the USA.” Perhaps Premier Exhibitions can learn a thing or two from Aldridge about selling Titanic artifacts.

Image: Public Domain (NOAA)
Image: Public Domain (NOAA)

2. Ballard Says Adios To Mystic Aquarium
Robert Ballard has ended his long term relationship with Mystic Aquarium to focus on other projects reports Hartford Courant. Ballard cites his work with his Ocean Exploration Trust and the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island as the reason for ending the relationship. “I couldn’t keep this many irons in the fire. I had to make some decisions” said Ballard. Ballard helped raise money for Mystic and his leaving is bittersweet says aquarium president Stephen Coan. “But I’m really happy for him,” he said. “So many things have come together for him over the past few years in terms of having the tools he needs for his research and the affiliations to support that work” said Coan.

3. New Photographs Of Titanic Launch
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum now has on display 166 never before seen photographs of Titanic’s launch at Harland & Wolff in 1911. Photos of Titanic sister ship Olympic are included.

4 Titanic Artifacts Value Goes Up But No Buyers As Of Yet
It was announced this week that a new appraisal of the Titanic collection sets its value at $218 million. It was previously valued $189 million so it has gone up in value. Unless there are some very wealthy investors willing to stake the money, it may be very difficult to sell as a whole lot. I wonder if they are planning to challenge the salvage ruling as too constrictive in selling the collection.


Memorial Weekend Musings

 RMS Empress of Ireland 1908 Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)
RMS Empress of Ireland 1908
Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)

*The Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River in 1914 after colliding with a freighter on 29 May 1914. It sank in just 14 minutes with a death toll of 1,012. It is one of the worst maritime disasters in Canada’s history but for a long time only lightly remembered. “Canada’s Titanic” as it is called was not well known outside of Canada, overshadowed by another ship’s tragedy–RMS Titanic. Today though people are starting to recall this terrible event and the lives lost according to news reports now that its centenary is approaching. Stories of the saved are being recalled and the dead remembered. According to The Province:

To mark the anniversary, the Maritime Museum of BC in Victoria has an exhibit of Klausen’s items. It is just one of the several Empress-related events across Canada. In Rimouski, the Pointe-au-Pere maritime museum, which has a pavilion dedicated to the Empress, will host a banquet and unveil a monument. Churches in Rimouski and nearby Ste-Luce plan to pay homage by ringing their bells in unison at 1:55 a.m., the time of the disaster.The Salvation Army, which dispatched 170 of its members on the ship to a rally in England, will hold its annual Empress ceremony Sunday at Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery as well as a reception May 31 in Rimouski. The organization lost 141 people, including Delamont, the Clarks and many of its Canadian leaders.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that Titanic, while a terrible tragedy, is not alone. There are other maritime tragedies out there that were just as impacting on families and organizations.
Sources
1. Empress Of Ireland, ‘Canada’s Titanic,’ Finally Getting Its Due After 100 Years (23 May 2014,The Province)
2.RMS Empress of Ireland (Wikipedia)
3. Empress of Ireland
4. Pointe-au-Père Historical Site

*Harland & Wolff is no longer constructing ships and works now with offshore structures that require heavy duty construction. Just recently though it set a world record by performing the world’s heaviest single point water load test. According to the Belfast Telegraph:

“The massive Samson gantry crane lifted an incredible 774 tonne load to certify Harland and Wolff’s latest spreader beam arrangement. Te actual test was over in a matter of minutes, however each water bag took 20 minutes to fill. The test was witnessed and certified by the Lloyds Ireland Surveyor Graham Knowles who was satisfied with the operation and pleased to participate in this unique world record.”

To say that is a lot of water is an understatement. Good to see old Harland & Wolff staying relevant in today’s changed maritime environment.
Source:Harland And Wolff Break World Record At Belfast Shipyard(23 May 2014,Belfast Telegraph)

*MasterChef is returning on Memorial Day this year. So we once again will go through the agony and triumph of watching the ‘cheftestants’ compete for the big monetary prize, cookbook, and glory. Over at Hell’s Kitchen, it is winding down but not fast enough. They ought to knock two out a week rather than stretch it out. We already know that there are fakers planted in the groups just to cause problems. Truthfully hard to see anyone worthy this season. More interesting is that except for one winner, no one ever gets the promised prize (there are various reasons for this) of becoming an executive chef for one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. Kitchen Nightmares is already over and this season was short but intense. Gordon seems to have powered down the turmoil and focusing on getting them attentive to making fresh food. And being sanitary in doing so as well!

*Memorial Day is here so take a moment or more to remember in your thoughts all the brave men and women who gave their lives for this country. Their bravery and sacrifice must never be forgotten. Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Sunday Titanic Newswrap

1. The Belfast Telegraph reports that the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff has secured funding from Heritage Lottery Fund. The former drawing offices will made open for public use while the majority of the structure will become a Titanic-themed hotel. According to Telegraph: “In the old Harland and Wolff building the most historically important rooms such as the drawing offices, board room, telephony room and entrance lobby will be developed as spaces for public use, telling the story of Belfast’s industrial heritage. Nicky Dunn, chairwoman of Titanic Foundation Limited, which is behind the project, welcomed the investment in what she described as a national icon.”
Source: Titanic Offices To Be Re-Opened(11 Oct 2013,Belfast Telegraph)

2. CBC News reports that Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia is going to refurbish the monuments and headstones and pathway of the historic cemetery where many Titanic victims were laid to rest. Work is scheduled to begin in Spring 2014.
Source: Titanic Graves To Get Needed Facelift In Halifax Cemetery(11 Oct 2013,CBC News)

3. Possible Titanic Lifeboat? Turley McShane recently acquired an old lifeboat that had been resting in a hedgerow for years and thinks it might be from Titanic. “When he travelled across the Irish Sea to have a look at it, he found the boat had been languishing in a hedgerow. It had been bought in Liverpool where effects off all the White Star Line ships were disposed of” reports Belfast Telegraph. [Editors note-If I recall correctly, the lifeboats were all repainted with new names so and no one knows the final disposition of them. It will be easier to prove it was a White Star lifeboat but harder to prove it was aboard Titanic.]
Source: White Star Lifeboat Rescued From Hedge(11 Oct 2013,Belfast Telegraph)


Friday Titanic Newswrap

1. Hartley Violin Update
Wallace Hartley's ViolinWallace Hartley’s violin will make one last public display before its date with auctioneer Henry Aldridge & Son on 19 Oct. The violin will be going to his hometown (Dewsbury, UK) and on display for one day only on Monday, October 14 in the town hall. A vintage tea room with period music will be setup as well.
Source: Wallace Hartley’s Titanic Violin To Return Home To Dewsbury(1 Oct 2013, Dewsbury Reporter)

2. Rory Golden, who has been on two dives to Titanic, will be giving two talks at the former Harland & Wolff Drawing Office about his experiences diving to Titanic. The first one is scheduled for 17 Oct and the second on 18 Oct. The second talk will include Ralph White, the cameraman who captured the first images of the ship. Full details are available at Titanic Belfast.
Source: Up Close And Personal With Titanic, By The Irishman Who Has Dived The Wreck Twice(2 Oct 2013, Belfast Telegraph)

Photo:Wikipedia
Photo:Wikipedia

3. Robert Ballard has begun an expedition to investigate major faults and underwater volcanoes in the northern and eastern Caribbean reports The Associated Press. Ballard is overseeing 31 scientists who hope the information they collect will help when natural disasters strike. Remote controlled vehicles will be used to explore the faults and underwater formations.
Source:Titanic Discoverer To Explore Caribbean Faults, Volcanoes(3 Oct 2013, WTVQ)

Exact Scale Titanic Replica Goes On Display In St. Claire, Michigan

This 18-foot-model of RMS Titanic will be on display this summer in St. Clair. (Photo:The Times Herald)
This 18-foot-model of RMS Titanic will be on display this summer in St. Clair. (Photo:The Times Herald)

The world’s only full scale Titanic replica is going on display at Moore Boathouse in St. Clair. This replica, which weighs 1,500 pounds and 10,000 pounds in its case, was on display last year at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. For its builder, Gart Kohs, it is a work of love and exactitude. He worked on the model from 1999-2004 out of his own pocket and even traveled to Harland & Wolff in Belfast, N.I. to review the original drawings.

Just like the largest ocean liner of its time, the 18-foot long model has 3.3 million rivets and 8 miles of lighting that even makes the dials of the telegraph glow. The lifeboats were built plank by plank of the same kind of wood — Swiss pear — so the grain pattern matches. Each lifeboat took 1 ½ months to make. Inside, tables and chairs were fashioned after the originals as was the grand staircase and Tiffany fixtures. “Anything you could look inside and see is there,” Kohs said. “It is a replica in every sense of detail. There isn’t a finer ship model in the world. We know that.”

Koh will not allow it to be displayed in any exhibit that has artifacts retrieved from the wreck. “Our rule is we’ll never profit from the tragedy and we’ll never display the model with plunder,” he said. “We’ve turned down some big museums.”

The St. Clair exhibit is to benefit an agency that awards grants for elementary school programs, scholarships, and public park improvements.

For exhibit information, time and dates, and admission fees, go to stclairfoundation.org.

Source: Titanic Replica Stored In Royal Oak Shipping Out For Show(5 June 2013, Royal Oak Daily Tribune)

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Titanic News For 5 Feb 2013

1.  Titanic House A Big Draw For Architects (30 Jan 2013, Belfast Telegraph)Titanic House, Belfast (March 2012)
The Belfast Telegraph reports that the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff is being turned into a new business hub. An architectural firm has already moved in on the second floor of the three story sandstone building built in stages between 1909 and 1919.

2.  Duke Of York Tours Titanic Shipyard(29 Jan 2013, Belfast Telegraph)
The Duke of York has visited the spot where the Titanic was built during a tour in Belfast. Prince Andrew viewed the cavernous dry dock in which the liner, which sank with the loss of more than 1,000 people, was prepared for sea. Okay I admit this is filler since hardly anyone except palace watchers will care about his. At least this as nothing to do with a certain reality star whose initials are K.K., a crazed Lohan, or whether or not two judges on American Idol hate each other.


Sunday Mercury: Author Says Captain Smith Could Do Nothing To Avoid Sinking

According to Ben Golby in the Sunday Mercury, a new book by Tim Maltin dispels many myths and reveals new truths about Titanic. Some myths dismissed include the infamous mummy or conspiracy theories that argue Captain Smith was drunk. On item written by Golby drew my attention:

“But Tim’s research shows the Captain – who famously went down with the ship – could do nothing to avoid the sinking which made headlines across the world.”

Really? That is not the impression one gets from reading the testimony of both inquiries into the catastrophe. It was avoidable. There was nothing predestined about Titanic going down that night. Complacency was a major factor in what happened. No one seriously considered Titanic could suffer a catastrophic event that would sink her. Lifeboats for all was considered a foolish notion by nearly every ship line as unnecessary, cumbersome and expensive. No lifeboat drills were done on Titanic so the crew was unfamiliar on how to properly lower them (which was done all by hand). Nor was it commonly known that each lifeboat had been tested by Harland & Wolff to hold 65 fully grown men. This was never mentioned to Captain Smith because Harland & Wolff assumed Smith and his officers knew this. Also a factor is that neither the officers or crew really knew the ship.

And it gets worse when you add Titanic was traveling fast through an ice field in the dark of night. No one paid close attention to those ice warnings. Had they done so, they would have known they were in the middle of a large ice field. They ought to have slowed down or stopped for the night. Smith thought it was not a problem and went off to his stateroom. Meanwhile the lookouts had no binoculars to see a looming shape ahead until it was nearly upon them. And Murdoch’s maneuver likely would have worked on a smaller ship but not on Titanic.

Smith was considered one of the most respected sea captains of his day. But the new class of ships handled very differently and Smith had reasons to be concerned after his experience on Olympic. To argue though that nothing could have been done to avoid the sinking is totally wrong. There are many things, large and small, that could have averted the catastrophe. It was neither predestined nor fate that Titanic would sink that night. Which is why its sinking is tragic.