Tag Archives: Harland & Wolff

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.