Tag Archives: Joseph Bell

Titanic Week in Review

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

Well it is the first week of October and it is pretty warm where I live. It is the time of year that Northern California gets a heat wave. No cooling ocean breeze but a warm offshore wind that drives humidity down. Fire departments are especially nervous this time of year since fires can erupt causing massive damages. But enough of the California sunshine and a week to review.

1)Titanic II
A lot of people were hoping this would come off. Clive Palmer has the money and drive to pull it off. And his effort appeared genuine. He wined and dined not only the wealthy and famous, but put serious money down on actual designs and model testing. Preliminary contracts with vendors were made. And he had discussions with a Chinese shipyard that would construct Titanic II. But something went amiss. The shipyard seemed reluctant to go forward and Palmer, who must have thought he would get Chinese money to help build the ship, got nothing. He has formed an alliance to get Chinese sponsors but so far it has not brought anything to the table as of yet. Worse he is in a spat with a Chinese company and has said unflattering things about the Chinese. If he is going to build this ship, it will be done elsewhere. By now the keel was supposed to have been laid and we would be hearing about its construction. So Titanic II remains just a dream on the drawing board and nothing else.

2) Meanwhile in Tinian
The Titanic project in Tinian Harbor seems to be moving along according to Marianas Variety. The plan there is to build a replica Titanic in Tinian Harbor. The plan is to use Titanic to draw Chinese and others to the casino-hotels that will be built. So the investors are filing their plans about how this will be done. A curious note though at the bottom of the news article is this: “The museum will have original Titanic items.” Interesting. Perhaps they are interested in a certain Titanic collection currently up for sale but so hideously expensive no one can afford it. But perhaps the investors in the Tinian project might have the money to pull it off.

3)From The Titanic X Files: Gypsy Warning
A writer over at the Belfast Telegraph recently learned that Thomas Andrews was warned by an old Gypsy woman that calamity would befall him if he was on Titanic. She learned of this particular warning from an excellent book Titanic: Psychic Forewarnings Of A Tragedy by George Behe which goes through a lot of the many supernatural and otherworldly claims about Titanic. It is a good book and examines each story with known facts. The book was out of print but I think was reprinted for the Titanic centenary. You can try finding copies at Amazon or other book places on the web (disclaimer:I am an Amazon associate). Check your local library system as well.

4)Time Again For Cardboard Regatta
Each year it seems people gather at a local lake to witness a cardboard regatta or something similar. Usually these are handmade crafts and often carry one or more people. At Panama City, Florida the inaugural Great Cardboard Boat Regatta took place recently. According to the News Herald 16 teams entered the regatta. Each boat was made only of cardboard, duct tape, glue and paint. They had to do three trips around a 200-yard course. Water safety crews were on standby. Now this regatta is new for where it is being done at (Porter Park in Lynn Haven)but has been going on for 40 years. And the winner? A cardboard craft named Titanic II. The most spectacular sinking though gets the Titanic Award.

5)Letter Written By Titanic Engineer Joseph Bell To Be Auctioned Off
Titanic engineer Joseph Bell wrote a letter to his son Frank describing the near collision of Titanic with two other ships in Southampton is going up for auction reports the Belfast Telegraph. Bell writes:

We nearly had a collision with the New York & Oceanic when leaving Southampton, the wash of our propellers made the two ships range about when we were passing them, this made their mooring ropes break and the New York set off across the river until the tugs got hold of her again, no damage was done but it looked like trouble at the time, keep well and be a good lad, regards to Mrs Johnston.

The auction is being held by Henry Aldridge & Son on 18 Oct. The letter is expected to fetch between £10,000-£15,000 (about $24,000).

Not Strictly Titanic
For some reason, probably to make some cash, the jacket worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic is up for sale. If you want to buy this bit of movie history, it will cost you £70,000 ($111,765). The auction is at Profiles In History in Calabasas, CA on October 17-20. Cash is king at this place but they will take a check but only release the item bought when check clears.

And For Our First Pick Of Halloween Season

Commemorative Gravestone Restored For Titanic Engineer

Titanic engineer Joseph Bell was 51 when Titanic went down. His body was never recovered so a memorial gravestone was cut into his father’s gravestone at Farlam’s St Thomas-a-Becket Church. Over the years though the area became overgrown and inaccessible. And time and weather had faded the engraving on the memorial as well. So an appeal went out to help restore the grave to its proper condition. It meant cutting away the overgrowth, creating a new footpath to make it accessible, and restoring the memorial to its proper condition. Thus the Joseph Bell Memorial Appeal was created to get funds to make this all possible.

And it has been done. The re-dedication of the memorial was recently done and John Lightfoot, chairman of  Solar Solve Marine, laid a wreath representing seafarers and maritime organizations globally. Lightfoot had become personally involved after reading a news story about the appeal for funds. He made the maritime industry aware of the appeal and getting their support. They hope to get some additional funds to add other improvements and a notice board detailing the history.

1. A Day Of Pride At Titanic Memorial(3 June 2014,The Shields Gazette)
2. Joseph Bell Chief Engineer of Titanic(Family website)
3. Joseph Bell (Encyclopedia Titanica)

Titanic Engineers Memorial, Southampton

Titanic Engineers' Memorial, Southampton Photo:Prioryman(Wikipedia)
Titanic Engineers’ Memorial, Southampton

Inscription reads:



15TH APRIL 1912.

Titanic books

Grave Of Titanic Engineer Needs Fixing Up

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

Joseph Bell (1861-1912), chief engineer of Titanic, perished when the ship sank in 1912. His crew is credited with keeping the power on for as long as possible during the last hours of its life. The family headstone in the churchyard at Farlam, near Brampton and Cumbria notes his death and heroism. However the years have taken their toll on the headstone, which has suffered damage needing repair. John Lightfoot, who heads up Solar Solve Marine but is semi-retired, is behind the effort to repair the gravestone and put up an information sign so that people know who Joseph Bell was and why he is a Titanic hero.

For further information about Joseph Bell:
1. Joseph Bell Encyclopedia Titanica
2.Joseph Bell, Chief Engineer on the R.M.S. Titanic
3.Joseph Bell, Titanic hero from Cumbria (gravestonepix.com)

Source: Bid To Restore Titanic Grave(18 Nov 2013, Evening Chronicle)