The newly opened Titanic Hotel in Belfast has been getting positive buzz. Conde Nast Traveler paid it a visit and it looks pretty spectacular. Formerly the drawing offices for Harland & Wolff, it is now a window to the past with a style for people of our time. The 119 room hotel features modern amenities while showing off the history of Belfast and Titanic.
“It is not quite a museum, but this is so much more than a hotel,” hotel manager Adrian McNally told The Irish News. “It is a unique guest experience and a journey into how the building would have looked when the Titanic designers sat here, working in the drawing offices—one of which is now a ballroom and the other a restaurant and bar.”
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.”
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
Plaque To Commemorate Hatfield Man Who Died On Titanic(Welwyn Hatfield Times,15 Jul 2017) The council’s Blue Plaque Scheme aims to promote the recognition and awareness of people, places and events which have been of lasting significance to Hatfield. Town council leader Lenny Brandon said: “I’m extremely pleased to introduce this exciting new initiative to Hatfield.” It is hoped that Joseph’s official plaque will be unveiled in the town later this year.Further details about the scheme can be found on the council’s website www.hatfield-herts.gov.uk
£28 Million Titanic Hotel Unveiled(Irish Times,5 Jul 2017) Harcourt Developments is behind the 119-bedroom Titanic Hotel Belfast in the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices, where the plans for the Titanic itself were dreamt up in the 1890s. It will be the eighth hotel in the multi-million pound company’s portfolio, sitting alongside a collection of properties in locations from Liverpool to the Caribbean. Harcourt – who’ve been front and centre of the Titanic Quarter regeneration over the last decade – flung open the showpiece hotel’s doors to the media ahead of letting its first overnight visitors (rooms start at £160 a night) get their heads down from September 10.
Former Titanic Drawing Rooms Restored(BBC News, 4 Jul 2017) A £5m renovation project has restored the historic drawing offices at Belfast shipyard where plans for the Titanic were made. The two arched rooms were at the heart of the old Harland and Wolff headquarters building.
Thousands Of Titanic Artefacts To Be Sold After Owner Goes Bankrupt (antiquestradegazette.com,4 Jul 2017) Experts predict it is unlikely the court will allow a public auction and instead the items will have to be sold to an institution. However, if they were to come to auction it is likely UK auction firm Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, which holds regular Titanic memorabilia auctions, would be among the auctioneers considered for the job.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Opens at the Prestigious Guangdong Museum in Guangzhou, China (Premier Exhibitions, 3 Jul 2017)) Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (OTCQB:PRXIQ), announced today the opening of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Guangdong Museum in Guangzhou, China. This remarkable 20,000 square foot exhibition, is one of the largest in the Company’s history, with more than 300 artifacts and brand-new room re-creations. This is the first time the Company has presented Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in a Tier 1 museum in China. The exhibition opening was made possible through the generous support, assistance and presence of the Minister of State Administration of Cultural Heritage and representatives of the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province.
This has been a quiet week for Titanic, so not a lot of news to report. Here are some interesting bits of news for you to consider.
1. You never know what lies waiting to be uncovered when cleaning out your home. Especially if you have not looked in those dust covered corners in closed up rooms, attics, or basements for a long time. A man found the portrait of Elsie Bowerman, a Titanic survivor, suffragette, and barrister. And it is now up for auction at Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorchester, Dorset, UK in March with an estimated price of £1,000.
Source: Titanic Survivor’s Portrait Discovered (BBC News,22 Jan 2016)
2. The Titanic Hotel at Stanley Dock in Liverpool has won the Luxury Travel Global Guide Award of Luxury Hotel of the Year. The editor of Luxury Travel Magazine is quoted as saying they “were blown away by Titanic Hotel Liverpool’s profile.”
Source: Titanic Hotel wins at Luxury Travel Awards (BDaily,22 Jan 2016)
Finally to close out this Friday, I offer something for my friends facing a very snowy weekend back east and all those also having very cold temperatures.
The Titanic Hotel at Stanley Dock in Liverpool has been open for a while and reviews are coming in. Teresa Machan writing for the travel section of Daily Telegraph gave it high marks. She liked the style and character of the place, the service, the rooms and value for money. Her major ding is its location, the Stanley Dock, which is not exactly a place one finds classy hotels in Liverpool. So it got the lowest mark of 6 out 10. And the service would have been a 9 had not a waiter spilled milk when picking up her breakfast bowl. Otherwise she considers it worth the trip.
1. David Reynolds, age 55, decided to do something to commemorate HMHS Brittanic, Titanic’s sister ship that served in World War I. So he made a matchstick model comprised of 50,000 matchsticks, glue, varnish to build his 5 foot model. And it looks pretty good from the picture in the news article. It took him 700 hours to build the model, which is radio-controlled and water tested. He has built matchstick models before. His 23 foot tall oil rig “Cathedrals of the Sea” is at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Florida and a world record for the largest matchstick structure. The article does not reveal what he plans to do with the completed model.
Source: Remarkable Matchstick Model Of Titanic’s Sister Ship HMHS Britannic(1 May 2014,Daily Echo)
2. As we learn more about the sinking of the South Korean ferry more sad stories are emerging about its final moments. The ferry had lots of school students aboard and footage from cell phones are know surfacing, In one the kids, who do not know how dire the situation was, were heard to say ‘This is like Titanic.’ Cries of desperation are also heard in kids saying they did not want to die, this looks like the end, or asking to call mom. More harrowing are images of an arm banging on glass to get the attention of rescuers and then sadly the ferry sinks out of range of the rescuers leaving the trapped to their doom. The footage is now part of the official investigation as to what happened. The captain has been detained and facing charges as are several crew members. Two employees of the ferry’s owner have also been detained. And now we learn that there were structural issues as well. Another ship captain warned of the instability caused by adding more cabins to the ferry. All in all, this is a major screw-up and preventable tragedy. Out of 476 passengers, 174 survived. 2 crew members also perished.
Source:It’s Like The Titanic!’: Harrowing footage from aboard doomed South Korean ferry shows students joking and laughing when ship begins to capsize(1 May 2014,Daily Mail)
3. In advertising before its sinking, Vinolia soap advertised it was being used on Titanic. In the movie A Night To Remember, Lightoller pokes fun at the advertising in the rail car scene at the beginning of the movie (in fact the actor had a reproduction of the ad he was looking at for the scene). The Vinolia Soap Works were once located in Bebington, UK , which is where a Unilever building stands today. It was a pricey soap back then costing 35 cents a bar so only people with money to spend could afford it. It was advertised as a cold cream bath soap that had “both antiseptic and antibacterial thanks to the boracic creams used in the recipe.” Vinolia was the only product given permission to advertise its connection to Titanic before the maiden voyage. The company itself was bought in the 1900’s by Lever Brothers and now part of Unilever. You can still buy the soap today but packaging may vary. At the Vermont Country Store, two bars sell for $16.00 and come in standard packaging bearing the name Vinolia. Sometimes it is packaged to show its Titanic connection such as on Amazon. As far as I can tell, they are the same product just different packaging (and prices do vary so shop accordingly).
Source:Bebington Soap Deemed Suitable For The Titanic(30 April 2014,Wirral News)
4. Denise Sheldon writes in The News Herald about how the first class ate on Titanic. They ate very well as many already know. She notes the excellent book, Last Dinner on the Titanic(Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley), as part of her article on the subject. She mentions something that does not get a lot of mention when discussing food and that its preparation was nearly all done by hand. Although Titanic had the best cooking facilities at the time, it required a huge staff to do all the prep work needed for every meal. Remember there were no food processors back then, blenders, standing mixers etc. Which meant you had to hand chop just about everything. Now that does not mean they were without any labor saving devices. They had food mills (hand cranked like the one I have to put my cooked potatoes through to make mashed potatoes), sieves, ovens, toaster racks etc. Just lower tech than what he are used to today. Today when we have tons of veggies to dice up for a crowd, we use a food processor. Back then you had teams of people to do all that chopping for every meal. At any rate Sheldon also finds a recipe, adapted for our time, with Chicken Lyonnaise. I do add a small caveat to it. I would recommend using real chicken stock rather than a broth, which are usually insipid for recipes like this. Swanson’s does have a highly rated chicken stock (highly rated by Cook’s Illustrated) or simply make your own.
Source:Titanic’s Passengers Enjoyed Fabulous Fare(30 April 2014,The News Herald)
5. The Titanic Hotel at Stanley Dock in Liverpool (not to be confused with Albion House, former home of White Star Line that is being converted into a hotel by Signature Living) is set to open in June. According to Bay Tv Liverpool:”The highly-anticipated hotel launch at Stanley Dock, Liverpool will be the first of a multi-staged redevelopment at Stanley Dock Village, which will transform the former Tobacco and South Warehouses, into an innovative residential, business, retail, educational and leisure complex.” The name Titanic Hotel is meant to concrete its connection to Titanic Centre in Belfast. While the development is certainly a positive, it certainly will be confusing to have two Titanic hotels in Liverpool. One at the old offices of the White Star Line and the other at Stanley Dock. Then again they city probably can handle two hotels centered around Titanic but it means tourists will have to be keen on which one they will want to visit. Titanic Hotel Set To Open On Historic Site In Liverpool(30 April 2014,Bay TV Liverpool)
According to Liverpool Echo, the city planning committee has given its okay for the former home of the White Star Line to be developed into a apart-hotel with 35 apartments, wedding facilities, fine-dining restaurant and rooftop bar. Built between 1895-1896, the building housed White Star Line offices until the line was merged with Cunard. It has been used as private offices but remained mostly empty.The bar, the Great Hall for weddings, three accommodation floors, and the rooftop bar hopefully will be open by April 2014.