A handwritten note written by a first class passenger is up for auction at Henry Aldridge & Son reports The News. The note was recovered from the body of Titanic first class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson.
“It is oversized, hand written on Titanic letterhead by a victim just a day before the ship hit the iceberg, mentions the food, the music and the elite on board, contains an ominous message with regards to the fate of the ship, was carried by its author into the Atlantic and, thence, on to the body recovery ship and shows evidence of its submersion in salt water.”
The note is expected to fetch £80,000 ($106,050 USD) when it comes up for auction on 21 October.
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. Robert Ballard, part of the team that discovered Titanic, recently gave a lecture at Jacksonville University. Addressing 150 marine biology students he noted that he was inspired by the fictional Captain Nemo. While Titanic made him famous, he noted:
“I have done 150 expeditions and when I look back on what were the most important ones, it was not finding the Titanic,” Ballard said. “It was finding amazing systems in our ocean that we did not know were there; going to look for ‘A’ and finding something more important.”
2. When noted scientists get involved in silly controversies over fictional movies, I usually shake my head. On the other hand Neil DeGrasse Tyson pointed out a major plot hole over Jack Dawson’s demise.
“Whether or not he could’ve been successful, I would’ve tried more than once. You try once. ‘Oh, this is not gonna work. I will just freeze to death in the water.’ No, excuse me. No!
[Due to work and other things, I have not been able to blog regularly. I am taking steps to resume more frequent blogging]
Today is Columbus Day in the United States. It is celebrated to recall a historic exploration that resulted in the discovery of America, totally unknown to the Europeans up to that point (except for a select few vikings who found it too far away to valuable for trading etc). What we celebrate is the courage of those like Columbus who set into the unknown. Charts and maps were not wholly reliable, legends and stories often inspired them. And nor was it easy. You were on a sailing vessel deep into the sea with food supplies that had to be rationed carefully. Scurvy and other diseases caused by lack of proper food made voyages difficult to say the least. The only power was the wind; no turbines to propel you along. And you were totally isolated. There was no way to contact home and not way for them to contact you. Voyages like this could take many long months or years. The desire to explore what was out there beyond the known is something to celebrate. it took guts and a whole lot of faith when times got tough. The age of discovery that was to come would fill out our knowledge of the world and its continents. Celebrating this spirit of discovery does not mean you embrace or like what happened to many native peoples that came later. Nor do you not honor Native Americans who arguably immigrated here from Asia long before. You honor the spirit of exploration and discovery that led to many wonderful things being found about our world.
Now for Titanic News:
1)Nephew Recounts Uncle’s Experience On The Titanic (The Post-Journal, 9 Oct 2017) Recently, guest speakers Bob Sutehall of Angola and Lorraine Cole of Fredonia presented a program marking the 105th year since the sinking of the Titanic. As people listened to the true story of Sutehall’s uncle, Henry Sutehall Jr, who boarded the ship April 10, 1912, the spirit of the RMS Titanic was in the room. While everyone envisioned this massive luxury ship, Cole appeared wearing era clothing and re-enacting the character Caroline Wick Bonnell, who was an actual passenger aboard the Titanic, and a survivor. In character, Cole acted out a scenario of that tragic night.
2)’Quite a story’: 2 Victory residents survived Titanic voyage(auburnpub.com,9 Oct 2017) Many people don’t realize the town of Victory, and several other Cayuga County communities, have ties to the tragic 1912 sinking of the RSM Titanic. Two Victory residents, Helga and her two-year-old daughter Hildur Hirvonen, were on board the historic ship, traveling from Finland to join husband and father Eric Hirvonen in the United States, when it hit an iceberg and began to take on water over. The mother and daughter were rescued from the ship in a lifeboat. “The father was already here or he probably wouldn’t have made it because women and children were first,” Victory historian Beverly Sayles said. “It wasn’t like every man for himself the way many times it is today. It was women and children first, they had a chivalry order.”
3)Though not really a Titanic story, this is about a railroad station that has called Titanic of the Mountains. The Canfranc International Railway Station between Spain and France was once a major hub between Span and France but of course played an important role for the Nazis during World War II. It fell into decay and was abandoned in the 1970’s as a railway station. Yet many tourists came to see this once great rail station. Now comes word that it will be restored reports the Daily Mail.
The deadline for submitting bids to be a stalking horse bidder for the acquisition of the company’s operating businesses and its assets has been extended to October 9, 2017. According to the press release:
Premier expects to conclude the process by October 9, 2017. In the event that an auction is to be conducted, it is expected that such auction will occur by December 12, 2017, at which time other potential bidders will have the opportunity to bid against the stalking horse bidder.
Among other things, bidders are competing to own the most valuable, unique collection of Titanic assets ever offered for sale. The collection includes approximately 5,500 individual pieces that have been recovered from the wreck site over the course of seven deep sea dives; ownership of video footage, imagery, and other intellectual and personal property; and the opportunity to be designated “salvor-in-possession,” permitting the owner exclusive salvage rights to the wreck and wreck site. The portfolio of artifacts, with enhancements recognizing the value of the intellectual property, was appraised at $218MM in 2014. The auction of the collection is subject to approval of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida (Jacksonville Division). For more information, please visit www.titanicartifacts.com.
Unlike the Australian tycoon who could not even put a rivet to his dream of a Titanic replica, the Chinese are half done on their own version reports the UK Daily Mail.
The construction of a full-size replica of the Titanic in China is now half complete. Builders are said to be working around the clock on the £105 million tourist attraction in order to finish the project by the end of the year. Six out of the nine decks of the ship are said to have been built.
The copy of the luxurious passenger ship, which sank in 1912 killing 1,500 people, will be a part of a grand theme park in Sichuan, south-west China, and will be painstakingly reproduced.
According to press reports and interviews, the ship will be an exact replica but docked permanently as part of the Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort. And it will also offer people the opportunity to stay aboard and experience what it was like back in 1912. Scrapped from the original plan was the idea of a sinking simulator. It was dropped after it got severely criticized by Titanic groups and descendants of Titanic survivors.
The ship is scheduled to be completed this and open in 2019.
No word if Clive Palmer plans to attend its grand opening.
The bankruptcy proceedings of Premier Exhibitions have been lumbering on for a while with not much to report on. But on 17 August a major decision was made. Premier decided to put up for sale a certain set of artifacts known collectively as the French Artifacts. These artifacts were brought up as part of a joint project but were excluded from the salvage award currently in place as they were property of the French government.
Premier filed to put these up for sale. Papers were served on French Embassy notifying them of the claim and their right to challenge it in court. Well they did not do so. As a result a default judgment has been entered against them with a finding that France had no interest in the French Artifacts. After some formal paperwork is done, the next step will be to come up with a satisfactory method of auctioning them off so that debts can be retired and creditors paid.
The artifacts covered under the current salvage award are unaffected by this decision.
Queen Mary is hosting Titanic in Photographs-The Exhibition. The exhibition has photographs that span its beginnings until it sank in 1912. According to Long Beach Press Telegram:
Located in the stern of the ship, next to the Engine Room, the new educational gallery area features over 100 images that document the ship-building process through completion, immersing visitors on a journey through the Titanic’s luxurious amenities, from its staterooms and First Class Lounge to the Turkish bath, swimming pool, and Grand Staircase. The photos are paired with dozens of artifacts — like silverware, crystal, and china — from the Titanic, as well as from two sister oceanliners, the Olympic and the Carpathia.
August is nearly here and summer is in full bloom. Titanic news has been quiet. There are still news stories out there about the Premiere Exhibitions bankruptcy and the possible sale of Titanic artifacts. Analysts hope Premier is able to get out of the hole it is in. Ditto for the shareholders who are hoping that at long last perhaps the company will get back on track.
Of course the debate raging in some circles is over Titanic artifacts. Premier has a difficult time trying to sell them before as the salvage award restricts their sale and it comes with restrictions for the buyer. James Cameron is diving into the fray trying to raise money to buy them. The best outcome might be for some government or government backed entity to buy them. The huge price tag keeps most museums and institutions from really pursuing the matter. Of course all bets would be off should Premier decide to liquidate rather than reorganize. And no one is talking about that right now.
The International Ice Patrol has for a long time depended upon planes to spot and help track icebergs. Their work is very important for everyone who transits across the North Atlantic. And thanks to their work, the threat of icebergs to ships has been greatly reduced. Now they are making changes. Instead of flying planes as much, the Ice Patrol is implementing the use of satellite technology to detect and monitor icebergs. The problem though is that satellite images only detect icebergs only 50% of the time compared to using planes. For the moment a combination of planes and satellite images are going to be used to monitor icebergs. (Keeping an Eye on What the Arctic Throws Down Iceberg Alley,newsdeeply.com,21 July 2017)
Molly Brown was one of the people that became well known after Titanic sank. Her 150th birthday was recently celebrated at her home in Denver, Colorado. As befitting her style, it was celebrated as a block party. Food, entertainment and tours of her home (now a museum) were done. She was quite a gal.
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.