We’re so used to hearing tales of doom and tragedy about the sinking of the Titanic that’s it’s surprising to find a funny story about it. As a major exhibition prepares to open in London next year at an as-yet-undisclosed location to mark the 110th anniversary of the 1912 tragedy, MyLondon is investigating the lives of the Londoners who were aboard the ill-fated ship. In the process, MyLondon came across the rather incredible yet touching story of the 22-year-old signalman who was cracking up in fits of laughter while sending SOS signals from the freezing ship.
Seaman Blamed for Sinking Titanic Was A TRUE Hero: Bravery Medals Of Officer Who Unwittingly Pocketed Key For Binoculars Cabinet Before Disembarking Doomed Ship Are Set To Fetch £15,000 At Auction (Daily Mail, 12 Nov 2021)
He’s infamous as the sailor who was blamed by some for the sinking of the Titanic, but the collection of medals which belonged to David Blair reveal his true heroism. In his haste to disembark, however, he forgot to leave a key which was needed in the crow’s nest to access binoculars and a telescope. As such, Blair is known to history for his unwitting part in the sinking – but the officer had in fact won a series of prestigious medals for his bravery and military service. Roughly a year after the Titanic sank, Aldridge was serving as first officer on the SS Majestic – another White Star ocean liner – when he swam to the rescue of a drowning man who had thrown himself overboard. For his bravery, King George V awarded Blair a Sea Gallantry Medal at Buckingham Palace. He earned further medals during the First World War, when he served with distinction in the navy.
Travel: Titanic Tour Offers a Tale Of Two Irish Ports Linked By Tragic Ship (The Sunday Post, 12 Nov 2021)
The Titanic Centre in Belfast is one of the island’s most popular attractions. Located next to the Titanic slipways and the former shipyard Drawing Offices, the centre is at the heart of where the Titanic was planned, designed, built and launched. It took Belfast a long time to come to terms with the Titanic’s fate. The Titanic Centre was opened to mark the centenary of the sinking. The long gestation was due to a mixture of shame and embarrassment surrounding the ship’s tragic end. For a long time, the city’s tour guides quipped “she was all right when she left here” but ultimately it was realised that other cities around the world such as Halifax, Nova Scotia and Orlando, Florida were telling a story, through exhibitions, that could really only be told properly in Belfast.