Took the opportunity recently to see a number of Titanic exhibitions before they ended. The first was at the Maritime Museum and was titled “Titanic and Liverpool”; the Untold story. This was certainly a flagship exhibition not to be missed. I had always thought that the Titanic sailed to Liverpool until I read the exhibition text. The doomed White Star ocean liner never ever visited Liverpool, but she was conceived, planned, registered and owned in the city. Full of emotion and anticipation with what I knew already about the Liner, I entered the exhibition rather chillingly; as visitors all received a card with a passenger or crew members name. Scary!!!! At the end of the exhibition you could find out if their “name” survived the collision with the iceberg and sinking. Spooky as it was, I tended to race through the displays in order to get my answer but then returned to the informative texts reading at leisure and scouring the lists for more information about my fellow traveller. I was hooked.
All 705 survivors were rescued by the Liverpool based Cunard liner Carpathia with a death toll of 1,517. The exhibition was moving, and I was drawn to the passengers addresses and whether or not their homes in Liverpool still existed. Mary Louise McMurry lived at 60 Empress Road, Kensington and the musician Fred Clarke, a bass violinist who famously kept playing while the Titanic sank, lived at 22 Tunstall Street, Smithdown Road.
It was an informative and emotional exhibition if you let your imagination stray and spurred me to press on to the Pier Head memorial; and the White Star Liners former headquaters building on the corner of the Strand and James Street. It is here that I stood and imagined the episode when, from the balcony window the surviving names on pieces of paper were thrown to the press awaiting below. I continued the trail to the Anglican Cathedral, where a photgraphic exhibition and some Titanic memorabilia was displayed along with newspaper clippings and information about the Titanic master, Captain Edward Smith. which all made interesting reading.
The whole experience exploring the tragedy’s Merseyside links was absolutely fascinating, giving me a vivid insight, and helping me empathise with the lives of all who sailed that ill fated journey. Who was I? Did I survive? Take the tour yourself and become a part of that………night….a “night to remember” Unforgettable.