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White Star Line ship models- new display

13 February 2012 by Rebecca

Photo of Ben Whittaker, curator, with ship models in background

Ben Whittaker and the new ship models display.

 
 
Ben Whittaker, Curator of Port History tells us about a new display in the Merseyside Maritime Museum:-
 
It’s not long now until our eagerly awaited new Titanic exhibition opens.  But to wet the appetite, you can see a new display about Titanic’s owners the White Star Line.  The display features six beautiful White Star Line ship models from our ship model collection, and is the first time that they have been displayed together.  The detail on some of these models is extraordinary, and they have been lovingly cleaned and restored by our Ship and Historic Models Conservators.  The models include:
 
- Oceanic (I), 1871.  Oceanic was the first ship made for Thomas Ismay’s White Star Line, and was built by Harland and Wolff.  She is generally considered to have been the forerunner of the modern luxury liner.
 
- Magnetic, 1891.  Magnetic was a tender vessel used on the Mersey to transfer goods and passengers between the Liverpool landing stage and large White Star Line passenger ships like Teutonic and Majestic.
 
- RMS Cedric, 1903.  Cedric was the second of White Star’s famous ‘big four’ liners completed between 1901-1907.  These were the immediate predecessors of the ‘Olympic class’ liners of 1911-1915, which included Titanic.  This model is over three and a half metres long, and it was a challenge to get it into the building and installed in the display case!
 
The  display can be found in the second floor Art and the Sea gallery at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story exhibition opens 30th March 2012.

Read more…

Inquiries and Reputations

10 February 2012 by Rebecca

Coutroom sketch- Ismay being questioned.

Bruce ismay being questioned by the attorney general. Copyright Julia Quenzler.

This illustration is taken from the Inquires and Reputations presentation in the forthcoming Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum. It was created by the artist Julia Quenzler who sketches real life court room scenes for the BBC and shows Bruce Ismay being questioned at the British inquiry into Titanic’s sinking. This part of the exhibition looks at accounts from crew and passengers given at the inquiry in 1912. Read more…

The haunting music of the Titanic

30 January 2012 by Sam

three musicians playing string instruments

Catherine Johnson from the exhibition team has news of a special and very haunting piece of music that is bound to send shivers down the spines of visitors to this year’s Titanic exhibition:


A very special and extremely poignant arrangement of the hym ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ has been recorded for the upcoming exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, opening at the Merseyside Maritime Museum on 30 March 2012.

The Titanic’s band were said to have played the hymn as the ship was sinking. Working with local composer Tom Moss, who prepared the arrangement, and three world class musicians, we aimed to recapture this emotional aspect of the sinking. All the members of Titanic’s band played until the last moments before going down with the ship. Read more…

The letter that never reached the Titanic

24 January 2012 by Sam

hand written letter

Detail of May Louise McMurray’s poignant letter

As the title suggests, this year’s major exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum, Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, will focus on local connections to the disaster – a side of the tragedy that many people may not be aware of. The liner never visited the port but was registered here and many of the crew were based in Merseyside. The loss of the ship and so many people on board therefore had tragic consequences for many families in the area. Read more…

A Liverpool Ship

24 November 2011 by Rebecca

Ship plan from The shipbuilder brochure

Ship plan from The Shipbuilder brochure. Copyright IMarEst

This week I am working on the content for the Titanic and Liverpool:the untold story exhibition which opens March 2012. I am mainly focusing on an interactive touch screen which will allow visitors to explore the layout of Titanic. In the Merseyside Maritime Museum archives and library collection is The White Star- Olympic and Titanic summer brochure of 1911, which was published by The Shipbuilder. This edition features many illustrations for both vessels including a very detailed plan of the ships. I am always taken back by the variety of cabins designed and fitted out. The technical detail of the plans is very impressive. The leisure facilities available such as a library, gym, sauna and swimming pool, which were only available for first class passengers. Read more…

In the Mersey

24 October 2011 by Rebecca

Liverpool port scene

In the Mersey

As Curator of Maritime Collections (ship models and paintings) I look after an impressive paintings collection which reflects Liverpool’s influential and thriving maritime history.
I am currently working on the content for next year’s exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story. One of the themes will be ‘Home port’ which highlights Liverpool as the shipping capital of the World.
One of the objects on display for the exhibition will be Max Sinclair’s ‘In the Mersey’ which reflects Liverpool at the height of its influence as a port in 1889. The subtle Titanic link in this painting is the ‘City of New York’ liner depicted near the Liverpool landing stage.
As Titanic began her maiden voyage, the City of New York ship which was docked at Southampton at the time broke her moorings and almost collided with Titanic. This was caused by the huge suction created when Titanic left the dock.
The ‘City of New York’ was described as the fastest and largest ship during her career as a three-funnelled passenger liner.
‘In the Mersey’ is currently on display in the Art and the Sea gallery.
Bye for now. Read more…

Send us your untold Titanic stories

8 June 2011 by Sam

detail of ship model with 'Titanic Liverpool'

Titanic was a Liverpool registered ship, as you can see in this detail of the museum’s Titanic model

Next year to mark the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic’s sinking, Merseyside Maritime Museum will host a special exhibition exploring the ship through the lives of the Liverpool people at the heart of her tragic story. Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story will open in March 2012.

The exhibition will feature a lot of previously unseen material from our archives. Curator of maritime history Ian Murphy would also like to hear from you if you have any local stories about the Titanic to add; Read more…

Titanic launch anniversary

31 May 2011 by Karen

Model of a ship in a glass case in a museum

The model of the Titanic at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.

April 1912 is the date most people usually associate with Titanic; whether it’s her leaving Belfast on 2 April, the start of her maiden voyage on 10 April, or her sinking on 15 April.

However, 31 May 1911 is also an important day on the Titanic calendar as it was the day on which the ship was launched. One hundred years ago today she slipped down the greased no. 3 slipway into Belfast waters, before being moved into dry dock for fitting-out.

It must have been a momentous day for everyone associated with the shipyard. Tickets were distributed for the 12.15pm event and a grandstand was erected for spectators. The spectacle was witnessed by over 100,000 people which must have been a sight in itself. Read more…

Titanic sinking, 99th anniversary

11 April 2011 by Sarah

Postcard of Titanic being held in front of model of Titanic

Postcard of Titanic showing Lady Duff Gordon’s lifeboat(PR.548)

Thursday is the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, not an anniversary that is usually celebrated, but a good day to get a bit of press attention for the new temporary exhibition at the Maritime Museum scheduled for the 100th anniversary in 2012.  So this morning I was carefully posing with some of the Titanic related items held by the Maritime Archives & Library, beside the builders’ model of the ship in the Disasters At Sea gallery.  This postcard of the Titanic is marked where Lady Duff Gordon, her husband, and her maid, Linda Francatelli, boarded the lifeboat that saved them. Linda Francatelli’s apron, worn on that night, is already on display.  The new exhibition will highlight the connections between Liverpool and Titanic.  From the fact that the vessel was registered here (we hold the registration certificate), to the stories of the many Merseyside based people involved in the design, commissioning and staffing of the Titanic and the tragedy of the sinking.  It will also give us an opportunity to display some of our more fragile material that we couldn’t put into a permanent gallery. Read more…

The untold story of Titanic and Liverpool

8 November 2010 by Sam

detail of ship model showing the name 'Titanic Liverpool'

On ‘Inside Out’ on BBC1 in the North West at 7.30 this evening you can see an interview with Maritime Museum curator and Titanic expert Dr Alan Scarth. He’ll be talking about the Titanic’s connections with Liverpool – a subject that he researched recently for his book ‘Titanic and Liverpool’ – currently available from our online bookshop. He told us a bit more about it below.

Update 9/11/10: If you missed ‘Inside Out’ last night you can watch it online for the next week on the BBC iPlayer.
Read more…

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