Titanic story brought to life in North East exhibition of artefacts from ship
A major new exhibition giving an unparalleled insight into life on-board the Titanic has arrived in the North East.
The exhibition opened in the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough, on Saturday, (May 6), and will remain on show until September 3.
Residing on the first floor of the museum, the Titanic exhibition features artefacts from the passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean, after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Telling the story which became one of the most infamous news events of all time and has fascinated generations, artefacts featured in the exhibition include that of items from the ship, stories from survivors, a fragment of a deckchair which has reportedly never been seen by the public previously, and remarkable footage of the wreckage.
Other surviving pieces of the deckchair are said to be owned by James Cameron, the director of the blockbuster 1997 film Titanic.
The founder of the exhibition, Tom Rudderham, said “The story of the Titanic disaster still resonates with those from all ages and walks of life, and while it was a terrible tragedy, it has led to important maritime safety laws that have saved countless lives since.
“The exhibition tells the full story of the Titanic from its design and construction to life onboard, to the wreck site at the bottom of the North Atlantic.
“The objects and stories are brought to life with large images, audio, and video in an exciting and vivid way."
Other artefacts from the movie Titanic include a lifejacket, a Heart of the Ocean necklace, Captain Smith’s teacup and saucer, and moulding from the grand staircase set.
Donations to the exhibition include items from the last surviving woman who had been on board the Titanic, Millvina Dean, who was only nine-weeks-old when the ship sank in April 1912.
Millvina Dean was on board with her parents and brother, planning to emigrate to Kansas where her father hoped to open a tobacconist shop.
Millvina, her mother and brother were all rescued and returned to England aboard the Adriatic. Her survival was reportedly a spectacle to other passengers, many of whom queued to hold her hand and take photographs of her.
Among the first-class passengers of the Titanic, was the former Northern Echo editor, William Thomas Stead, who was travelling to the United States to take part in a peace congress at Carnagie Hall, at the request of President William Howard Taft.
Stead was a pioneer of investigative journalism and became the second editor of the Northern Echo in 1871.
Hehad published an article on March 22, 1886, in the Pall Mall Gazette titled 'How the Mail Steamer went down in Mid Atlantic by a survivor' which described a steamer colliding with another ship, resulting a high number of fatalities due to an insufficient ratio of lifeboats to passengers.
“This is exactly what might take place, and will take place, if liners are sent to sea short of boats,” he wrote.
Stead perished in the sinking and became known as the “most famous” English man to drown in the disaster.
A spokesman for Middlesbrough Museums said: “Many of the one-of-a-kind artefacts have never been seen in public before – and for Middlesbrough to host the exhibition is a wonderful chance for local people to learn more about the Titanic and its history.
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“I’m sure anyone who comes along will be captivated.”
Members of the public that might have a personal connection to the Titanic are being invited to share their stories, as part of ‘Teesside Titanic,’ by emailing email@example.com
The exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm, every Tuesday to Sunday.