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Discussion in 'Personal' started by Doglover, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Titanic fever has struck here in Northern Ireland, with the centenary fast approaching.
    For a long time, people in Northern Ireland appear to have carried some kind of guilt at her loss. However there has been a change in mood recently, to one of celebration, that such a magnificent vessel was built and fitted out in Belfast.
    We were fortunate enough to visit the new Titanic Experience recently opened in Belfast, and it was truly an experience. We had bought my dad tickets for his birthday, back in February, and we were all worried it would not be as good as it was made out to be. It was every bit as good as the media had made it out to be.
    The building of the Titanic was a huge thing for Belfast at the time, with 3000 of the 15000 men employed by Harland and Wolff working on it, in very stressful and dangerous conditions - 8 men died during construction, but apparently Harland and Wolff estimated that 15 men would be likely to die, so the safety record was actually very good.
    I've always had an interest in The Titanic story, and the buzz about it here in Northern Ireland is very special indeed.
    Unfortunately the whole story ended tragically, which is very sad, but the men and women of Belfast, who worked so hard to ensure she was the beautiful liner she was, should be remembered for the wonderful job they did.
    My dad and I were just talking as we went around the exhibition, about how sad it was that after all the hardwork, she didn't even get to complete her maiden voyage.
    It was a terrible loss.

  2. It was fine when it left Ireland !

  3. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    It remains a source of fascination for many, many reasons. There are so many "what ifs", and so many stories emanating from this singular event from 100 years ago. 100 years is not a long time really, but the entire World has changed in so many different ways, yet also remains the same in so many ways.
  4. Absolutely agree with you, jacob.
    I've been watching the Titanic series of programmes with Len Goodman and some of the stories send shivers down your back.
    Would love to see that exhibition, DL.
  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    It's fairly huge here in Southampton, as well.
    I don't quite understand why it's such an enormous thing elsewhere though.
    I appreciate that it was a tragic event and certainly understand the extent of the commemorations in Belfast and Southampton, perhaps even Cherbourg and Cobh to a lesser extent. But why does the story seem to have such resonance everywhere else? There are things happening all over Britain, by all accounts, not to mention it being all over the television.
    Yes, 1500 people died and yes, it still is one of the biggest peacetime maritime disasters ever, but more people die of starvation every day.
    Is it because of the controversy surrounding the accident? The number of avoidable factors that led up to what happened? Is it because of the claims of unsinkability (which is a myth - Harland and Woolf never claimed this)? Or is it because of the class issues surrounding those who were saved and those who perished?
    I'm just a bit flummoxed as to the size of the commemorations...
  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    On the other hand,the ITV drama on Sundays is pretty poor. Good actors and a big budget but the way it's done is just not very good at all.
  7. I haven't watched it, catmother. And I'll tell you why.
    I read an interview with Celia Imrie in this month's GH and she let slip that her character brings her wee dog on board with her and struggles to save it when the ship starts to sink.
    I just couldn't bear it...
  8. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    There is the Titanic exhibition on in London - if it's the same one I saw in Paris a few years ago - it's briliant and very moving. (it was also in Lisbon when I was there but the museum was shut so couldn;t go)
    I think it's a "touring" exhibition a bit like Tutankahmun (sp??)

  9. Thanks for the info, salsera - I'll do a bit of a Google and see if it's coming to a city near me soon.
  10. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Me too. It's all a bit much.
  11. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    You're much missing much. It's pretty poor. Pity.
  12. Aye, it's a shame. I really like everything else that Julian Fellowes has done.
    Bit off more than he could chew, maybe?
  13. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    What strikes me is that many of the people on board the Titanic were setting off to start a brand new life, which was brought to a tragic end.
    I suppose the tragedy raised issues, such as differences in treatment of social class.
    It brought out the very worst and very best of human nature.
    There is a lot of confusion around what happened, how it happened and whether or not it could have been prevented. It certainly appears that we will never know the whole truth.
    Like many disasters like this, it was undoubtedly a culmination of unfortunate incidents, which led to the tragedy.
    It seems like such a dreadful place to have lost one's life - in the dark, icy-cold depths of the Atlantic Ocean, when you had everything to look forward to.
    I suppose over the years it it a story which has been romanticised to a certain degree, which holds an additional interest for many.
  14. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    I agree Catmotherit has been very disappointing :(
  15. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Looks like he wanted to get away from telling the story in a straight forward sequence of events order. He's telling the same event (the sinking) from the perspective of different characters but it's just not working very well. I actually want the boat to sink properly and have it done with now!
  16. She may have been allright when she left Queenstown, but that is neither here nor there.
    She was allright when she left Belfast.
  17. Its a story with universal appeal. I have a friend in New Zealand who can't wait to see the Julian Fellowes series.
    Its got everything, really. From rich and famous people down to the hoi polloi. Lots of people were bettering themselves by getting a job on it, or emigrating to start a new life. All classes of people were lost, from Mr Guggenheim, to Thomas Andrews, the man who built her and went down with his ship, to poor emigrants. Then there's the element of class war in the (maybe untrue) story of lower class passengers being barred from the lifeboats.
    She was the biggest, and the finest, ship that ever sailed. She was also billed as unsinkable, albeit by the press and not her makers.
    Then there are all the what-ifs. What if there had been enough lifeboats, if the radio had been manned, or if the Californian's radio had been manned? She was near enough to rescue everyone. What if she had recognised that the flares fired from Titanic were distress flares? Most significantly, if the ruddy White Star Line hadn't been in a race to cross the Atlantic, would the captain have been in such a hurry that he sailed towards an area full of icebergs?
    There's the fact of the wreck still being there at the bottom of the sea. In other types of disaster, the wreckage is cleared away immediately and there isn't a site to visit.
    And most of us, whether we admit to it or not, think of the James Cameron film. That's why scenes from the wreck show her bow, so that we can picture Kate and Leonardo on it.
  18. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It's at this point that I must confess that I've been a Titanorak since the mid 80s, when Bob Ballard first discovered the wreck. I've read heaps of books, watched innumerable documentaries and films (the Len Goodman ones have been good, there was a re-run of the excellent 'live' dive that James Cameron did on the wreck about 6 years ago, there was also an excellent docu-drama about the building of the ship in Belfast the other night, etc), I've seen James Cameron's 'Titanic' in both normal and 3D (I do recommend this, by the way - find the biggest screen you can that's showing it, an IMAX if possible) AND his 3D documentary film released in 2003 'Ghosts of the abyss' (which is staggeringly good - I've seen it in the UK and also when I was in Sydney!).
    I've attended an exhibition - the best parts of which were (a) being given a ticket with a person's name on it and then at the end of the exhibition you found out who they wre and what happened to them and (b) a large 'wall' which you could touch - it showed you how cold the water was when people had to jump into it from the ship.
    And yes - M'Lord Fellowes of Coining-in-the-Dosh's four part version is PANTS.
  19. I agree. There have been a few of these 'telling the same story from different perspectives' things on TV recently: The Slap, One Night, but this just isn't working.
  20. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    It's a shame as it's got a gathering of very good actors who are underused and given rubbish dialogues! So many of the dialogue is so knowing of what is going to happen that they may as well have someone winking from a corner of the screen.

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