It is called ‘Titanic in Photographs’, but actually the show currently on display at thecentre:mk’s Middleton Hall is much more than that. It’s a unique opportunity to view a display of artefacts, personal mementos, and yes, photographs that bring the most famous ship in the world to life once more.
And when you remember that Titanic slipped beneath the waves more than a century ago, that’s no small feat. Much of the magnificence was lost that fateful day in 1912 when an iceberg tragically sent more than 1,500 people to watery graves, and embedded the Titanic and its story into history.
David Scott-Beddard and business partner John White are behind this special show about the most tragic of situations.
“It has all the elements of an incredible story; man’s misguided belief of conquering nature, the biggest ship in the world, the rich and famous onboard for the maiden voyage, the missed ice warnings.
“The fascinating stories of the passengers setting out for a new life, and the unfolding tragedy as the ship slowly sank beneath them,” David said.
White Star Memories, the company behind this world premiere, has no items from the sea bed to show you. Recovered pieces are unable to be sold according to maritime law.
Instead, the opulence of the ship is bought back to life. There are plenty of pieces from its twin sister the Olympic to enjoy, as the feast for the eyes takes you from the ship’s inception to its first – and only – journey.
Huge visuals show the liner in all her glory, magnificent rooms including the Smoking Room, Swimming Pool and Grand Staircase.
Those same pictures are paired with items that bring history to life, with evocative and emotive pieces – from furniture and china, to silverware and the very same chairs used by passengers.
You’ll glance at original Titanic stationery mailed by a passenger to his sweetheart. The writer enclosed a blank sheet of Titanic headed paper as a memento. It was the last time she ever heard from him. Another passenger lost to the sea on April 15, 1912.
A magnificent Olympic 1st Class Lounge Cartel Clock doesn’t just tell the time, but takes you back in time, along with silverware and plaques, china and crystalware, and schedules and tickets.
Once you’ve snaked your way through the display the last thing that grabs your attention is not a photo, nor an artefact.
The Memorial Wall lists every passenger and crew member aboard that fateful night. There are so many names that finding empathy is almost obsolete. Until you remember that behind every one of those names was a person with a story, just like the man who wrote home to his sweetheart, but never returned home.
> Titanic in Photographs is based on the book by Daniel Klistorner and Steve Hall,and brought to you by White Star Memories. The show in MK runs until June 11. Admission is free.