Saturday, 14 April 2012

Titanic - 100 Years Later


I couldn't let today go past without a post about something which has been one of my lifelong fascinations/obsessions. 

Titanic. 

Unless you've been living under a rock recently then you can't have failed to notice or be aware of that fact that today marks 100 years since the fateful night that Titanic hit an iceberg. Failing that I guess you could also be one of these people...


The tale of Titanic completely captivated me as a small child and the enthusiasm and intrigue I had about it then hasn't waned over the years. I've read countless books, seen hundreds of tv programmes, been to exhibitions and pored over websites. And yes, I've seen that film a lot - I even went to see it again at the cinema this week in 3D (and not just to see if Kate Winslet's breasts were in 3D...).


The survivors accounts and inquest reports fascinate me. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be on a sinking ship like that or in fact, to watch it sink. What has become apparent from many of the items I've read is that even the people right there at the time just didn't expect it to sink and many didn't want to get in the lifeboats as they felt safer on Titanic.  It seems crazy doesn't it? But I have a fear of water and can completely understand that rationale - a big ship, I'm fine with but you'd never get me on a rowing boat.


What is it about Titanic that has captured so many people? I don't really know. After all, there have been worse disasters, before and after. I can't speak for others but for me, one aspect  was the opulence and grandeur of Titanic. Imagine what walking on to Titanic would have been like -  oh the luxury! For first class passengers anyway, but even the lower classes accommodation were apparently above and beyond what had been provided on the ships that came before Titanic.


Then there were also the stories about the people and the courage that they displayed. Many of these people were going off to America to start new lives, they were full of hope for the future. Knowing that many of these didn't make it, and those that did had their families destroyed by death is just so, so sad. Imagine getting onto a lifeboat without your husband, leaving him there, not knowing whether he'd get off safely or not. Only 333 bodies were recovered from the site, out of around 1500. That's a lot of families that never had closure on the loss of loved ones.


It's easy when watching the film to feel detached and forget that this was a real event but it was and tonight, I shall raise a glass to all those that lost their lives in such a dreadful way, one hundred years ago.


5 comments:

  1. I saw the link to this post and thought "urgh, cashing in..." and didn't click through but then I did from Britmums and I'm glad I did. You brought a fresh perspective to a story (I thought) we all know so well. It never occurred to me that people would have been reluctant to leave the boat; but of course it was advertised as 'unsinkable'.

    As for people not knowing that the Titanic was a real ship... Urgh. I am always amazed at the stupidity of the general public.

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  2. Just found your blog - I've been fascinated about Titanic since I was a child, and have a post today about the 100th anniversary.

    My pictures are all of the painting that my father did of Titanic, that now hangs on the wall in my living room.

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  3. A big obsession of mine too....I'm reading a technical book on the engineering aspect of Titanic.....it's a really good read.....

    Melx

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  4. Big obsession of mine too. I think the "unsinkable" bit is the reason we are so fascinated - it wasn't supposed to sink after all. Great post.

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  5. I watched or taped most of the programmes on this weekend... living in Liverpool we have a great affinity to the sea, and Titanic in particular as its registered port. It doesn't surprise me that there are adults out there who don't know it really existed. History isn't made real any more. I loved 'old fashioned' history where the story was brought to life. By the way, just found your blog in a comment trawl and I'm having fun reading your archives. Thanks for writing!

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