Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Memory flotsam

It's hard to miss the coverage in the media about the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, and most of the documentaries and dramas have been anti-climatic to say the least.

Here are some memories – some recent, some that bobbed to the surface after being submerged for decades . . .

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Last weekend we were briefly in Liverpool and had time to call in to the Maritime Museum to see their Titanic exhibition. It was very dark and claustrophobic, invoking a sense of panic in me –  I started thinking about being trapped in a dark corridor full of people – probably not the intention of the exhibition designer.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

I must have been about 8 years old, at school we had to learn a song about a big ship called 'Titanic' that sank and lots of people died. My Granddad explained it was a true, the ship really did hit an iceberg in the middle of the ocean and sink with lots of people still on board. I found that very scary and troubling. This was the song and it's been my 'ear-worm' all week.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

 On Cliff's Aunt's spare room beds were blankets embroidered with large swirly initials W. S. L.

"Who's WSL, were they a relative?"

"No! White Star Line. Father worked on the ships"

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

In a drawer of photos and letters, a song book . . .

I wonder if the passengers on Titanic had song books?

"My Bonnie is over the ocean" and "Oft in the stilly night"

songs for travelers to a new life in a new country.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •



  1. I love that embroidery! There are some wonderful museums in Liverpool. What a lovely visit.

  2. I too remember singing the Titanic song.
    I grew up always hearing that the anchor and chains were manufactured just a few miles from my birth place in the Black Country http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/News/Titanic-The-Hingley-Anchors.htm.
    Don't know if that should be a good claim to fame or not!
    I was pleased to recently be part of the Titanic 100 beacons in West Cork.

  3. My girls are currently very troubled by the Titanic coverage. It is indeed an enduringly poignant story.

  4. There's a hoohah on Twitter because teenagers didn't realise that Titanic isn't just a movie, it is a true story. And one of the teenagers said, don't sneer at us because we want to know more!

  5. Lovely blankets! The depths of blissful ignorance some teenagers have seems unreal.

  6. Celia, while I was in London, I saw some tv coverage of the Titanic anniversary and of a newly opened attraction in Belfast (I think) that commemorates the launch site of the Titantic. (Apparently this attraction site is now being booked for wedding parties, and the irony was not absent from the news reports.)

    Let me add a little trivia from New York, where our prestigious Columbia University still requires its graduates to pass a swimming exam. This dates back to the loss of life from Titanic passengers who could not swim.


  7. I remember learning about the Titanic disaster as a child, reading the story in a comic called Look and Learn. It is amazing that the tragedy still resonates with us all a hundred years on but it is a piece of history with so many layers to it so I suspect it will linger in our collective consciousness for many years to come.

  8. You've got some nice treasure there. There's a little museum in Massachusetts devoted to the Titanic with all sorts of memorabilia from the survivors, it's quite interesting.

    I still shutter when I think of the poor steerage passengers being locked below deck . . .

  9. I just remembered that a couple of years ago I visited a Titanic graveyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia where many victims were laid. Worth a visit.

  10. Thanks for putting my video on your blog. I have no connections, to my knowledge, of the Titanic but have always been moved by the terror that must have hit those poor people on board.It is beyond my imagination.For years I always thought the failure of the tune to match the words made it one of the worst songs ever written but since researching and learning of the social issues I can understand the sarcastic elements of the song and now think it is one of the best ever written. A dirge tune would not have had the same impact. I hope my version of the song goes someway in getting the story and tragedy across especially to those younger ones who just thought it was a film.Thanks to everyone for the feedback and the Blog for opening up the opportunity for people to watch the slide show.It is appreciated
    Peter M Adamson.


I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.