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" Maryport and the Titanic Exhibition "

Date & start time: Sunday 22nd April 2012. (late morning start)

Location : Maryport Harbour, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 034 366 )

Places visited : The docks, the Aquarium and the Wave Centre

Walk : Exhibition open everyday till 13th May 2012.

With : Ann and our son Gareth.

Weather : Almost summer . . . apart from the cold wind !


" Maryport and the Titanic Exhibition " at EveryTrail

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The definition of someone obsessed with The Titanic has entered the English language recently as "a Titanerack".

Fortunately Ann and my son don't fall in that category,

but all three of us were interested in visiting the Cumbrian coastal town of Maryport which is home to the Ismay family

and which is currently hosting an anniversary Titanic Exhibition.

Welcome to the re-developed Maryport Marina and docks . . .
. . . where the local Museum is holding the special Exhibition.

Thomas Ismay who founded the White Star Line and his son, Bruce Ismay, who was Chairman at the time of the maiden voyage of the ill-fated famous ship, both hail from this ship-building town. 

In this, the hundredth year anniversary of the loss of the Titanic, the town is marking the occasion with an exhibition and various local events.

Having parked near the Maritime Museum itself, we first walked across to enjoy the dock land scenery.

It was high tide and, in the sunshine, the port was looking beautiful.

Christ Church, one of the older Churches of the town . . .
. . . and the maritime Museum, now run by volunteers (not the Council).

On the buttress of what looks like an old swing bridge is a fine sculpture,

"A Fishy Tail" by Colin Telfer that really speaks of the history and life of the old port.

The broad reach of the River Ellen as it reaches the sea. The Scottish shoreline, including Criffel, is seen beyond.

The existence of this natural harbour led to the development of the town, the docks and, in it's day, a vibrant shipbuilding industry.

There is still a good inshore fishing fleet

with several boats coming and going while we sat and enjoyed the view.

We had just missed a practice by the Maryport RNLI Lifeboat.

They have just hauled the boat out of the water and were using the tractor to re-house the rib-inflatable boat.

The view from the Aquarium of the tidal basin and the inner dock, complete with lifting bridge.

As they have a nice little cafe in Maryport Aquarium it was a good time to feel hungry . . .

So hungry ( or because the food was so good) I forgot to take a picture of the plate when it was brimful!

The whole town seems in Titanic mood

and the Aquarium Shop was no exception.


Among the seaside and boating souvenirs

were several referring to the Titanic.


- - - o o o - - -


The advertised exhibition was too large

to be housed in the normal Senhouse Street museum

so they have gathered and displayed it in The Wave Centre

just around the corner.

Maritime connections abound in the buildings and businesses of this part of town.

The Wave Centre has been built on the site of the old boat-building yards of Maryport.

The boats, latterly up to 200 tons and built in steel, were sideways-launched into the river due to the curve and narrowness of the deep water.  When this occurred a big 'wave' washed across the opposite bank and so the centre takes the name from its own historic routes.


We paid our entrance fee and received our boarding passes

for the journey around the exhibition.

Each was specific to an individual passenger

that had travelled on the liner on its maiden voyage.


We would check the passenger lists at the end of our visit

to see whether we had been saved or had perished

in the disaster that befell the ship in 1912.

I was Mr Wyckhoff Van de Hoef, 61 year old, boarded at Belfast.


A fine model of the Titanic, one of three similar boats built by Harland and Wolfe in Belfast.

The others were the Olympic and the Britannic (originally named the Gigantic)

At the time of their launch, they were the largest boats ever built . . . sorry, no photos of the other two so you'll have to go along to see them yourself.

All that's missing is the young couple on the prow !
A mock up of the Radio Room on the Titanic.

1st Class Dining.

The Members of the Museum had been able to borrow many artifacts that matched the originals from the boat.

Here were pictures, carpet, chairs, tables, crockery, cutlery and menus from the time.

Many of these had been used in the blockbuster 1997 film that features Leonardo de Caprio and Kate Winslet.

The dress Kate wore when she played Rose in the film.
Below, a modern version of a 1st class deck chair from the boat.

On the chair was a memento of a piece of wood taken from an actual deck chair retrieved from the water all those years ago (see picture frame).

A dark room displays a ten foot picture of the wreck of the Titanic 2.5 miles down in the depths of the Atlantic

taken by the Dick Barton of the salvage company.

Apologies for the poor photo (taken through a porthole)  . . . the actual display was a lot better !

Here a lump of actual coal that was recovered underwater after nearly 100 years at the wreck site.

Behind it, a old picture of the type of boiler room working conditions found on the boat.

The exhibition had attracted many school parties and many of them had added their contributions to the display board wall.

- - - o o o - - -

An excellent exhibition, well put together by the big efforts of the volunteer force of the small Maritime Museum.

I've not included examples of all the exhibits, the photos of the scale models of the two Titanic sister ships,

the history of the growth of Maryport, the ship building and the Ismay family.

To see it all, go along yourself and enjoy it as we have done.

If you live too far away, may this tribute record the hard work of the local folk in celebrating their local town and its connection to Titanic.

- - - o o o - - -

Oh yes . . . did I survive . . . or was I lost along with 1500 folk on that fateful night 100 years ago ?

Check out the passenger notice above.

- - - o o o - - -

As for Ann (Miss Edith Rosenbaum) and Gareth (Major Arthur Peuchen), they were amongst the lucky ones.

- - - o o o - - -

Outside once again, the sun was still shining . . . and I do like to be beside the seaside.

Plus the ice cream van was still there on the harbour side serving a large '99.

This is like being on holiday !


While we sat and enjoyed the afternoon and watched the small inshore boat practicing on the river.

. . . while we sat and practiced on the harbour side seating.

An old bollard from the days of sailing ships.
The falling tide gave this heron a better fishing opportunity.

Ice creams finished, Gareth has a train to catch in Penrith so it was time to leave.

We took the riverside road away from the docks and passed the new pedestrian bridge.

History made, times remembered, Maryport moves on into the next century with redevelopment of the dockyards

where once ships were built and empires made. 

The White Star line went on to be amalgamated with Cunard in the 1930's and has now disappeared as a company name.

The Ismay family still live in Maryport, albeit a few generations later and

in the redeveloped dock land, we leave hard working staff at the " The Titanic Exhibition" to talk to the next group of visitors.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a survivor's boarding pass.

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Previous walk - 14th April 2012 Scafell and Slightside

A previous time up here - 12th December 2010 Allonby Sunset

Next walk - 28th April 2012 Floutern Tarn with Jo