Saturday, 26 February 2011

My Day at the Titanic Exhibition

Hey folks,

If you visit my blog daily and you noticed that I wasn't doing any posting today - well, I have my excuse to be not blogging for the day. Two days ago, I was on my trip to London and I heard about a Titanic Exhibition that was going at the London o2 (formerly the Millennium Dome). I was really intrigued about it and then my dad booked tickets for us to go in February.

From the moment I went into the London o2 - I was amazed, I've never been there before and I thought that it was SO COOL. Inside the o2 it was like paradise - it's basically like a town indoors. They had so many brilliant exhibitions going on and there were shops, restaurants going on there - and it was lovely. They even had palm trees there - and the o2 reminded me of a city or a town except nobody lives there.

We saw our exhibition and we weren't booked until 1.30pm so we waited for a while. As soon as the time came, I was really amazed with what we got. While we entered, we were given passenger cards and it told you what your passenger name, age, cabin, class you were - and after the exhibition you would look at the names of the list and find you was dead or alive. It turned out my card passenger was named Jacques Futrelle who was actually a well-known author and he perished in the sinking. Here is what the card looked like:

This is what the card looked like - although, this is NOT my card. This is my dad's card. He got a male lucky 1st class passenger named Samuel L. Goldberg who survived the sinking.

The exhibition was amazing, we were walking past and there were some 3rd class and 1st class rooms that had been redesigned and built for the exhibition to show the public on what they looked like. Some of the actual artefacts that were with Titanic under the water for so many years and finally discovered some years ago were brought here. Although the lost items weren't named by who it belonged to.

While at the Titanic Exhibition, we even felt an iceberg and the temperature water dropped and it showed us how cold the Northern Atlantic water really was. I tried to take a competition on how long can my hand last on the ice and it only lasted a mere 10/15 seconds. It was freezing. Although, mind you the passengers on the Titanic didn't die from drowning but they mainly died because of hypothermia because of being in the freezing water for too long.

While at the orchestra, I noticed one of the band orchestra who played music during the sinking to lighten up the panicking passenger's spirits - named Wallace Hartley. No, he isn't my relative - but he was an important figure on the Titanic sinking. A lot of people claimed that Hartley and his band orchestra's last song they played during the sinking Nearer My God, To Thee.

However, I did find one of my mum's relatives name - and that was my great, great uncle's name. Although, his name was Mr. Edward Joseph McGarvey and he was actually a worker on the Titanic - he worked as a fireman / stoker - and his duty was to get a shovelful of coal and put them in the Titanic's boiler. Sadly, McGarvey was one of the many 1'500 people who died in the sinking.

It was a great exhibition by the way, and I really enjoyed myself. Afterwards, I went to the gift shop, and I noticed a book called The Story of the TITANIC as told by its survivors. The book was written by the survivors of Lawrence Beesley (a survivor who wrote the book The Loss of the S.S. Titanic in a mere nine weeks after the sinking, and his book is in there), and there's Col. Archibald Gracie who wrote The Truth About the Titanic and it was published in 1913 shortly after his death. And there's stories written my Second Officer Charles Lightoller and the ship's distress signaller Harold Bride. The book was edited by Jack Winocour as a "Dover edition" that was published in 1960. I've just started reading the book and so far it's a terrific book from what I've read.

After our exhibition, we had our belated lunch or early dinner. Our trip to London wasn't over yet - we went on the London tubes to Waterloo and there were some musicals going on and we already picked on what we wanted to watch Dirty Dancing. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dirty Dancing - even though there were a lot of cheesy moments, and all the girls screamed when the character (played by Patrick Swayze in the film) said "Nobody puts baby in the corner".

After the show, it was time to head home, and I didn't get back home until 11.30pm and it was straight to bed for me. I had a big day and I really enjoyed it.


RB (Caterwaul Studios) said...

Very Interesting Steven,

My wife's first apartment was right beside a cemetery where many of those who lost their lives on the Titanic were buried (in Nova Scotia, Canada).

I also recall my first trip to London (in the 60's). It was just as the old movies depict it - very exciting! I'm still mesmerized by the sights, especially the downtown lights, the double deckers, and the taxis. It was absolutely incredible. It was Easter, and I can remember the very large and exquisitely decorated chocolate eggs in store windows (and oddly enough the most beautiful in a little window in the wall in the tube). I also recall eating my first chocolate eclair, and seeing my first picture movie - The Jungle Book. An incredible time for a 5 year old!


Steven Hartley said...

What a detailed and interesting on your first London visit. Thanks for sharing.

Of course, I don't live far from London, so I do sometimes go quite often since my step sister lives there.