Nowhere was the tragedy of the Titanic disaster more felt than in Southampton, where more than 500 households lost a family member. Visitors to the museum will discover how many people worked on board and the huge variety of jobs the crew carried out. The centre-piece of this gallery features a 1:25 scale, interactive model of the Titanic, showing the intricate layout of the vessel.
Visitors will be able to experience the sights and sounds of Southampton in 1912, when it was home port to some 23 steamship companies including Royal Mail,Union Castle and American Lines. The transfer of White Star Line’s transatlantic express service from Liverpool to Southampton in 1907 had established Southampton as Britain’s premier passenger port. The town was bustling with activity and the local economy flourished with new shops, restaurants and businesses. The White Star Dock, later known as Ocean Dock, opened in 1911. It was from here, Berth 44, that the Titanic was to leave Southampton on 10 April 1912.
Through powerful oral testimony from survivors, the Disaster Room describes the sequence of events from the time the ship struck the iceberg to its sinking, and the rescue of passengers by the Carpathia.
A pocket watch found on the body of a steward is displayed – it shows the exact time it stopped. Also, there is a fascinating audio visual show for visitors to find out about the British Inquiry, which was held in London soon after the disaster.
New artefact now on display
The exhibit, a life jacket, was likely to have been worn by one the Titanic survivors who were rescued by Carpathia. Upon arrival in New York, life jackets and other items from the ship were supposed to be destroyed. However, many items, like the life jacket, were taken by locals as mementoes of the tragedy.
Many thanks to Ashley Nokes, who is kindly lending the artefact to SeaCity Museum.