Saturday, 7 April 2012

Titanic Remembered

There are a fair few events happening in Southampton over the weekend and the coming week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. This afternoon it was the turn of Oxford Street, which contains a few buildings with connections to the Titanic. Leaflets were available showing the Street how it looked at the turn of the last century with information about which businesses were in the buildings still standing today.

The first business we walked past today was giving away free candyfloss which went down very well with S!

As S and I approached I remembered that J, the partner of my friend P, worked here and we arrived just as she was getting changed into her evening dress. Very lovely she looked too.`

Live music was provided  by these two DJ's. They had their records and player and speakers set up like a stage set with vintage bikes and suitcases piled around

plus this beautiful curvy old car. They were very friendly too chatting with people who wandered over for a closer look.

The London Hotel is on the corner of Oxford Street and was built in 1907

but it's The Grapes which has a place in the history of the Titanic. Apparently six crew men were drinking in the pub leaving getting on board ship to the very last minute. Just before midday they dashed across to Dock Gate 4. There was a railway line to cross and three men managed to cross it just in front of a train and made it on board. The remaining men, three brothers, let the train pass and by the time they arrived the gangplank had been pulled up. Not doubt very disappointed to miss their job opportunity but then very relieved when the news broke a few days later that the Titanic had sunk.

As we were stood chatting consulting the leaflet and looking around us a chap came over and explained that the restaurant we were stood outside wasn't included on the leaflet but in his days in the Merchant Navy, back in the 1960's, it was an outfitters. He said that you only got paid at the end of each trip and so to get some money before you went you would request an 'advance note' for £30 or so. This would then be taken to the outfitters where it would be used to buy something of small monetary value such as shoelaces and then  with the change you had more than enough for a good night out before sailing! I know this isn't a good photo but I had never before noticed this print running around the bottom of the shop. Unfortunately an air vent has been fixed over what would have said 'Liverpool-Royal Albert Docks.'

This face is next to one of doors of this shop.

There were various people wandering around in period costume but I only managed to snap these two young ladies who I thought looked very elegant. G thinks they looked a bit spooky.

In one of the restaurants someone was giving a talk on fashion's of the day which I would have loved to have  listened to but unfortunately we were too late to hear it.

Lots of the businesses had joined in with this day but a fair few hadn't which I think was such a shame given that this part of town has so many close associations with the Titanic and the history of many major shipping lines.


  1. Sounds like an interesting day out!

    Victoria x

  2. What a brilliant day & sorry I couldn't join you. Southampton is steeped in history which is hard to recognise as you drive in with the huge hotels & shopping centres. Your posts always highlight the interesting side to it.

  3. I bet that was a great day out, so interesting, such a lot to see and so many tales to hear about.

  4. Very interesting and those ladies do look elegant. I love those green tiles on the hotel.

  5. I remember going to the Merchant Navy Outfitters in Southampton back in the late 80s to get kitted out with my uniform for my job at sea with P&O. Don't remember the name of it, though.

  6. What an interesting post Lisa - I would have loved this. Love the elegant ladies, but G is right - it does feel a bit spooky. xxx

  7. thanks for sharing a brilliant day! the ladies look lovely....interesting story about the crewmen!

  8. Looks like a nice thing to do on a Bank Holiday. Happy Easter to you. x

  9. It sounds such an interesting event to take part to...I'm so ashamed to confess you that I've never watched the film or read the book..
    Have a lovely week

  10. I loved this post post Lisa! Thanks for sharing your day out.
    A belated Happy Easter to all of you.

    Lou xxx

  11. A great day with lots of interesting things to see.I was reading yesterday that the most expensive ticket on the Titanic was £870...or £44,000 in today's money! :0)

  12. Wow, so much going on! Those two young ladies looked fab in their costumes!