By Helen Shingler:
We popped into The National Maritime Museum at Falmouth yesterday to see a new exhibition which has just opened and which will run until January 2020. This major exhibition entitled TITANIC STORIES examines the stories of the Titanic’s momentous sinking on 15 April 1912, re-appraising many of the myths, controversies, and assumptions that still linger around one of the most well-known historic events of the 20th century.
Working in collaboration with private collectors from overseas and national museums in the UK, this new exhibition presents rare and never-seen-before objects, as well as re-telling the personal stories of many of the survivors, victims, and descendants of the Titanic disaster, including those from Cornwall. Most of us in Bude who have visited the Castle Museum will be familiar with the story of Archie Jewell who was a member of the Deck Crew on the Titanic and survived the disaster. More can be read about him here.
The exhibition is extensive and includes many unseen before exhibits including the only black and white film footage of the Titanic alongside documentary and personal photographs, letters, newspaper cuttings and even a full-size replica of one of the Titanic’s lifeboats built in the workshop at the Museum. In addition to the factual representations, there were exhibits showing the media side which followed on from the tragedy. These included books and films including ‘A Night to Remember’ and of course ‘Titanic’.
It was incredibly moving and poignant just reading the list of those who were on board the Titanic who came from Cornwall alone. I noticed a young man named Samuel Dennis who was also the same age as Archie Jewell and was born in Launcells. He was in 3rd Class at the bottom of the ship and he is down on the list as ‘lost’ so his body was not recovered.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Museum maybe over the Easter holidays or in the summer as there is a lot to interest the whole family. Adults pay £13.95 Children under 18 £6.50 and Under 5s Free. The ticket lasts for one year as well so you could visit multiple times! Open Daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
On a lighter note, it was good to see the Neville Glidden, a Bude Surf Life Saving Boat c.1963. The boat was bought by Bude SLSC in 1992 after being donated to Falmouth SLSC in 1985. She was rowed to third place in the 1994 World Surf Life Saving Championships held in Newquay.