The City of Belfast once again is commemorating and celebrating the world’s most famous ocean liner, the RMS Titanic.
The ninth annual Titanic Made in Belfast festival, organised by Belfast City Council, begins today , and continues until Sunday 11 April, with tickets for various events now at the Belfast Welcome Centre.
This year’s festival is centred around a variety of events at the City Hall, while special Titanic themed tours, on both land and water, will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about the Titanic story.
The Titanic story is probably one of the most fascinating, amazing, poignant, thought provoking and absorbing tales from the last century, if not the last millennium,commented the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Naomi Long, who will join John Andrews a descendant of Titanic’s designer, Thomas Andrews, and President of the Belfast Titanic Society to officially open the eight day festival at the City Hall tomorrow morning.
â€œFor too long, Belfastâ€™s part in the Titanic story, and the role of the people of Belfast in bringing Titanic to life, has been neglected. Over the past few years, the city that gave birth to the ship, and many others, finally and rightfully acknowledged her part in the tale, and Belfast City Council once again is proud to celebrate the achievement, commemorate the tragedy and educate the world about our city’s role in the Titanic story, concluded the Lord Mayor.
A wealth of activities have been organised by Belfast City Council throughout the month of April, and specifically during the week of 3 – 11 April, including:
* the return to the City Hall of the acclaimed Titanic Past and Present exhibition, which traces the ship’s story from her inception to her portrayal in the 21st century;
* a display of more than 250 museum-quality artefacts and memorabilia connected to Titanic and the White Star Line, by leading auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son;
* special children’s activities tomorrow, Sunday 4, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 April, including Tea And Tales storytelling sessions, badge making and face painting;
* a series of daily Titanic Talks by leading experts in their fields, looking at many different aspects of the Titanic story, from Edwardian fashion to Lord Pirrie’s Surrey estate, from Titanic’s children to the marketing phenomena which has surrounded the ship for the past century;
* the story of Titanic on Film with a series of special screenings at City Hall throughout the week, including James Cameron’s Titanic and Ghosts Of The Abyss, BBC Newsline’s A Journey To Remember and Robert Ballard’s Secrets Of The Titanic, Roy Ward Baker’s 1958 classic A Night To Remember and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, from 1964;
* All Aboard The Titanic, a play by students from Dominican College, being staged in the City Hall tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 3 April), and the story of the Titanic told in dance by the Ballynafeigh School of Irish Dancing, on Sunday 11 April;
* the Titanic: Designed and Built in Belfast exhibition, which takes visitors on a journey into the past through the photography of RJ Welch, the official photographer of Harland and Wolff, currently on show at W5 and continuing until Sunday 11 April, during normal W5 opening hours;
* daily boat tours from Donegall Quay, bus tours of Queen’s Island and walking tours of the Belfast known by Thomas Andrews, designer of Titanic and her sister ships“ and a chance to try out the award-winning interactive Titanic Trail, using the latest handheld GPS technology;
* tours of the Thompson Dry Dock and Pump House, as are personalised Titanic Tours conducted by Susie Millar, the great-granddaughter of a Titanic crew member.
On Thursday 15 April the 98th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic Belfast City Council and the Belfast Titanic Society will hold the annual ceremony commemorating everyone, and especially the local people, who lost their lives that fateful night.
Full details of all the events being staged to celebrate Titanic Made in Belfast are available in the April edition of Whatabout, available from outlets throughout the city.