DOWNSTAIRS CROWD (as we remember it)
Rear - bellman Edward, Ruby, kitchenmaid, Daisy, parlormaid and Edward' s ambitions wife...and the good looking chauffer who fancied himself a movie star.  Front - Cook, Mrs. Bridges, Butler, Mr. Hudson, and Mrs. Bellamy's maid, Rose.  Remember the Women's Suffrage episode?  Lady Marjorie departing on the Titanic?
  And how about this for a PBS soap...Georgina Worsely (Upstairs Downstairs) marrying a character who became...Lord Sebastian Flyte (Brideshead Revisited)...


Fictional Lady Marjorie Bellamy of 165 Eaton Place went down on the Titanic...and the purported violin used to serenade the doomed passengers on the White Star liner.

Titanic violin fetches £900,000 record price
I-BBC
19 October 2013 Last updated at 11:25 ET

The violin that was apparently played to calm passengers on the Titanic as the giant liner sank has sold for £900,000 at auction in Wiltshire.

It was played by band leader Wallace Hartley, who died along with 1,517 others as the ship went down. It had a guide price of £300,000.

Other items up for sale included his sheet music and the bag he kept it in.

Auctioneer Alan Aldridge said the violin was the "rarest and most iconic" piece of Titanic memorabilia.

Hartley has become part of the ship's legend after leading his fellow musicians in playing as the vessel sank, most famously the hymn Nearer My God To Thee.  It had taken seven years for the Devizes auction house, Henry Aldridge & Son, to authenticate the instrument using several experts.  These included forensic science experts who said the wood still contained salt deposits from the sea water.

Some people still doubt whether the violin is the genuine article and believe it could not have survived being submerged in the sea.  But it is claimed the violin survived in a leather case strapped to Mr Harley's body who was found wearing his cork and linen lifejacket.

A diary entry by his fiancee, Maria Robinson, said it was saved from the water and returned to her.  Following her death in 1939, the violin was given to her local Salvation Army citadel and was later passed on to the current anonymous owner's mother in the early 1940s.

The auction house said it had attracted interest from collectors all over the world and added that more than 315,000 people viewed it during a three-month exhibition in the United States.

The most money previously paid for a piece of Titanic memorabilia is thought to have been a plan of the ship - used in the 1912 inquiry into the sinking - which was bought by a private collector at auction for £220,000 in 2011.

Titanic violin real, hospital CT scan suggests
I-BBC 23 May 2013

A violin thought to be the one played by the band leader of the Titanic as it sank has been declared genuine following a CT scan at a hospital.

Andrew Aldridge from auction house Henry Aldridge and Son said the scan proved the instrument was real "beyond reasonable doubt".

Radiographers at BMI Ridgeway Hospital in Wiltshire took a 3D image of the violin to examine it from the inside.

It has been at the centre of an authenticity debate for seven years.

Wallace Hartley, who came from Colne in Lancashire, and his orchestra, famously played on as the ship sank in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton in 1912, and were among the 1,517 who died.

"The scan revealed that the original wood was cracked and showed signs of possible restoration," said the hospital's imaging manager Astrid Little.

Salt water

"The fine detail of the scan meant the auctioneers could examine the construction, interior and the glue holding the instrument together. The scan also assisted in validating the instrument's authenticity.

"We are very proud to have played our part in the violin's authentication. It was a great honour to have such a rare collector's item in the department."

In 2006, Henry Aldridge and Son - specialists in Titanic artefacts - was approached by the violin's owner who wanted to sell it, but it needed authenticating.

Over the last seven years, various experts have tried to authenticate the violin, including newspaper archivists, jewellery experts and the forensic science service who found the bodywork still had deposits of salt water.

The auctioneers declared the violin to be genuine in March, but said a CT scan was needed.

"The violin was in a heavy duty leather Gladstone type bag, so the violin would have come into contact with water, but it would have been protected by the leather," said Mr Aldridge.

"The instrument is also held together with animal glue, which melts when it is hot, not when it is cold.
Display in US

"The silver fish plate on the violin along with some other items that was with it points to it being authentic - or an extremely elaborate hoax - so we needed to carry out thorough research and commission the correct experts.

"We've spent the last seven years gathering evidence and we're confident that 'beyond reasonable doubt' this is Wallace Hartley's violin."

Mr Hartley's body was recovered from the water about 10 days after the ship sank, but the violin was not listed among the inventory of items found with him.  It is claimed the violin survived in a leather case, strapped to Mr Hartley's body, which floated upright in his cork and linen lifejacket.

A diary entry by his fiancee, Maria Robinson, said it was saved from the water in 1912 and returned to her.  Following Ms Robinson's death in 1939, the violin was given to her local Salvation Army citadel and was later passed onto the current owner's mother in the early 1940s.

The violin - complete with its certificate of authenticity - is due to go on display in the US this month, and will eventually go to auction.

In April, maritime historian Daniel Allen Butler said the violin could not possibly have been recovered from the doomed ship's wreckage.  The genuine article would have fallen apart after exposure to the waters of the North Atlantic, he said, and the wood would soon have lost its shine and shape.

The pride before the Titanic’s fall
NYPOST
By ALLEN C. GUELZO
Last Updated: 12:57 AM, April 12, 2012
Posted: 11:33 PM, April 11, 2012

Presumption is the kinder, gentler cousin of arrogance. It’s also, for that reason, harder to spot in advance, and on this weekend’s centennial of the sinking of the fabled White Star Line’s Titanic, we should remember the difference.

Although the Titanic was dubbed “unsinkable” by the Irish shipyard that built her, it wasn’t arrogance but a remarkable record of competence that stood behind the claim.

Titanic was the steady culmination of 40 years of passenger-ship experience on the North Atlantic, beginning with White Star’s first passenger liner, Oceanic, in 1871. Oceanic was 420 feet long and weighed, at full load, 3,700 tons. Twenty-five years later, White Star liners reached 749 feet and 24,000 tons.

The Titanic, which began construction in 1909, was only the next step in the growth of these fabulous vessels: 882 1/2 feet long, 46,328 tons, 29 boilers, a small hospital suite, two barber shops, a French café and four graceful 70-foot-tall funnels, which gave the Titanic her trademark profile. Titanic was big and opulent, but not edgy.

If anything, it was built beyond the safety requirements of the day. The ship floated on a 5-foot-tall double bottom, providing insurance against uncharted rocks and reefs. More than 2,000 mild-steel plates, some as long as 36 feet and all an inch thick, were riveted to 300 steel ribs; inside the hull, multi-deck steel bulkheads formed 16 large watertight compartments.

Were the Titanic rammed by another ship, the inflow of water would’ve been contained by two or three compartments; were a freak storm to threaten, the Titanic’s sheer size would’ve waited it out. There was space to carry up to 64 lifeboats, but why would the Titanic ever need them? Twenty would do nicely. At best, they’d ferry the passengers of some smaller ship in distress to the safety of the Titanic.

It wasn’t anything so bold as arrogance that sent the Titanic into a fatal brush with an iceberg four days out on her maiden voyage. It was presumption, fed by the complacence of the professionals who built her and managed her, and who couldn’t imagine how anything as efficient and practical as competence could be so wrong.

Twenty minutes before midnight on April 14, 1912, the lookouts in the Titanic’s crow’s-nest glimpsed a medium-sized iceberg in the ship’s path and rang down a frantic warning to the bridge. Titanic’s First Officer, William Murdoch, wrenched the ship out of the path of the iceberg, only to shave it along the length of her starboard bow.

The bumping and grinding along the Titanic’s side was so gentle that it barely awakened the ship’s sleeping passengers. Gentle, but freakish. The shaving opened seams and popped rivets along 300 feet of Titanic’s hull, allowing torrents of seawater into six of her watertight compartments. Six — not two or three. With six of the compartments flooding rapidly, the ship was doomed, along with 1,503 of the people on board for whom the 20 lifeboats had no room.

The Titanic sank in 2 1/2 hours, after barely launching the last of her lifeboats. (One lifeboat floated off as the ship went down.) Ironically, it wouldn’t have mattered if Titanic had been carrying the 64 lifeboats she was designed for. There wouldn’t have been time to launch them, anyway.

The builders, the owners, the captain and the officers of the Titanic never shook their fists and dared the gods to sink them. That would’ve been arrogance of the sort that stalks through every Greek tragedy. But they did presume that competence and procedural mastery would guarantee unsinkability.

The bureaucracies that now govern large swaths of our lives, and that aspire to govern still more, are likewise the domain, not of the arrogant, but of the presumptuous. They have no inkling that the problems they’re committed to solving — the economy, health care, the environment — are so complex as to be beyond bureaucratic solutions, and that the bureaucracies will make breakdowns more, and not less, likely, by steering toward problems whose depth they haven’t yet fathomed.

Remember the Titanic.


Limited edition print of the Titanic off Cowes, Isle of Wight, auctioned by Millvina Dean on 18 April

By Peter Jackson
BBC News, 15 April 2009

The last Titanic survivor, rescued aged nine weeks
Millvina Dean was a babe in arms when her family boarded the Titanic. She remembers nothing of the journey, of her rescue, or of her father, who perished when it sank. But it's an event that has shaped the 97-year-old's life.

Millvina Dean and her mother
Millvina Dean in her mother's arms a few weeks after the disaster

At the age of just nine weeks, Millvina Dean was lowered to safety from the deck of the sinking Titanic. Now, she is selling the last of her memorabilia to help pay her nursing home fees.

Almost 100 years after it dipped below the waves of the Atlantic, the supposedly unsinkable ocean liner still exerts a powerful hold on our collective imagination. It was heralded as an engineering triumph, yet succumbed to the forces of nature on its maiden voyage. Among the 1,517 who perished were the rich, the poor, and those in between.

The fascination is such that recently an enthusiast wrote to her, offering £100 for a lock of hair. Even she - a veteran of the Titanic convention circuit since 1985 - is somewhat bemused.

"The girls chopped a bit of hair off and put some red ribbon around it and said: 'that's the last you'll hear from him'," she says, a smile spreading across her face.

Millvina Dean
I believe in fate - we weren't supposed to go on the Titanic at all, we were supposed to go on an American ship
Millvina Dean

"But he sent the cheque. I wrote back to say he'd restored my faith in people's honesty."

This anecdote has a more serious side. The spinster is struggling with monthly bills of about £3,000 and is in danger of losing her room at her Southampton nursing home.

And so on 18 April, the last of her Titanic memorabilia goes under the hammer, including a canvas mailbag used to carry family belongings back from New York after she, her mother and two-year-old brother were rescued.

"I have a philosophy, if you have to do something you have to. Don't look back and be broken hearted about it," she says.

The same auctioneer is also selling a flask another man used to give hot milk to his wife and two daughters. That devoted father shinned down the rope of a rescue boat before returning to the deck - and his inevitable fate.

Collective consciousness

Millvina more than anyone knows how deep fascination with the Titanic still runs.

Millvina's bag sold at Titanic auction
Lot 135: The US mailbag used to carry the family belongings

Her voyage in 1912 profoundly shaped her life, yet she has no memory of it, or her father, lost in the freezing waters of the Atlantic on that fateful day. She is both part of the story, and detached from it.

What is it like to have lived her entire life in the shadows of arguably the most famous sea disaster?

"I'm the type of person who treats everything as it comes," she says. "Perhaps I'm out of the ordinary but I never ask anything about it - to me it's just something that happened in the past.

"It altered my life entirely, of course. If it hadn't been for the ship going down, I'd be an American leading an ordinary American life."

And the flipside of experiencing such a tragedy is that it opened up adventures she would never otherwise have had - travelling the world to talk to Titanic enthusiasts.

"The Titanic has created great opportunity in my life. I've stayed in the best hotels and met so many awfully nice people. I wouldn't have had a lot of experiences I've enjoyed, like going to America, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, France."

Millvina was eight when her mother Georgetta revealed her father Bertram, aged 27, had died in the tragedy and they had survived.

TITANIC IN NUMBERS
882ft by 92ft, 46,328 tonnes - largest vessel afloat at time
2,223 passengers and crew left Southampton on 10 April 1912
Struck iceberg, sank in two hrs 40 mins at 0220 GMT on 15 April
1,517 killed, 706 survived
Total lifeboat capacity: 1,178 but ship could carry up to 3,547
Survival rates by ticket class - first: 60%, second: 44%, third: 25%, crew: 24%

She had been too distraught to speak of it until then.

"I felt unemotional when I was told, because I didn't know my father," says Millvina.

While the Titanic was seldom discussed, Georgetta spoke enough about it over the years for Millvina to built up a picture of what happened.

The family boarded the ship in Southampton to start a new life in Kansas, where Bertram planned to open a tobacconist's.

"I believe in fate because we weren't supposed to go on the Titanic at all - we were supposed to go on an American ship," Millvina says.

"There was a coal strike and all the coal had to go on the Titanic, so our ship couldn't sail. Someone wrote to my father and asked if he'd like to go on the Titanic, and of course he thought it was wonderful."


On that fateful night, her father heard a crash and went up on deck to investigate.

"He came back and said the ship had apparently struck an iceberg and told my mother to get the children out of bed and up on deck immediately.

"I envisage that's what saved us. We were third class and quite a lot of the third class children were not saved."

While happy to recall events from afar, Millvina refuses to watch James Cameron's dramatised film of the disaster for fear it will be too upsetting.

"Although I didn't know my father, at the end I'd feel quite emotional. I'd wonder what happened to him - would he jump overboard? I'd be letting my imagination run right away with me, thinking what he would do."

She believes this tragedy will continue to fascinate. Not only did fate throw a cruel twist at the luxurious and acclaimed liner loaded with millionaires and ordinary people alike, there is no age bar among enthusiasts.

A mischievous smile plays around her lips as she recalls the many school groups she has spoken to about the Titanic.

"I'm usually sitting in the middle surrounded by small children. I dislike intensely small boys because they always know more than I do."



Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 13:59 UK
Millvina Dean
Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the Titanic sank

Service for last Titanic survivor
The ashes of a woman who became the last survivor of the Titanic have been scattered following a memorial service.

Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the liner sank after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton on 15 April 1912. Miss Dean died in a care home in Hampshire on 31 May at the age of 97.

Miss Dean's ashes were scattered from a small launch on the water of berth 43/44 at Southampton Docks, the terminal from which the ship set sail. Miss Dean's partner Bruno Nordmanis scattered the ashes accompanied by a small group of friends and relatives and the port's chaplain, the Reverend Andrew Huckett.

It followed a service at St Mary's Church in Copythorne, Hampshire, on Saturday morning.

Youngest passenger

The disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people, largely due to the lack of lifeboats on board.

Miss Dean had been travelling with her family in third class from Southampton to America where they hoped to start a new life and open a tobacconist's shop in Kansas City.

Miss Dean's mother, Georgetta, and two-year-old brother, Bert, also survived but her father, Bertram, was among those who perished when the vessel sank. Elizabeth Gladys Dean, better known as Millvina, was the Titanic's youngest passenger when her family boarded the liner. Another baby on board, Barbara Joyce West, was nearly 11 months old when the vessel sank. She also survived.

Barbara Joyce Dainton, as she became when she married, died in October 2007, leaving Miss Dean the last Titanic survivor.


OTHER ILL-FATED VESSELS WE RECALL
Hartford Courant compiled extensive list of major sinkings - many of the ferry type - here
The Andrea Dorea/Stockholm 1955 summer-time crash was replayed by children in lakes, bath tubs, etc, IIRC .

And lately (2013) Mediterranian Sea a cemetery for small vessels from Africa.