Titanic exhibition sails into Hawick as anniversary nears

Shona Sinclair, roxburgh museums curator takes a close look at the personal fountain pen which belonged to the Titanic's captain Edward John Smith. The White Star Shipping Company presented it to him for 25 years service. The pen is included in the Hawick Museum's current White Star Shipping Company exhibition which has a Titanic section.
Shona Sinclair, roxburgh museums curator takes a close look at the personal fountain pen which belonged to the Titanic's captain Edward John Smith. The White Star Shipping Company presented it to him for 25 years service. The pen is included in the Hawick Museum's current White Star Shipping Company exhibition which has a Titanic section.

AN exhibition including props and costumes from the multi-Oscar winning film Titanic has docked in Hawick, writes Kenny Paterson.

Titanic Honour and Glory is at the Teviotdale town’s museum until May 22 in the run-up to next year’s centenary of the tragedy, in which more than 1,500 people died after the steamship hit an iceberg.

The exhibition has been voted by the Times newspaper as one of the top five in the UK and has been seen by more than half a million people during his tour of the country.

Co-curator Sean Szmalc’s fascination with the disaster began at the age of five, when he saw the 1958 film A Night to Remember, based on the sinking of the boat.

He and Margot Corson have been amassing their wide-ranging collection ever since. Sean said: “This diverse exhibition appeals to so many people from all age groups.

“We aim to increase the knowledge of Titanic’s history, that of her sister ships and the White Star Line – which owned and operated many of the finest liners that had ever sailed the oceans of the world.”

The co-curator said visitors will “get a feeling of what it was like to have been on Titanic”.

He added: “The exhibition will takes visitors on a ‘voyage of discovery’ where they, too, will discover, experience and encounter history through personal stories.

“They will also be able to see what it would have been like to have travelled on board the Titanic through a faithfully recreated two-berth third class cabin from Titanic’s F deck, which would have been one of the first areas to have flooded after the collision with the iceberg on Sunday, April 14, 1912.”

Other features of the exhibition include rare and previously unseen artefacts from the liner’s passengers and crew.

These include some of the china dinner plates that served the first meals aboard the Titanic.

Also on show will be a fountain pen, which belonged to the captain of the Titanic and, perhaps most poignantly of all, an 18-carat gold pocket watch that belonged to one of the waiters, Vincenzo Gilardino.

Together with the Titanic artefacts, the tour also incorporates examples of the luxurious interiors of its sister ships, Olympic and Britannic.

An SBC spokesperson added: “The exhibition has never been seen before in the Borders and is set to draw crowds from as far away as central Scotland and northern England.

“Events to accompany this major exhibition, including illustrated talks and holiday activities, will take place.”

SBC’s executive member for culture, sport and community learning, councillor Graham Garvie said: “We are absolutely delighted to host this exhibition.

“It is definitely one of the highlights of the museum calendar and I would encourage local residents and visitors to the area to go along to the museum and admire this fascinating and unique collection.”