This is a briefer post than normal. I wanted to flag up that Ship of Haunts: the other Titanic story is on sale from Friday 7th February (e-book version) for a week, with prices starting at 99p/$1.63. Get your copy soon!
At the same time I thought I’d talk about time and Titanic as the whole issue is a crucial one. We remember Titanic – yes because over 1,500 people died and it was a terrible tragedy – and that’s how it should be, but also because Titanic was a microcosm of life at the time – the wealth and the grandeur, rubbing shoulders with poverty and struggle. When Titanic sank it was as if the whole belief in that world had been challenged, and not by man but by God. No-one believed Titanic would sink.
In reality, it was the First World War that precipitated much of the change that followed but the signs were there earlier, and for those who wanted to see the changes, Titanic was a symbol of what was to come.
In Ship of Haunts, when Carrin walks down the First Class Staircase (there were actually two) she sees the carving Honour and Glory Crowning Time and notices the clock is missing. Instead, the clock has been replaced by a mirror. This is a great shock to Carrin as to her it says that there is no time left and Titanic will sink. Which of course she does.
I included this story because I liked the symbolism, not just that time had vanished, was lost, but also because most people didn’t take notice, they didn’t see the missing clock and they didn’t believe Titanic would sink, even after the ship hit the iceberg. That was one of the many tragedies of Titanic.
The story was based on information from Titanic Voices. According to the book, Charles Wilson who carved the central portion of the Honour and Glory Crowning Time panel on Olympic and Titanic, recalled than when Titanic set sail from Belfast, a mirror was placed in the space instead, presumably until the clock was available. It may be that the clock was in fact fitted before Titanic left Southampton, but I thought it was an interesting angle.
Moving on, this is a picture of a Titanic fob watch, now an exhibition piece, and as can be seen, the watch stopped just minutes after Titanic sank (2.20 am). The owner of the watch has never been identified but given the time it stopped working, it seems highly probable that the person died. We should always remember those who died on Titanic.
Ship of Haunts: the other Titanic story is available on Amazon, and on sale for a week from February 7th (e-book version). Don’t forget to get your copy at the bargain price!
Coming Next: Life at Powick lunatic asylum.
Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.
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- Model of one of Titanic’s two grand staircases showing the carving Honour and Glory Crowning Time, Wikimedia Commons, originally posted by Cliff on Flickr
- Hyslop, D and others Titanic Voices: memories from the fateful voyage, 2nd ed., Sutton Publishing, 1997.
- A retrieved fob watch, belonging to someone on Titanic, Wikimedia Commons, Titanic Watch, posted by Digiblue