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Titanic: Behind the Legend 28 March 2012

Tickets are now on sale for the lecture Titanic: Behind the Legend. William Blair – Chief Curator of the blockbuster exhibition TITANICa at National Museums Northern Ireland has been invited to the Isle of Man by Manx National Heritage to mark the centenary of the tragedy.

On April 20th William will talk at the Manx Museum about the ambitions behind the design and build of Titanic and what drove the White Star Line to create the world’s largest vessel of its time at a staggering cost of c. £1.5m. He will explore life in the gritty Harland and Wolff Belfast shipyard, where Titanic was built, and reveal some of the stories of life on board the ship.

Few dramas have caught and held the public imagination quite like Titanic. However, it is the small details, the personal objects and the experiences of private individuals that give the story its human dimension. From passengers in first class enjoying the glamour of a transatlantic journey to travellers in third class pursuing the American dream, this talk will reveal stories of human endeavour, ambition and courage.

Not surprisingly for a sea-faring nation, the Isle of Man was intrigued by the Titanic story from the outset. The Manx press frequently reported on the design and build of the ship. The Ramsey Courier ran a story on 12th May 1911 telling of the arrival of the sixteen ton anchor at Belfast and in June The Mona’s Herald reported in great detail on the successful launch of the ship.

Inevitably news of the tragedy struck a chord with the Manx who had only recently endured the loss of the Ellan Vannin in December 1909. The population joined together once again to raise money for widows and orphans and held a memorial service at The Palace which drew a crowd of more than 5,000.

To find out more about the captivating story of Titanic and its place in myth and memory, join us at the Manx Museum on Friday 20th April, 7.30pm (doors open 7pm). Tickets are £6 for adults and £5 to FMNH members and children, available now from the Manx Museum Shop or online at

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