Belfast Titanic Society Convention 2011


Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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So after a sojourn over Easter in the wonderful city of Belfast ...the locals hospitality legendary with good reason. Almost as legendary as a big ship that I flew back to commemorate over the weekend. Well we did sort of commemorate in between lots of er other things including singing show tunes and doing dodgy Irish dancing. I present a strictly 'edited' version of events which is by no means complete as I wait for a few more delegates to stagger in here and strenuously deny certain allegations.

Seriously first, a big thank you and appreciation to Una Reilly and co of the Belfast Titanic Society...the weekends events and organisation was stupendous as were all the groups taking part and laying on so much including some cracking food and....drink.

Dinner at the Reform Club which was Thomas Andrews club on the Friday evening, before which the unveiling of the new plaque comemorating Tommy at the Royal Academical Institution. That was the sighting of the first drinks....of many....a first for me the next day was visiting Comber, with a marvellous exhibition put on by the Andrews Primary School kids which was much more intelligent than the O2 I visited last month and didn't cost £15 to get in. They also played Moon River. More of which...

Jaunt over to the Presbyterian Church with the Andrews window for a little service before which the pianist plays Moon River. Obviously sheet music having to be rushed from one to the other. Not that I'm casting any aspersions at all on the sheet music supplies in Comber and anyway it was rather fitting considering the squally conditions that we also had Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.

I channelled my inner Winslet on Eternal father Strong to Save. Then a sojourn (we got on and off this coach a lot in 3 days)to the cricket club where the Andrews brothers played and I was roped into photo taking duties for the Titanic Inc mob. Very restful.

Then back to put on glad rags for the Grand Dinner (5 courses)and Ball at the City Hall, which was truly a Night To Remember.It was just as well it was near the end of the band playing on at 1am while we were high kicking to New York New York that I broke one of my shoes but ever resourceful, nicked some tape off the flowers that was on every table and able to wander back to the hotel like Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's in the wee small hours. It didn't end there. Oh no. We managed to get half an hour of singing in the bar before being told to shove off in so many words, and there was my rendition of I Dreamt I dwelt In Marble halls being the best I've ever done...so now the 6 of us end up in the foyer being taught an Irish dance by.....2 of the number. One of the Titanic Incs who had flown all the way from Texas for this was saying it's insane..I said this is normal.

Oh yes. The band at the ball segued into....Moon River. They really must be short of sheet music in Norn Iron. So an unforgettable night of jiving, rock and rolling, charlestoning, and something approaching a Samba.

The Sunday was Harland and Wolff day and a fantastic lecture by Jack Eaton and Charles Haas on the New York connections....we all gave Jack his birthday card on the Friday night, thanks to the two gents for flying all that way.

Had to don a hard hat and hi viz jacket to go on the Nomadic which was recorded with relish by Brigitte Saar with me complaining I didn't want to look like Mrs T going down a mine....

Still, I got a rivet. And finishing off in Robinsons bar where the Irish band was truly epic, the number of glasses on the table (I have proof) was staggering, and craic scintillating.

Now I wait for the back ups....and denials.....
 

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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The best Titanic convention EVER.

I heartily second the expression of amazed gratitude to Una Reilly, co-founder of the Belfast Titanic Society (and her husband Sam) for the incredible show they put on...

I have been to many conventions. This one was so far ahead of past examples (no disrespect to them) that it was like finishing a marathon that left the others at the starting line.

Of course 'Beal Feirste' has a lot of Titanic stuff to show off...

Example - two authentic Titanic lifeboat nameplates, an on-board letter, a genuine return voyage (April 20 from NY) poster, a gold watch and silver tankard given to Rostron from Mrs Widener, Astor & Thayer, plus much more, all in just the nearest pub to the hotel - without wandering further afield.

Wanna go to a real party? Oh yes, we did.

All together now - hands held over the head, standing up on tippy toes...

Cue Gordon Krause - "YEeeeeOWW!!"
 

Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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EVER....EVER...... I thought it'd be good...I had no idea it'd be THAT good.....

Moon River notwithstanding. (I hate that song. Tune's all right, lyric is nonsense.)

And the peerless display in Robinsons left Gordon Krause and others making their first trip to Belfast speechless with awe..it's incredible that a collection like that is there in the bar for anyone to have a gander at.

At least I managed this time round to look at it without sending an empty glass flying with my elbow as I did in April.

You think a first class girl can't drink? Er, you'd be right.

A big appreciation to the blue coach as well. We all got so familiar with that over 3 days, a home from home. Much seat swopping and charging up and down stairs and tolerance from the ...don't know how many drivers we had. But what a schedule we had crammed in over 3 days, and must mention the truly special play we saw on the Barge at Lanyon Quay on the Sunday night, 'The Man Who left The Titanic' a stunner of a performance.

Just now recovering from it all.
 

Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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And judging from the tiny bits I've seen of Britain's Got Talent, shurely a mishnomer, Jury's Got Talent would win by a country mile...
 

Senan Molony

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Jan 30, 2004
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General view of a corner of the lavish spread attended by 350 Titanoraks-in-not-anoraks-but-evening-dress in Belfast City Hall this day last week.

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"Addergoole Annie" (real name withheld), Holly and Mark Montoya.

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The annoying idiot who forced said Holly up as the first couple on the dancefloor, and wouldn't bloody get off it afterwards.
 

Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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There will be more....when I finally remember how to upload the bloody things. I haven't uploaded anything on here since the South Pole Expedition and we all know how long ago that was.

On the Jury's songfest I considered doing Hey Big Spender but decided against as the accompanying bump and grind may not have been a good idea at that time of the night/morning.

And have just realised that it had all passed in such an er blur that I made the mistake in my original post of saying it was on the Saturday night and not the Sunday after Robinsons....
 

Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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There must be some way to bleeding downsize these photos but I haven't the time to find out now....this is literally a crash course for me...
 

Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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With Gunter after his 45th vain attempt at getting Molony to join the Swiss Titanic Society and me patiently explaining that he can't read German...he can barely read English.
 

Nancy Bratby

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Apr 18, 2005
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Revell model in the porch which I had managed to complete and amazingly Mark Chirnside didn't...

All right,I did have a bit of help with the fiddly bits.
 

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