BTS 2005

Mark Chirnside

Mark Chirnside


It should be a great weekend, indeed. I am looking forward to it.

Best wishes,


Charles B. Weeks Jr.

I'm planning a trip to U.K. in mid May. Unfortunately that is the earliest I can get free from work, because I'd love to attend the BTS COnvention. I plan on doing a lot of preliminary Titanic research, in preparation for a sabbatical in a couple of years. I hope to be able to meet some of the members while over there.
Charlie Weeks

James Alexander Carlisle

To say the least I am very disappointed with BTS. I sent off my membership application and membership fees in June last year and still nothing!!

Has the BTS fallen apart?
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

I've been in communication with a BTS official recently about other matters, and everything seemed fine to me - I had the usual prompt, courteous response. As with all Titanic societies that are run by unpaid volunteers, there can be the odd hiccup (although the BTS is far less prone to this than some thanks to the dedication of her officers). If I'm in touch with them again I'll mention your difficulties, James.
Mark Chirnside

Mark Chirnside

Well, the convention creeps ever closer. I'm very much looking forward to my 'first time,' as I could not make either 2003 or 2004. I must confess to a slight nervousness too, although I'll know a few faces and have some friends going, it'll by far be the adventure of meeting lots of new faces. Perhaps a few stimulants will be in order.

I'll have to get the deposit sorted, as although Geoff kindly confirmed my booking the Hilton never contacted me for it in January. A few minor hiccups with transport plans prompted me to consider 'tagging on' Sunday night as well, but I know it's a late stage for an additional booking and I guess everyone will have gone by then.

Best wishes,


James Alexander Carlisle


i have spoken to the BTS David and he said there will get it sorted out. They were over in Belfast to see the Titanic Made in Belfast Events, which lasts 8 days! I too am one of the unpaid volunteers in the BTTS (Belfast Titanic Society).

Our events were excellent, seen the newsreel film, the blueprints and the Thompson Dock Tender book and the plans for the 150 ton crane.

The Haismans were both over and a nicer brother and sister is harder to meet.

Best of all, I was at the premier of the Drama/documentary of Titanic, Birth of a Legend film. At last a good film about Titanic in Belfast, well done to Granada tv.
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

That's good to hear, James. They're such a great group of people, and I know they very hard to do the right thing by their membership. Good to hear you also had a chance to catch up with David H and his sister as well.

Iain Stuart Yardley

Anyone going to BTS this weekend will have to take a trip into Southampton to have a peek at P&O's new superliner Arcadia docked at Mayflower Quay. The 83,000-ton, £200m ship, the biggest-ever bulit exclusively for the British market, arrived there yesterday and is due to depart next Thursday, 14th April, on it's maiden voyage, a 16 day cruise around the Med. The naming ceremony is on 12th April.

Someone in the office tells me it weighs the equivalent of 3,600 elephants and is one-and-a-half times longer than Tower Bridge. Unfortunately, I don't how that equates in football pitches laid end-to-end.



Senan Molony

A couple of people have asked about this year's BTS Convention.
I found it as good as ever, although many well-known faces were missing,
principally Americans hard-hit by the knock-on effects of the Iraq war.

This at least gave an opportunity to broaden one's circle, and it was
especially good to get to know better such Americans as did travel, viz
Ken Shultz, Craig Sopin, Joan Lambert, Lee Gilliland, and others.

It was especially good to hang with the inimitable Claes-Goran Wetterholm,
Andreas Niederberger, Mandy Boutillier, Gunter Babler, Brigitte Saar, Juha Petronen
(Helsinki), Martin and Sonia, etc. - the whole Swiss/German/Swedish/Jersey

Brigitte wins the "Least Sleep" Statuette for two spectacular stop-outs on
both Friday and Saturday night... I know this only by hearsay, of course.

Mark Ling was back, which was excellent. Also there David Lawrence,
Peter Davies Garner, Steve Booth, Peter Boyd-Smith, David Haisman,
the prolific Mark Chirnside, Campbell & Janette McCutcheon, Stuart Williamson,
Martin & Betty Reilly, David Hutchings and all that delirium of the brave.

Sid Sedunary, son of the namesake crewman, remains in fine fettle, although
he will be 93 later this year.

Not forgetting Ian 'Boz' Yardley, doting dad Paul Rogers, Andrew Williams,
John Siggins, John Creamer, Nikki Wray, Marshall & Vron Morris, Robert
'Bob' Douglas, Ethel Kyriaco, Michael and Sarah, Tom and Mary Barratt,
Nancy Bratby, Mike Callard of "12," the 100th Anniversay cruise, and Caroline...

The BTS officers and High Command were naturally in attendance,
including Tim Silcocks, Geoff & Alma Whitfield (the latter the real power
behind the throne!), David Hill, Geoff Robinson, and Steve Rigby.

Millvina is still going strong, and looks better than ever in fact. Bruno
Nordmanis is obviously taking good care of her.

There are a number of good stories that can never be told "en clair," such as the one
about the "million pound sandwich"... or the broken public address that
prevented a certain person being paged... the annual public reprimand
about the singing... the threatened blackballing of two members from future Conventions... the pianist who wouldn't... another reprimand over graffiti on the find-your-table listings... Ivan and Vadim and the
Bulgarian national anthem... poison pen letters and the officer's wife...
the griping in The Grapes... the "revised" missing list put up at Canute
Chambers... the calls for a 'Steerage Catalogue'...

As with every year, there was a mystery man pressing against the lights
during the auction... but this didn't happen as much this year as there were fewer
people standing. Prices retreated by around 25-30pc.

As usual the top-end stuff was largely immune from sluggish demand,
although no records were set.

A certain D O'L refers to the British 'Tightarse' Society, but money seemed so
short this year (or was it the quality of the first 150 lots?) that Alan 'The Entertainer'
Aldridge, having asked for 600, 500, 400, "300 start me", 200 "get me away",
was at one point reduced to snapping: "This isn't a Cape Canaveral countdown,
you know."

We all got our little bits and pieces. Alan Aldridge predicted from the rostrum
that the life-vest from the ss "United States" I ended up with would never make
it across the Irish Sea ...

Turns out he was right, insofar as the rucksack containing it was sent to Belfast,
whereas I went to Dublin. Then the rucksack turned up in Southampton after
it was sent back, but this time minus the life-vest.

Last I heard they were sending back the rucksack and talking of searching
the hold for the life-vest. Well, it's fluorescent orange and meant to be visible, isn't it?
It has a whistle - just no Kate Winslet to blow it feebly in the hope of
attracting attention...

75pc of me hopes they lose it so I can claim it back (still have the bill of sale)
as I'm not sure why I bought it in the first place.

I should particularly mention the lecture on the sinkings of the Wilhelm Gustloff, General Von Steuben and the Goya (all torpedoed in early 1945 while carrying refugees from East Prussia), delivered by Claes-Goran Wetterholm. Best such talk I have ever had the pleasure of attending.

Smart money says the next BTS Convention will be in Belfast - you heard it here first - although
there will be nothing official for a while.

Suits me. Tired of Southampton now, and the Hilton especially.
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Sounds like a good time was had by all Sen, judging from the emails that have been circulating (and from the references they contain to you, you were in 'sparkling wit' mode). I was sorry to duck out late, but I just couldn't juggle work committments. Pity that some of the usual gang - Phil G, Brian M, Jemma, Ben and Christine couldn't make it, but I know some of them are already talking about next year. There was still a great crew judging from your list, and I hope all attendees had a great time.

I hope to be there next year, wherever it takes place