More loss of life than Titanic


M

Mary S. Lynn

Guest
My lazy self has once again by-passed reading every topic, thread, and discussion and found this particular link while delving into information about the Maritime Museum in Greenwich. After reading it, I have my own ideas why the Titanic disaster still continues to fascinate us, and why other - more lethal - tragedies don't. Ideas of this nature do not necessarily indicate politics or prejudices - they are simply ideas.

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/site/request/setTemplate:singlecontent/contentTypeA/conFaq/contentId/41

Aside: What's REALLY sad is that I've taken that leisurely boat ride from London to Greenwich a number of times, and only went to the Observatory! It's a fact that the tour guide suggested that we set our watches according to Greenwich Mean Time, and snap photos for posterity. I fell for it every time, dolt that I am!
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
55
308
You missed Nelson's bloody breeches, Mary!

They're there in all their gory glory. The Nelson Gallery is one of my favourites in the permanent exhibitions. Last time I had a scoot around, though, I couldn't find the usual stuff on Franklin and some of the other Arctic and Antarctic explorers. Didn't have time to see if they'd been moved, or were perhaps on loan. I love the NMM. I do make the trek up to the Observatory from time to time when I'm out there, but the Maritime Museum is the usual draw...particularly the James Caird Library. The gallery focusing on the golden age of passenger liners is also a draw - lots of bits and bobs to appeal to maritime enthusiasts, more than a few relating to WSL or Cunard vessels.

Have you noticed that the commentary on the boat ride to Greenwich never varies? Save for one trip where we had a young chap, new at his job, who obviously hadn't got the patter down smoothly enough - the results were hilarious, and much more entertaining than the original commentary.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,045
85
308
UK
Yes, plenty to see and experience here if you're into maritime history. I am reminded of the writings of the late great Spike Milligan, which included a description of a tour of the mighty HMS Victory and went something like: On the deck was a raised brass plate inscribed with the words 'Nelson fell here'. I'm not surpised. I fell over the bloody thing myself.'

My mother has recollection of a school visit to the Victory many years ago. At the time there was renovation work going on, and as each child left the ship s(he) was presented with a souvenir fragment of the original timber. Sadly, when mum bore her prize home and proudly showed it to her own ma, this little piece of history was immediateley siezed and hurled onto the fire. The difference between relic and rubbish was a fine distinction, and one lost on my old gran.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
55
308
No worries, Bob - you can buy fragments of the Victory down in Portsmouth, each in their own little case. Was I able to resist? No more than I could resist the garishly painted Nelson fridge magnets!

My brother refers to it as my 'relic of the One True Cross'.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
55
308
It's my Dad I'd worry about - although the chunk measures only a couple of inches across, he'd think it just the right size to play 'stick' with the dog.
 
M

Mary S. Lynn

Guest
Sigh. I'm wearing the same hairshirt that Becket wore, but in the confines of my home, rather than Canterbury. mea culpa. Shame on me for missing Nelson's bloody (literal, rather than figurative) breeches! Next trip to London - definitely on the agenda! Tonight I'll just "skim" through Michener's "Caribbean" to relive his Antiguan exploits!
 
Jul 7, 2002
183
1
171
My husband and I hope to make it to London this winter. NMM and HMS Victory are on our list of things we don't want to miss.

Any other Titanic/nautical suggestions?

Best wishes,

Cathy
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,045
85
308
UK
Too many to list, Cathy, but if you're going to Portsmouth for the Victory there's also the Mary Rose (Tudor warship) and the superb Warrior (1860 ironclad, fully restored). If you get as far as Bristol don't miss the Great Britain - first of the 'modern' screw-driven liners and now on display in the same dry dock in which she was built in 1843.

Here's a taster for the Warrior:
http://www.stvincent.ac.uk/Heritage/Warrior/index2.html
 
Jul 7, 2002
183
1
171
Thanks, Bob and Mary! We had planned on the Mary Rose and Cutty Sark, but I hadn't heard of the Warrior. How cool.

I have a feeling it will be a busy week... We also want to see Westminster, St. Paul's, the Tower, the British Library, and the British Museum. I wish we could spend a month!

Best wishes,

Cathy
 
M

Mary S. Lynn

Guest
I could spend a month just in the British Museum, Cathy! I haunted it almost every day for a couple of weeks, and still didn't see all I wanted. At the time, I had a fascination with John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford, and found letters and seals from him - I just ogle over that stuff! How lucky you are to be going!
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
2,079
21
223
South Florida
Someday my ship will come!

Someday I'll get to see England and tour all the castles and historical sites I love to read and write about.

Kyrila
Someday my prince will come, too - but that's another fairy tale!
 
Jul 7, 2002
183
1
171
Mary,

How cool that you could be there for a couple of weeks and see John of Gaunt's letters! Too bad the British Museum doesn't rent out rooms.
happy.gif


My husband and I love Medieval history and one of my other interests is Egyptology, so seeing all these things we've been reading about for years will be a dream come true.
happy.gif


I was hoping we could include a trip to northern England (Alnwick) and from there go to Edinburgh and Belfast, but that will have to wait 'til next time.

Cathy
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
55
308
British Museum doesn't rent out rooms, but as it's just around the corner from my workplace I spent many of my lunches there. The medieval collection is mesmerising, isn't it, Mary? Decorative arts materials to ancient monuments...no wonder 19th century artists like Rossetti drew so much inspiration there. The Egyptological aspect goes without saying - sometimes when popping in I don't go into the galleries at all, and spend my time perusing the bookshops. It all looks superb now that they've domed over and renovated the Great Court.

I second nominations for the Warrior - it's one of my favourite ships of any era, and the freedom to prowl all over her makes her a must-see. I think she's smitten everyone who ever got off the train at Portsmouth Dock station and saw her. Fortunately all the historic ships are in the Portsmouth dockyards, so you can get an all-inclusive ticket when you get down there.

Greenwich and the NMM are another lovely trip...if you wanted to extend your stay in Portsmouth, Southampton's just a hop-skip-jump away.

I probably won't be here (depending on when in winter you're visiting), but there's a group of Titanic researchers in London who are always up for dinner at the Texas Embassy - former WSL head office.

I spent a good deal of last weekend walking along Conwy's city walls in the shadow of her castle, Kyrila, so am infused with the whole Castle idea at the moment.
 
T

Tom Pappas

Guest
Greenwich is chock full of sights of maritime interest besides Cutty Sark. The National Maritime Museum houses the James Caird, the boat that Shackelton used for his incredible voyage across the Southern Ocean. The Royal Observatory shows John Harrison's marvelous clocks. The Thames Barrier is worth a look, but it's a lot easier to get to by river than bus.

If you don't have time for a leisurely boat ride to Greenwich, you can get there from The City in 20 minutes or so on the Docklands Light Railway. Don't miss the pedestrian tunnel under the river. Greenwich can easily consume a day.
 
Jul 7, 2002
183
1
171
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the suggestions and the links! Greenwich does sound like a full day.
happy.gif


How claustrophobia-inducing is the pedestrian tunnel?

Cathy
 
M

Mary S. Lynn

Guest
I lived and breathed the medieval areas, Inger, and have a load of very heavy books from the store (hand-toted all over Europe, and causing my right arm to grow an additional 4 inches)! The Magna Carta was fascinating, but the Rosetta Stone took my breath away. I didn't realize how large it was, and stared at it for hours. Cathy, if you can, try to spend at least a day there - you'll love it!

Kyrila - I've just added you to the "prince" list that my friends and I have. Mind you, now, the type of "prince" we are searching for would be identical 99-year old multi-millionaire septuplets (there are 7 of us) with no living family and bad hearts.
 
T

Tom Pappas

Guest
Hello, Cathy -

I don't imagine it would bother any but the seriously phobic. It's 11 feet in diameter, well lighted, and only takes 5-6 minutes at an unhurried pace.

A propos of nothing, my favorite desktop wallpaper is The Tube Map.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads