Experience the luxury of sailing aboard the Titanic before that fateful evening when disaster struck at “Titanic The Exhibition”. Featuring over 375 artefacts removed from Titanic before she sailed to New York, as well as pieces that survived the disaster in the coat pockets of those rescued and others donated by descendants of passengers. Many artefacts taken from sister ship Olympic serve as exact replicas of items now lost on the bottom of the sea.
Many Jewish passengers lost their lives on that cold early morning of 15 April 1912, including Ida & Isidor Straus, the co-owner of Macy’s Department Store in New York, where a memorial plaque is located at the store’s entry.
Each visitor receives a Boarding Pass containing personal information of an actual First, Second or Third Class passenger or crew member, whose fate is discovered from the lists in The Memorial Gallery.
Once on board, a recreation of Titanic’s first class hallway leads to the dining gallery with its china, silver and crystal. Items from White Star Line’s first class areas smoking rooms, staterooms and dining rooms are displayed amid images of the ship’s interiors. A first class stateroom is also re-creatred, complete with a mix of furnishings and props.
Titanic’s elegant grand staircase represents the opulence the passengers enjoyed in 1912 when Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship of its time.
Entering the third class hallway provides a glimpse into a cabin, as well as the infamous locked gates that prevented so many of Titanic’s third class passengers from escaping to the upper decks during the disaster.
One of the Boiler Rooms with its furnace provides an interesting insight into the world below decks where firemen toiled endlessly to provide Titanic with the power needed to steam across the North Atlantic.
Venturing out onto one of the sprawling “outside” Promenade Decks, a blast of icy air recreates the allure of the sea as you lean over the railing to view the thousands of stars on that moonless night of 14 April 1912.
The Warnings corridor displays the telegraphic ice warning messages and Titanic’s bell, rung by Frederick Fleet as he shouted “Iceberg! Right Ahead!”.
Original props and set pieces from James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic are also displayed, including a recreation of the famous “Heart of the Ocean” diamond necklace.
In Sydney at Byron Kennedy Hall, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. http://www.titanictheexhibition.com.au
Words & Photos: Sandra Tiltman