Edward Smith from Etruria the Captain of the Titanic
School children in Maryport will be delving into the town’s links with the ocean liner Titanic in a project that coincides with next year’s centenary of its ill-fated maiden voyage. The project has been made possible by a grant of £9,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Maryport C of E Junior School will be leading a group of a dozen local schools to make sure local children do not miss out on Cumbria’s commemoration event. They will contribute two short films to a performance called The Wreck of the Titanic taking place next April at the Sands Centre in Carlisle.
Maryport’s connection with Titanic’s tragic sinking in April 1912 stems from the fact that the ship was the pride of the White Start line, whose founder Thomas Ismay, was born in the town. Another Cumbrian was Joseph Bell, the ship’s chief engineer who was among the 1,500 people who perished. He is credited with keeping the ship’s boilers working to ensure that lights stayed on as long as possible helping passengers to make their way to the lifeboats.
The project is seen as a shot in the arm for the Maryport Museum which is currently closed but is due to re-open on Good Friday this year. The Titanic commemoration will help promote the museum and capitalise on the public’s continued fascination with the story of the vessel.
The children will help to make two short firms. One will relate the history of Maryport and its connections with the ship. The other will re-create a silent movie entitled ‘Saved from the Titanic.’ These will be premiered locally, at the Wave Centre later this year before becoming part of the special event in Carlisle that also features dramatic performances and a piece of specially commissioned music.
Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West Sara Hilton said: “Local children have the chance not only to learn more about their town’s special connection with the Titanic but they will be contributing to their local museum and a regional event. At the same time they will be able to learn about telling a story through the medium of film.”
For Cumbria County Council, Maryport Cluster Extended Services Advisor Nicola Woolley said: “It is wonderful to be able to offer the local children of Maryport a chance to be involved in activities that not only expand their local knowledge but extend their opportunities to learn new skills.”
It is hoped that the two films will form part of the Titanic display at the Maryport Museum and will be included on a DVD to be made available for every school taking part in the project.