sudden turn of the wheel

Yesterday we went to the Titanic Exhibition at the O2. We were looking for something to do and Beth found it. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

The exhibition has a very personal edge to it. There are some amazing artefacts – such as the poignancy of Crows Nest bell that was rung once they new the ship was sinking, or the order of the perfectly preserved and ordered au gratin dishes. What seems to make this a fascinating exhibition is, however, the personal stories. Each visitor is given a boarding pass with the name and story of a particular passenger and at the end of the exhibition you can read the names of those ‘lost’ and those ‘saved’.

The stories of the people were fascinating but I was struck more by the situations which resulted in them being on the Titanic – for many it was not a choice …. more an accident of circumstances. My character, Joseph Larochewas leaving France due to racism and was booked on another ship. They transferred to the Titanic because their original ship would not let children dine with adults, and the parents did not want to leave their children eating without them. The father was ‘lost’ while the wife and two daughters were ‘saved’.

Through such stories the magnitude of the sadness seemed to be grasped by us all, along with the real fragility and unpredictability of human life.

A good thought provoking exhibition to visit.

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