Yesterday saw the 100th anniversary of the launch of RMS Titanic from Southampton and the opening of the new SeaCity Museum.
A few years ago we were asked to work on a video production called ‘Titanic Voices’. As is usual we created a file of all the materials from the production and stored it in our archives. There it remained for many years until a couple of weeks ago when we were looking at its contents.
We were surprised to find a copy of what looks like an old newsreel video ‘loop’ of the Titanic. We are unsure why we have it as the editor who worked on the ‘Titanic Voices’ years ago has now retired and does not remember where the newsreel came from or what it was going to be used for.
We contacted to the SeaCity Museum for any information but they were unable to help so we edited a 1 minute ‘show-reel’ (see below) from the near 12 minutes of footage we have got.
We understand that following the disaster such newsreel footage would have been shown in public. It is likely that the footage is not all that it purports to be. Scenes of Captain Smith inspecting the ship and her leaving the harbor may not be of the Titanic but probably her sister ship the RMS Olympic which he also Captained before transferring to the Titanic for her maiden voyage . The clues are images where ‘scratches’ appear. They seem to overwrite signage that may show it is not actually shots of the Titanic. For example in the video below at 00.16 to 00.19 seconds in there is a scratch to the right of the captains head as he looks over the side. What was there that someone wanted to hide?
If anyone knows about the film please contact us and let us know.
So what images are on the full film?
- It starts with images of crew member Richard Geddes and his wife Sarah Anne and a letter he sent her from the ship. Sadly he was not a survivor.
- Captain Smith inspecting the ship on the day of its sailing
- Views of the First, Second and Third Class Promenade Decks, telegraph and ships equipment
- Passengers boarding the ship and walking around
- Passenger baggage being loaded onto the ship
- The ship departing with passengers and shore people waving her off (probably the Olympic as the tugs have had their names scratched out)
- Tugs moving the liner away from the dock
There is then newsreel of the RMS Carpathia which rescued survivors from RMS Titanic. This part of the newsreel shows what appears to be members of RMS Carpathia’s crew, her Master – Captain Rostron, what appears to be rescued passengers from Titanic including the Reverend Stuart Collett of New York and life belts and lifeboats from RMS Titanic. It is interesting to note that details of the survivors do not mention that Mr Collett was a Reverend and came from New York.
A final personal link to the Titanic is that one of our team who worked on the ‘Titanic Voices’ production lives in the house that Walter Perkis lived in. Walter was a Quartermaster on the Titanic and crewed one of the lifeboats and so survived.