Titanic hero and shipbuilder from Scarborough honoured in exhibition to mark 110th anniversary since disaster struck

As one of the most famous tragedies in modern history, the sinking of the Titanic stands to this day as a dramatic symbol of fragility and loss.

Now, 110 years after the ‘unsinkable’ ship struck an iceberg, her tale is told through the eyes of those Scarborough men with links to the ship.

From the renowned shipbuilder to the only junior officer to die in the disaster, a new exhibition at the coastal town’s Maritime Heritage Centre shines a light on local stories. Mark Vesey is chairman of the volunteer-run centre.

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He said there is still a “macabre fascination” when it comes to the Titanic’s story.

Exhibition on Scarborough's links to the Titanic at the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre. Mark Vesey is pictured a replica of the Ship. Image: Simon Hulme

He said: “There is all the grandeur and richness of the Titanic which was the largest man-made moveable object in the world at that time.

“That stays in our minds and this anniversary makes it significant. It leads us to realise that we all tread lightly, that anything can happen.”

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Today marks 110 years since Scarborough-born James Paul Moody, on the bridge of the Titanic, picked up a call from the crow’s nest to hear the fateful words “iceberg, right ahead”.

Exhibition on Scarborough's links to the Titanic, marking 110 years since the ship sank, held at the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre. Photographs of James Paul Moody who was the sixth Officer of the Titanic. Writer: Simon Hulme

It was around 11.40pm, on April 14, 1912, when she struck the iceberg. The last SOS radio message was sent at 2.17am on April 15 and the Titanic sank three minutes later.

Aged 24 and Sixth Officer onboard the Titanic, “local lad” Moody was the ship’s only junior office to die in the disaster.

Mr Vesey said: “He was up on the bridge on that night. We do know as the Titanic went down he was helping women and children in lifeboats.

“He kept refusing to go. He left it too late, and sadly lost his life.”

Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre chairman Mark Vesey is pictured with a replica Bell. Image: Simon Hulme


Then there is Sir Edward James Harland, who founded the Harland and Wolff Shipyard, in Belfast, where the Titanic was built.

It was with his own bold designs that he made his mark, as Harland and Wolff Shipyard built the fastest ships to cross the Atlantic for the White Star Line, the firm that commissioned the Titanic, which was built several years after Sir Edward’s death.

Born in Scarborough, at the site of the present Marks & Spencers, he was one of seven children born to local doctor William Harland, a renowned amateur mechanic, and although encouraged to become a lawyer, he had apprenticed as an engineer.

Exhibition on Scarborough's links to the Titanic, marking 110 years since the ship sank, and held at the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre. Sir Edward James Harland renowned Belfast Ship Builder. Image: Simon Hulme

Mr Vesey said: “Scarborough has a long shipbuilding tradition going back to the 17th century. As a child Sir Edward would have seen it with his own eyes, maybe that is what influenced him.

“I don’t think people do know about Scarborough’s links to the Titanic, but it is fascinating.”


The Titanic took three years to build at a cost of £1.5m - £100m in today’s money.

Of 2,200 people on board, fewer than a third survived, including 492 mostly first class passengers, and 214 crewmembers.

As well as a swimming pool, Turkish baths, and two barber shops, the ship carried luxuries including 13,000 grapefruits and lemons and 1,200 quarts of ice cream.

Exhibition on Scarborough's links to the Titanic at the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre. Mark Vesey is pictured some coal recovered from the wreck. Image: Simon Hulme

While there was space for 64 lifeboats, there were only 20 on board.

Among pieces on show at the exhibition is a piece of coal recovered from the Titanic, a White Star Line uniform from the 1920s style, replica models, plates and a brass bell.

The centre is open from Wednesdays to Sundays and the exhibition runs until July.


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