Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Titanic Exhibition becomes Redcar's added attraction

Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum is offering another look back in time with its hugely-popular exhibition on the doomed ocean liner, Titanic, attracting over 2,000 visitors a week.

The publicity which has put the town in the national spotlight with the transformation of the Esplanade into 1940s Dunkirk for the filming of the hoped-for blockbuster, Atonement, is also having a marvellous spin-off for the Museum.

As total visitor numbers approach 20,000 since the exhibition opened nine weeks ago, staff have this week welcomed coach parties from Birmingham, Bradford and Durham en route to the seafront.

Redcar and Cleveland Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "We waited a long time to secure the Titanic exhibition, which was always going to be a really good attraction. Visitor numbers bear that out, and with the added interest from the film-making, it's become a fantastic time for the town.

"It proves if we have the right attractions we can get people into Redcar and adds more strength to our plants to regenerate the town."

The exhibition, which will be open on Bank Holiday Monday and runs right through to December, features over 200 exhibits and, thanks to two more visitors from the Torbay Maritime History Society, who are hoping to take Titanic: Honour and Glory to the south west, there are new additions.

They donated three books by W.T. Stead, the famous journalist and social reformer, who at 22 in 1871 was the youngest editor in the country, taking over Darlington’s Northern Echo newspaper. He lost his life on the Titanic on his way to speak at a conference on World Peace at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Other fascinating exhibits include costumes and props from James Cameron's epic movie and artefacts from Titanic's sister ships.

*It was 11.40am on Sunday, April 14 when Titanic struck an iceberg off Newfoundland Grand Bank. Within two and a half hours, only 705 passengers on the 'unsinkable' liner had been saved from the 2,200 who set sail from Southampton.

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