Titanic Trail

Titanic Trail, Liverpool, England (A)

Although the Titanic, which sank on 15th April 1912, never sailed into Liverpool, the city, as home of the White star Line, played a major part in her story. This tour takes you round some of the sights connected with the ships construction through to the aftermath of the disaster, which claimed the lives of around 100 people with local connections.
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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Titanic Trail
Guide Location: England » Liverpool
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 Km or 4.1 Miles
Author: Steven Horton
Author Bio: 39 year old who has lived in Liverpool all my life, I am very proud of what the city has given to the world and likes to share this with others.
Author Website: http://www.stevenhortonfreelancewriter.co.uk
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Adelphi Hotel
  • Philharmonic Hall
  • Hugh McElroy's Birthplace
  • St Peter's Church, Church Street.
  • Stoniers
  • CW & FN Black Music Agents
  • Liverpool Town Hall
  • The Saddle Inn
  • Underwriters Room
  • Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes
  • White Star Line Headquarters
  • Merseyside Maritime Museum
Adelphi Hotel

1) Adelphi Hotel

The present Adelphi Hotel was built in 1912, replacing an earlier hotel of the same name that stood on the site.

It was built with ocean going passengers in mind and inside the Sefton Suite is a replica of the 1st class smoking room from the Titanic and Olympic.

The annual convention of the British Titanic Society, which is usually held in Southampton, was held in this hotel in 2006. Milvana Dean, the last survivor of the sinking was scheduled to attend but she was prevented from doing so by a broken hip. In April 2012 a week long series of events is being held here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Unfortunately the Sefton Suite is a private function room and not open to the general public, but you are welcome to enter the hotel and use it’s bars and restaurants.
Image Courtesy of Sue Adair.
Philharmonic Hall

2) Philharmonic Hall

The present Philharmonic Hall was opened in 1939 on the site of an earlier concert hall that had been built 90 years earlier and destroyed by fire in 1933.

Viola player Fred Clarke, one of the eight musicians who had died on the Titanic, had performed at the hall and on 10th May 1912 a concert was held here to raise funds for his wife and sister, who lived 3 miles away in Tunstall Street, Wavertree.

In November 1912 a brass plaque was unveiled paying tribute to the eight musicians, one of whom came from France and another from Belgium. Between 10am and 530pm Monday to Saturday, you can view the plaque by entering the main doors and immediately turning around, as it is situated on the interior of the hall’s front wall in the entrance foyer.

Surprisingly it has only been here since a refurbishment in 1995, it had previously been displayed backstage and only performers were able to see it.
Hugh McElroy's Birthplace

3) Hugh McElroy's Birthplace

The Titanic’s Chief Purser Hugh McElroy was born to Irish parents in this house on 28th October 1874. He lived here for the first seven years of his life before his family moved to 6 Eversley Street in Toxteth, about half a mile south of here.

He initially trained to become a priest but decided it wasn’t for him and joined the merchant navy in 1892, moving on to the White Star Line in 1899 where his first role was on the Brittanic, ferrying troops to the Boer War in South Africa.

As Chief Purser, McElroy was responsible for the handling of all money and supplies on board the ship and reported directly to the Captain. He was on a salary of £20 a month, a significant sum at the time as footballers for example were on a maximum wage set by the Football League of just £4 a week.

Whilst serving on the Olympic prior to joining the Titanic, he was often woken by nightmares in which he was in a dark tunnel with no means of escape, possibly a premonition of what was to come. After assisting in loading the lifeboats, he was last seen standing on the deck before the ship went down.

His body was pulled from the water a few days later and he was buried at sea. Although by the time of the sinking he lived in Southampton, his name is mentioned on the family grave at Anfield Cemetery, 2 miles north of Liverpool city centre.
St Peter's Church, Church Street.

4) St Peter's Church, Church Street.

St Peters Church stood until 1922 on the site of the building which now houses the Top Shop store and is now remembered by the brass Maltese Cross on the pavement.

At midday on Saturday 20th April 1912 a memorial service was held here attended by Lord Mayor of Liverpool, the mayors of adjoining Bootle and Birkenhead and the Bishop of Liverpool. Mrs Ismay and up to 400 White star staff were also present, including general manager Harold Sanderson and his assistant Henry Concanon. Senior staff from rival shipping lines also attended and the following Monday the Daily Post and Mercury wrote that ‘the thoughts of all were with the sufferers of the unprecedented calamity of the sea’.

5) Stoniers

In 1912 this building was occupied by Stoniers China Earthenware and Glass Manufacturers, who supplied over 50,000 items to the Titanic, all of which were stamped ‘Stonier & Co Liverpool’

Negotiations began over a year in advance, in January 1911 for example Stoniers wrote to one of their suppliers at the request of the White Star Line asking if they could re-negotiate the price, given the quantities that were being ordered and the fact worldwide acclaim would follow for supplying such a prestigious ship.

Stoniers are still in existence today, situated in the David Robinson store on Church Alley, which is about 200 metres away by heading down Lord Street past McDonalds, into Church Street and turning right into Church Alley which is just after Top Shop.
CW & FN Black Music Agents

6) CW & FN Black Music Agents

In this building, now occupied by a local law firm, were the offices of CW & FN Black, an agency that recruited musicians for the big shipping lines. They travelled as second class passengers on the voyage and provided entertainment for passengers.

There were eight musicians in the Titanic orchestra which famously played on as the ship went down to try and keep passengers calm, but up until then they had performed separately as a quintet and a trio in different parts of the ship.

All eight of the musicians died during the tragedy and when the body of band leader Wallace Hartley arrived back in Liverpool on 12th May, it travelled by horse drawn carriage to his home town of Colne, 60 miles away. 30,000 people turned out to pay their respects at his funeral.

CW & FN Black caused controversy 3 months after the tragedy when they sent a bill for 5 shillings 4 pence, about £40 today, to the father of John Hume for the cost of cleaning his uniform and providing a new collar and badge of the White Star Line. The bill was printed in the monthly newsletter of the Amalgamated Musicians Union.
Liverpool Town Hall

7) Liverpool Town Hall

On 19th April 1912 the Earl of Derby, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool announced that donations could be made at the Town Hall for relatives of the victims of the Titanic.

The White Star Line made a contribution of 1,000 guineas (£1,050) and Julia Ismay, wife of White Star Line Chairman J Bruce Ismay, donated £200. £14,000 was collected in the first week and the fund was closed on 13th May, as it was felt sufficient funds had been raised for its intended purpose.

The following December the Lord Mayor made presentations of gold watches to engineers and electricians that had been on the Carpathia on the night of the disaster, while a cheque was presented to the Sailors and Firemans Union to be divided amongst its members who had served.

The Town Hall, which dates from 1754 is not generally open to the public although it does offer monthly tours that have to be booked in advance and occasionally has open days. Please see the website www.civichalls.liverpool.gov.uk or telephone 0151 225 5530 for details.
Image Courtesy of Beno1000.
The Saddle Inn

8) The Saddle Inn

For many years from the middle of the 19th century, the original Saddle Inn and this current pub was owned by John Sealby and his descendants.

Sealby was a cousin of Thomas Henry Ismay, the founder of the White Star Line and on display inside the pub is a frank exchange of letters between the two men dated 1856. These letters appear to indicate that Ismay, who at that time still hadn’t founded the White Star Line, told the captain of a ship that Sealby was not fit to manage a vessel.

Also on display inside the pub are a number of photographs of White Star Line ships, as well as an original front page of the New York Times from the day after the Titanic's sinking.
Underwriters Room

9) Underwriters Room

Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia received widespread acclaim for his role in rescuing the survivors of the Titanic.

On 29th May 1912 in New York he was presented with medals from the committee of Titanic survivors and from there he went to Washington, where President Taft gave him a signed letter of thanks. Some of the medals are on display in the Maritime Museum.

On 6th June he was in Liverpool, where he was presented with a gold medal and certificate by the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society, which was instituted in 1839 and still in existence today, part of its role being to honour those who put themselves at risk to save others.

The presentation took place in the Underwriters Room of this building, which was called as Derby house at the time was re-named Walker House in 2007 following re-development. The upper floors of the building are office accommodation, but the ground floor and basement is a museum dedicated to the Western Approaches Command, whose operations took place from here during the 2nd World War. Admission to the museum is £6 and it is open between March and October, 1030am to 430pm every day except Friday and Sunday
Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes

10) Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes

This memorial is commonly known in Liverpool as the Titanic Memorial although there is nothing on it that refers to the disaster. When subscriptions were initially raised, the aim was to provide a memorial to the Titanic engine room crew who did all they could to keep electricity in the ship working for as long as possible before she sank.

However by the time it was unveiled in 1916, two other Liverpool ships – the Empress of Ireland and Lusitania, had also sank leading to the deaths of 2,200 more souls, the latter having been the victim of a German attack during the 1st World War which was also claiming many more lives at sea. As such it was decided to dedicate the memorial to all engine room workers.

There was some debate as to whether the memorial should be sited here, as it was feared passengers embarking on ships may see it and realise the dangers that lie ahead and become too frightened to take their voyage.

The monument was designed by Welsh sculptor Sir William Goscombe John and marks can be seen on it that were caused by shrapnel from falling bombs during the 2nd World War.
White Star Line Headquarters

11) White Star Line Headquarters

Albion House was built in 1898 as the new headquarters of the White Star Line, the company moving from its previous head office in nearby Water Street.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster information on the English side on the Atlantic was sketchy as to the extent of the tragedy in terms of how many had died, or if the vessel had even sank at all. Albion House became a focal point for the confusion, with relatives of Liverpool crew members seeking re-assurances about their fate and officials, who themselves had no official word as to who had survived, shouting to them from the balconies amidst chaotic scenes. It was not until the Carpathia reached New York with survivors on 18th April that a full list of those saved could be published the next day.

The building remained the headquarters of the White Star Line until they were purchased by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1927.
Merseyside Maritime Museum

12) Merseyside Maritime Museum

The Merseyside Maritime Museum was established in 1980 and is now the most visited museum in England outside of London, attracting just under 1 million visitors a year. On the first floor there is a gallery and a number of exhibits related to the Titanic, including the original 20 foot long builders model of the ship. There is also a survivors lifejacket and lifeboat nameplate as well as a watch, $5 dollar bill and spectacles that have been recovered from the wreck. Admission to the museum is free and it is open from 10am to 5pm.

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