Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Titanic - by the men who built her

Regular readers of this blog will know how ridiculously bored I get with the concept of celebrity, and all the stories of the great and the good that somehow we are supposed to be interested in, in a country where the biggest growth industry is now simply fame, in all its devalued glory.

So when the recent Titanic commemorations happened, and everyone jumped on the bandwagon, for me it was a case of grin and bear it. Why was I so bored about it? Quite simply because the celebrations/commemorations were about the tragedy at sea, and the loss of passengers, and 3D versions of films, and so on - as it always is when the anniversary pops up.

The thing is, I have a very personal connection to the Titanic. My great great grandfather, Cochrane Watton, worked on the ship in Belfast, along with his brother William, and many, many other shipyard workers in Belfast. So it was a great thrill that I found this earlier on the PRONI website - a link to a wee two minute video made by the BBC, based on a poem written by a shipyard worker at the time, and telling the story of the Ulstermen who built the thing. The video is available at - and this time it's something I can relate to.

(With thanks to PRONI at


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  1. Interesting film, Chris. There were a couple of Macalisters from Northern Ireland who worked as firemen on the Titanic during her journey from Belfast to Southampton - neither continued on from there, for which they were no doubt thankful! I don't know about Macalisters involved in building her, but it's certainly possible.

    1. Lynn I have a post on my blog about the Captain of Titanic on the journey to Southampton.