Sinking will not be put to rest
FURTHER to Tristram Hunt's Personally Speaking column, headlined 'Seas of change have made ship's legacy unforgettable' (Sentinel, April 16).
I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading Tristram's views on the sinking of the Titanic.
Tristram suggests we are now putting the sinking to rest after 100 years, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are still talking about the Titanic in another 100 years.
The story of the Titanic will never go away while we have people like Ray Johnson, whose knowledge and enthusiasm is second to none.
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There have been, like Tristram says, other disasters at sea, like the one he mentions, The Empress of Ireland, with 1,000 lives lost.
In 1780, the 44 gun British frigate Phoenix, commanded by Captain Sir Hyde Parker, in company with The Badger, set out from Montego Bay on October 2, 1780, to patrol the Spanish Main.
They were caught by the massive Savanna-la-Mar hurricane and were carried north.
The Phoenix was wrecked on the shoals of Cabo-de-la-Cruz, Cuba, on October 4, 1780, with the loss of about 200 sailors. Only a handful survived.
Twelve British ships sank in the storm. More than 3,000 sailors perished.
In November 1949 the Nanking News Service disclosed that an army evacuation ship had exploded in Manchuria and sank, killing 6,000.
However, the story about the Titanic is the one we all feel is so compelling.
It grips our imagination and makes you wonder just how any of us would have reacted on that dreadful night.
I wonder what Captain Smith would have made of the fact we are still talking about his ship 100 years later.
The power of the Titanic was seen again with James Cameron's 1997 epic Titanic, with Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio.
I still remember standing in the queue, and then someone spoiled it for me. They told me it sinks.
J M BURKE