Up for sale: House where Titanic captain was born
THE house where Titanic captain Edward John Smith was born is up for sale.
The skipper of the ill-fated liner grew up in the two-bed Victorian terrace in Well Street, Hanley, which is now on the market for £80,000.
The heritage of the humble home is what attracted the current owners to buy it 10 years ago and now they hope to pass it on to a historical custodian who can make the most of its past.
Neil and Louise Bonner snapped the house up for less than £50,000 as an investment and rented it out.
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But now in the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, they have put on the market.
Mr Bonner, aged 64, who is a journalist said: "We bought it after seeing a feature about it on the BBC news.
"It's been fascinating to have had a connection to the Titanic story. It's certainly provided an interesting talking point over the years."
The couple from Stafford are hoping to capitalise on the interest in the centenary year of the loss of the passenger liner which collided with an iceberg and sank off the coast of Newfoundland.
A total of 1,500 people including Captain Edward John Smith died in the 1912 tragedy.
He and his pottery worker parents are believed to have lived in the house for more than a decade. During his childhood he attended Etruria British School and worked at the Etruria Forge before heading off to sea aged 13, where he progressed from ship's boy to captain.
At the age of 25 he qualified to captain a ship and enjoyed a successful naval career.
Many believe commanding the Titanic on its maiden voyage to New York would have been his final trip before retiring.
His body was never recovered and there are differing stories of him staying on board, shooting himself and rescuing a baby from the water.
Mrs Bonner, aged 60, who is a retired university lecturer, said: "It's hard to understand what motivated him to go to sea.He came from a typical working class Potteries family and he went on to achieve so much.
"His name is known across the world and the interest in the Titanic is never ending.
"Many people ask whether Captain Smith was to blame for the disaster but a lot of things conspired against that ship.
"He wasn't at the helm at the time and the ship had been badly designed without the proper buoyancy because they wanted to make more space for first class passengers."
The house has already attracted interest from Germany and America.
The sale is being handled by Reeds Rains in Hanley. Spokesman Tabatha Cartlidge said: "The history of this property is likely to be the draw for potential buyers. We anticipate it may attract interest from across the world."