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Historic Walks

You are in: Hampshire > History > Historic Walks > Titanic Tour

Titanic Tour

In 1912, RMS Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton - taking the lives of hundreds of local men and women. Take a virtual tour of the places that played a part in the Titanic story - Blue Badge Guide Jake Simpkin tells the stories.

Titanic Tour

Start your tour at the bottom of Southampton's High Street.  Above what is now an Indian restaurant you'll see the unusual tile-fronted Oakley and Watling building.

Oakley and Watling

Oakley and Watling

This high class fruit and vegetable suppliers provided the great liners like the Titanic with fresh provisions for the Trans-Atlantic crossings. Titanic sailed with 36,000 apples, 16,000 lemons and 13,000 grapefruits on board! 

Many other local firms relied on supplying the liners with goods and services - FG Bealing and Son Nursery at Burgess Road, Highfield grew flowers and plants which adorned Titanic's luxurious interior.

Hollyrood Church

Hollyrood Church

Make your way back up the High Street and you'll soon come to Hollyrood Church.  This 14th Century church was destroyed during the Blitz and now houses one of the most poignant of Southampton's Titanic memorials. 

It is dedicated to the firemen, stewards and crew from Southampton who died when Titanic sank after hitting the iceberg.  Many of the 'below decks' crew lived in Northam, Chapel and St Mary's while many stewards lived in Freemantle and Shirley.

Seamans' House

Seamans' House

Walk along Bernard Street, across the crossroads and turn right down Oxford Street. The large red brick building which is now home to the Salvation Army was once the Seamans' House. 

At the start of the 20th century it was still common for children to loose both their parents and many orphans were brought up here, before being sent to sea. 

The Seamens' House was put as the address of 17 young Titanic crewmen - but remarkably, only two died, the rest were obviously born survivors following their hard upbringing.

The Grapes

The Grapes

Further along Oxford Street, The Grapes is still a popular pub.  In 1911 the firemen and engine room workers on the liners used to drink in what was a real 'spit and sawdust' pub just before departure. 

Six Titanic crewmen left it late and dashed through Dock Gate 4 just before midday - three men crossed the railway line just in front of a train but the three Slade brothers let the train pass.  In the meantime, the gangplank was pulled up and fortunately for them, they missed the Titanic.

Admiralty Building

Admiralty Building

Turn down Latimer Road and cross Queen's Terrace and Platform Road - The Admiralty building is now a large block of flats and was once the General Post Office - the main post office for Southampton Docks. 

There were 1,300 bags of mail on the Titanic and five postal workers sorted mail on board the ship during the crossing.  They all died trying to rescue the registered post sacks.

Berth 44

Berth 44

From Dock Gate 4, you can see Berth 44.  Now called Ocean Dock, the White Star Dock was built to house the three great liners built by Harland and Wolff and was surrounded by sheds and workshops.

RMS Titanic tied up here on 10 April, 1912 - local people were extremely pleased to see her, not least because of all the job prospects she brought with her in what was a hard time of unemployment in the city.

As the Titanic left her berth with cheering crowds on the quayside on 10 April, 1912, it was held up for an hour after the displaced water caused another ship, the New Yorker to break its moorings and drift across her path - it was a fateful delay.

This is still a working port so there is no public access to the quayside.

South Western House

South Western House

On the corner of Terminus Terrace and Canute Road, you'll see the old South Western Hotel.  Now luxury flats, this hotel was where the First Class passengers would stay before embarking on their liner. 

The boat trains from London would come straight in to the back of the hotel where they would be met by the porters.  Amongst the guests staying before Titanic departed were Bruce Ismay, Chairman of the White Star Line and the Chief Designer, Thomas Andrews.

Continue along Canute Road towards Ocean Village and you'll find the Canute Chambers on the right.  This was the office of the White Star Line and was where anxious relatives of crewmen came for information about what had happened.

Canute Chambers,Sarah Giddons Fan Club reconstruct

Canute Chambers

At first conflicting rumours and telegraph messages about something happening to the 'unsinkable' Titanic filtered through before the awful truth about the scale of the disaster unfolded.

Of the crew, 724 lived within the Southampton area - only 175 returned home to their friends and families. 

In the Chapel and Northam and St Mary's parishes, many households lost their only breadwinner and many had to rely on handouts from the Titanic Relief Fund which was set up after the disaster for the benefit of widows and orphans.

Albert Road

Albert Road

Cross Canute Road and walk down Royal Crescent Road and turn right into Albert Road. This notorious street was a far cry from the luxury and wealth of the first class passengers staying at South Western Hotel. 

The street had six pubs in a row as well as the sparse Atlantic Hotel, known as the Emigrants' House where Steerage and Emigrant Class liner passengers stayed before boarding Titanic on it's ill-fated maiden voyage. 

To find out more about Titanic, retrace your steps and visit Southampton's Maritime Museum, or walk up to the top of the High Street and visit the Titanic memorial in East Park.

last updated: 22/04/2009 at 12:40
created: 04/01/2006

You are in: Hampshire > History > Historic Walks > Titanic Tour



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