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Titanic Exhibition: interview with Titanic fan Steve Rigby
updated 29/06/2004
Steve Rigby If you've seen the Titanic exhibition, and you're now a fan, then think again. Steve Rigby from Wigan has actually visited the wreck of the ship two and a miles down on the ocean floor.

Have a look at his amazing photos and read his interview..
Steve Rigby - a Titanic trip of a lifetime

1. When did your fascination with the ship begin? It began when I was 8 years old, my cousin lent me Walter Lord's book 'A Night to Remember'.

The ship's bow
Look at Steve's photos from the wreck of the Titanic!

2. What was it about Titanic which appealed to you as a young boy? As a young lad, you imagine the worlds largest liner, in the middle of the Atlantic sinking and you know the lifeboats have gone, there is no rescue ship there, so what would you do. I remember from the film 'A Night to Remember' seeing a crewman trying to tie deck chairs together, this sticks in my mind from seeing the film as a young lad. You imagine the water coming up along the decks.

3. Your trip to the wreck must have been a dream come true - how did it come about and what was your reaction? I never in a million years thought that I would ever get to see the wreck firsthand, then when I was told that I would be going in the summer of 2001 I did the best dance around the room that you have ever seen. Then the reality sinks in of what you are about to do, the wreck lies two and a half mile down and the pressure down there is three and a half tons per square inch. It is an hostile enviroment down there and you think "Do I really want to do this", but the Keldysh and its crew are fantastic people, you have the utmost respect for them and their work on the Mir submersibles.

...seeing her there in front of you just takes your breath away... in your minds eye, you can see the women and children getting into the lifeboat, the men standing back ... this is not a film set, not an exhibition but you're there where it really happened, myself and the other guy just cried.

4. What was it like going 2.5 miles down to the ocean floor? It took us just under two and a half hours to get to the bottom of the Atlantic from the surface, you know all the facts about the ship, i.e. she is 882ft long, 92.5ft wide but nothing prepares you for big she is in reality, seeing her there in front of you just takes your breath away, then when we came to a lifeboat davit, this is the piece of machinery that lowers the lifeboats and in your minds eye, you can see the women and children getting into the boat, the men standing back and this is not a film set, not an exhibition but you are there where it really happened, myself and the other guy with me just cried at this point, you just could not help it.

5. Do you have a favourite Titanic story?
I don't really have one favourite human story from Titanic, all the passengers and crew had a story to tell, but when you read about people like John Jacob Astor, who was the richest man on the ship, he went down to the kennels in the ships last minutes and freed his dog. Astor did not survive the sinking. The band playing until the end, these and many other acounts make the whole story of the Titanic so moving.

6. Do you own a piece of Titanic memorabilia - if so, what do you have? I don't collect Titanic memorabilia, the prices went through the roof after the latest Titanic movie.

7. What do you think of the Titanic exhibition? The Titanic exhibition in Manchester is fantastic, when you think of the technology involved in recovering these artifacts, restoring them so that we can see them. Then we have the personal things that are in there, who did the shoe belong to, who wore the top hat, did they survive. It is a well presented exhibition and a very moving one.

'Titanic - the Artefact Exhibition' opens at the Museum of Science & Industry runs from 24 June 2004 - 16 Jan 2005.

Are you interested in the Titanic? Is there a Titanic story in your family? If so, we'd like to hear it.

Jack Kenny, Liverpool
Hello everyone. My name is Jack and I am 12. I am writing to tell you about the a new musical - "Titanic: The Musical". I will be playing Jack Thayer in the play. Recently I went to the exhibition with the school and was amazed to see my character's name on the wall! I found this thread as I was searching to find whether the exhibition was still on so I could go again as I enjoyed it so much. If you are interested, Titanic the Musical is on the Liverpool Empire Theatre from the 8th-11th June. I will be starting rehearsals soon, I will start an online journal so everyone can see how it is going. Thanks for reading, Jack, AKA Jack Thayer

Geraint Duckfield, Flint
I visited the exhibit on the last day and it was worth every second. The fascination gripped me at a young age. I'm still only 14 now and will be diving deeper into the amazing storys and facts that came out from that one night.

Anastasia Dunn, Leeds
Ms. Thompson, may I suggest visting the Titanic Historical Society site or Encyclopedia for more information on Frederick Barrett, they've both been known to be very helpful to others seeking descendant information relating to Titanic passengers.

P Kelly. Belfast.
I live in Belfast which of course was the place were the Titanic was constructed. I remember my Grandfather telling me that his father brought him to the shipyard to see the almost completed vessel when he was just a young boy.The anchor was lying on the quay side of the dry-dock and he said that his father hoisted him up on to the anchor to sit on.He said it was huge.

Aimee Phillips, Carlisle
This exhibition is really worth going! 2 years ago I went to the States to visit my family, and we went to this same exhibition in the Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas. I was so glad to find out that this same exhibition, 2 years later has come to Manchester! We're going to visit the exhibition next month.

visited the exhibition and was amazed. you walk in and the first thing you see is the bell rung by fred fleet when he saw the 'berg loomung in front of the ship! that is worth the admission price alone! visit or miss out forever.

Grace Birchmore , Manchester
My Nanny said to my sister that some of our ansesters made pictures for the Tintanic.

stacey rochdale
it has been alleged that the olympic & titanic were swapped when olympic was being repaired for an insurance scam so it was the olympic that actually sank

Marion Dean Hale Altrincham Ches
When my mother was 12 years old she was at school in Wombwell, Yorks. One of the teacher's was leaving to travel as companion to a well to do lady bound for America on Titanic. It was decided to present the teacher with a parting gift. My mother was a very competant seamstress and she was chosen to sew two nightgowns as the gift.She made them with great care and worked on beautifully tucked bodices. The nightgowns went with the teacher to join the ship. Before the ship sailed the lady to whom she was to be companion was taken ill and both ladies and nightgowns were saved.

Sue Thompson
I was brought up to believe that My grandfather Frederick James Barrett, was on Titanic ..He was a stoker in the bowels of the ship., when it hit the iceberg. He was ordered to row out Lifeboat number 13 and of course , he survived ( or i wouldn,t be telling you this story )... He lived in Bootle liverpool and as far asI know , died aged @ mid forties , from some sort of T.B... Is there a way of me checking this out ? I do believe it to bre true .. Thank you ..Sue Thompson ( nee Barret)

Marie Barker
Wew have just seen the exhibition and I must sat it was extremly interesting, especially been able to touch a part of the ship.

george price liverpool old swan
i was reading in my local paper about a titanic victim his name was norman harrison it said in the paper that his body was burried at a church just up the road in knotty ash so i went to the church when i got there it was there sure as they said but when i looked his name up it is said his body was never recovered it turns out he lived in 28 baden road liverpool old swan his job onboard titanic was jnr second enginer iwas wondering if he was recoverd

Dave Redgwell, Essex
I met my wife at a Titanic convention in April 2000.In the November, we were married!!!

sonia melbourne
there is a delicatessen in Cheetham which is supposedly named after a survivor of the ship

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