1. ITV Report

Titanic: A disaster for Liverpool and the North West

Titanic bore Liverpool's name and was registered in the city Photo: ITV

A hundred years ago, more than 1,500 people lost their lives when the world’s largest ship, Titanic, sank on her maiden voyage.

It was not only a national and international disaster, it was also a disaster for Liverpool and the North West.

Titanic’s links to Liverpool are often overlooked in favour of Belfast and Southampton. But the connections with this region are very strong.

The word inscribed on her stern proclaimed it to the world: Titanic was a Liverpool ship.

Although she never sailed from the city, there are many links to the port and the people of Liverpool.

She was registered to the White Star Line, whose company head offices in 1912 were on the city's James Street.

At the time, Liverpool was at the height of its prestige and influence and was Europe's largest transatlantic port.

Ian Murphy from Merseyside Maritime Museum told Granada Reports: "What you have here is the launching point for transatlantic passenger travel - it was the hub for that kind of business in Britain."

The White Star Line was facing competition from its rival Cunard and decided something had to change.

Mr Murphy continued: "Cunard had just built these incredibly fast liners and White Star's response for that was to move down to Southampton to look for wealthy first class tourists. They decided to go along the route of size and luxury - and ironically safety as well."

Titanic was built in Belfast but the North West still played an important part in her construction.

Many local firms were involved in producing the fixtures and fittings - from the port holes to the tableware and crockery.

Her bell was made in St Helens - along with her 900 portholes and the 50,000 items of bone china used on board - including the distinctive cobalt blue dinner plates were made in Liverpool.

And while she didn't sail from Liverpool’s docks, many of her crew did hail from the city - in fact one in 10 were from the Merseyside area. Many of those individuals would prove pivotal to the Titanic story.

It was Liverpool's Fred Fleet - the lookout that night - who was first to spot the danger.

But other local links included the Captain, the White Star Line chairman and the ship's band master.

It was also the Captain of the Liverpool-based Carpathia who came to the stricken passengers rescue.

With some of Liverpool's most experienced seaman on board, Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage.

It was a prestigious moment for White Star Line. She was the largest moving object on earth - carrying some of the world's richest people.

But excitement soon turned to panic. The jewel in the White Star Line's fleet sank claiming hundreds of lives.

Her stern and the word Liverpool would have been the last part of the ship to disappear into the icy waters.

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