Live updates

Only surviving Titanic letter could fetch £100,000

The only surviving letter believed to have been written on the Titanic Credit: PA/Paul Faith

The only surviving letter believed to have been written on board Titanic is expected to fetch up to £100,000 when it goes under the hammer in Wiltshire this afternoon.

The letter, written on Titanic stationery, was written by second class passenger Esther Hart just hours before the liner struck an iceberg on Sunday April 14, 1912.

Titanic memorabilia auction in Wiltshire

Memorabilia from the ship will be sold at auction. Credit: ITV NEWS

Memorabilia from the Titanic will be sold at auction in Wiltshire today to mark the 102nd anniversary of the loss of the liner. The collectables will include the only known letter written on Titanic stationery. It's thought it could fetch up to a hundred thousand pounds.


Titanic letter to be sold at auction in Wiltshire

The only known letter written on Titanic stationery on the day the liner hit an iceberg is to be sold at auction in Wiltshire.

The only known letter written on Titanic on the day the liner hit an iceberg Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son,

Henry Aldridge and Son are holding an auction of Titanic collectables to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the loss of the Royal Mail Steamer on April 26th.

One of the star lots is only known letter written on Titanic stationery on the day the liner hit an iceberg.

The only known letter written on Titanic on the day the liner hit an iceberg Credit: Henry Aldridge and Son,

Estimated at £80000-£100000 this unique piece, complete with its envelope embossed with the White Star Burgee, was written by Second Class passenger Esther Hart, the mother of the famous survivor Eva Hart, and it is featured in Eva Hart’s biography “Shadow of the Titanic”.

She was travelling with her parents, Esther and Benjamin, a master builder, to Canada, where they were to start a new life.

Rare video of the Titanic's sister ship discovered

Sailor-turned documentary maker Des Cox owns one of the world's biggest maritime archives: a celebration of the golden years of British shipping.

When he was handed reels of film from the 1920s - film that was about to be thrown away - he expected it to come to nothing. Not least because the film was in an extremely fragile state.

Then - as he inspected the frames - he saw an image that looked familiar. It looked like The Titanic. A lot like The Titanic. It led to the most important discovery of his career. John Ryall went to meet him at his home in Saltdean near Brighton.

Titanic replica to give people feeling of sinking on ship

People will be given the chance to experience what it would have been like when the Titanic sank, with a full size replica being built in a Chinese theme park.

The latest 6D technology will be used to recreate the sinking feeling, along with water rushing in and the ship breaking.

Around £100 million will be spent on creating the replica, which could spark rows with families of the thousands that died, including the 500 people from Southampton.

It will be built along the Qi river in central Sichuan, with construction being completed by 2016.

The Titanic replica in China will recreate what it would have felt like to be on the ship when it was sinking Credit: Press Association
  1. West Country

Titanic violin sells for £900,000 at auction

The violin sold for £900,000 this afternoon. Credit: ITV News West Country

A violin, believed to have been played as the Titanic sunk, has been sold at auction in Devizes for £900,000.

Bidding started at just £50. It eventually sold for three times the guide price after fierce bidding from two buyers. The winner is unknown.

The auction room in Devizes today. Credit: ITV News West Country


Titanic violin could sell for £400,000

Titanic band leader Wallace Hartley's Violin Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Wallace Hartley has become part of the ship's legend after leading his fellow musicians in playing as the doomed vessel went down, most famously the hymn Nearer My God To Thee.

Hartley and his seven fellow band members all died in the tragedy in April 1912 after the liner sailed from her home port of Southampton, 1,500 people died after the ship hit an iceberg.

His violin, which had been a gift from his fiancee Maria Robinson, was apparently found in a case strapped to his body when it was recovered from the icy Atlantic waters.

Its re-emergence in 2006, when it was reportedly discovered in an attic in Yorkshire, prompted heated debate over its authenticity.

Titanic specialist auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son insist nearly seven subsequent years of research and tests have proved it to be the genuine article.

Now the violin - accompanied by a leather luggage case initialed W. H. H. - is being put up for sale along with a host of items from the ship at the public auction in Devizes, Wiltshire.

Andrew Aldridge, a valuer with the auctioneer, said it was likely to break the world record fee for a single piece of memorabilia from the Titanic.

The violin has a reserve price of between £200,000 and £300,000 but is expected to fetch as much as £400,000, he said.

Titanic cemetery is to get a major overhaul

The graveyard in Halifax, Canada, will be upgraded

The Titanic cemetery, where many people who died in the tragedy from Southampton are buried, is to be given a major upgrade next spring.

Headstones will be cleaned, new paths will be laid and the inscriptions will be whitened at the cemetery in Halifax, Canada.

Thousands of visitors go to the site every year.

Halifax was the nearest major city to where Titanic sank. Nearly 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship went down.

The Fairview Cemetery is one of three in Halifax, where 150 of those who died are buried

Violin 'played on the Titanic' to go on show

Video. A violin it is claimed was heroically played by Wallace Hartley, the Titanic band leader, as the ship sunk. It will go on show this week ahead of it being auctioned in Wiltshire next month. Forensic experts in Oxford helped a six year investigation trying to prove it is genuine.

But now relatives of another band member who also played a violin say they do not believe it is genuine. Mike Pearse reports.

  1. Mike Pearse, Transport Correspondent

Was this the violin played by the band as Titanic sank in 1912?

The violin that auctioneers say was played on the Titanic. Credit: Mike Pearse/ITV Meridian

According to auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son, from Wiltshire, the instrument is made of maple and spruce wood and belonged to Wallace Hartley, the leader of the orchestra on the ill-fated ship.

They have spent six years researching the object and even enlisted world leading forensic scientist in Oxford and used a CT scanner in Swindon to prove it was authentic.

But as the violin is about to go on public view at the visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast, the relative of another band member says he simply "does not believe" it is genuine.

The RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton in April 1912 Credit: PA

Christopher Ward lost his grandfather, Jock Hume, in the tragedy. He was 21 years-old and himself played the violin. Mr Ward has spent years researching the subject for a book, And the Band Played On.

He told ITV News the way violins were made a century ago meant is was unlikely it could have survived for several days in the water after the Titanic went down. "It would have broken up" he believes.

But the auctioneers disagree. They say they "wanted proof beyond doubt" it was genuine before they sold it. They have spent six years and many thousands of pounds on world forensic experts and historians to discover if it is the real thing.

They say the inscriptions on the violin itself and the case that was with it prove beyond doubt it is genuine.

Load more updates