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Previous programmes and meetings

Bidford and District History Society

The Society’s meeting on 16th November was moved from the Church Hall, its usual venue, to St. Laurence’s Church, in response to the great interest shown for our talk on “Journey to Titanic” by Rob Goldsmith. An audience of 90 members and visitors filled the central aisles of the Church and were treated to an excellent illustrated talk on the Titanic, with stunning video footage of the wreck itself! Rob began his talk by explaining that his passion for the Titanic began when he was eight years old and culminated in May 2005, when he won a competition with the History Channel to dive to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean in a Mir Submersible to see the wreck of the Titanic. Rob then spoke about the construction of the Titanic and the events surrounding the sinking of the ship on 14th/15th April 1912 when Titanic struck an iceberg, on its fateful maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Rob concluded his talk with a moving commentary on his video footage of the wreck.

Prior to his journey to the Titanic, Rob had to have a medical to ensure that he was fit to spend 12 hours in a submersible. He explained that his trip was still very dangerous as the Mir’s can snag on objects and there is the potential risk of fire and flood, not to mention the risk of having a panic attack in a confined space!

The wreck of the Titanic was discovered by Dr Robert Ballard in 1985, at a depth of two and a half miles. At this depth, the ocean is in complete darkness and the pressure, at three tonnes per square inch, would crush a polystyrene cup! It took the Mir submersible about two and a half hours to reach the ocean floor. Rob was able to film all around the wreck of the Titanic from the submersible. At present, the bow of the Titanic is in good condition, jutting out from the seabed, however microscopic organisms are gradually eating away at all the metal sections of the ship. However, the ship’s stern is in pieces. Around the Titanic there is a debris field, which has barely moved from where it originally settled on the ocean floor all those years ago, as there is very little ocean current. We could clearly see porcelain china lying on the seabed, a toilet and perhaps most poignant of all, a woman’s leather shoes. Finally, before Rob returned back to the surface, after his truly memorable journey, he held a minute’s silence in memory of the c. 1500 passengers and crew who tragically lost their lives on the Titanic.

 


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