Polar Bears (courtesy of Kev)


Ninety-six years ago on Thursday, RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton on its maiden - and, as it turned out - final voyage. In the intervening decades, many books (fiction and otherwise), opinionated articles, pamphlets, reports, research documents and even poems have been written and at least two epic films made. Such is the endless drawing power of the story that it shows no sign of loosening its grip on the world’s fascinated imagination for decades to come.

You may be aware that, here at BBC Radio Newcastle, we have our own resident expert on all things Titanic - a veritable ‘titanicologist’; Railton Howes. Indeed, each year, round about the Titanic’s grisly anniversary, I try to make a point of recording a chat with Railton about it; I’ve always found his fascination with the event, coupled with his in-depth knowledge and research into what happened that dreadful night, totally gripping.

This year we’re pushing the boat out even further (so to speak). This morning, Railton and I recorded a session of interviews to be aired on The Nightshift in ‘virtual real time’. On the exact relevant days, we - and, we hope, YOU - will be ghosts on the Titanic. We’ll be there on Thursday when she sails from Southampton. On Friday, we’ll take a wander round the ship, looking in on its First Class suites, its Grand Staircase, its Parisian Cafe and its Ballroom. On Saturday, we’ll learn who the passengers and crew were and on Sunday, as the unfortunate vessel sailed towards its destruction, we’ll find out what went wrong and whether anything could have been done to prevent the disaster.

And of course, we’ll be there on Monday, precisely 96 years since catastrophe struck on 14 April 1912 - and at exactly the same moment in the middle of the night. It's going to feel really 'spooky'.

Believe me - recording the sessions with Railton this morning was grippingly exciting. What’s left of my hair stood on end several times and my jaw dropped at the indefensible complacency, stupidity and sheer horror not just on the night of the ship’s loss, but before and after the event, too.

Railton’s knowledge and enthusiasm are infectious as he warms to his subject! Be sure to catch The Nightshift’s virtual voyage on board the Titanic, starting on Wednesday morning and running throughout its voyage to next Tuesday. I reckon you’ll be hooked!

One day I must get round to asking Railton why he’s so riveted to the subject!

The David Gray track I played was called Aint No Love from the CD Life In Slow Motion. I’m so glad you liked it. It reduces me to a quivering wreck of sentimental tears every single time I hear it. So I try to make sure I don’t hear it too often.

Post comments on this blog or contact me in any one (or more) of these ways....
text 07786 200954 (while the programme is on-air)
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565
Ian Robinson, The Nightshift, BBC Radio Newcastle, Spital Tongues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE99 1RN

Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.


gilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilly said...

ps forgot.. "Titanic" fascinates me always has done,
looking forward to hearing about it....

gilly said...

hiya what a pic as ian says awesome! caption..

"aahhh this is the life...
bring me a bacardi breezer on the rocks... side order of penguin..
plenty of ice....

it,ll keep my mind occupied..
i,m booked in for a "foreverdectomy"..


gilly said...

maureen ..? im thinking of you.. wondering if you are ok..
its been ages..
bye x

Sid said...

and the bear says......That looks like Ian in his Kilt....I'm not that hungry.

gilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Robinson said...

Watch it you lot!
Gilly....I haven't heard from Maureen, either. Let's hope she's OK.

Loz said...

"I say Petunia, can you pass me the remote control please, I'm finding Dancing On Ice a little tedious today. I mean these humans think it's something clever to do!

"OH and Junior, stop kicking that cushion away from my head... you wouldn't like this bear with a sore head!"

gilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilly said...

soz spelling bit wonky on last post. fingers and keyboard not quite in unison.

ian... airport i remember it well am i correct?

lawrence i remember petunia well too, her of long chameleon like tongue..
is that who you were meant.?