Ulster Transport Museum reveals ambitious living history element for TITANICa exhibition

By Richard Hook | 03 May 2011
a photo of a man in a flat cap and waistcoat holding a ticket with the word Titanic written on it
Costumed tour guides at TITANICa: The People’s Story at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum© Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
May 31 2011 marks a significant date in maritime history – the day when the Titanic began it’s fateful maiden voyage from Belfast.

To celebrate the centenary of this momentous event, the Ulster Folk Museum has revealed details of a new living history exhibition called TITANICa: The People’s Story, to run alongside its TITANICa exhibition at the Ulster Transport Museum.

TITANICa: TPS will create a ‘living history experience’ of the people who built and travelled on the infamous ship.

Mark Irvine, the museum’s Head of Operations, said: “TITANICa will be unique in the world and offer visitors the opportunity to experience how shipyard workers and their families lived 100 years ago.”

The Titanic is a key part of Belfast’s history, with its construction at the Harland & Wolff shipyard marking the high-point of the city’s great shipbuilding era.

a photo of a recreated early twentieth century street scene with children playing and a man in period outfit leaning against a lamppost reading a paper.
© Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
TITANICa will recreate the period from 1869-1919 when, according to William Blair, Head of Human History for National Museums Northern Ireland, “there was never a day that Harland and Wolff did not have a ship under construction.”

The interactive experience will allow visitors to walk historic Victoria Street and journey from shipyard riveter's homes to the yards where the most luxurious and technology-advanced liner of its time was constructed. 

It will also show how the people of Belfast communicated with passengers on the Titanic, by allowing guests to compose their own Morse code messages. An old-fashioned Picture House will play footage of the shipyard workers in action and the boat’s launch.

A history trail will link The People's Story in the outdoor Folk Museum, to its partner exhibition in the Transport Museum, which contains more than 500 original artefacts from the museum’s extensive collection of White Star Line items.

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