SPRINGHILL House is marking the centenary of the sinking of the world famous ship the Titanic with its own ‘Titanic story’.
For the first time ever, visitors to the National Trust property in Moneymore will be able to see an original hand written letter, scribed by 11-year-old Eileen Lenox-Conyngham on board the Titanic in 1912.
The letter, written on White Star Line headed paper dated 10 April 1912, will capture the hearts of many. Eleven year old, Eileen Lenox-Conyngham, started her journey as a first class passenger with her family, on the world’s most famous ship. They boarded at Southampton and fortunately were only crossing the channel to disembark in Cherbourg, before travelling on to Paris for their family holiday.
“The story of Eileen’s life, her journey on the Titanic, as well as the journey of the letter, which she wrote on board to her nursemaid Louisa, will be revealed at Springhill on the 28 and 29 April,” said Claire Donnelly, Visitor Services Manager for National Trust Mid Ulster properties.
“The journey of the letter is an intriguing story in itself, which after 100 years of travelling around the world, from the Titanic to Ireland to the United States, was recently bequeathed back to Springhill by Eileen’s son, Anton EB Schefer. It details Eileen’s experiences and provides an insight into the early movements of the world famous vessel.
“Not only will visitors see this unique piece of history at Springhill, but they will also have the opportunity to step back in time and join the maids in the plantation home as they prepare the family to embark on the Titanic.”
The costume collection will also be brought to life through a stunning exhibition featuring day and evening dresses in silk, satin and lace, as well as an array of garments for men, girls and boys from the Titanic era. The costumes will be displayed in room settings, which will recreate the elegant and stylish interiors for which the Titanic was famous.
A fun and interactive interpretation room, which will appeal to adults and children alike, will also reveal more stories about life in 1912, from travel through to communication and education.
Just 30 minutes from Springhill, The Argory, Moy will also celebrate its very own maritime story. Captain Shelton, the 2nd owner of The Argory was aboard the H.M.S Birkenhead when it sank off the coast of Africa in February 1852. One of the most documented maritime disasters before the Titanic, it was also the first ever liner to exercise the phrase ‘Women and Children First!’
Titanic – The Springhill Story will launch on 28 and 29 April and a series of events will take place from May to September 2012. Birkenhead – The Argory Story is now open and will feature living history interpretation on 24 June and 18-19 August.
For further information on National Trust Titanic Stories visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ni.