IT might have been built in Belfast and come to grief after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic, but the world’s most famous ship had more than a passing acquaintance with Worcestershire.
A new book by historian Andrew P.B. Lound reveals that 70 per cent of the interior of the Titanic, the unsinkable giant which duly sank on its maiden voyage to New York in 1912 with the loss of 1,600 lives, was made in the Midlands.
Its huge centre anchor, weighing nearly 16 tons, was manufactured by a firm from Cradley in north Worcestershire and at the time was dubbed “the biggest anchor in the world”.
Of course today county boundary changes have relocated Cradley, Dudley, Halesowen and other Black Country towns into the West Midlands, but when the Titanic was built they were very much part of the Black Pear county.
The ship had three anchors – port, starboard and centre – and several photographs exist of the massive centre anchor leaving the factory of anchor-makers Noah Hingley at Netherton en route to Dudley, where it was put on a train to make its way eventually to Belfast and the Harland and Wolff shipyard where the Titantic was being built.
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