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Mysteries of the S.S. Laurentic Revealed in Workshop

28th March 2017
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Postcard from John Madden, a sailor on board the Laurentic who wrote postcards to his family while the ship stopped in Liverpool before its final voyage. This is marked the 18th of January 1917, one week before the fateful sinking. Postcard from John Madden, a sailor on board the Laurentic who wrote postcards to his family while the ship stopped in Liverpool before its final voyage. This is marked the 18th of January 1917, one week before the fateful sinking. Photo: DC&SDC

#Laurentic - History lovers on Thursday 6 April will get a closer view of some of the fascinating artefacts recovered from the tragic sinking of SS Laurentic in Lough Swilly as part of a unique workshop. The artefacts from the liner are to be held in the Tower Museum, Derry. 

The workshop will give participants the chance to view a range of items recovered from the wreck site, some of which will be unveiled to the public for the first time.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the workshops offered a unique experience for anyone who is interested in maritime history.

“In recent months following the Centenary of the sinking of the Laurentic we have become more aware of this significant chapter in our local story. There is currently a treasure trove of artefacts on display at the museum, and this is an exciting chance for anyone who wants to explore the story further to learn more about the archive.

“It’s fantastic that so many local people have contributed objects to the exhibition, which will reveal more about those who served on board on that fateful day, as well as the beautiful vessel itself.”

The event is part of the wider programme of activities surrounding the Laurentic exhibition, which is now in its third month at the museum and running until the end of June.

Education Officer with the Tower Museum, Ronan McConnell, said that participants will also have the opportunity to hear some of the unique stories behind the objects and their recovery.

“We are delighted to be unveiling a whole series of new objects not seen before which have been loaned to us recently, including some mystery objects which we are still trying to identify,” he revealed.

“We are very excited about sharing these objects with the public in the hope that they can help us to identify them. The generosity of local divers and history enthusiasts - including relatives of those who sailed on the Laurentic - has been absolutely fantastic and we are looking forward to revealing more about the artefacts during the workshop.

“The strengths of this exhibition lie in two major elements - the story and the artefacts. The sinking of the Laurentic off Lough Swilly, its connection with this city and the search for the gold which still lies at the bottom of the lough, has great resonance among local people and indeed visitors to the city. The exhibition has proven extremely popular since it opened. Some of the artefacts loaned to the museum for the exhibition have incredible stories and this is a great opportunity to relate these stories to participants during the workshop.”

The workshop begins at 10am, admission is free and tea and coffee will be provided. If you would like to attend, please RSVP with [email protected] or phone 028 71 372411

Published in Historic Boats
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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