Launch Day for New Artefacts at Titanic Belfast

30th May

Artefact, Maritime History, RMS Titanic, Titanic Experience Titanic Belfast CEO Tim Husbands with Lord Pirrie's Pocket Watch

We are delighted today to unveil some extremely rare artefacts connected to RMS Titanic’s launch to mark the milestone anniversary (31st May 1911) when the ship was launched in less than 62 seconds from the Slipways.

Artefacts including Lord Pirrie’s 18 ct gold pocket watch, two original launch day tickets and a broken Rivet from RMS Olympic have been added to the Titanic Experience galleries to mark the occasion.

According to the auctioneers, Henry Aldridge & Sons, the watch was likely worn by Lord Pirrie at the launch of the ship and one of the launch tickets still with its perforated stub (as Captain Alexander Matier could not attend the event) is said to one of the most desirable launch tickets in existence and believed to be the only one of its calibre.
Launch Day Ticket
Additional artefacts, originally owned by Charlotte E. Brennan, who at 20 years old worked as a secretary at Harland and Wolff and attended the launch herself, provides visitors with a personal insight to Titanic’s and the Olympic class liners construction. Her story, alongside her ticket to the launch with shorthand manuscript notes about the ship on the reverse and a Rivet from RMS Olympic will also be showcased in the Titanic Experience Launch Gallery.  

Tim Husbands MBE, Chief Executive of Titanic Belfast, “On Launch Day, 106 years ago, over 100,000 people gathered to watch RMS Titanic, it was a very special and proud day for the city, and today is a very special day for us at Titanic Belfast. Memorabilia from the launch is very rare and we are delighted to have these new artefacts to add to our collection.  Each one is very special due to their intimate connection to Titanic’s construction and launch in Belfast.”

We are proud of this heritage and look forward to sharing the local stories connected to the artefacts with our guests from home and abroad! 
Launch Day Artefacts at Titanic Belfast

About the Artefacts

RMS Titanic VIP Launch Ticket
An extremely rare VIP ticket for the launch of RMS Titanic which still has its perforated stub. The recipient of this ticket no. 1342, Captain Alexander Matier, was unable to attend the launch. According to Henry Aldridge & Sons, it is said to be one of the most desirable launch tickets and is believed to be the only one of this calibre known.

RMS Titanic VIP Launch Ticket Stub
This ticket stub, No. 116, was issued to Charlotte Brennan, a Harland and Wolff employee. The reverse of the stub contains shorthand manuscript notes (presumably added by Brennan) with details of the disaster. Memorabilia relating to the launch is very unusual but it is exceptionally rare to offer a ticket stub that can be directly traced to the individual who attended the launch with an intimate connection to Titanic’s construction.

Lord Pirrie’s Gold Watch:
The 18ct. Gold pocket watch that was the personal property of Lord William James Alexander Pirrie, Chairman of Harland and Wolff. Pirrie had a reputation for overseeing all elements of construction and it was together with J. Bruce Ismay, he conceived the idea of the Olympic Class of liners. The watch is fully hallmarked 1890 and is engraved 'W.J.A. Pirrie'. It is quite likely that Lord Pirrie was wearing it during the period of Titanic's construction, possibly at the famous meeting of summer 1907 at Downshire House in Belgravia where the plans for Olympic, Titanic and Britannic were first formulated as welll as at Titanic's launch. The watch carries a watchmaker's stamp for Robert Neill of Belfast, a very well respected Jeweller and watchmaker, together with the name of the retailer James Morrison.

To view the new artefacts and explore over 100 years of maritime and social history, visit the Titanic Experience and SS Nomadic today!

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