A NEW museum opening in Colne will bring the stories of the people of Lancashire, on board the Titanic when it sank, to life.
The Titanic in Lancashire Museum will be located in the old Colne Grammar School, off Church Street, and will feature photographs and models of the ship.
Visitors will also be able to get a closer look at fittings identical to those seen on the Titanic from its sister ship, RMS Olympic.
Woven among these artifacts will be the stories of the 71 passengers from Lancashire who were on board the doomed vessel, notably Wallace Hartley, the bandmaster from Colne who famously played on as the ship sank in 1912.
The museum has been set up by Titanic enthusiast Nigel Hampson, who has been running mobile exhibits in community centres, schools and libraries across Pendle for over a year.
He said: “I was approached by lots of people who had come to see my exhibit and wanted to know where I would be going next. I thought it would be great to have a permanent base so I approached the Titanic Working Group, Pendle Council and Colne Town Council to see if they could help.
The Rev. Tony Rindl stepped in to offer the use of the old Colne Grammar School which has been used by St Bartholomew’s Church as the parish rooms.
Nigel said: “It is a fantastic base for us and I think it will be great for Colne. Tourists come from all over the world to visit the Wallace Hartley memorial and visit his grave. Now they will have a museum to visit which is keeping his story alive.”
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking Titanic and Nigel hopes the museum will add to the celebratory events already planned for the town.
The new museum is unique in that its focus will be on the 71 people on the ship who came from Lancashire.
Nigel said; “Lots of the information we have has never been told before. We explore the lives of the 71 people from Lancashire who were on board, the majority of which were members of the crew.”
Nigel is currently adding the finishing touches to the museum which should be open to the public towards the end of this month or the beginning of July. It will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The museum will house a reference library and reading area for visitors wanting to immerse themselves in the ship’s past.
There will also be plenty for children to enjoy, with the museum offering a quiz for youngsters.
The museum will charge a small admission fee of £2 for adults and £1 for children.