TODAY we can exclusively reveal that Colne’s Titanic in Lancashire Museum is ready to set sail.
Maritime enthusiast Nigel Hampson (44) has announced that his Church Street attraction will be dropping anchor near Preston at the end of June.
The curator, who lives in Brierfield, has been based in the old Colne Grammar School for the past 18 months.
But with an ever expanding collection, and nowhere to showcase it, he has decided to accept an offer of three rooms at Samlesbury Hall.
By moving to the Grade I listed medieval manor house, Mr Hampson said he will now be able to triple the size of his exhibition.
He added: “We have wanted to expand for quite a while, as there is a part of the story that we can’t tell.
“We are so constrained with space here, and there are other things we would like to put on display.
“Samlesbury Hall loved the museum and what we are doing, and it will give people a double attraction.
“I think it’s a bitter-sweet moment for some people, but we have to do what is best for the museum. It’s not like we are moving to the dark side of the moon.”
The Titanic in Lancashire Museum, which is run by a small team of volunteers, tells the story of the RMS Titanic and her maiden voyage through various artefacts, pictures and a documentary.
Mr Hampson’s fascination with the 1912 disaster was sparked when he was just seven years old, after he purchased a model kit with a £10 Woolworths voucher.
Later in life he began touring with a collection, before he was then offered a permanent base in Colne by the Rev. Tony Rindl.
Mr Hampson, who described his “Colne highlight” as the commemoration of the Titanic’s centenary, said: “I would really like to thank Tony Rindl. If it hadn’t been for him, we wouldn’t have ever been here.”
Mr Hampson said he will still be hosting various Titanic events in Pendle following the move.
On Wednesday and Sunday, wreath laying ceremonies will be held to remember Colne bandmaster Wallace Hartley, who was one of the 71 Lancashire people to lose their lives on the doomed ship.
The first event will take place at the Wallace Hartley statue at midday, while the second will be held at the violinist’s grave at 2pm.