‘Titanic’ rescue binoculars on display in Colne

Captain Rostron's binoculars at Titanic in Lancashire Museum, Colne (S)
Captain Rostron's binoculars at Titanic in Lancashire Museum, Colne (S)

PENDLE’S Titanic In Lancashire Museum is delighted it has acquired a pair of binoculars which belonged to Captain A.H. Rostron, captain of the RMS Carpathia, the vessel which rescued Titanic’s survivors.

Capt. Rostron from Astley Bridge near Bolton earned enduring fame and endless accolades for racing his ship through ice-strewn waters in an attempt to save Titanic’s passengers and crew.

He was too far away, however, and could not reach the doomed Titanic in time. His ship Carpathia arrived at dawn on April 15th, 1912, four hours after Titanic sank. But he was able to rescue 705 survivors.

The binoculars - more properly “field glasses” - were presented to Rostron in March, 1922, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Titanic sinking by a long-time friend, Charles Allum, who had served with Rostron during the First World War.

They are inscribed “With Best Wishes from Charles Allum March, 1922. Captain A. H. Rostron CBE RD RNR”.

They were acquired at auction and the museum takes great pride in bringing them home to Lancashire and placing them on public display for all to see.

Museum curator Mr Nigel Hampson said: “This artifact puts the public very much in touch with the actual people who were involved in the Titanic disaster.

“Over 100 people from our county were either on board Titanic or, like Rostron, were uniquely and very closely involved. This is part of our heritage, part of our history. It is right and proper that this item has been secured for future generations and for all the people of Lancashire to be able to view and enjoy.

“Private collections are all very well, but when those collectors with deep pockets manage to secure items of high historical importance, it is wrong for those items to then disappear into someone’s front room! We at TLM are very pleased and proud to be able to bring all people one more artifact uniquely linked to the Titanic story”.

The field glasses are now on permanent display at the Titanic In Lancashire Museum next to St Bartholomew’s Church in Church Street, Colne.