Madness singer Suggs in tribute to Colne Titanic hero Wallace Hartley

Suggs visiting Wallace Hartley's grave at Colne Cemetery (S)
Suggs visiting Wallace Hartley's grave at Colne Cemetery (S)

An exclusive hour-long documentary presented by pop star Suggs next Tuesday evening will honour Colne’s own music legend - Wallace Hartley.

“Titanic: The Band Plays On” takes place at 9 p.m. on leading history channel Yesterday. Suggs, who was frontman of Madness, came to Colne to carry out research and visited Wallace’s grave at Colne Cemetery.

This month, it is 100 years since news of the greatest maritime disaster in history sent shock waves around the world. From the moment the ship sank, a series of powerful myths grew up around the Titanic.

Perhaps the most potent of all is that of the band standing on deck, bravely playing on until the last lifeboat had left and there was no hope of escape. For the first time “Titanic: The Band Played On” tells the story of those unsung heroes who were about to play for the last time.

This film reveals why the media and public were so captivated by the story of these courageous men. Suggs interviews renowned experts and descendents of the band’s musicians to delve further into the story that has lasted well beyond their lifetimes.

Taking a fresh look at the Titanic disaster, this film uncovers new details about the heroic band of musicians who played together for the first and last time aboard the ship.

The programme delves into the facts and looks at memorabilia to ask questions about the band’s role in the tragedy and why stories around the hymn “Nearer my God to Thee” have grown up around the ship’s final moments.

Darran Ward - Colne-based librarian and historian who has just written a book on the subject - featured in the studies for the programme, as did Colne’s “Titanic in Lancashire Museum”, where he helps out. His specialist subject is the musicians and particularly bandleader Wallace Hartley.

You can watch “Titanic: The Band Played On” on Yesterday on Tuesday to learn the truth behind the myth and tragic story surrounding the ship’s iconic band and its leader Wallace.