Colne Titanic hero Wallace Hartley documentary on TV tonight

Grave of Wallace Hartley in Colne Cemetery.
Grave of Wallace Hartley in Colne Cemetery.
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AN exclusive hour-long documentary presented by pop star Suggs tonight will honour Colne’s own music legend - Wallace Hartley.

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

And it will feature Colne historian, librarian and Wallace Hartley expert Darran Ward, who has released a book about him, and Nigel Hampson from Colne’s Titanic in Lancashire Museum.

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, 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 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 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 featured in the studies for the programme, as did Colne’s “Titanic in Lancashire Museum”, where he helps. His specialist subject is the musicians and particularly bandleader Wallace Hartley.

He will feature in the programme, explaining the story of Colne’s legend, as will museum boss Nigel Hampson.