There was an air of levity as passengers prepared to board the MV Balmoral to cross the Atlantic bound for New York. It was a scene recreated from 100 years ago.
From these docks in Southampton the doomed Titanic prepared for her maiden voyage in 1912. Europe was verging towards war, the wealthy indulging themselves, passengers in steerage hoping for prosperity in America.
Within a week many of those dreams and the Titanic were on the ocean floor. One survivor’s grandson, Philip Littlejohn is sailing on the memorial voyage.
“It’s really a family connection here, because my grandfather sailed on Titanic as a first class steward, survived rowing lifeboat 13. It’ll mean going back, recreating the voyage that he did. One of the things that I am particularly looking forward to is actually sailing into New York and seeing the Statue of Liberty, because I would imagine that that was something when he was on Titanic he probably thought he would never see again until he was ordered in to row a boat,” he said.
As the Balmoral slipped her moorings passengers took to the decks. Over 1300 from 28 countries are on board for the 12 night trip. There will be a special memorial service on the 14th and 15th of April to mark the moment Titanic sank into history.