Brothers’ catalogue of Titanic treasures
By Gareth Crickmer - Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette
Memories of the Titanic are being brought to life by schoolboy brothers on the centenary of the famous liner’s sinking.
Leo, 14, and Ben Baxendale-Smith, 12, have compiled a catalogue of hundreds of artefacts relating to the vessel bequeathed to their father, Paul.
Now the youngsters, of Harton, South Shields, are hoping it will inspire a collector to buy and treasure the collection.
They got to work after Mr Smith’s uncle, Michael Gallagher, 64, died, leaving original artwork, photos, postcards and other items signed by survivors.
Mr Smith, 46, who runs an engineering business, is delighted his sons have taken an interest.
He said: “They enjoyed compiling the catalogue and getting it all ship-shape. It took quite a lot of doing and some hard work – I think they spent a couple of weeks putting it all together.
“They have created a power point presentation of parts of it and have logged it all on a computer. It can be put on a disc for anyone interested.”
Mr Gallagher, who never married or had children, spent about 50 years compiling memorabilia.
He was inspired as a boy after watching a film about the ship’s tragic end at a cinema in Ocean Road, South Shields.
His collection contains nothing directly salvaged from the vessel but includes postcards signed by famous survivors including Eva Hart and Millvena Dean.
There is also a framed photo from a Titanic dive mission signed by Ken Marschall, a photographer well known for his portrayals of the ship, and others.
Dozens of books about the White Star Line-owned ship, which sunk after hitting an iceberg in April, 1912, with the loss of 1,517 lives, are also contained.