Pendle marks centenary of Titanic disaster

Actor Jonathan Evans-Jones and Vaughan Jones during the wreath laying ceremony at the Wallace Hartley Memorial in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
Actor Jonathan Evans-Jones and Vaughan Jones during the wreath laying ceremony at the Wallace Hartley Memorial in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons

A SERIES of events in Pendle marked the tragic sinking of the Titanic a century ago last weekend. More than 1,500 died, including the ship’s bandmaster, Wallace Hartley from Pendle.

There was a wreath-laying ceremony, the opening of a new memorial, a film premiere, a Hartley hike, a concert by Colne Orchestra in which Wallace Hartley had been a past member, two Titanic canal trips and a memorial service on Colne Railway Station.

Wallace was born and lived in Colne, as well as Carr Road, Nelson before the family moved to Huddersfield.

After starting to play violin in Colne, he ended up as Titanic’s bandmaster and - with seven other musicians, played after the ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began to sink on April 15th, 1912. They are believed to have finally played the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee”.

The Titanic in Lancashire Museum has proved popular with the public on the upper floor of Colne St Bartholomew’s Parish Rooms in Church Street.

On Friday, a new memorial to Wallace Hartley was unveiled there, including a painting of Wallace and the Titanic.

Museum curator Mr Nigel Hampson was joined by Mayor of Pendle Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, vicar the Rev. Tony Rindl and others at the launch.

Mr Rindl, who dedicated the memorial, said: “In remembering Wallace Hartley we remember the real human tragedy of this event and the personal cost to many families. We are touched by his personal story of courage and honour at a moment of crisis.”

There’s more on the area’s Wallce Hartley tribute events - with more photos - in Friday’seditions of the Leader-Times newspapers.