Titanic Trail latest point of interest has been unveiled in Bridlington, East Yorkshire where a plaque has been presented to the works of the band leader, Wallace Hartley, on the ill fated maiden voyage.
The Titanic Trail has many points of interest in and around Belfast especially at Harland and Wolff shipyards where the Titanic was originally built.
The latest attraction on the Titanic Trail is at the Bridlington Spa where a plaque has been erected to commenorate the life and work of Wallace Hartley. He was the heroic bandleader on the RMS Titanic, who played at The Spa Bridlington between 1902 – 1904.
Wallace Hartley was an English violinist, born in Colne in Lancashire. In 1902, he moved to Bridlington to join the municipal orchestra and was engaged to work at The Spa Bridlington. He left to work on many of the great ocean liners of the day including the RMS Lucania, RMS Luscitania and the RMS Mauritania. Offered the opportunity to sail on the RMS Titanic he preferred to stay with his fiancé as he had only recently proposed to her. He, however, chose to go on the journey as he knew it would generate many important contacts to further his career. He therefore became an integral part of the Titanic Trail.
In recent years, the story of Wallace Hartley’s violin has been in the headlines. It was recovered from the sea and returned to his fiancé, Maria Robinson, in July 1912 where it remained with her until her death. Her sister inherited it and she in turn passed it to the Bridlington Salvation Army. It was later passed to a violin teacher before languishing in the same family for 70 years. After forensic confirmation that it was genuine it was subsequently sold at auction for a record breaking £900,000, becoming the most valuable artefact on the Titanic Trail to date.
Wallace Hartley’s residency at The Spa Bridlington and the story of the violin, link the town to the RMS Titanic and the Titanic Trail in a very special way. The town and the venue have a rich heritage and The Spa Bridlington was a major venue on the tour circuit of the time. The unveiling of the blue plaque will provide a lasting commemoration of this heroic figure who gave his life putting others first.
If you wish to follow the Titanic Trail to Bridlington then a magnificent place to stay is The Royal Bridlington, only 400 yards walk from the Bridlington Spa and the site of the plaque to Wallace Hartley.