By David O’Sullivan and Ors.
On the day and time that RMS Titanic dropped anchor in Cork Harbour over
101 years ago (Thursday 11 April 1912), a poignant collection of a number
of passengers and survivors of the luxury liner’s maiden voyage was
unveiled at the Titanic Experience, the permanent visitor attraction in
Cobh, Co. Cork.
Among the items that will be on permanent display at the Titanic Experience
Cobh is a beautiful 20th century blue leather suitcase, purchased at
Harrods for the journey on board Titanic. The suitcase was the personal
property of Mrs. Lily Odell, a first class passenger on board the ill-fated
ship. Lily Odell travelled with some members of her family, including her
son, Jack and sister in law, Kate and her two brothers, Richard and Stanley
May. The Odell family party disembarked the Titanic at Queenstown, now
Cobh, and collected a hire car from Johnson & Perrott Motors to travel
around the south of Ireland.
Managing Director of the Titanic Experience Cobh, which is located in the
original White Star Line building, Gillen Joyce said, “We endeavour to make
the Titanic Experience as authentic as possible in providing information
about Titanic, and depicting the story of the passengers on board. With
this in mind, we felt that it was vital to include artefacts from the liner
to ensure a true visitor experience here in the original White Star Line
building in Cobh. We are delighted that our hard work has paid off and it
is an honour for us to have the Odell Collection exhibited here at the
On hand to formally open the exhibition was Tommy Barker, property editor
of the Irish Examiner and grandson and namesake of Thomas Barker, the Cork
Examiner photographer who captured some of the best known images of RMS
Titanic and her Irish passengers while in Cobh.
There are a number of photographs in the Odell collection, including the
original photo postcard showing Titanic survivors, Millvina Dean as a baby,
with her brother Bertram in a pram and their mother, Eva. Another
photograph shows young Jack Odell, in a Star Laudaulette automobile hired
from Johnson and Perrott with Mr May (Lily Odell’s brother) and their
A hand painted and signed French silk lace and mother of pearl fan in its
original silk covered box used on board the Titanic is also on loan to the
collection by Titanic Experience Historian, Vincent McMahon.
Titanic Experience Historian, Vincent McMahon gave a short talk at the
unveiling of the Odell collection, which took place at 1.30 pm to coincide
with ‘Titanic’ weighing anchor on this day on Thursday, 11th April 1912,
101 years ago. McMahon described the journey of the Odell family who
travelled on board ‘Titanic’ on the 10th and 11th April 1912.
“The loss of Titanic with so many lives has always been a very sad story.
Today we recall the passengers on board. It is a privilege to exhibit
items carried on board Titanic on that voyage from Southampton via
Cherbourg to Queenstown. The Titanic Experience Cobh looks forward to
keeping their memory alive through this Odell collection going on display
today.” added McMahon.
Managing Director of the Titanic Experience Cobh Gillen Joyce spoke with
Cork Reporter David O’Sullivan