Titanic launch ticket stub 'could fetch up to £10,000'
A ticket stub from the VIP enclosure of the launch of the Titanic is to be sold at auction later this month.
The ticket stub belonged to Harland & Wolff secretary Charlotte Irwin.
Miss Irwin was just 20 and worked in the drafting office at the Belfast firm's shipyard when Titanic was being built.
And when the ocean liner was launched on May 31 1911, Miss Irwin was in an executive box set aside for specially invited White Star Line and Harland & Wolff staff - giving her a great view of the Titanic sliding down the ways into the water.
Miss Irwin kept the ticket, No 116, as a souvenir of a memorable day.
It read "TITANIC Launch," below which it states: "To be retained for admission to Stand."
The stub is flanked with fleur-de-lys. The reverse of the stub contains shorthand manuscript notes with details of the disaster.
The Pitman script reads: "Launched 31st May 1911. Left Belfast 2nd April 1912. Sailed on her maiden voyage 10th April 1912. Struck an iceberg at 11.45 on 14th April 1912 Sank with the loss of over 1,000 lives at 2.20am 15th April 1912."
The ticket stub is estimated to fetch between £6,000 and £10,000 when it goes under the hammer at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, on April 23.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "Memorabilia relating to the launch is very unusual but it's exceptionally rare to offer a ticket stub that can be directly traced to the individual who attended the launch."
Also being sold is an original period photograph of the Harland & Wolff drawing office where Titanic was designed.
Mr Aldridge said: "The most important parts of the photo is the fact that the famous builder's half-model of Olympic/Titanic is in attendance in the background.
"This is very probably the one that was subsequently used in the British Titanic inquiry. The importance of this image really cannot be understated."
On the reverse of the photograph, is handwritten "Dec. 1909". Titanic's keel had been laid the previous March so at the time this photograph was taken, construction of both ships was under way, as the model in the background suggests.
"The sepia-toned photograph is quite simply one of the finest Belfast Titanic-related images we have ever offered for auction," Mr Aldridge added.
It is estimated to sell for between £6,000 and £10,000.