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Titanic launch VIP ticket stub sells for £15,000 at auction

Published 23/04/2016

The stub belonged to Harland & Wolff secretary Charlotte Irwin and was bought by a private collector from Britain at the sale at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire
The stub belonged to Harland & Wolff secretary Charlotte Irwin and was bought by a private collector from Britain at the sale at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire

A ticket stub from the VIP enclosure of the launch of the Titanic has sold for £15,000 at auction.

It belonged to Harland & Wolff secretary Charlotte Irwin and was bought by a private collector from Britain at the sale at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire.

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."

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge described the item, which beat its £6,000-£10,000 estimate, as "an exceptional piece".

He said: "It is very unusual with launch tickets to be able to put a face to a ticket."

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