Birthday was dominated by news of ship disaster

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THE late Evelyn Mary Gray, only daughter of Charles Wesley Gray, of Sherwood House, Linby, never forgot her tenth birthday on April 22 1912.

This is because it was dominated by news of the great Titanic disaster, just days earlier, and her sympathy went out to all those who had lost their lives when the ship struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York. In particular, she would have thought of Captain Smith’s young daughter, Helen, who was the same age as herself, and her mother, Mrs Smith, who received many letters of sympathy after the disaster.

Evelyn Gray is believed to have been at school in Nottingham in 1912 and would no doubt have remembered her father (a director of Linby Colliery) pointing out to her the account of the sinking of the Titanic written by newspaper editor Mr Henry Morley in the Dispatch a few days after the tragic happening.

The extensive publicity given to the Titanic prior to its maiden voyage would have interested Mr Gray and his daughter, Evelyn, and they were most probably aware that tickets for the Titanic, the largest and safest steamer in the world, were on sale in Nottingham.

Pioneering travel company Thomas Cook had a shop at 16 Clumber Street, where it had first opened in May 1879.

This office relocated to premises at 47 Clumber Street after the Second World War before returning to No 16 in November 1970.

The Clumber Street office finally closed in May 1998 and the business was moved to new premises at 3 Long Row, where it remains today.

On hearing the news of the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912, Evelyn Gray would have recalled the colourful poster advertising the great White Star liner before its maiden voyage from Southampton on April 10 that year.

MAVIS ELLIS

Enniscorthy,

Mansfield Road,

Papplewick.