Titanic & traffic flow
The Titanic disaster was a proto-9/11 event - where news spread across the world via telegraph almost in real time. News of the disaster may have hit hardest in Belfast ("the anvil of the empire") where Titanic was built & launched.
On May 3 1912, Belfast City immediately authorised the building of:
“a public memorial, to be erected on the most prominent site available, to keep green the memory of those lost and serve to tell succeeding generations of their heroism and devotion to duty".
Postponed by WWI - it was unveiled 26 Jun 1920, situated between 2 tram lines in the middle of the road on Donegal Sq N, opposite City Hall.
Tens of 1000s passed it daily.
You can see it in the middle of this pic, in front of the taxi rank.
"The most prominent site available" in Belfast saw an exponential increase in traffic over the next 3 decades. Time passed. Priorities changed. The memory slowly de-greened. Space and access slowly eroded. Fewer people and more and more cars passed by.
By 1958 Council now viewed the memorial as a:
“…snag in the smooth running of the one-way traffic scheme” and proposed to remove it to “…facilitate the flow of traffic”.
Kerbs we also moved:“…to speed the flow of traffic at corners”.
“…snag in the smooth running of the one-way traffic scheme”
After much debate – it was pushed 100 metres into City Hall grounds on the east side. It was largely forgotten, until 1997-98 when “Titanic" the movie – along with the GFA – presented the city with a new hook for tourists.
(A new memorial garden was opened in 2012)
If you pass the memorial remember the disaster & victims
• why kids can’t walk to school.
• why you can dump a car anywhere.
• why the air's so poor.
• why the memorial was moved
Remember…FLOW OF TRAFFIC