News & Reviews

RMS Titanic: Oxford Street Remembers

 

On Saturday 7th April “Oxford Street Remembers” is a commemoration of Southampton’s RMS Titanic and a glimpse of 1912 Oxford Street, Southampton. Oxford Street was a hub of Titanic activity and industry. Many of the properties were hotels, boarding houses or suppliers for the cruise industry and workers. On Saturday 7th April ‘Oxford Street Remembers’ with a look at the street’s history and  themed activities celebrating our maritime roots and creativity.

A Titanic Trail around the street will contain information about the buildings use at the time and the people living or making a living in them.  The rest of the days highlights include live music and poetry performances, talks about 1912 fashion, an Artisan Market and children’s activities.

The Artisan Market will feature wooden toys, vintage fashion, prints by leading Southampton artists, jewellery and more. Live performances include a maritime poetry piece by the Art House, Antique Beats by Still Moving Djs and live life sculpture by Chris Cudlip.

Many of Oxford Street businesses are joining in too, with window displays, staff in period costume and restaurants offering historical menus. Like Michael Rhodes Estate Agents staff dressing in period costume, changing all their property displays into sepia and quoting prices relevant to the year of 1912 plus, displaying a Titanic artefact.  Equinox barbers are offering a deal of half price deluxe hot towel cut throat razor shave for £12. The luxury shave consist of a 45 minute treatment and the team with be dressed like the barbers on the Titanic (there were two barbers shops on board).  At The White Star there will be a themed Titanic menu and cocktail list incorporating dishes and drinks that were served on the ship.

‘Oxford Street Remembers’ will be a family friendly glimpse into 1912 Oxford Street. The Artisan Market and activities start from 12 noon until 6pm.  For more information call 07591170720 or email info@themarketing-collective.co.uk

Programme:

Artisan Market including prints, books, watercolours, posters, vintage and recycled clothing and fabrics, handmade jewellery, wooden toys, live sculpture and arts and crafts.

Promenading costumed characters

Launch of a new Titanic Trail Leaflet looking at Then and Now with historical window displays

Music by Still Moving DJ’s sponsored by Town or Country from 12 noon

1pm & 3.30pm - Talks on the fashion of 1912 with examples at The White Star with Lyze Lynch

”Guess the Value” competition with Michael Rhodes Estate Agents as they change all their property displays into sepia and quoting prices relevant to the year of 1912. Also showing a Titanic artifact in their window

Visit the street’s Barbers, Equinox, as they step back to 1912 and become one of the barbers that were on the Titanic offering discounted hot towel open blade shaves

Face painting, competitions and special offers

Titanic themed menus at The White Star and Titanic Memorabilia on display

Events on Oxford Street

Oxford Street and its surrounding roads is a busy area of social activity, enjoyment and night time entertainment, but has this always been the case? Paranormal Investigator Peter Collins from the company Haunted Southampton decided to try and find out a bit more regarding a possible darker side to the area in days gone by. Pete was joined by Psychic medium Merita King for a walk around to try and find out if indeed any paranormal activity may be occurring.

Peter Collins has researched many areas of Southampton for possible paranormal activity and ghostly sightings. He went on to say that several people have contacted him following reports of drawers being opened , doors slammed and items of clothing being moved about – all of which have come from the same set of buildings – Lucia Foster Welch Halls of Residence.

Some have suggested that it is the un-happy spirit of Sir William Tite, who is not at all pleased with the recent changes to the station he proudly designed in the late 1830’s. However, Psychic Medium Merita King offered another more possible sinister reason for some poltergeist activity. Upon arrival at the old station, Merita said that she felt that a small child had been found here, on the railway but not killed by a train – the child had been killed elsewhere and then put in the path of a train to make it look as if it was an accident. This was not a recent crime obviously, according to Merita, the child had been reported missing for a few days prior to being found. Is this young child trying to gain our attention to tell its side of the story?

Moving onto the London Hotel, this centre of entertainment may be experiencing some unusual un-explained activity. Merita believes that The London Hotel is paranormally active – she felt that there was a mature lady who in the past had a position of authority such as landlady or head housekeeper, and frequents the building still. She may make her presence known in small ways when she thought something was not being done properly – un-making beds or rearranging things – nothing major but just enough to be noticed. I wonder if anyone within the London Hotel has experienced such occurrences.

Walking along Oxford Street, Merita became aware of a young spirit lady, quite pretty with a rounded face and red cheeks. She seemed to be a jolly happy person, but her trade was the “entertaining of men”. This young spirit girl seemed to know everyone and everyone knew her, and although young in her spirit years, her hardship and work environment had taken its toll upon her looks so she appeared older than she actually was. Her presence was felt the most on the crossroads between Latimer and Oxford Street. Has anyone felt or seen this Edwardian girl stood on the corner in her long dress – still trying to make her way by plying her trade?

As Peter and Merita approached The Grapes, they stood outside and Merita sensed the feelings of a very busy market area in days gone by – one of the products sold being fresh fish, brought to the market straight from the boat. It seemed that the area had a very busy previous atmosphere, and just as we were walking away from the Grapes Merita heard a whisper in her ear of the word “Wheelwright”. Does the Grapes have some spirit visitors who used to work in this industry or was the site at some time used to repair the numerous wheels that rumbled through the streets many years ago?

Merita was drawn to 31-32 Oxford Street with a degree of uneasiness; it is at this location more than any other that she felt people would feel uncomfortable or even frightened by some sort of negative atmosphere. She was unsure as to the source of the distress.

So concluded our mini investigation of Oxford Street: an area with a lot of history relating to the White Star Line but also with a few hidden ghostly tales. Our evening raised more questions than answers, but in truth that is the fun of paranormal investigations. Peter Collins would enjoy hearing from anyone who has experienced any Ghostly activity within this area.

More can be found out about Haunted Southampton at their web site www.hauntedsouthampton.com and also work undertaken by Psychic Medium Merita King www.meritaking.webs.com

Written by Peter Collins

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