Jo’s Monday Walk: Southampton, UK

We made our way to Southampton, UK to take our first cruise ever……

Since we had arrived a day early, I had made a list of the things we wanted to see. The SeaCity Museum was our first stop and the threat of rain and the grey skies added to my apprehension about going to this museum at this time. We had made up our minds we would tour the Southampton Titanic Story section of the museum, hoping it wouldn’t put a damper on our feelings about the trip…….. I was so glad we went in the end.

Southampton’s story was focused on the ships’s workers and their families in the aftermath of the tragedy. Their story was so personal and a real eyeopener into the lives of sailors, cooks, boiler men, maids and nursemaids and other general crew on that voyage and the families they left behind. The devastation to the city was immense when the Titanic sunk in the morning of April 15, 1912, four days after leaving Southampton.

We were not allowed to take photos inside the museum and I didn’t want to, it felt like a memorial. As we entered there was an entire long and tall wall of photos with the names of men and women, with their job description, who were working on the Titanic when it sank.  Four in five of the crew on board the vessel were Sotonians, (from Southampton) working from the Thornycroft shipbuilding yard, which was a major employer in Southampton from 1904 until 2004. Most of workers resided in Southampton at the time, because people came there for work on the docks or on the ships. There was a little passport book that each worker carried when they signed up, most of them were day-laborers, taken on as the men and women needed work. The workers did not get paid until the voyage was over and only if their work and conduct were satisfactory. They were docked a day’s work if their service was deemed insufficient.  Videos of family members, mostly children at the time who had survived, revealed how the sinking of the Titanic and losing their family members affected them forever. Many story-tellers were well into their late years when their stories were documented. Workmen, who lived, because they had manned the lifeboats, had a rough time living with the fact that they had survived when sixteen hundred of the passengers and fellow workmates didn’t.  Many stories were told. It was so sad and moving…..

In the next room the real tragedy to the city was revealed. The floor depicted a map of the city of Southampton in 1912 with all the neighborhoods and houses. Each house that had lost a family member was painted a special color on the floor. Oh my gosh, practically the entire city of Southhampton was painted. In many of the working family neighborhoods every house was painted out! This was a time when there was no aid or welfare to help these families, that had just lost their only wage provider!

Another room was set up as a court room and we were seated as jurors. The real-life investigation of the Titanic tragedy was played on a large screen. It was amazing to learn that young men with good eyesight was the only requirement needed to serve as a lookout for icebergs. They were not equipped with binoculars, as it was not deemed necessary. There were many things revealed as unsafe after the fact, but the ship was so new, and so advanced for its time, it was just inconceivable to the owners and investors of the White Star Line, that it could sink.

Another room focused on all the changes in safety at sea, determined after the sinking of the Titanic, and the requirements that have continued to develop with new technology over the years. The SeaCity Museum is a beautiful tribute to the workers of Southampton and a museum well worth seeing. From the museum we walked down Above Bar Street, past the huge West Quay Shopping Center and on into Old Town. There is an official walking tour that is called the Titanic Walk and features memorials dedicated to those who perished that day. These are some of the photos taken along our walk of the city.

The Sea Museum, Southampton, UK

You can’t take photos inside the museum, but there is a nice Victorian looking pub, named The Titanic…………..

The Titanic Pub, Southampton, UK
Walking Arounds the Streets of Southampton, UK
Walking Arounds the Streets of Southampton, UK

another pub……..The Juniper Berry……..

Walking Arounds the Streets of Southampton, UK

Dividing Southampton is a section of the old town wall……and then you are immersed in the newish shops and a big a shopping mall……..We kept walking past all that……..

Southampton, UK

We were making our way to the Tudor Museum………a rather hodge-podge of buildings surrounded by a various mixture of gardens too.   The herb gardens………

The Tutor House Herb Gardens, Southampton, UK

and the Tudor knot garden,,,,,,

The Tutor Knot Gardens, Southampton, UK

with an air shaft to the vaults, later explained when we inside the museum….

The Tutor Gardens, Southampton, UK

It was air shaft to bunkers as this one, representing those used during WWII.

The World War II Bunker, Tudor Museum, Southampton, UK

and there were kitchens from several eras……I don’t know why, but I’m always drawn to kitchens! This one had a lot of food ……….

The Kitchen During WWII

and this one revealed a tutor kitchen, but much cleaner I suppose……..no soot on the walls here!

The Tutor Kitchen, Tudor Museum, Southampton, UK

There was also a Victorian kitchen…….

The Victorian Kitchen, Tudor Museum, Southampton, UK

and there were other big empty rooms featuring Tutor Halls………..again quite quirky! So we turned back to make out trek back to the hotel and passed this woman feeding the pigeons…..onward and upwards, I guess!

A Woman Feeding the Pigeons, Southampton, UK

I hope you have enjoyed our walk in Southampton today! We can tick that off our list of things to do in Southampton!

If you would like to see where other folks are walking today look for Jo’s Monday Walk!

27 Comments Add yours

  1. Alison says:

    Very interesting post ..you don’t often hear about the survivors of the Titanic besides “Rose”
    I don’t think I’ve ever been to Southampton

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think it is on the tourist route per se. It is definitely a university town and a working city…..But, the Titanic side to the museum was an eye opener to the effect it had on so many working class folks, who depended on their jobs from the shipyards. I wonder about it today, because the cruise ship industry has come to a screeching halt and I am sure a lot of the folks in Southampton still depend on those jobs. The other side of the museum is dedicated to the sea……we didn’t have time for both sides because I wanted to spend some time walking the streets and taking in Southampton. I think it was one of the best museums I have been in!

      Like

      1. Alison says:

        It certainly looked like a great museum ..where did your cruise go to

        Like

      2. Alison says:

        Will you be writing posts about these? I’ll look out for them

        Like

      3. And all the stops in between!

        Like

      4. I have posted them already……..But I may re-snip parts of them here and there, until we can really travel again!

        Like

      5. Alison says:

        I’ll have to have a look then

        Like

  2. restlessjo says:

    This was a lovely surprise this morning, Cadyluck- thank you! What a fascinating story but so sad. The impact on Southampton was terrible. I’ve only passed through the outskirts of the town once, long ago, and had no idea there were remnants of town walls. I was very happy wandering in your company 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, I had this post ready and then when I read your post again and it said I’ll see you in two weeks, I thought OH NO I’ve screwed that up! Well, I have many more walks! We are planning on a little holiday over the next week and I have been busy getting all my posts lined up before I go! I don’t even know what day it is any more because in my mind I’m up to February 18th!
      Ha Ha!

      Like

      1. restlessjo says:

        It really doesn’t matter when you post, hon. I just scoop them up ready for my next walk. Where are you off to? This restless person would quite like a jaunt away 🤗💕

        Like

      2. We go to Nashville, TN about every 6 weeks to get away fro it all! TN is not under heavy restrictions and everything is open! Also, our granddaughter is in medical school (Vanderbilt) and we go to see if she is still alive! It’s really a challenge to be in med school right now! She says we’ll never be over COVID either!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. restlessjo says:

        Enjoy your trip 🤗💕💕

        Like

  3. Sue says:

    Well, I worked briefly in one of the Southampton hospitals as a student, but never looked around the city! Thanks for the wander

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sue, we saw many students there, so I know there is at least one university! The city has a sad feeling to it……..maybe it was the weather or the mood I was in after visiting the museum, but I got a sad vibe…..There has been a lot of hard scrabble here……

      Liked by 1 person

  4. margaret21 says:

    You’ve definitely sold Southampton as a short break destination … one day.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The museums alone would make it a good day trip……..Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Toonsarah says:

    I lived in Southampton for a few weeks decades ago (a summer holiday job while at university) but that was long before this SeaCity Museum existed. It sounds really worth a visit if I find myself there again.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jo Shafer says:

    Thank you for this most informative story, Cady! I never had considered the impact of the Titanic’s sinking on the place where it all started, from designers to shipbuilders, engineers to crew members, only the passengers. Of course, it dealt a heavy blow on the fictional characters of Downton Abbey, and viewers were able to see that side of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was one of the best museums that I have ever been in! We have also visited a Titanic exhibit in Quebec City, which featured the passengers only, and it was good too! But, this museum, focused on the workers, was a real eye opener!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jo Shafer says:

        Yes, I well can imagine, just as your story was.

        Like

  8. I lived and worked in Southampton for a short time in my early 20s – in the library next door to SeaCity, which at the time housed the Courts. I revisited for the first time in decades a few years ago and relived some of my past. I agree the Titanic exhibition was excellent, and I also liked the Tudor House.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought that used to be another building at one time! It had that look to it!

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      1. The Ladies and Gents used the old cell doors!

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      2. Now I wish I’d used the restroom there!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I have never been there but I greatly enjoyed this walk, despite the somber but fascinating information about the Titanic losses.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

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