The Wheel of Fortune turns in favour of Belfast’s Titanic Memorial once more
Belfast Titanic Society received the news about the imminent departure of the Belfast Wheel right in the middle of a committee meeting. There could not have been more welcome news.
As a society, we have been campaigning, lobbying, complaining, letter writing and persuading for the past year. Anyone we thought could have an influence on the situation was approached. These efforts were driven by the tireless work of the Reverend Ian Gilpin from Comber Non Subscribing Preysbyterian Church (the place of worship of the Andrews family). His tenacity was amazing and as a result, hundreds of letters of objection were received by the planners.
Our objections to the wheel are well documented: that it detracts from the Titanic memorial and is insulting to the memory of those whose names are there inscribed; that it sends out a really bad message about how Belfast views Titanic and that it prevents us from having a dignified commemoration ceremony each 15th April. While the wheel will still be in situe this 15th April coming, at least we will then know that it is only a matter of days before it is gone completely.
It will be a wonderful feeling to have our old memorial back and to once again be able to stand at the foot of the plinth and read the names. The inscription on the west face of the memorial which speaks about the sacrifice made by the men from Belfast lost on Titanic will once again be accessible. Poor Lord Pirrie whose bronze bust has been hidden away in the wheel mechanism will be able to emerge from the shadows.
Would it be cheeky for the Belfast Titanic Society to ask the city council to give the poor Greek Goddess a bit of a tidy up? There is a worrying hairline fracture in her skirts and she looks a little green around the gills. Perhaps this is another project for the intrepid Reverend Gilpin to get his teeth into.