So, have you been on the Titanic Walking Tour yet? Since April, every Friday and Saturday I’ve been proudly wearing the snazzy red jacket of a Walking Tour guide, as part of the team of dedicated Titanoraks showing visitors and tourists from all over the world around the incredibly rich Titanic heritage which still survives in the Belfast docks.
I’m loving every minute of it! Every group is different, and every group contains some characters – and some of the stories, anecdotes and personal connections to the old docks are fascinating. In the group in the picture to the right, the chap in the blue was a friendly, good-natured German tourist who was trying to teach me the correct pronunciation of the word “Krupp” (the German manufacturer who built the yellow cranes). (German tourist : “It’s pronounced Krupp”. Me: “Krupp.” German tourist: “No, no, no. Krupp.” Me: “Krupp.” German tourist: “No, like this – KRUPP!” Me: “KRUPP!” etc etc.)
Over the last few weeks, many groups have been composed of more locals than tourists, and (while it’s great that people from all over the world are travelling to Belfast) it’s fantastic to see Norn Irish people start to take real interest and pride in some of our most evocative heritage. We’ve kept our heads down about Titanic for the last 100 years, while the rest of the world tapped into the huge interest (and made a correspondingly huge fortune) from any connection to the most famous ship in history. Time we started making the most of our Titanic past – especially since (as we tell everyone, every time, on the walking tours, until they can repeat it like a mantra) She Was All Right When She Left Here…
So on the tour a few weeks ago the group was joined by some roving reporters from the NI Tourist Board, who have now produced this rather brill little video. (They also brought along two models to be pretend tourists, just in case the group that day weren’t pretty enough.) The first half of the vid is about the Titanic Boat Tour (which is also highly recommended) and then in the second half it’s over to the inimitable Mr Colin Cobb (and you’ll see some footage of Yours Truly in full tour guide mode, complete with extravagant hand gestures).