By Barry Turnbull
Albion House in Liverpool city centre looks forlorn and neglected yet has a rich and important place in Maritime history – it was here that the Titantic was registered. Yet you wouldn’t know that from the exterior of the building – only a small plaque marks the location as the home of the White Star Shipping Line.
It is particularly poignant at this time as the 100 th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking takes place on April 15th and an exhibition to mark the occasion has opened at the Maritime Museum.
But why no Titanic Trail for tourists around the city as championed by Phil Redmond in 2010? The city has arguably more links with the disaster than anywhere else yet Belfast, Southampton, Cobh and Strangford Lough all have trails while Liverpool has only a private tour organised by guide Phil Coppell.
The association between the city and the Titanic are literally endless – Stoniers, for example, provided 50,000 glassware items for the ill fated ship. White Star owner Bruce Ismay’s house is in Waterloo.
Everything in place for a tourist trail to draw in even more visitors. I know this as I was commissioned by a national website to write about the city’s attractions, particularly what is happening around the anniversary of the sinking.
Some of the people I met while doing this at the weekend were fascinated to learn about the history of Albion House.
The building on The Strand, made from Portland stone and red brick, is actually featured on newsreels in the Museum exhibition titled Titanic: The Untold Story.
It was here that officials from the shipping line relayed news of the numbers of people who perished to astounded onlookers.
All that can be seen today is a sign for property agents Mason Owen.
Surely the city has missed a trick here.