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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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First-class glamour for Titanic commemoration

Guests in Edwardian finery enjoyed a first-class Titanic experience in Maryport on Friday.

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Lakes College catering students presented the first of two sell-out meals based on the menu served to first-class diners on the Titanic in 1912.

The theatre at Maryport’s Wave Centre was transformed into a glamorous restaurant with silver service and candelabras on every table.

The seven-course meal started with canapes and included oysters, Consomme Olga, poached salmon in mousseline sauce and cucumber, sirloin on beef, cold asparagus vinaigrette, pate de fois gras and a selection of desserts.

Guest speaker was Cliff Ismay, keen Titanic historian and descendant of Maryport man Thomas Ismay, who was founder of the White Star Line which owned the Titanic.

Mr Ismay spoke of the heroism of some of those on the Titanic.

He said the bravery of orchestra members, who continued playing as the ship went down, was already famous but the work of engineers who kept the lights on even as water filled their engine room was sometimes overlooked.

Mr Ismay said: “Every minute they kept the lights going, it helped to save lives.”

Among the guests was Dawn Lindsay, 37, landlady of the Lowther Arms pub in Mawbray, who said the evening was exceptional.

She said: “The college did an utterly flawless job and Cliff Ismay’s talk was really interesting.

“There should be more evenings like this – dinners and talks about aspects of Maryport’s history.”

Michelle Pike, of Crosby, a reception teacher at Beckstone Primary School in Harrington, Workington, said the evening was “absolutely fantastic”.

She said: “The food was great and Cliff Ismay was very moving.

“This wasn’t a celebration but a commemoration and Mr Ismay, through his talk, reminded us how fragile life can be.”

Her husband Gary, 50, said: “It was terrific. I am vegetarian and the college students matched the vegetarian menu very well. I really enjoyed it.”

Jacqui Towers, of Grasslot, a chef and former owner of Maryport’s Golden Lion, said: “It was as good as any five-star restaurant meal.”

The dinner was served as part of the centre’s exhibition From Maryport to the Titanic.

A second dinner will be held on May 11 but is already full, with a waiting list for tickets.

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