Next year will see the centenary of the Arctic sinking of the RMS Titanic with the lost of 1,500 lives, an event that was to lead to SOLAS and the creation of the International Maritime Organisation. Currently BBC Radio 4 Extra is broadcasting an adaption of Walter Lord’s A Night To Remember that is well worth listening to.
The event remained sensitive for decades afterwards. In 1947 Cunard lent on the BBC, with the help of the Ministry of Transport and the government of Northern Ireland, to ban a radio play about the sinking. There were dire warnings about ‘damage to British shipping’, legal action threatened and the shipping conference of the time approached the BBC Board of Governors to have the play stifled. Cunard went as high as it could, to the Prime Minister. The play went ahead.