Ex-sailor Reg has his own Titanic mystery

MODEL ... South Shields man Reg Peel with his model of the Titanic.
MODEL ... South Shields man Reg Peel with his model of the Titanic.

A FORMER sailor from South Tyneside has his own Titanic mystery to solve.

Reg Peel found a model of the passenger liner in a second-hand shop several years ago.

He knows little of the history of the hand-crafted, framed work, which shows the ship in all her glory before she departed Southampton on her ill-fated voyage to New York in April 1912.

But Mr Peel, 65, from Harton, South Shields, is looking for a place to display the model in South Tyneside – for local people and visitors to see.

The model is on a wood and glass case, complete with a picture of the captain, Edward Smith, and a map of the “unsinkable” liner’s maiden and last voyage.

The father-of-two said: “I have a few models of ships and I found this one in a second-hand shop a few years ago. It was in South Shields, but I can’t remember where.

“I am not even sure about all of the different materials used, but there is a lot of detail in it, and it is fascinating to look at.

“Because of the way it is presented in a case, I am sure it will have been on display somewhere, and it looks as though it might be quite old.”

Mr Peel has been a keen enthusiast of ships since he went to sea at the age of 16, when he started working for oil company BP.

He explained: “When I joined BP I was on general duties on the deck, and I was fortunate to travel the world. I spent 10 years with BP and I developed an interest in ships.”

More than 1,500 passengers and crew died when the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Mr Peel would like his model to go on public display as a lasting tribute, and as a reminder of one of our biggest tragedies.

He is now set to approach South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, on Ocean Road, South Shields, and the town’s Central Library, in Prince Georg Square, to discuss the idea.

“It has been covered up in my kitchen,” added Mr Peel, “it would be nice if there was a more suitable place for it to go.

“I think I paid about £100 for it. I’ve no idea how much it’s worth but it’s not about that, it’s about displaying it somewhere in South Tyneside.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazjoe