Oh to be in England…

You’ll have to forgive the obvious title, but April in England always brings out my more sentimental impulses. Safely arrived in London, which – after having lived here for the better part of five years when I was researching Titanic Valour – always feels like returning home. The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of renewing old friendships and seeing what’s on at the museums and galleries while absorbing the changes in the city as it prepares for the Olympic Games to be held later in the year. Many things are still under wraps (including my hotel, the historic facade of which is undergoing renovation) – but the city is, as always, an exciting place to be even when crammed with Easter holiday tourists.
In the midst of darting between exhibitions and vintage clothes shops with a patient friend, I did fit in an interview with BBC Wales out at the Western House recording studios. The spot was on the Roy Noble program, and it was a pleasure to chat again with Roy as he was kind enough to show an interest in the research when it was still underway and aired a live interview with me some years ago. He asked some interesting questions that haven’t come up yet in interviews about the book, including the influence Harold Lowe’s formative experiences during his childhood in Barmouth might have had on his actions during the sinking. It was an opportunity to discuss these early events and speculate on how they impacted Harold’s later actions – particularly the loss of his brother in a boating accident; a terrible boating tragedy in Barmouth that saw two overturned boats and the loss of many lives, at the inquest into which Harold’s father served as jury foreman; and the lifeboat rescues of imperilled ships and Harold’s own experience in small boats.
I travel down early tomorrow by train to Southampton to board the Balmorel, and am looking forward to a few glimpses of the spring landscape along the way.

BBC Studios

Inger recording an interview for BBC Wales

BBC radio recording studios, Western House

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