Dumfries-based paranormal investigators and tour guides – Mostly Ghostly Investigations – are about to embark on a new tour venture connected to the most famous shipping disaster in peacetime history.

For the past few months, the team have been researching a walking tour – Heroes of the Titanic – which will explore and celebrate the fascinating lives of two young men who were lost in the disaster. This tour marks a new direction in the team’s development and involves guiding guests around key locations connected with John Law Hume and his friend Thomas Mullin, particularly John (known as Jock), a talented young violinist brought up in Dumfries. Jock went on to become a band member on the ill-fated White Star Liner RMS Titanic; the iconic scene of the band playing bravely on as the ship sank is recognised the world over.
Tom was a third-class steward who once worked as a pattern cutter at Rosefield Mills in Troqueer. The tour is not so much about the famous ship but the lives of these two school pals who travelled away with high hopes, a chance to work on and experience the magnificent “Ship of Dreams”. The team aim to explore the impact of the sinking on their friends, families and communities, bringing it home to the people of Dumfries.

So why did the team choose this story? Team founder Kathleen Cronie explains: “Along with countless people across the world, we’ve always been fascinated by the Titanic disaster; the events of that fateful night in April 1912 played out like a Greek tragedy. Having discovered Dumfries personal links to the ship, we felt inspired to create a tour in honour of Jock and Tom’s lives and to mark the brave sacrifice they made in death.”

Team member John Hill said: “One of the main inspirations for the tour was the wonderful book by Jock Hume’s Grandson, Christopher Ward – And The Band Played On. We feel passionately about this compelling story and aim to bring it to life on the streets of Dumfries.”

With just over two months till Heroes of the Titanic debuts, the team are keen to discover lesser known stories of the people who survived. Kathleen said: “Through our research, we found several people affected by the disaster who were linked to Dumfries and Galloway and hope to learn more about their lives after Titanic.”

One man from Dumfries, by the name of William Burdall, was a waiter aboard the Carpathia, the first ship to arrive at the disaster scene. Another girl, Nina Harper, the daughter of an evangelical pastor named John Harper, was only six years old when the ship went down. Nina or Nan as she was known, survived – sadly her father did not. Nan went on to marry a minister from Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway. We believe one of the Marconi radio operators, Harold Bride, originally from London, got married in Stranraer and settled in this area. We’d like to speak to anyone who has local information relating to Titanic or indeed someone who might have known one of these people. Perhaps there’s a story out there waiting to be uncovered…

The team will also touch on William McMaster Murdoch, First Officer on Titanic, who hailed from Dalbeattie, and will be exploring his life further at a special event. Mr Murdoch went down with the ship.

The walk will debut on Friday 15th April, the anniversary of the sinking, with further events planned over the weekend.

Summing up, John said: With the strong local connections, we see great potential for this tour, not just in this country but due to its worldwide recognition, feel it could be a real attraction for visitors, drawn in by this very human story, with a chance to hear it in and around Dumfries’ locations”.

Kathleen added: “While remembering the tragic and far-reaching consequences following the loss of Jock and Tom, we’re keen to highlight their passion for life and courageous attitudes in the face of unimaginable adversity, their memories live on.”

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Heroes of the Titanic tour premieres on Friday 15th April at 9pm following a screening at the Robert Burns Film Theatre of classic Titanic film A Night to Remember –  visit www.mostlyghostly.org for ticket info

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