The SeaCity Museum is a museum in Southampton, England, which opened on 10 April 2012 to mark the centenary of RMS Titanic’s departure from the city. It is housed within a part of the Grade II listed civic centre building which previously housed the magistrates’ court and police station. The museum contains two permanent exhibitions, one dedicated to Southampton’s connection with RMS Titanic, and the other to the city’s role as gateway to the world. A third space for temporary exhibitions is housed in a purpose built pavilion extension to the civic centre. Further phases of development may yet add to the exhibition space.
here are three exhibitions at SeaCity, all of which were designed by Urban Salon. Two permanent exhibitions are housed in the former police station and magistrates’ court.
- Gateway to the World examines Southampton’s history, and its role as a hub for human migration. Exhibits include a one tonne, seven-metre long replica of RMS Queen Mary, rehoused from Southampton Maritime Museum. Both Southampton Maritime Museum and Southampton Museum of Archaeology closed permanently in September 2011 to allow their exhibits to be rehoused at SeaCity and Tudor House Museum.
- Southampton’s Titanic Story explores the Titanic tragedy through the eyes of its crew, the majority of whom listed Southampton as their address. A preserved court room uses audiovisual elements to re-enact scenes from the British inquiry into the sinking and to explore its ramifications. The civic centre clock tower, approximately the height of a funnel on the Titanic can be viewed through a roof light as visitors enter the exhibition, giving them an impression of the scale of the ship. The story incorporates audio recordings given by the survivors and features interactive elements allowing visitors to steer the virtual ship and to stoke its engines.
The pavilion plays host to temporary exhibitions. The first of which, to coincide with the Titanic centenary, is Titanic: The Legend which explores the public’s enduring fascination with the ship through its portrayal in popular culture. The exhibition hosts screens playing back scenes from films such as 1912’s In Nacht und Eis and 1997’s Titanic. Titanic memorabilia collected include Steiff “mourning bears”, beers from the Titanic Brewery, jigsaw puzzles and many other such kitsch that SeaCity scoured the internet to find.
Port Southampton is UK’s largest passenger (ferry and cruise) port and 2nd largest cargo port (following Felixstowe). Its first dock was opened in 1843. Most of its operations back then were regular Transatlantic cruises from southampton between UK and USA. Since 1982, the port is owned and operated by ABP (Associated British Ports). Southampton is ranked UK’s largest cruise port and UK’s second-largest container port (after Felixstowe).