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Issue:- 23 February  2012


HE was involved in one of the most famous incidents on board the sinking Titanic but very little is known about his Liverpool roots.  Now curators of Merseyside Maritime Museum’s exciting new exhibition "Titanic and Liverpool - The Untold Story", – opening on 30 March 2012; are appealing for information about Victor Giglio of 22 Linnet Lane near the city’s Sefton Park.

Victor was valet to American multi-millionaire Ben Guggenheim and the 2 men deliberately dressed in evening clothes as the huge liner slowly sank. Ben, closely attended by Victor, was heard to say:- “We’ve dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen."

Ian Murphy, curator of maritime history, added that:- "There are about a dozen individuals and families called Giglio in the Merseyside area. Very little is known of Victor’s early life and we would like to find out more. So far our researches have drawn a blank but we are hoping there are descendents of Victor Giglio still in the area although he left as a small child. We know that he had several brothers who may have settled here and have relatives."

Anyone who can help is asked to call:- 0151 478 4417.

Victor, probably of Italian descent, was the youngest of 4 sons whose older brothers were born in Egypt. He later became a boarder at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, the famous school run by Benedictine monks.  

He was just 24 when he died with Ben, the 5th son of wealthy mining mogul Meyer Guggenheim. The Guggenheims made their money in the competitive commercial world. Ben was certainly very wealthy but he was not a good businessman and lost more than $8 million in bad investments.  Married with 3 sons, Ben was a notorious playboy who spent a lot of time travelling, ostensibly on business; he kept an apartment in Paris and had a young French mistress, singer Léontine Aubart.

Victor must have been highly-organised to cater for the whims of his employer on their constant travelling. Both met their deaths in a way that reflected their elegant lifestyles.

Ben and Victor, who had been on a visit to Europe, were returning to the United States. They were accompanied on Titanic by Léontine, her maid Emma Sägesser and Ben’s driver René Pernot.  Ben and Victor occupied a First Class suite while the ladies occupied a separate cabin for propriety’s sake. René travelled Second Class.

Like many other passengers, both Ben and Victor slept through the impact when Titanic hit the iceberg. They were woken up just after midnight by the ladies and Victor, no doubt sleepy and confused, exclaimed:- "Never mind icebergs! What is an iceberg?"

Victor politely persuaded Ben to get up and dressed. At first Ben put on a heavy sweater to protect him from the bitter cold. They went up to the Boat Deck where the ladies reluctantly entered a lifeboat.  Ben and Victor coolly returned to their accommodation and changed into evening wear; dark formal suits, starched shirts and ties. Ben puffed on an expensive cigar.

Ben gave a message to a survivor saying:- "If anything should happen to me, tell my wife I’ve done my best in doing my duty."  He, Victor and René all died in the disaster; none of their bodies were recovered.

The Titanic exhibition is part of the National Museums Liverpool’s Liverpool and the World exhibition series part-funded by the European Union; the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Councillor Phil Davies, ERDF North West Local Monitoring Committee member says:- "Titanic and Liverpool will be a highlight of the region’s cultural calendar in 2012.   This ambitious, international exhibition will help fuel the North West visitor economy and raise awareness of the region’s fantastic cultural offer. Liverpool is a culturally dynamic city and exhibitions such as this demonstrate that we can deliver world-class visitor experiences year on year."

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)...

Between 2007 and 2013 the Northwest of England will receive a total of €755.5 million (dependent on exchange rate) from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This funding will enhance the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in employment and enterprise.

Key targets for the NWOP (North West Operational Programme) include:-

Creating 26,700 net additional jobs by 2015.

Generating £1.17bn additional annual GVA by 2015.

Supporting a 25% reduction in addition CO2 emissions generated by the ERDF programme.

For further information please visit:-

Get set for an Alien Invasion!

CALLING all Ben 10 fans; get set for an Ultimatrix week end of fun at Spaceport when Ultimate Swampfire and Ultimate Humungousaur invade the Seacombe attraction over 25 February 2012 and 26 February 2012.

Visitors to Spaceport will have an opportunity to meet the official Ben 10 aliens Ultimate Swampfire and Ultimate Humungousaur, take part in alien animation workshops, be entertained by performers, including a mad scientist and an astronaut, plus free face painting at this fun fill Alien Invasion weekend.

Jim Barclay, interim Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, who own and operate Spaceport said:- "Ben 10 knows all about Aliens and here at Spaceport we know all about space exploration, so it seemed like a great idea to bring the two together for a weekend of fun."

As well as meeting the Ben 10 Aliens, visitors to the exhibition can also learn about the universe we live in, with fascinating factual displays about the Moon, our Solar System and the history of space exploration.

Usual Spaceport admission prices apply with no extra charge for activities or face painting. See or call:- 0151 330 1566 for full details.

Spaceport prices are as follows:-

Adult:- £8.00,
Child - £4.50 (3 to 15 yrs),
Family:- £20.00 (2 adults and 3 children),
Concession:- £5.50

Joint Spaceport & River Explorer Cruise are as follows:-

Adult:- £11.00
Child - £4.50 (3 to 4 yrs)
Child:- £6.50 (5 to 15 yrs)
Family:- £30.00 (2 adults and 3 children)
Concession:- £8.00

Labour Euro MPs vote for tougher compensation regime for savers

LABOUR Euro MPs voted to toughen up requirements on banks to strengthen protection for account holders in the event of a bank failure.  Vice President of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Euro MP Arlene McCarthy said:- “We all remember the scenes in 2007 when hundreds of customers of Northern Rock queued to take their money out, with 1 billion GBP removed in one day, and panicking that the bank would collapse.  It is vital that we strengthen schemes to protect depositors' money. We are calling on our governments to put in place 1.5% of their deposits on an upfront pre-fund to ensure, in the case of bankruptcy, that customers can get their money quickly.  We have to draw the lesson from the financial crisis and make sure any further crisis is not financed by the taxpayer. That is why we are increasing the amount to be put in the guarantee deposit schemes, ensuring they are pre-funded (ex-ante) and calling for a faster full pay out, reducing it from the current 20 days, to 5 working days.  It is disappointing that Conservative Euro MPs have tabled last minute amendments to dilute and weaken the scheme by allowing Member States the option of ditching the pre-funding and relieving banks of their responsibility to cover savers' deposits in advance. This would leave consumers more vulnerable to losing deposits if a bank fails of forcing taxpayers to pick up the bill."

Southport Access For Everyone Update!

THE next meeting of the ‘Southport Access For Everyone’ forum will be held at the:- Victoria Methodist Church, Sussex Road, Southport PR8 6DG, on Monday, 27 February 2012, at 7.00 pm. This is a free public meeting. The premises are fully accessible for wheelchair users, with adequate car parking facilities, and light refreshments will be served before the meeting commences.  Anyone with an interest in disability issues is welcome.  for more information why not visit the groups website? The groups meetings are usually be held on the 4th Monday of each month.

BHS Merseyside progresses North West Coastal Trail

THE British Horse Society, Merseyside (BHS) has assisted planning for the North West Coastal Trail by participating in a workshop sharing their experiences of riding at the coast, issues of access and opportunities for linkages. The workshop, at Ainsdale Discovery Centre, was designed to complement a survey on horse-riding access to the North West coast which is a joint BHS and North West Coastal Forum initiative and runs until the end of March 2012. The North West Coastal Trail is an ambitious project, aiming to create a continuous, multi-use trail running along the coast from Carlisle to Chester, using existing paths where possible. The Trail will provide access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. For more information about the survey and to participate visit:- For further information, please contact: Alison Coleman, The British Horse Society, via emailing:-

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