Residents at Brookside in Melksham have lived a day in the life of a passenger on the RMS Titanic, by tucking into a meal that has been replicated from the menu on the day the famous ship set sail.
The idea originated from a conversation about providing a special menu to the residents. The team wanted to bring their residents something different and that was when they came across the commemorative date of the day the famous ship sank. That was when Handyman Chris, a fully trained former chef, came up with the idea of replicating the menu of the Titanic on the day it set sail. The menu was:
Cock- a - Leekie Soup ( a soup consisting of chicken, onion and pearl barley)
Eggs a l’argenteuil (scrambled eggs with asparagus)
Chicken a la Maryland with salad and sweetcorn (A fried chicken dish hailing from Maryland in the US as the name suggests, traditionally served with a banana garnish)
Fillet of fish with fried / Jacket potato and peas
Apple Strudel with Custard
A selection of cheese with crackers
Coffee and mints
The team at Brookside didn’t just stop at delivering the Titanic’s menu; they also brought in Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Carr to speak to the residents about the history of the famous ship. Geoffrey is the son of a master mariner and a recently retired naval officer who takes lectures on the Titanic in venues across Wiltshire.
Residents and staff looked on with deep interest as Geoffrey dispelled some of the myths of the fateful day the ship sank. A local family from Melksham sadly died in the tragedy, including two-year-old Sydney Goodwin, perished on the Titanic. Sydney’s fate was not fully established until the 70s, when DNA testing made it possible for the body of ‘The Unknown Boy’, who had become a symbol of the tragedy, to be exhumed and formally confirmed as Sydney. A commemorative plaque recognising the loss of the Goodwin’s can still be found in nearby St Michaels Church, which some residents are now hoping to visit.
The day’s activities were enjoyed by both staff and residents. Residents made comment that they had thoroughly enjoyed Geoffrey’s talk, and one even remarked that she felt she may have known the Goodwin family long ago. The connection to Melksham made the sad tale even more sobering for the audience, but a sense of pride was fostered in knowing that the Goodwin family continue to be recognised today.