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A menu given to first class passengers on the day of the sinking of the Titanic Photo by: Belfast Telegraph

Last first class Titanic lunch menu to go on display in Belfast

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A menu given to first class passengers on the day of the sinking of the Titanic Photo by: Belfast Telegraph

A menu of the last lunch served on board the Titanic will go on display in the new Titanic visitors center in Belfast this week.

The rare first class luncheon menu survived the disaster and was purchased at an English auction during last year's centenary of the ship's sinking.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the list of dishes listed on the April 14, 1912 menu represents the final first class luncheon served on board and featured 40 options, including grilled mutton chops, gorgonzola cheese or corned ox tongue.

Purchaser Rupert Hunt told the Telegraph: 'My friends and family thought I was crazy when I bought the Titanic luncheon menu at auction. While my heart ruled my head, I believe it could be safer than many other alternative investments because interest in Titanic is unlikely to wane.

'I've had the pleasure of seeing the menu this past year and now want other Titanic enthusiasts to enjoy it and where better to view it than the magnificent Titanic Belfast exhibition.'

The menu survived the disaster that claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people, stored away in a purse belonging to passenger Ruth Dodge, wife of Doctor Washington Dodge. On its reverse is a hand-written note from a ship steward who knew the family, conveying his best wishes.

The crewman, Frederick Dent Ray, took charge of a lifeboat filled with children and encouraged Doctor Dodge into the craft to help distressed young people. Mrs Dodge and her son were rescued by the Carpathia and transported to New York.

The menu will be placed on view at Titanic Belfast, a multimillion dollar visitor's centre overlooking the Belfast docks where the vessel was built. Ownership was secured by Hunt as a company investment but he said he wanted visitors to see it.

Judith Owens, deputy chief executive at Titanic Belfast, said: 'The gesture by Mr Hunt is extremely kind, and it will give hundreds of thousands of visitors a chance to see it up close. It gives us a great insight and feel for the Edwardian-style grandeur experienced in the fine dining surrounds of the first-class suites on RMS Titanic.'

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