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Exhibition to mark 100 years since Pontllanfraith man’s Titanic distress call

Published in News. Last updated on Friday January 27th, 2012 at 15:00

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Artie Moore and his shack where he experimented with radio

Artie Moore and his shack where he experimented with radio

The sinking of the Titanic was a disaster that made headlines around the world, but not many people know one of the first people to receive the ship’s SOS call was in Pontllanfraith.

Amateur radio enthusiast Artie Moore, from Gelligroes Mill, received the call from the stricken liner after it struck an iceberg on its infamous maiden voyage 100 years ago.

The signal read: “We have struck iceberg. Sinking fast. Come to our assistance.”

Despite reporting the disaster, which happened on the night of April 14, 1912, many did not believe Artie that the “unsinkable” ship was lost until days later when it was confirmed.

As a result of him being able to receive the distress signal, Artie came to prominence and he earned himself a scholarship to the British School of Telegraphy in London.

He also came to the attention of the pioneering Guglielmo Marconi – the father of radio telegraphy – and later had a distinguished career with the radio company bearing the famous name.

In the early years of his experimentation, Artie had also intercepted the Italian Government’s declaration of war on Libya in 1911.

To mark the centenary of the disaster, the Winding House museum in New Tredegar is holding an exhibition about Artie Moore and the Titanic.

The new exhibition will also explore the story of Titanic and some local links in this 100th anniversary year of her sinking, as well as focusing on life in South Wales at the turn of the century.

The Winding House is urging anyone with relevant objects or images dating from the 1890s to 1914 to get in touch.

Emma Wilson, museums and heritage officer with the council, said: “The story of Titanic has long held fascination for many people and here in Caerphilly County Borough.

We have an amazing local link in Artie Moore who had a self-taught interest in early radio transmission and with his friend, Richard Jenkins, made many experiments in transmitting signals.

“We’re asking people to contact us in the next few weeks if they have any objects or photographs they would like to loan or donate for the exhibition relating to social or industrial life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, or if they or their family may have known or had connections with either Artie Moore or Richard Jenkins from Ty Llywd Farm.

“We would be delighted to accept either loans or donations to the museum collection. All objects and photographs will be carefully looked after during the exhibition and we are more than happy to arrange for photos to be scanned and copied if the owners do not want to loan their originals.”

The Titanic, the Mill and the Signal: Artie Moore and Titanic’s SOS will open on Good Friday, April 6 and will remain on display for the rest of the year.

For more information, contact Emma at the Winding House on 01443 822666 or email windinghouse@caerphilly.gov.uk

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