August 22 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Thursday, April 3, 2014
A letter written by a Redbridge woman on board the Titanic on the day it hit the iceberg is expected to fetch up to £100,000 at auction.
Esther Hart wrote the note to her mother in Chadwell Heath, but the disaster on April 14 1912 prevented it from ever being sent.
She was on the liner with her builder husband Benjamin and daughter Eva, seven, who became a famous survivor and lived in Japan Road, Chadwell Heath, for most of her adult life.
Now the letter, written on Titanic stationery, is set to be auctioned by Henry Aldridge and Son, of Wiltshire, and is estimated to be sold for between £80,000 and £100,000.
Andrew Aldridge, from the auctioneers, said: “The importance of this legendary item cannot be overstated, being the only known surviving example of its type to have been written on that fateful day, surviving the sinking, and having belonged to such a well-known survivor.”
Esther and her family were heading off to start a new life in Canada. But Esther and Eva returned to London to live with her parents after the tragedy struck and killed over 1,500 people, including Benjamin.
The mother and daughter are thought to have discovered the letter in his coat, which he had given to them to keep them warm.
Eva, who experienced frequent nightmares, became well-known for her campaigning for increased maritime safety and her autobiography Shadow of the Titanic, published in 1994.
In an interview with the Recorder in 1976 she said: “Even after all these years I can recall what happened as if it were only yesterday, although I was only a small girl.”
Eva died in Chadwell Heath in 1996, aged 91. The Eva Hart pub in High Road, owned by chain Wetherspoon, opened two years after her death.