Treasured shoe added to Athenia display on 80th anniversary of the sinking
- Dates and times
- 17th Dec 2019 - 17th Dec 2026
- All ages
Eighty years ago the SS Athenia was outbound from Glasgow, Liverpool and Belfast to Montreal, Canada with over 1,000 passengers on board. On the day World War 2 was declared in September 1939 it was attacked and sunk, becoming the first maritime casualty of the war. 122 people lost their lives. The deliberate sinking of the SS Athenia by a German submarine changed American public opinion, which ultimately lead to the US offering Britain and France support during WW2.
Riverside has a display dedicated to the ship and tells the story of the sinking. The ship was built in Glasgow in 1923 for the Anchor-Donaldson Line, which later became the Donaldson Atlantic Line. She worked between the United Kingdom and the east coast of Canada until September 1939.
In 2019 Rosemary Cass Beggs, the last British survivor of the sinking, donated a very personal memento to Riverside. As a 3 year old Rosemary was put into a lifeboat by her parents. Her father couldn’t swim, and her mother insisted they stay together, but save their child. Rosemary has vivid memories of being barefoot in the lifeboat, before being transferred to a ship that travelled on to Canada. While on board the ship to Canada other passengers made her tiny canvas shoes to protect her feet. When she was reunited with her parents some weeks later Rosemary’s family kept one shoe and gave one to the lady who had looked after her.
The tiny treasured shoe is
now on show in Riverside. Such personal objects help bring the stories we tell
in our museums to life and we are very grateful to Rosemary for her kind gift.
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Use Traveline Scotland to help plan your journey via public transport.
The nearest Train station (PTK), Subway station and Bus station can all be found at the Partick transport hub, also known as the Partick Interchange, around 0.6 miles from the museum. There are signposted walking routes from there to the museum.
The lines for the train station run through the Low-Level platforms, at Glasgow Central (GLC) and Glasgow Queen Street (GLQ).
The closest Subway station to Glasgow Central is St Enoch’s.
The closest to Glasgow Queen Street is Buchanan Street.
The 100 service operates from George Square South, stop 609973, every 45 minutes starting approximately 10.20am daily. The service is operated by Community Transport Glasgow. View the timetable here
Visit the City Sightseeing website for more information on the city tour services.
Cycle parking is available at the west side of the museum.
EV Rapid charging station available in car park.
Please note: If you are coming into Glasgow by train and planning to use a PlusBus ticket, the sightseeing buses are not covered.
The Next Bike bicycle hire scheme is also in operation around Glasgow, with locations to pick up and drop off around the city, including at the Riverside.
If you use a Taxi or private-hire car, there is a drop off point beside the car park. Disabled visitors can be dropped off at the front door, access is via the slip road barrier.
In case it is of use to anyone in your party, the AccessAble website has some useful accessibility information.
If using a Sat Nav for directions, we recommend you enter “The Riverside Museum” rather than the postcode.