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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 19:05 GMT
Titanic memoir 'fetches 8,400'
The Titanic
1,500 passengers were lost in the Titanic sinking
An account of the sinking of the Titanic that captures the "panic" of those on board failed to reach its expected price at auction on Tuesday.

It was thought the personal memoir of ship's second officer Charles Lightoller - originally from Lancashire - would fetch up to 30,000 at the Southebys event.

However, the manuscript was sold to a private museum for just 8,400, although other items sold for much more than their reserve price.

One, a menu used by crew members, believed to have belonged to Mr Lightoller - played by Kenneth More in the 1958 Titanic film - sold for 28,800, instead of its expected 12,000.

Mr Lightoller, second officer on board the stricken liner and from Chorley, was one of the last people to be rescued after the ship went down.

'Very exciting'

The 14 items of memorabilia, auctioned in London, fetched a total of 70,344.

A Sotheby's spokeswoman said the auction house was delighted with the sale.

"We knew the menu was extremely rare but obviously it still doubled its pre-sale estimate which is very exciting," she said.

Memorabilia from the ship regularly commands high prices.

The last known photographs taken of Titanic before it sank sold for more than 14,000 at auction earlier this year.

About 700 people survived the sinking of the ship, but only three are believed to still be living.

One of them, Millvina Dean, in her 90s and from Southampton, lost her father in the tragedy and has been critical of the industry that has emerged from it since the wreck was found.

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