After being unable to work due to M.E, Inverness resident Stanley Fraser put himself to work building a massive 1:10 scale model of the Titanic as part of his very own maritime museum now known as Ship Space.
The former engineer always had a thing for the Titanic as well as maritime items in general and over the years his house in Inverness became filled with life jackets, models of other ships, and copies of old newspaper articles reporting the Titanic’s tragic accident. The house is a converted toll house dating back to the 1840’s which he repaired and rescued from ruin beside the Caledonian Canal. His mother used to tell him lots of seafaring stories when he was a child, and he developed a strong passion for the sea that stuck with him throughout his life. He chose a nautical theme for his house and turned his cousin’s old rowing boat into a pirate ship for his kids.
But it was the famous Titanic that fascinated Fraser the most, as he says it was the most beautiful ship ever made, even compared to modern sea liners. He started working on a small replica of the Titanic for fun, but he kept making it bigger until he decided on a 1:10 scale model of the ship. Using two old trailers as the base of his model, Fraser slowly built his homage to days of sea-bound luxury right in his backyard. Eventually large amounts of scrap materials donated by neighbours and even a disused shed were added to the structure. This got him started, but he spent the next 12 years working on his incredibly detailed model.
The original west building (toll house) is used as a residential house and the east, which has been recently constructed in the mode of the original building, is a museum. Inside the museum building there are various photos, posters and information about the boat are available as well as a rolling film that shows divers going down to the sunken ship. Models, top-hats, actual boats, random and boat-related ephemera which are normally packed behind glass are there for the visitors to get stuck into sending SOS signals on real kit or operating an engine order telegraph.
Outside, the now-complete 1:10 scale Titanic model is the centerpiece of the museum. The scale model contains three main rooms: a Parisian-styled café, a replica bridge, and a Marconi radio communications room. Occasionally the awesome roar of the Titanic’s replica fog horn can also be heard coming from the model.