A LAST letter penned by Colne’s Titanic hero Wallace Hartley has fetched more than £95,000 at an American auction.

Private investors secured the historic note, written on White Star Liner paper, to his parents Albion and Elizabeth, for nearly $186,000.

Campaigners from the Colne-based Titanic In Lancashire museum had secured support from TV actor Jack Marsden to book a place at the RR Auction in New Hampshire.

But bids for the note, sent on April 10, 1912, after the ship had set sail, slowly quickly escalated through the week.

In the letter Hartley writes that the Titanic ‘is a fine ship’ and how ‘we have a fine band and the boys seem very nice’.

He also talks of his disappointment at not being able to return home – he had only just finished an engagement on another ship when he was persuaded to lead the band aboard the flagship liner.

Museum bosses have appealed to the new owners in a bid to secure the letter for display in the future.