A colourful life


ash briers

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May 1, 2008
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i don't know if anyone else on this forum has ever crossed this site: http://www.tyneandweararchives.org.uk/mauretania/index.htm but i found it incredible and the amount of unseen pictures and information is 'unreal' to me. i was reading about the begnining and end of the 'Maury's' life and i was astonished at the amount of stuff i hadn't read anywhere else. this is the site that has the only mauretania deckplans i have ever seen. there are architectral drawings and interior shots.

the site says that there was a rumor that said that the mauretania reached 30.1 knots when she was in her final years and she had rockets attached when she left for the final time, anyway have a look at the site and say what you think.
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Dear Ash,

Many thanks for posting that link. It is very good to see a post in the Mauretania threads! I've been aware of that site for some time, although it seems to have been updated. Some images are from the Shipbuilder, some from the Engineering volume and some are new to me. It is an excellent site. The Mauretania actually achieved an even greater speed than you mentioned under her final Master, Commodore Reginald V. Peel, R.D., R.N.R..
From my own notes - "She left Havana bound for New York on July 19, 1933 and averaged 27.78 knots the first day out. The next day, during the 112-mile stretch between Carysfort Reef Lighthouse and Juniper Inlet Lighthouse (and with a bit of help from the Gulf Stream), she averaged an astounding 32 knots!" And this was no rumor - it is well documented.
And yes, she did fire rockets from her bridge while stopped at the Tyne at 10 a.m. on the morning of July 3rd, 1935 on her way to Rosyth for breaking. There were messages exchanged the evening before and the following morning which I reproduce from my notes for you here:

“You have done your work well both in commercial and war service, making maritime history. You will pass your birthplace tomorrow, and our last fond message to you is Farewell, Mauretania.”￾ - Message sent to the Mauretania by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Newcastle, evening of July 2, 1935.

“Goodbye, Tyneside. This is my last radio. Closing down forever, Mauretania.”￾ - Response from Captain A.T. Brown on board the Mauretania to the above message, approximately 10:15 AM, July 3, 1935.

Here is a link to a post of mine at another site with some images and additional information about this last trip north of 488 miles from Berth 108 at the Western Docks to the Metal Industries Yards at the Rosyth Naval Base and Dockyard, during which she averaged 12.5 knots. There are rare photographs, newsreels showing her leaving Southampton at nightfall on July 1st, photographs of her passing Scarborough at 10 p.m. on July 2nd, stopped at Tyneside the next morning and ultimately passing under the Firth of Forth Railway Bridge with clipped masts under the command of Pilot Captain Whince, preparing to make her last turn to starboard. Interestingly, the Forth Bridge was designed by Sir William Arrol and Company Ltd., who also designed the Titanic's Gantry. There is also a link to some music (Flowers of the Forest - the funeral lament played at about 6 a.m. as she paused at the Entrance Loch at Metal Industries). It is worth noting that the Mauretania underwent her official speed trials some 50 miles from Rosyth in November 1907. There is also a happier image - an interior photograph of the "Club Mauretania" in full swing in 1934 taken from the second level of her Dining Room, looking down her famous octagonal straw oak balcony (said to be the first use of indirect lighting aboard a liner). Lastly, scroll down to see a tinted photograph of her launch at the Neptune Yards on September 20th, 1906 which I created some time ago:

<font color="ff6000">The R.M.S. Mauretania 73 Years Ago Today

You will find a much higher quality version of the previously unpublished candid of the July 3rd event at the end of an article I wrote and updated last year which details her completion and trials, linked for you below - don't know if you have seen it. There is a firsthand recollection of an eyewitness to her final October 22, 1907 departure as well other reminisces and many rare early images not to be seen anywhere else. The group photo I mentioned in this "Farewell" article, of dignitaries taken during her trip to Liverpool, can be seen at the site you linked to in the "Gallery" section under "Trials" - it is image number two. Please do have a read and a look - and enjoy!:

<font color="ff6000">Farewell to the Tyne: Photographs and Memories of the Mauretania Leaving North Shields

Best wishes,
Eric

P.S. - These two articles need some minor corrections which I'll note here: The first listed above, about her final trip north, incorrectly states the length of the Blue Ribband flown from her foremast. It was in fact twenty-two feet long - one foot for each year she held the record. The "Farewell" article, kindly hosted by Lusitania researcher Eric Sauder, neglects to mention the route she took to get to Liverpool from the Tyne on October 22-24, 1907. It was "up and over."
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Hello again Eric...Ahhhh!!!! Just returned from Indianapolis, Indiana, not sure if I like it there? Like John Cougar Meleancamp wrote..."I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town, I'll probably die in a small town...and that is where they will bury me." (C.C. NV).

Anyhow, nice card of *OUR* Mauretania the first, in regards to Farewell to the Tyne. I have the card in a RP format with a wonderful PAQUEBOT message on the reverse. BTW, I have restored my PM and would like to have PM correspondane with you...perhaps a trade is in our liking? Your friend & associate...

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

Eric Longo

Member
Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Michael,

I do not "PM" (it never works for me, especially here at ET) but we can certainly have email correspondence - use the address in my signature.
Ahh, Paquebot messages. As a rule all my cards, with the exception of perhaps three or four, bear on board messages (some quite humorous, lamenting the "yanks" or the jazz played in the Lounge) or descriptions of the images/events shown on them such as her initial trials. One that comes to mind is a bas-relief color-tinted printed photo postcard from the Alliance Series (115, Newgate Street, London, E.C.) published by Taber. It reads in part "This ship is like a palace Dad, it is really wonderful. Everything is so comfortable and no motion to speak of...". It was posted at Queenstown at 1 p.m. on September 26, 1909 - the voyage where the Mauretania first attained 26 knots in service.
Please do drop me a line, I have many surplus items and trade is an appealing notion.

Best wishes,
Eric
 

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