Captain Smith's childhood

Mar 14, 2007
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Has anyone got any info on EJ's life before his career?? I've been surfing for days and havent found anything interesting. Thanks Guys.
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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Hi Natalie

There is Gary Cooper's book, 'The man who sank the Titanic', now out of print. You could probably get a copy from on-line second-hand book sellers.
 
Mar 14, 2007
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Hi Ernie, I've already tried amazon but a second hand copy costs $130+, It appears its a really sought after book!!
Thanks anyway.
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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Hi Natalie

I am surprised it is as expensive as that, must be the rarity factor. Abe books have got a copy at about half the price you quote.

Do you live in the UK? You might be able to borrow a copy from the library.
 
Mar 14, 2007
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Hi Ernie,
I live in Ireland. I'm sure I could prob order it from the library but these things take so long. I was a little shocked at the price on amazon maybe its just a seller trying their luck. Do you know why nobody uses the chatrooms in here?
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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Hi Natalie

Hope, I'm not letting the cat out of the bag by telling you Gary is working on a new version of his book. Well worth waiting for.

There is another book you can get second hand quite a bit cheaper, 'Master of the Titanic' by Pat Lacey - a distant relative of Capt. Smith. It's a combination of fact and fiction but I quite enjoyed reading it.

Sorry, I cannot comment about chatrooms, I think most folk prefer to post their thoughts on this website- a more permanent record.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>Do you know why nobody uses the chatrooms in here?<<

ET's membership is literally worldwide so that makes setting up times to meet something of problem. I just got off work a couple of hours ago. As I write this, it's 1:16am in the USA bit 6:16am in the UK. Some of our members are literally in time zones 12 hours away.
 
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Alyson Jones

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I have always wounded this about Captain Smith.
Did Captain Smith during his childhood ever own and ride horses?
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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I doubt it - he was brought up in the poor industrial area of the Potteries. He might have done in later life but I think it unlikely.
 
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Alyson Jones

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Captain Smith was born in 1850,How would have Smith get around with out a horse? There were no cars back then!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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No, but there were feet. Nearly everybody lived within walking distance of their schools, workplaces, local shops etc. England is small and densely populated, with compact communities - not like Oz where you might need to ride for hours to reach your nearest neighbours. When Smith was a young man most towns had public transport systems like horse buses and tramways. And for the occasional longer journeys there were the railways.
 
May 1, 2004
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People also walked a lot farther than we do - or at least a lot further than I do - every day without thinking it a long journey. Pictures of all those clerks walking over London, Victoria and Tower bridges to their jobs in the City in the 1880's - swarms of black bowlered men.
 

Gary Cooper

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Jun 5, 2003
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Hanley where Smith was born had a good system of horse drawn trams, but otherwise it was shank's pony - his legs, the Potteries have long been a poor area and horses were a rarity. My father, who was born in Nelson Place just down from Well Street where Smith was born, has told me that when he was a boy (in the 1940's)the only horses they saw were those pulling trams, carts or barges. The Smith's ran a small shop, but the indications are that it was no great shakes, perhaps just a converted parlour, I doubt they had the space or money for a horse.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Right. If you lived in town it was literally cheaper to keep a servant than a horse! Each of my Victorian great grandfathers kept the only horse in their respective streets - one to pull a cab and the other to pull a cart. Horses for personal transport or leisure were beyond the means of the ordinary working family. By the end of the 19th century bicycles were becoming affordable, but even a 2nd hand bike would cost several weeks' wages for most people.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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There seems to be an assumption that the Smiths were a very grand family, which was not in fact the case. Captain Smith's family seem to have been the epitome of the poor, but hard-working Protestant working class, while his daughter, who married well, nevertheless spent her later years in a humble cottage in the predominantly working class village of Leafield, in Oxfordshire.
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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>>>There seems to be an assumption that the Smiths were a very grand family, which was not in fact the case.<<<

Quite so, Stanley, his father was a potter - no more than a labourer - as was his father before him. He never sought to hide his humble beginnings - a remarkable man.

Gary Cooper's new biography of Captain Smith will hopefully be available later this year. A significant update on his previous one, 'The Man who sank the Titanic'.