Mark Chirnside


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Just a brief introduction. Here goes…

I’ve been interested in Titanic since the age of eight, when the teacher taught us about an unsinkable ship that had been built…and that had sunk. A year or so later, I read ‘Exploring the Titanic’ by Robert Ballard, then I watched the excellent film, ‘A Night To Remember.’ Since then, my book collection has been continually expanding along with my newspaper cuttings and other research, etc. I am also greatly interested in Olympic and Britannic.

It’s only recently that I have properly been on the internet, in the last year, but I frequent many websites and post on several message boards. The Official Britannic Research Centre, The Official Olympic Centre, The Titanic Research & Modelling Organisation (TRMA), and Michael Michailakis’ Britannic website stand among my favourites, and, of course, Encyclopedia Titanica. It's a pleasure to be among like-minded enthusiasts.

My interest is currently about equal in each of the three sisters; both Olympic’s and Britannic’s stories are amazing in their own way.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Hello Mark, and welcome aboard. I read A Night To Remember in the second grade myself and I've been hooked ever since. This site is one of the gems on the internet dealing with this subject. Short of subscribing to some of the listservs which a lot of researchers do, this is THE place to be.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Pedro Soares

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Hello Mark, and welcome onboard. I agree with Michael, this is one of the best sites about Titanic that you can find in the web. I`m pleased to see another Titanic enthusiast posting here.I look forward to see some of your posts.
Best regards,
Pedro
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hello Michael and Pedro,

Yes, this is THE site to be for Titanic research; quite frankly, it's magnificent!

Thanks for your comments pedro, I hope you'll like some of my posts.

Best regards,

Mark.
 
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Rolf Vonk

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Hi Mark,

Welcome on the message board! I'm Rolf aka Rollie from the Southern Netherlands. I see you've allready discovered how great this site is. I can only say: enjoy yourself.

I'm looking forward to your posts,

Rollie
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Jan 14, 2001
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Hello Mark,

Nice to see you here!Knowing your passion for the Olympic class liners,I foresee a great future for this thread.

Best regards,
Michail
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Hi Mark,

Welcome aboard! I agree with Michael and Pedro, this is a wonderful site filled with information and wonderful people.

Great to see you're also interested in the Olympic and Britannic. You're right, their stories are interesting as well.

It's good to hear from you and I look forward to more of your posts.

Best regards,

Jason
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Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Laura, Jason, Michail,

Thanks for the compliment Michail. By the way, your website continues to improve and is also quite fantastic for Britannic.

I also look forward to your posts Laura and Jason; in fact, Jason, I think I've read some of yours but I cannot remember which thread. Oh, and I think I may have replied to one of yours Laura, I can't remember the thread now, either! I'll start searching!

By the way, I don't think I mentioned it yet but I'm from England, the small town Leamington Spa to be exact. Ring any bells Laura?

Best regards all,

Mark.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Michail,

By the way, recently I came across this in ‘The Shipbuilder.’ It only devotes nine pages to the ship, before saying ‘we hope to deal more fully with the Britannic in subsequent issues…’ Pity about the big bang!

Anyway, there is a hint that the forward A-deck promenade — with windows slightly larger and different than Titanic’s, in the ship’s design from early construction, numbering 38 instead of 42 (it may be the other way around, try and confirm it with photos or something, I don’t want to be fuelling myths) — could and might be outfitted as a winter garden. I.e., a bit like the café Parisian which was not on Britannic owing to the larger a la carte restaurant and reception room; chairs, tables and numerous plants. Not sure how they would have managed the pantry facilities! Perhaps from the lounge pantry, amidships on A-deck. I’ll have to check the plans again. Maybe Remco has noticed, I see he has superb knowledge of the ship and his great drawings are far better than I could ever do. 'The Shipbuilder' may have got it wrong, after all, it isn’t infallible. Still, I’ll mention the winter garden possibility in my book.

Best regards,

Mark.
 

Remco Hillen

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The Cafe Parisien was a popular accomodation on Titanic, and it was later added to Olympic.
Why it wasn't featured on Britannic, always wondered me, and this is the first time I hear about a 'winter garden'.

It is a rather large area for a sort of cafe, maybe they only would have used the area next to the corridor on starboard.
This place has a direct connection to the 1st class entrance and other large 1st class rooms.
An extra door to the corridor would give waiters in the Lounge a good route to the winter garden to serve drinks and such.

This would also leave the staterooms on the forward part of enclosed prom. rather undisturbed.
Don't think people would like sitting in there rooms when there's someone at the other side of the window looking into your room!

On the HMHS version there was a bulkhead(situated between the enclosed and open part of the deck) on the starboard side, closing off the enclosed promenade on starboard.
I assume this was to have a closed hospital ward area.

Haven't counted them, but I assume the number of windows changed from 42 on Titanic to 38 on Britannic, as some were left out for the extra supports that were installed to carry the extra weight of the gantry davit.

Some of my zoom in drawings do have there mistakes, for instance some do not show the extra railing present along the open A-deck prom. deck sides.
It seems that outward side of the open prom. deck was lower then on her sisters.
Why?
I have no idea..

Regards,
Remco
 
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Rolf Vonk

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Hello Remco and others,

I've just read your thoughts about a winter garden. A palm court is a winter garden. So I don't think there would have been an extra winter garden on the forward part of Britannics A deck, cause there was a palm court just aft the first class smokingroom (like on Titanic and Olympic). Isn't it more likely that a kind of area as Remco described would have been used as a Palm lounge like the one aboard RMS Aquitania. That room was ,like the cafe parisien, a kind of cafe promenade. When you look at the fact that this kind of cafe's became very popular at that time!

But these are just some thoughts.

BTW, Remco cause you're a Brittanic specialist, do you have an idea of what the Britannics 1st class reception room may have looked like? I posted a topic with an impression of Britannics reception area, but it looks totally different from the ones aboard Olympic and Titanic. What do you think?

Rollie
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Jan 5, 2001
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Remco,

Yes, that would certainly be a practical place: to starboard, next to the corridor leading from the grand stairs to the first class lounge. This would indeed not steal any appeal from the staterooms (which, it may be admitted, the enclosed promenade ad already done). In fact, Aquitania had a similar pair of garden lounge amenities near her first class lounge amidships on her promenade deck. Imperator (1913) and Vaterland (1914) also had winter gartens as expressed in German. (Ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch!) Perhaps the winter garden was a thought late in construction (mid-1914), as it would have required little structural change. Most of Titanic’s B-deck amenities were done at a late stage in construction, after her launching.

I’ll throw in a quote from ‘The Shipbuilder’ for good measure:

‘On the promenade deck, a feature of the vessel is that the plating is carried up the side and has large windows to enable either a winter garden to be arranged or to provide a sheltered promenade.’

(Another thing from Shipbuilder is that the German vessels appear to have fewer private bathrooms, and as can be guessed by Imperator’s nickname — ‘Limperator’ — were quite uncomfortable in heavy seas.)

Best regards,

Mark.

P.S. By the way, when this discussion has ended why not paste it onto the OBRC message board? Probably best though not to keep two discussions going on at once.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Rolf,

Yes, a palm court is certainly like a winter garden. I think there are slight differences. It must be admitted that the Cafe Parisian is also similar to a palm court; note the word 'similar.' That didn't stop the German liners and Aquitania, if I remember rightly (I'm no expert on those vessels) having veranda cafes as well.

It's always best to give customers choices, even if they are quite meaningless.

Best regards, (Hope I've not got too many details wrong, I've not got the references handy).

Mark.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Rolf,

Where's the Britannic topic discussion, reception room? I'd like to check it out, but there are impressions in 'Lost Liners' and 'Ghost liners' if I remember rightly.

Best regards,

Mark.
 
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Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hey Mark,

I think it's very interesting what you told. Is there no way to check it at Britannic plans or something?

BTW, the Dutch were the first who introduced enclosed promenades on their ships and installed private bathrooms for all the first class cabins! I would say: once a sea nation, allways a sea nation!! Germany didn't excist untill 1871 so the battle wasn't fair!

Regards,

Rollie
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Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hi Mark,

Our posts crossed. I think you're right about the palmcourts, wintergardens etc. It's difficult to keep them from eachother. You see oft different names for the same area's aboard a ship. Like a Palmcourt is also named Verandah cafe etc.

The topic about Britannics reception room is placed under "other ships and shipwrecks". Hope you can add something!

Much greetings,

Rollie
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Remco Hillen

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Dec 13, 1999
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Hello Rolf,

I don't know Aquitania to well, I know how she looked and that she has a rather strange looking bridge area, but I don't have a clue on public areas.

What I do know from Lusitania and Mauretania, that there was a verandah cafe at the aft of the superstructure(not the 2nd class one).

On the Olympic Class liners the Verandah Cafe/Palm Court was on the same place, aft on the superstructure but divided by the vent channel for #4 funnel.
On both ships the rooms are rather similar, both have palms, white sort of panneling and large sliding doors to open the cafe for 1 quarter, so that you can walk in at any time when it's sunny and have a nice look over the ocean.
Although on the Cunarders the 2nd class superstructure partially obstructs the view.

Rolf, do you have a site where they have a photo from this 'promenade cafe'?
I'd like to take a look at it.

The Reception Room is different from Titanic yes.
When you look at deckplans, you can see it has been moved a bit to starboard.
The photo you mention in another thread is the Reception Room.

Regards,
Remco
 

Remco Hillen

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Dec 13, 1999
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Mark,

It would require almost no change, just put some chairs, tables and plants there(maybe the extra door) and you have your cafe!
People strolling the prom. deck can walk by, or take a seed and order a drink.
Sounds nice to me!
And if they don't like it they can go to the aft Verandah cafe or any other room, like you said; give them a choice.

A thing that might come in handy is that this area had 6 or 7 thin support poles, nice to decorate with some plants and stuff like that.

And yes, the enclosed promenade did steal some appeal.
White Star couldn't sell these rooms now as 'ocean view', although a bit will be visible of course.
Another reason why they added this on Britannic, and not on Olympic is the fact that Britannic had gantry davits.
On Olympic the boats need to be lowered to A-deck before they could be loaded, on Titanic there was confusion where people should board the lifeboats because of the enclosion.
And it keeps people nice and dry on a stormy day, it's all about service!:)

Regards,
Remco
 
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