Miners' Strike - Coal Shortage


Stephen Stanger

(Subtle inspiration from Mark and Mike with their coal draft figures etc)

What were the five ships that they had to nick coal off of to get Titanic going?
I know Adriatic for certain and I'm not sure if New York was too.
And also, any total of passengers that were transferred over from these ships to Titanic? I figure it's gotta be a couple hundred at least.
Sam Brannigan

Sam Brannigan

Hi Stephen

I believe the Olympic brought back some coal from New York for her little sis. The Oceanic was also moored alongside the New York and she didn't look like she was going anywhere, so perhaps they pilfered her as well.
BTW, Iread in "Titanic Voices" that everyone except the ships master had to aid with coaling a ship. I find it hard to imagine Murdoch, Lightoller and the other officers mucking in....can anyone confirm or deny this?





Mark Ferguson

Hi Everyone!

I wonder could anyone help me with some information regarding the miner's strike in 1912.

I near to locate newspaper reports on the miner's strike in the UK and Northern Ireland in 1912, and possibly some information on the coal shortage faced by Titanic or Olympic.

Any help would be gratefully received.


Mar Ferguson
[email protected]

Paul Lee

According to Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index, the end of the coal strike was announced on Saturday, April 6th 1912.


Interesting. The coal strike was officially over, but I'm sure there were shortages far and wide and normal service was a long way off. In the days leading up to the maiden voyage the shortage of coal was still being reported nationwide. Train services restricted, ferry services suspended, and people travelling by motor car instead of train.

According to the New York Times Harold Cottam was listening to the news of the coal shortages in England on April 14th.


Coal must have been treated like gold nuggets. The Olympic filled up her dining room with coal. Imagine if the Titanic had sailed a week earlier and had done the same!


Wonder if the shortages in England had persuaded some passengers to sail on the Titanic for America as they were not comfortable with the shortages in England?


UK papers - April 8th - 10th.

......'Country's normal coal supply will not be obtainable for another week.'
......'Two coal laden lorries were held up by a large gang of excited minors, who in a few minutes cleared them of their loads. Men assisted by women and children, hurrying in all directions with bags of coal.'
.......'To avoid disappointment, all travellers are requested to make enquiries at the railway stations in regard to what trains are running.'
.......'German Tourists at Plymouth - The Hamburg American company arranged a special train from Southampton.......Before the L. & S.W.R. would grant this concession the Steam ship company had to provide the coal necessary for the trip.'

If the Titanic gun is genuine then it shows how important and how dangerous they were treating the coal strike. Perhaps the coal that was transported onto the Titanic was taken out of the bunkers of another liner and the process needed careful security. Maybe this is how the coal bunker fire started? A discarded cigarette or maybe the coal was mistakenly taken out of the furnace from another ship and put into the coal bunker of the Titanic?

[Moderator's note: Photo copied from the site referred to in Martin Tyne's message deleted. MAB]

Harland Duzen

The book ''Titanic Voices'' does state:

"...Apart from the necessary reverses of coal taken from Belfast, Titanic holds would be filled with coal already stockpiled or else extracted from, the holds of other laid up liners of the I.M.M..."

The book then mentions:

SS Oceanic (1899)
SS Majestic (1889)
SS New York (1888)
SS Philadelphia* (1888)
SS St Louis (1894)
SS St Paul (1895)

(* Was formally the SS City of Paris + Sister ship to New York.)
William Oakes

William Oakes

If this has been asked before than my apologies.
I have long been perplexed as to why there were so few ships (Californian) in the vicinity of Titanic.
Yes, I realise that the North Atlanic is vast.
But it seems that steamship travel would have made those lanes routinely quite busy.
Is the lack of ships within rescue range a result of the coal strike???
Please advise.
Thank You!