News from 189394 Gothic's maiden voyage


Mark Baber

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The Evening Post, Wellington, 9 February 1894
Retrieved from the National Library of New Zealand web site,
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=p&p=home


THE S.S. GOTHIC
---
The arrival of the s.s. Gothic, from London via Capetown and Hobart, which
is expected momentarily, marks a red letter day in the history of the
rapidly increasing steam service from England to this colony. Few would have
been bold enough some years back to predict that the waters of Port
Nicholson would be graced by such a magnificent vessel as this White Star
liner. From time to time reports have been published in our columns giving
items regarding the vessel, but as she is nearing the port still fuller
particulars will be apropos. The Gothic is a twin-screw steel steamer
constructed by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, to the order of the White Star
Line Company, and specially intended for the New Zealand trade. Her
dimensions are-Length, 490 feet between perpendiculars; breadth, 53 feet;
and depth of hold, 33 feet; and the gross tonnage is 7720 tons. For the
first time in the New Zealand trade has been introduced a double set of
full-powered engines propelling twin screws, by which the White Star line
and Shaw Savill and Albion Company believe they are acquiring an additional
element of safety. Unrivalled accommodation of the highest class, similar in
character to that of the Teutonic and Majestic, is provided for 104 saloon
passengers amidships, the diningroom and many of the superior staterooms
being above the main deck, so that the ventilation is as complete as
possible, and in the control of the passengers themselves. Aft is the
smokingroom, with bar and lavatory adjacent -a most comfortably fitted-up
snuggery. The floor is covered with thick linoleum of a pretty pattern,
whilst quaint pictures hang upon the walls, and the roof is a replica in
miniature of the dome of Henry VII's chapel, through the stained glass of
which the electric light shines with beautiful effect. Forward of the
smokingroom, and separated therefrom by the main hatchway, are cabins, and
then comes the library. The room is beautifully decorated in oak and gold,
and contains plenty of comfortable seats, 500 volumes, and a piano. It is
roofed in with a glass dome. Forward again and beyond the magnificent oak
staircase leading to the saloon, are more cabins including three bridal
chambers, beautifully fitted up and decorated in white and gold. The upper
deck is rather longer than the promenade deck. Aft are the quarters of the
ships [sic] officers, a large lavatory, and the barber's shop, and adjacent
to the saloon the purser's office on the one side and a two berth cabin on
the other. The saloon, which is capable of seating 100 persons, is
wainscotted and panelled in light oak, and the four rows of pillars, the
panels of the walls, the beams, and ceiling, are all beautifully carved and
decorated. The windows are of stained glass, having the figures and
ornaments outlined and shaded in with fillings-in of pale yellow. The main
table seats twenty-four people, and the side-tables, ten in number, will
seat eight apiece. Forward of the saloon are more cabins, furnished as those
on the promenade deck, and similarly decorated. On the main-deck are the
bulk of the cabins and the appertaining offices. On the quarter-deck aft
there is accommodation for 114 steerage passengers. It may be mentioned that
the Gothic carries no second-class passengers, but the accommodation
provided for in the steerage is equal, and in some respects superior, to
that usually set apart for second-class passengers. In the berths the bed
frame are of iron, permanently fixed, and the berths are roomy and well
ventilated. There is also a fine diningroom, with a special larder
adjoining, and the cabins, &c., are lit by electricity, and all appliances
are provided in detail aboard. In addition to ordinary coal and cargo space
the Gothic has an insulated capacity in the refrigerating chambers, capable
of stowing between 75,000 and 80,000 carcases of sheep, the temperature of
which is maintained and regulated by two of Hall's most powerful carbonic
anhydride machines, which have proved so successful in the large freezing
establishments in New Zealand. Special provision has also been made for the
conveyance of dairy produce, the export of which is a new development in the
industry and enterprise of the New Zealanders, and one which has found great
favour with consumers at Home. The Gothic is the largest steamer trading out
of the port of London, and as a new departure her appearance is a matter of
much interest to colonial shippers. All the latest improvements for the
haulage and discharging of cargo are provided, and every small item that can
possibly tend to the well-being of the vessel has been faithfully carried
out. Captain Jennings, long and favourably known for many years as commander
of the s.s. Doric, is in charge of the Gothic.

[The Gothic was signalled as we went to press.]

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Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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The Evening Post, Wellington, 10 February 1894
Retrieved from the National Library of New Zealand web site,
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=p&p=home


ARRIVAL OF THE GOTHIC
---
A FLOATING PALACE

---
All day yesterday the signal station at Mount Victoria was watched with
interest for the signal which would indicate the arrival of the s.s. Gothic.
It was 3.40 p.m before news came that she was off Sinclair Head, and the
wharf was speedily besieged by a great crowd of townsfolk. About 4.20 p.m.
the splendid vessel made her appearance round Point Halswell. Though steam
tug Duco, having on board the Health Officers, Captain Babot (Marine
Superintendent of the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company in the colony), Mr.
Williamson (shipping manager of Levin and Co.), A. H. Turnbull (of W. and G.
Turnbull and Co.), several ladies, and representatives of the press, ranged
up alongside, and the medical inspection proving satisfactory, steps were at
once taken to berth her. The great ship was splendidly handled by Captain
Johnston, who earned the warmly expressed admiration of the spectators by
the manner in which he brought her alongside---with as much ease as though
she were a little steam yacht. In a very short time she was snugly berthed
at the outer tee. An inspection of the new craft proved her to be a
masterpiece of the shipwrights' and decorators' skill, far exceeding even
what the glowing accounts which had preceded her had prepared us for, and
excelling even the palatial new liners of the P. and O. and Orient
Companies. Her cabins, saloon, library, and smoking-room are models of
comfort and gems of art decoration. A week could be spent in examining them
in detail, and a month would not suffice to examine everything the vessel
contains. Her decorations and appointments are simply palatial, and mark the
present high-water mark in the mechanical and decorative arts as applied to
shipbuilding. No one should on any account miss visiting the vessel as
frequently as possible during her stay. The effect of the whole last night,
when lit up with the cool glow of electricity throughout, was magnificent.
Thanks to the courtesy and kindness of Mr. Evans, chief steward of the
vessel, and Mr. Kane, purser, the representatives of the city newspapers
were able to obtain all possible information, and were shown to all
departments of the vessel. The machinery is of the very latest and most
efficient type, and would in itself require a very long visit of inspection.
Especially so is this with regard to the freezing engines, for certainly
nothing finer of their kind has ever been seen in the colony. Mr. Reid, the
chief engineer, informs us that everything has worked satisfactorily, which,
on a maiden voyage, says much both for the builders of the engines and those
appointed to work them. The Gothic is spoken of as a grand sea-boat, many
opportunities of testing which were given during the voyage, and she neither
rolled nor pitched. During the trip the best days runs were--- 370, 360,
365, 357, 353, and 365 miles. Concerts, dances, &c., were organised on
board, and the special facilities on the steamer made everything very
enjoyable. A London Gaiety Company were passengers from London to the Cape,
and their presence added materially to the enjoyment of passengers. The
Duchess of Albany and suite honoured the vessel with a visit on the 15th
December, which proved an important feature in the history of the steamer.
Her Royal Highness was escorted over the great vessel by Captain Jennings,
and afterwards lunched on board. At Liverpool, the ship was thrown open to
the public. A charge of 1s per head admission was made, and the proceeds
were handed over to the Liverpool Seamen's Orphan Asylum. On 23rd December,
while at London, the public were allowed to visit the ship. A charge of 1s
was made, the proceeds to be devoted to the funds of the Dreadnought
Seamens' Hospital. The whole affair was a colossal success. Never before had
such a number of visitors been seen on any vessel in the Port of London. The
result of the day's proceedings was that the hospital benefited to the
extent of over £400. The officers are---Captain Jennings, late of the Doric;
first officer, Mr. Sowden; second, Mr. J. Breen; third, J. Thornton;
fourth, J. B. Rainey (all late of the Doric); chief steward, Mr. Evans, late
of the Ionic; medical officer, Dr. Fall; purser, Mr. Kane, late of
the Ionic; chief engineer, R. Reid, late of the Doric; second, G. M'Lellan;
third, J. Armstrong; fourth, G.Burnett; fifth, W. M'Farlane; sixth, S.
Plant; B.M., G. Kicks; electrician, W. Lamond; first refrigerating engineer,
G. Manson; second, E. Sales; third, E. Durling.

The total complement of the vessel's staff is 113 persons. A novel feature
of the arrangements on board consists of a small printing plant, worked by a
competent printer, who is employed solely for the printing of menu cards,
concert programmes, and all necessary items pertaining to the clerical work
on board. The Gothic remains here until Saturday or Sunday next. From
Wellington she proceeds to Lyttelton, and, after remaining in that port for
a week, goes on to Napier, returning to Wellington, from which port she
takes her final departure for London on the 8th of March.

The actual steaming time of the vessel from London to this port was 39 days
0 hours 9 minutes. She was thrown open to the public from 1 o'clock this
afternoon, and will be open up to 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon at a small
charge for admission, the proceeds of which will be handed towards the fund
for furnishing the new wing of the Hospital.

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Mark Baber

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MAB note: In a separate article that appeared in the same edition of The
Evening Post, the passengers identified here just by the surname "Graves"
were identified as William S. Graves, a partner in Ismay, Imrie and Co. and
a managing director of White Star, and his wife. In that article, it was
reported that Graves, who "has been in delicate health for some time past,
is paying a flying visit to the colony, in the hopes that the sea voyage
will benefit him."

The Evening Post, Wellington, 10 February 1894
Retrieved from the National Library of New Zealand web site,
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=p&p=home


S.S. GOTHIC
---
The ss Gothic left Plymouth at 2.10 pm on 30th December, and arrived off Las
Palmas on 3rd January, but owing to boisterous weather the vessel proceeded
on her voyage without being able to communicate with the shore. The Line was
crossed on the 9th, Capetown was reached on the 18th, and after a short
detention resumed her voyage at 3.15 same day. The meridian of Cape Leuwin
was crossed on the 31st, and Hobart was reached at 1.30 pm on the 4th
instant. Sailed again at 8.25 am next day. At midnight on the 8th instant,
as the ship was nearing the coast, a heavy fog set in, which necessitated
slowing down shortly afterwards, but as the fog became more intense the ship
was stopped altogether. At 10 next morning the fog cleared away sufficiently
to allow her resuming her journey, and she arrived in harbour at 4.35 pm
yesterday. The weather was generally moderate, and the voyage uneventful.
Her cargo for Wellington and other ports has already been published. The
usual entertainments were held during the voyage. Following are the names of
her passengers:-For Wellington: Cabin-Miss Read, Mesdames Bilborough,
Graves, Briscoe, Rev W. Brown, Messrs Graves, Cameron, Bilborough, Stecker,
Briscoe, Beale, Mathews; steerage-Mrs and Miss Newman, Messrs Bridge,
Burrell, Pinson (2), Brown, Newman, Master Ure. For other ports: saloon -
Misses Cross, St Hill, Tebb, Mesdames Russell, Peck, Edwards, General Sir M.
and Lady Walker, Bishop Julius, Messrs Wood, Dyer, Cunningham, Peck, Geeves,
Hobhouse, Young, Tebb, Edwards, Cooper, Fergusson, Brooke, Cohn,
Glendenning, Masters Peck, Russell; 44 steerage. The Gothic landed 60
passengers at the Cape, 35 at Hobart, and brought 95 for New Zealand.

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Mark Baber

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MAB note: This concludes the reporting of Gothic's maiden voyage.

The Times, London, 18 April 1894
---
THE GOTHIC---The White Star mail steamer Gothic, which, in December last, on
her arrival in the Thames from the building yard of Messrs. Harland and
Wolff, Belfast, was visited by the Duchess of Albany, and afterwards thrown
open to the public for the benefit of the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital,
whereby over £400 was collected on behalf of the charity, arrived back in
London from New Zealand early on Sunday morning last, after the completion
of a most successful voyage. Both in going and returning the vessel
maintained an exceptionally high rate of speed, and she arrived in the Royal
Albert Dock on her return trip three days ahead of her itinerary, after one
of the quickest passages yet made from New Zealand. The Gothic is the first
steamer in the New Zealand service fitted with Hall's carbonic anhydride
system of refrigeration, and the 70,000 carcasses of mutton and 2,400
packages of butter she brought are stated to have arrived in perfect
condition. The Gothic is to sail again for New Zealand on May 17.

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Mark Baber

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The Times, London, 5 December 1893

NEW WHITE STAR STEAMSHIP-The new twin-screw steamer Gothic, which Messrs.
Harland and Wolff, of Belfast, have built for the White Star Line of
steamships, is now moored in the Mersey, and in a few days she will be an
object of interest in the Thames, as she is the largest steamer and the
largest carrier in the Australasian trade. She is 490ft. long between
perpendiculars, 53ft. in breadth, and 33ft. depth of hold, while she has a
gross tonnage of 7,720. The Gothic has been specially designed for the New
Zealand service, and will be despatched from London by the Shaw, Savill, and
Albion Company on her first voyage on the 28th inst. Accommodation is
provided for 104 saloon passengers amidships. In the quarter-deck aft there
is accommodation for 114 steerage passengers. The Gothic has an insulated
capacity in the refrigerated chambers for stowing 75,000 carcases of sheep.
Provision is also made for the conveyance of dairy produce, the export of
which is a new development of New Zealand enterprise. On Saturday, the 16th
inst., the vessel will be on view in the Thames for the benefit of the
Seamen's Hospital Society's dispensaries, and especially the branch hospital
at the Royal Albert Dock. The Gothic will be the largest vessel, with the
exception of the Great Eastern, that has entered the Port of London.

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Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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The Evening Post, Wellington, 16 February 1894
Retrieved from the National Library of New Zealand web site,
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=p&p=home


[Untitled]
---
The spacious decks of the steamer Gothic presented a brilliant spectacle as
she lay alongside the Queen's Wharf yesterday afternoon. About 1000 ladies
and gentlemen availed themselves of Captain Jennings' kind invitation to
view the magnificent vessel and take afternoon tea. The weather was all that
could be desired, and the "At Home" proved an unqualified success. The
guests were received at the gangway by Captain Jennings and Mrs. Graves,
wife of the managing director of the White Star Line, and the officers very
courteously showed them round the huge steamer. An hour was spent in roaming
over the decks and through the engine-rooms, beautifully furnished cabins,
&c, and at 5 o'clock refreshments were served in the saloon. Mr. Evans, the
chief steward, and his staff were most attentive, and the arrangements were
excellent. The Garrison Band was stationed on deck during the afternoon, and
played first-class music. The success of the afternoon party must have been
exceedingly gratifying to the veteran captain.

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