News from 1932: Maiden voyage of Georgic II

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Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
The Times, 14 June 1932



Early yesterday morning the White Star motor-liner Britannic, a
beautiful ship of 27,000 tons gross and just two years old, passed up
the Mersey from New York with 1,300 passengers in the cabin, tourist,
and third classes. A few hours later the sister motor-ship Georgic, in
command of Captain F. F. Summers R.D., and gaily dressed, came up the
Mersey from her builders at Belfast in preparation for her maiden voyage
to New York on June 25. Meanwhile the Britannic is expected to bring a
full complement of passengers on her next voyage from the United States,
and already about 1,400 are booked for the first voyage of the Georgic
from New York. There is accommodation for 1,632.

In external appearance the two sister-ships are very much alike. Each
has two masts and two short funnels. (In the Britannic one of these
great funnels is used as a smoking room for the engineers, while in the
Georgic the space is shared between a wireless equipment room and a
smoking room, and the wireless direction finding apparatus is visible
from the top.) Probably the chief difference in the external appearance
of the vessels is that, unlike her sister, the Georgic has a curved
bridge front, which enables a spacious palm court and observation room,
with a large sweep of windows, to be provided. This lookout room is
provided with comfortable armchairs and is fitted with a special floor
for dancing.

Internally the vessels are distinctively decorated. The public rooms of
the Britannic are handsomely furnished in various period styles. The
decorations of the corresponding rooms in the Georgic are entirely
modern. The lounge, which is also intended for dancing, has a large
square dome, and the colouring of the furnishings, carpetings, curtains,
and decorations are light and, in their careful blending, restful to the
eye. A long gallery has a similar appearance. There are smaller rooms,
such as a library, card room, and children's room, and on the
same deck is the smoking room, with lacquer sections suggesting the
sides of a ship, but with scarlet, black, and gold as the predominating
colours. Here, as in other rooms, artists have painted symbolic figures
and designs on the walls, and throughout the rooms are beautiful works
of art and metallic wrought work and graceful figures carved in wood.
All these rooms, like the large dining room, which is treated with
blends of colour and silver and lightened with tall mirrors, look at
their very best at night, since full scope has been given to the
ingenuity of the electricians, and subdued and hidden lighting is
generally employed. In the lounge, or grand hall, a Coloroma apparatus
has been installed. Throughout the ship the main effect is one of
comfort and cheerfulness, with nothing that ever approaches gaudiness. A
gymnasium, swimming bath, hair dressing rooms, passenger lifts, and
shops are among the features of this very modern liner.


A distinguished company travelled in the ship from Belfast, and at a
dinner on board the keynote of the speeches was one of confidence. Mr.
A. B. CAUTY, a director and general manager of the White Star Line,
presided, and, after warmly acknowledging the services of
the financial authorities who were helping, expressed full confidence in
a complete recovery of the financial fortunes of the White Star Line
just as soon as the international situation recovered. Mr. FRANK
CHARLTON, also a director and general manager, declared that in the
Georgic and Britannic the company had the type of vessel which the
travellers of the present day needed, and those of the future would
want, for it provided comfort and luxury at the minimum cost.

BRIGADIER-GENERAL Sir ARTHUR MAXWELL urged the need of a healthy,
cautious, and well-reasoned optimism. Mr. F. E. REBBECK, the chairman of
Harland and Wolff, the builders, indicated that the vessel had cost less
than appeared likely at the outset; that, comparing like with like, the
Georgic had been built on absolutely competitive terms; and that the
company would welcome the opportunity of building ships for the world.

The Georgic was given a civic reception at Prince's Landing Stage, a
band played, and crowds assembled to witness the arrival of a new and
most worthy addition to the fine vessels using the port. Technically the
liner is of the cabin type and is of a speed which enables the crossing
to be made in rather over a week.

Among those who travelled in the ship were: -

Mr. H. M. Pollock. M.P., the Lord Mayor of Liverpool (Alderman J. C.
Cross), Lord Suffield, Sir H. Gloster Armstrong, Mr. H. H. Austin, Mr.
J. L. Barron, Commodore C. A. Bartlett, Colonel J. G. B. Beazley, Mr. W.
J. Willett Bruce, Mr. Frank Bustard, Sir Ernest Clarke, Mr. J. M. Craig,
Mr. P. E. Curry, Mr. R. Dumas, Sir Andrew Duncan, Mr. F. G. Dunlop, Mr.
E. J. Foley, Mr. W. H. Gaunt, Mr. F. Robertson Gibb, Mr. H. B. Harland,
Sir Bertram Hayes, Major R. G. Heyn, Sir George Higgins.

Mr. J. R. Hobhouse, Colonel F.H. Kemp, Sir Samuel Kelly, Mr. T. J. E.
Large, Mr. M. Mackenzie Lees, Mr. William Lewis, Mr. A. G. Linney, Mr.
John MacMillan, Mr. A. T. Marshall, Mr. Malcolm S. MCorqendale, M. P.,
Sir William McClintock, Mr. Thomas McClintock, Mr. P. G. M. Mitchell,
Mr. W. Mitson, Mr. Charles Payne, Captain C. H. Petherick, Mr. S. C. W.
Picton, Sir Alfred Wilfred Spender, Mr. Ashby Tabb (who was responsible
for the decorations), Mr. Oscar Thompson, Mr. T. C. Tobin, Mr. G.
Warden, Mr. W. L. Warden, Mr. L. A. P. Warner, Mr. A. R. T. Woods, and
Mr. M. H. Workman.

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