Original Sailing Date

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Karen Fink

Member
Hi All,

I'm going to you, who I consider the "experts" because I am completely amazed at the wealth of knowledge you all have, and how willing you are to share.

I work at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia and we are about to get the Titanic Artifact Exhibit in July. I am considered the "resident expert" here, because I've been a Titanic buff since I was a young child.

Someone here at the Museum said they thought the Titanic was originally supposed to sail in March. I had never heard this or seen it in any of my many books.

If anyone can shed some light on this I would truly appreciate it. I'd like for the Museum to get their facts straight and be as accurate as possible with the information we pass on.

Many, many thanks and good wishes to you all.

Karen
 
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Paul Lee

Member
Hi Karen,
Welcome to E-T! I think Titanic was due to sail on March 20th, 1912, but this was put back due to the repairs to the Olympic following her collision with the HMS Hawke in October 1911, I believe.

Cheers

Paul

 
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Karen Fink

Member
Paul,

Thank you for your ultra-quick response. I did in fact find the information in one of my books. I guess I was having a temporary memory crisis. I am really good with facts, but terrible at remembering dates.

Again, thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly, I certainly appreciate your help.

Have a wonderful day,
Karen
 
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Paul Lee

Member
Wasn't there a shipping schedule published pre-Hawke Collision which shows Titanic's orginal date as being March 20th?

Paul

 
Susan Morrison

Susan Morrison

Member
I seem to recall a fear of a delay in sailing due to fuelling problems - the first national coal strike was underway, and getting fuel to any ships, but particularly the Titanic and Olympic, was a major problem. Olympic was bunkered by strike breakers, and several other ships were paired at the docks to stockpile coal for Titanic, and the bunkers were stocked in Belfast. In the end, the strike was settled on 6 Aril, but of course, it still took time for coal to reach Southampton. ('Titanic Voices' p 44)

One thought - the 'burning bunker' was stacked in Belfast - is it possible that the Irish 'coalies' were not so adept at fueling a liner as the Southampton crews, and thus inadvertantly started the fire ?
 
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Alex McLean

Guest
I was under the impression that she was to sail on the 20th of March, as Paul said, but this was delayed because of the Hawke incident, but also because Olympic lost a propeller blade somewhere along the line, crossing an uncharted wreck, or reef of sorts. A spare apparently was taken from Titanic, which was removed from the graving dock so it could be fitted to Olympic.
Adding to that, how long would that work take, do you think? Also remember that the fitting out of Titanic was not nearly complete as the days in March dwindled down into April, and perhaps that also had something to do with the delay. It's been written a few times that the March sailing date was never made public, so it was no problem having a slight delay because few would realise it.
Which raises another question. If it were never made public, how do we know about it now?
My best,
Happy

Alex
 
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Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Wasn't there a shipping schedule published pre-Hawke Collision which shows Titanic's orginal date as being March 20th?

Eaton & Haas' Titanic: A Journey Through Time says that White Star's 1912 sailing schedule, released on 25 September 1911 (five days after the Hawke collision) showed the date of Titanic's MV as 20 March.

Although not referring to any specific source, Louden-Brown's The White Star Line also says 20 March was the original date.
 
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Alex McLean

Guest
Mark,
So can we then say that the Hawke collision was not the cause of the delay?
Also, just curious (I don't have this book), but were Olympic's sailing times changed on this list so soon after the incident, or were White Star still optimistic as to the damage?
My best,
Happy

Alex
 
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Mark Baber

Staff member
Moderator
Member
No, Alex, I think I'd say exactly the opposite. If the schedule was released in New York so soon after the Hawke incident, it must have been in preparation in Liverpool for quite a while before that and therefore would not take into account the need for Olympic to undergo any significant downtime. I'm quite comfortable with the statements made in a number of sources to the effect that the diversion of workers from Titanic to Olympic delayed Titanic's being finished and, consequently, her MV.
 
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Bob Fredrick

Guest
Hi All,

The Titanic's sailing date was postponed by both events. The Hawke incident happened first, and delayed construction on the Titanic when workers were moved over to repair Olympic. Then Olympic dropped a propeller blade, and had to return to Belfast for repairs.

Take Care,
Bob.
 
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tom blackburn

Member
I noticed on this thread that it was indicated the original sailing date for the Titanic was March 20th.
I have a sailing schedule for the Adriatic for July 11, 1911 and in it it has a sailing date for the Titanic of March 30th.

It lists the sailing dates for both the Titanic and Olympic through the end of April 1912.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
30 March seems unlikely, as it was a Saturday. 20 March was a Wednesday, in line with the usual schedule.
 
Steven Hall

Steven Hall

Member
Dave, wasn't it exactly three weeks before she was scheduled to depart. Which meant, she would have been in the same area as ice, only she’d be on her 2nd crossing?
 
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