The fate of the Olympic


K

kate reeder

Guest
this may be the wrong section to post, but does anyone have a copy of the auction catalogue from 1935? I am trying to trace what happened to the mechanical horses from the gym.
 
Jan 5, 2009
1
0
71
Hello all. I'm new here. I have been an avid Titanic fan as long as I can remember and I will turn 56 in about a month. On the subject of the Olympic, I could never understand why she was never preserved because of the simple fact that she was the sister ship of the Titanic! I'm sure if the Olympic was here today, she would have been preserved with all of the interest that has developed over the years about the Titanic. Is it possible that the Titanic was not considered such a popular subject in the 1930's? Obviously it must have been so. To believe that today a sister ship of the Titanic would go to the scrap yard just doesn't seem possible. I am one of those nostalgic sentimental people who would love to see another Titanic built with all of the modern materials and technology we have today. If I had the money, I would do it! Well, I guess I've rambled enough. I really enjoy this Message Board and the Website and all of your comments and posts. Thanks for having me on board!
135033.jpg
 

Brent Holt

Member
Jun 23, 2002
280
0
181
It took a while for the Titanic to achieve mythic status. Olympic had carved her own reputation for herself and I suspect many people did not give her connection to Titanic much thought when she went to the scrappers. There was a plan in 1935 after her withdrawal that fell through for her to be used as a floating hotel in France. Ocean liners were so plentiful back then that they were taken for granted. People like new things as well and ships such as the Normandie, Queen Mary, Ile de France, Rex, etc. made ships of the Olympic's era look old fashioned.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>I'm sure if the Olympic was here today, she would have been preserved with all of the interest that has developed over the years about the Titanic.<<

Don't count on it. Times are tough again and there are a lot of museums and attractions which are having a very hard time making ends meet. I know of several ships under threat here in the U.S.A. because of their deteriorating condition and there is far more interest in them then there is in the Titanic.
 
J

Jeff Brebner

Guest
Is it true that interest in the Titanic didn't really start to peak until Lord wrote A Night to Remember? Seems like I've hear that opinion expressed.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Is it true that interest in the Titanic didn't really start to peak until Lord wrote A Night to Remember?<<

I'd say it was more a combination of the 1953 movie, and A Night To Remember as both book and movie. Prior to that, the matter had faded into the background and the shipping interests at least were happier for it.
 

Aly Jones

Member
Nov 22, 2008
1,174
70
183
Australia
Olympic was the Queen of the Olympic class liners and the only one to survive out of the three sisters.
Olympic was the only one to do her job,with a career lasting 25 years.

While both of her sisters sunk to glory and fame,but yet she was the one with the long career and the one that served in ww1 to serve the R/N and Britain.

What did olympic get of having a long surviving career- Nothing at all.

Olympic should of been shown more respect and not been scarp but saved as an History piece.

Olympic should have been honoured and therefore not been scrap.

That's how i see Olympic.

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally a separate thread outside this subtopic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
From The Sheilds Gazette:

Was bare hull Titanic’s sister ship?
Published on Tuesday 12 July 2011 16:10

HOW were the mighty fallen ...

I am going back here to that intriguing picture the other day, of the long, bare hull of a ship, accompanied by tugs, in the harbour.

It had come from a reader in Scotland whose father had taken the snap, he thinks in the 1930s.

Could anyone identify the ship, he wondered?

Well I suggested that it might have been one of the incomplete aircraft carriers that were built up river during the Second World War – but then the dates would have been wrong.

Much more likely, it turns out, is the suggestion by readers Dennis Maccoy, Jim Allen and Ray Collins, was that what we were actually looking at was the sad hulk of the great ocean liner Olympic, sister ship of the Titanic.

She’s seen her entering the Tyne in 1935, to be broken up at Jarrow as part of a bid to create work for the town following the closure of Palmer’s shipyard.

If it was her hull, then it would have been on its way to Inverkeithing in 1937 for completion of demolition.

Says Jim: “I believe it to be either the Berengaria or the Olympic, both of which were dismantled at Jarrow and then one of them, if not both, were towed to Inverkeithing for final scrapping.

I have a clear recollection as a boy in the mid-1930s of seeing at least one of them being brought in to the Tyne.”
More at

 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
I have seen a photo of a hull being towed away. If there are people viewing it in foreground, the hull is definitely that of Olympic, such a sad sight. The Aquitania was indeed given a whole new lease of life as a troopship in WW2, even came to Wellington, New Zealand during trooping voyages. Olympic would have made a good troopship, even Mauretania would have. Why Cunard kept the Berengaria AND made her flagship, I do not know. Compared to Olympic, I think Berengaria is ugly (and I will dodge the flames)
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Olympic would have made a good troopship, even Mauretania would have. Why Cunard kept the Berengaria AND made her flagship, I do not know.<<

Larger and a bit more up to date might have had something to do with it, although I suspect that the Berengaria being a Cunard vessel had a lot to do with it as well. They could hardly claim that the Olympic was worn out but by this time, the Mauritania clearly was.
 

Kevin

Member
Jan 14, 1998
13
0
211
There is an excellent book on the history of ship breaking and the UK (and the title escapes me at the moment). It was documented that Berengaria's hull kicked around till the middle 1940s. Like Olympic her lower hull was being moved to scrap elsewhere and the remainder cracked into roughly a 1/3 and a 2/3 section and sank. Each section was raised and later scrapped.
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
One shipbreaking book I have is Metal Industries. shipbreaking at Rosyth and Charlestown by Ian Buxton, published by the World Ship Society. It mentions Berengaria - she was sold to Jarrow Shipbreaking and Engineering Co at Southampton for L108,000, departed Southampton under own steam 6/12/38 and arrived Jarrow, Tyne on 8/12/38 with demolition commencing March 39. The hulk was subsequently sold to Shipbreaking Industries Ltd June 1941 for L43,500. Broke in two 12/41. Forward portion towed to Rosyth, arriving 24/7/46 and aft portion towed to Rosyth arriving 27/8/46. I guess Metal Industries lost on the deal since the sea sucked on the bones for about 4 1/2 years. (I contest Mauretania was worn out - outmoded certainly, but not worn out) Now I dodge torpedoes!
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>I contest Mauretania was worn out - outmoded certainly, but not worn out<<

May and maybe not. The Olympic was certainly well kept up and Cunard was no slouch in caring from it's ships. The problem here is that the North Atlantic is brutal on even the most rugged hulls and the Mauritania had seen a lot of tough service.

If somebody has any information on any surveys done by the Board of Trade, it might help us sort this out.
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
I would love to see copies of Mauretania's surveys. Yes, she was showing signs of age and she had survived the 25 years that was reckoned to be a ship's lifetime - that is, she may have needed repair work somewhere to gain certificates of seaworthiness and also she was the oldest ship in Cunard's transatlantic fleet. I think she may have lasted longer, if not for the Depression.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>I think she may have lasted longer, if not for the Depression.<<

I would think long and hard before betting against that. Look at how long they managed to run the Aquatania, and the age difference between the two ships wasn't that great. Of course, that ship was in pretty desperate shape when she finally bowed out. Service through two world wars was not kind to the hull.
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
Dear Michael, I concede the Aquitania was well and truely worn out by 1950. Two things, her age and the fact she had been driven hard all through WW11 with bare minimum of maintenance. Both reasons very self-evident. Had the Mauretania served in WW11 and survived, she would have been in the same condition - well clapped out. Likewise Olympic. Maybe they would have ventured into N.Z. waters as Aquitania did. Well I can dream.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Two things, her age and the fact she had been driven hard all through WW11 with bare minimum of maintenance. <<

Bingo! The Olympic and Mauritania both had pretty lavish care during their operational lifetimes and that made all the difference. I suspect that the Admiralty ended up regretting the demise of these two ships when the Second World War broke out as both would have been invaluable as troop ships or hospital ships.

Of course had they been run just as hard as the Aquatania was with constant deferrals in essential refits, they would have been in the same bad shape that the Aquatania was when she bowed out.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
The Aquitania was a machine, a great example of Edwardian engineering to get as much out of herself as she did. Considering how much she'd been through and how reliable she had invariably been, I don't think there should be anything but praise for her - even if her floors were starting to fall through, etc.

Olympic was perhaps retired a bit early but WSL folded soon after that anyway.
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
Quite so, unfortunately ships don't last forever, and if not maintained for whatever reason, they deteriorate simply and obviously because they sit in salt water and corrosion and electrolysis wreak their work of dintergration in time.
To Michael. I have just received J Kent Layton's latest Lusitania book, o wow is All I can say. So good to get a book about her that is not just the last voyage. I await his Trio of Trios book and wish someone wuld come up to bat for Mauretania. She did so much more than just hold the Blue Riband for 20 years or so.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
Ellen:

Yes that's very true, as we've seen with the docked Queen Mary in recent years.

The under-rated, quiet achiever is probably the best way to describe Aquitania. She didn't have the glamour of her sisters or WSL cousins but she outlasted them all and those who sailed on her, or especially worked on her for a living, loved her.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads