Titanic Miscellany

Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

Member
Hello James,

I had a bit of a heavy day, but I'll keep the stiff upper lip.
Although concern is mounting in the UK over our looming cost of living crisis, I do not know if you are aware but energy bills here have spiralled out of control, to the point that by October the average bill works out at 3,600GBP yearly for gas and electricity. That is forecast to rise to 5,200GBP by January 2023. Real wage growth has plummeted by 10%, with inflation forecast to top 20%. It really is a struggle living in the UK at the moment, and I say that having a reasonable income yet I am left with about 200 GBP at the end of the month to spend on myself. Discontent is mounting and I really would not be surprised if were there to be riots here by the end of the year.
Despite not being a British citizen, it does worry me considering I have multiple friends and of-course Kate, whom I can't express how much I miss these days, living in the United Kingdom.
I am still single, the love of my life left me some months ago, without reasonable explanation, it took her 9 minutes to pack up and go after dating for 9 years, and I have heard nothing since.
Good Lord, that is painful and heart breaking to read my friend. Is there anything I could do to help you?
I really hoped that when I asked you had you heard anything from Kate that you had, for the sake of closure if for nothing else.
One day she'll come back, I feel it in my heart. It will be one of those rare occasions I would cry from happiness. I just pray she knows there never was an ounce of bitterness I felt over her disappearing, since she'll always be in my heart. Despite the loss I feel over not being able to talk to her, I believe I own every heartbeat and bit of fresh air in my lungs to her. She saved my life, and no matter what I will always love her for just being there for me and cherish all the good memories I had the honour of making together with her. It is my own fault for having lost such wonderful, kind and bright lady, and to know that it is my own fault that I lost her just haunts me each day since, since I believe no words in any written language in the history of mankind can explain how wonderful she is.
I would send you a PM to chat more, but I do not know how, I only know how to respond to one after someone has sent me one.
Let me teach you how my friend, you need to go to the profile of the people you want to send a personal message to and press on "Start conversation."
Best wishes to you Thomas, and apologies to the OP for jumping on the thread, I have been feeling contrite at not having replied to Thomas since he got back to me a few weeks back and feel this to be the only way to reach him
I pray better days will come for the both of us my friend. I want to wish the best wishes towards you too.

Kind regards,

Thomas
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
If RMS Titanic had actually made it to New York then a Passengers Manifest would have to have been handed over to the United States Immigration Services by Captain Edward John Smith onboard the ship before first-class and second-class passengers would be permitted to disembark at the pier and before third-class passengers were transported by ferry from the Titanic to an induction centre at Ellis Island. It was a strict condition of disembarkation at a US port for the Commanding Officer of every vessel entering the United States of America to hand over the Passengers Manifest to the United States Immigration Officer on duty at the ship’s port of entry. This document was required in accordance with Regulations set by the Secretary of Commerce and Labour of the United States of America, which were made under an Act of Congress approved on 20th February 1907. A typical Passenger Manifest in 1912 would have requested the following information from passengers onboard Titanic: Family Name, Place of Birth, Age (Years & Months), Sex, Nationality, Marital Status, Occupation, Health Status (Mental & Physical), Hair Colour, Height, Birthmarks, Whether the person wishing to enter the USA was an Anarchist or a Polygamist, Ability to read or write, Last Permanent Residence (Country, City or Town), Who paid for their passage to the USA, Details of previous visits to the USA, Whether the person wishing to enter the USA had at least $50 on their person and if the passenger was intending to join a relative or friend (the relative or friend’s full name and address was required).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS76WQ8D5-k
Did You Know That?
Ellis Island was the main entry facility for immigrants to the USA from 1st January 1892 to 12th November 1954 and was originally called “Little Oyster Island.” Ellis Island was named after Samuel Ellis, a colonial New Yorker, who is believed to have been born in Wales.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
Yes. Besides just providing information they were required to go thru a health screening and checked against known foriegn criminals. Some were put into quaranteen or sent back to their home countries. If you ever get the chance go on the tour of Ellis Island. It's most interesting. That and the Statue of liberty were the highlight of my last trip there. Cheers.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
Various articles which have appeared in print have claimed that the “Pilot Flag” was hoisted above RMS Titanic’s bridge when she cast off her hawsers at Southampton dock on Wednesday 10th April 1912. However, the Pilot flag does not appear in a single photograph of the famous White Star Line leviathan. Meanwhile, the “Red Ensign” was flown onboard Titanic when she underwent her sea trials in Belfast on 2nd April 1912. This flag was flown from the ensign staff at the stern during daylight hours and identified the ship’s nationality. The “Blue Ensign” was flown from the ensign staff at the stern during daylight hours and could only be used upon issue of an Admiralty warrant which denoted that the captain and at least 10 ratings or officers were members of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). Photographs taken of the Titanic in 1912 show that the 15-foot size “Blue Ensign” of the RNR was flown from the ensign staff at her stern (Commander Smith of the Titanic had served as a Commander in the RNR). The 21-foot size version of this flag (not in use until after 1914) would have by tradition been known as the “Sunday Ensign” or “Holiday Ensign.” The Blue or Red Ensign was also flown from the foremast when the ship was dressed in British waters - as with Titanic on 4th April 1912 in Belfast Lough and on 5th April 1912 in Southampton when her crew “dressed" Titanic in a panoply of flags and pennants to celebrate the leviathan’s impending maiden voyage. The 9-foot size version was the flag normally used here. The White Star house flag flew from one of the flag halyards at the top of the mainmast from 8.00am to sunset.

The foremast flag of a ship is very frequently but incorrectly referred to as the "Destination Flag". However, while it the flag on display at this location did in fact reflect the ship's destination prior to the ship leaving port, the flying of a "courtesy flag" at this location always took precedence. A courtesy flag, or courtesy ensign, is the ensign of another country and is flown when entering that country's port and during the ship's entire time in a “foreign” port. This was done as a means of marking the visit to that country. Failure to do so would have been a mark of the utmost disrespect. Therefore, the French and American ensigns were flown on Titanic as follows: the American ensign was flown at Southampton and continued to fly for the duration of her passage down Southampton water. The French ensign was then flown entering Cherbourg, and for the entire time in the French port until sunset. In Titanic’s case, she arrived at Cherbourg approximately 15 minutes before sunset, so all of her flags were still flying when she anchored just outside the harbour. As Cherbourg was normally departed after dark, no flags were flown. The next morning, 11th April 1912, the American ensign was flown entering Queenstown (now “Cobh”) and for the duration of her time anchored outside the harbour. The American ensign reflected Titanic’s final destination, New York. As Ireland was not a sovereign country in 1912, it was not necessary for Titanic to display a courtesy ensign during her time in Irish waters. If Titanic had made it to New York then the American ensign would have been raised a third time and flown daily from 8.00am to sunset during her entire time in port. Finally, as Titanic was a Royal Mail Steamship, the Royal Mail pennant flew leaving Southampton and arriving Cherbourg, Queenstown and would have still been flying had Titanic reached New York.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-53PU957-g

Did You Know That?
The “Blue Peter” flag, the signal for the letter “P” in the International Code, was often flown by ships when leaving a port to announce that she was about to set sail. On the Olympic class ships (RMS Olympic & RMS Titanic) this flag could be flown from one of the signal halyards off the bridge or from the second halyard at the foremast (the first being already in use for the courtesy ensign). A second Blue Peter could also be flown from one of the mainmast halyards. No photographs are known to exist to indicate whether or not Titanic flew this flag prior to her departure from Southampton or Cherbourg or Queenstown.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
Before work could even commence at the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast on the three Olympic-Class liners (Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic) ordered by the White Star Line, slipways had to be put in place to accommodate the building of these huge vessels. Sir William Arrol & Company, the famous Scottish Civil Engineering Company founded in Dalmarnock in 1873 by William Arrol, was contracted by the Belfast shipyard to construct a large Gantry (the “Arrol Gantry”) in order that the construction of the first two of the three sister ships could commence (the Olympic and the Titanic). Between the years of 1906 and 1908, William Arrol & Co designed and erected the huge gantry system and like the liners that were to be constructed beneath the mammoth structure, the gantry itself was of an impressive scale; it towered 230 feet in height, 840 feet in length and 270 feet in width. The impressive steel structure weighed almost 6,000 tons and was one of the largest of its kind in the world, dominating the Belfast skyline for decades to come. The concrete base had a slight slope from the forward end of the gantry down to the river basin. Across the top of the gantry were cranes to help lift heavy steel plates into place during the construction of these impressive leviathans. Slipways No’s 2, 3 & 4 at the shipyard were converted into two berths and the Arrol Gantry was constructed over them at a cost of £100,000. In 1911, Harland & Wolff had 9 Slipways for the construction of ships of varying sizes; the newly created Slipways No's 2 and 3 were specifically used to accommodate the construction of the Olympic and the Titanic. William Arrol was knighted in 1890 and passed away in 1913, but his company carried on trading under his name until 1969. Other notable achievements associated with the William Arrol name are the construction of the Forth Bridge situated over the Firth of Forth, Scotland (opened in 1890) and the Nile Bridge, Cairo, Egypt (1908. However, Sir William’s most famous construction stands proudly in London over the River Thames, Tower Bridge built in 1894.

Did You Know That?
Prior to the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, all of the White Star Line’s ships, with the exception of one, were built in Belfast.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
Captain Edward John Smith of the Titanic captained SS Adriatic from December 1890 - February 1891 and had a second spell in charge of this famous White Star Line passenger liner in June 1893. The Adriatic was built by the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast (Yard No. 77) and was launched in Belfast on 17th October 1871. The Adriatic held the coveted Blue Riband for the quickest Westbound Atlantic crossing from 1872-75. Although no misfortune ever befell the Adriatic or her crew under Captain Smith many sailors deemed her to be a jinxed ship. In October 1874, she collided with the Cunard Line’s Parthia; in March 1875, she rammed the Columbus in New York harbor causing the sinking of the American ship; in December 1875, the Adriatic ran down and sank the Harvest Queen resulting in the death of everyone onboard the sailing ship; on 19th July 1878, the Adriatic collided with the G. A. Pike resulting in the death of five crew members onboard the Pike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA7a-oHqDs4
Did You Know That?
The Adriatic (1871) was the first of two White Star Line vessels using this name. RMS Adriatic was also built by Harland & Wolff (Yard No. 358) and was launched on 20th September 1906. When she made her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 8th May 1907, the White Star Line gave the command of her to their “Millionaire’s Captain,” Captain Edward John Smith.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
Just 9 days after Titanic sank, the firemen, greasers and trimmers onboard her older sister, RMS Olympic, went on strike on 24th April 1912 claiming that the ship’s newly acquired 40 collapsible lifeboats taken from troopships in Southampton harbour were not seaworthy with some not even opening. The New York Times reported that the 276 strikers (180 firemen, 72 trimmers and 24 greasers) collected their kit bags and walked off the liner singing “We’re All Going The Same Way Home.” An electrician, a storekeeper and the man responsible for the refrigeration equipment remained onboard the Olympic. The strike resulted in the postponement of Olympic’s scheduled departure from Southampton for New York and the leviathan lay off Spithead waiting for her crew members to return to duty. When the strikers left the ship the seamen onboard became discontented and refused to handle the ships ropes, leaving the Stewards and White Star Line Officials to perform this duty. The men dubbed the “Olympic Mutineers,” were supported by 54 of Olympic’s seamen, all of whom appeared in Portsmouth Magistrates Court on 4th May 1912 charged with mutiny. However, although the Magistrates agreed that the mutiny charge had been proved by the White Star Line, they stated that it would be inexpedient to imprison or fine the mutineers under the circumstances that had arisen prior to their refusal to obey orders and released all 54 in the hope that they would return to work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdgtv8Befmo
Did You Know That?
The United States of America entered the First World War on 16th April 1917, just two days after Titanic’s older sister, Olympic, had re-entered service following the application of a dazzle camouflage paint job. Dazzle paint was a vivid combination of colours and geometric shapes intended to confuse a submarine spotting the ship from a distance as to what type and size of ship it was seeing and what her course was.
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
Now the subject of the Arrol Gantry has come up to build the new Olympic class ships.
There is no doubt the gantry may have been an impressive structure but was it relay necessary to spend all that money to build commercial ships? As seeing other shipyards where using the standard practice of tee tower cranes alongside the ship hull which have greater lifting capacity and are more universal in movement yet are considerable cheaper and more efficient to. Surprising enough the William Arrol company was one of the main suppliers of tee tower cranes for shipyards to. I am thinking Arrol must have been laughing all way to the bank to build such an elaborate gantry structure. I can only think of one person who had this bright Idea to spend so much on the gantry, that must have been the company chairman William Pirrie.
Looking into the background of this man certainty was a big wild spender indeed!
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
Now the subject of the Arrol Gantry has come up to build the new Olympic class ships.
There is no doubt the gantry may have been an impressive structure but was it relay necessary to spend all that money to build commercial ships? As seeing other shipyards where using the standard practice of tee tower cranes alongside the ship hull which have greater lifting capacity and are more universal in movement yet are considerable cheaper and more efficient to. Surprising enough the William Arrol company was one of the main suppliers of tee tower cranes for shipyards to. I am thinking Arrol must have been laughing all way to the bank to build such an elaborate gantry structure. I can only think of one person who had this bright Idea to spend so much on the gantry, that must have been the company chairman William Pirrie.
Looking into the background of this man certainty was a big wild spender indeed!
I doubt whether anyone cared.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both gantry cranes and T-cranes.

Whilst a T-crane can lift a bigger load the operator of the crane is at some distance from the load and must demonstrate good judgement as to when and where to raise or lower his load. In a gantry crane the operator is right on top of what he is lifting or lowering and can be more accurate.

The proof is in the pudding - the Olympic class were successfully constructed using the gantry cranes. There doesn't seem to have been any controversy about it.
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
I don't question that the gantry was not successful in building of the Olympic class ships, but just see as an unnecessary cost against T tower cranes as other shipyards were using. As years on H&W are to use T tower cranes.
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
I don't question that the gantry was not successful in building of the Olympic class ships, but just see as an unnecessary cost against T tower cranes as other shipyards were using. As years on H&W are to use T tower cranes.
That's because during WWII marine engineering underwent radical changes, with large sections of merchant ships superstructures being pre-fabricated which required bigger, stronger cranes to lift them from road or rail transport and no obstructive gantries in the way.

It's not applicable in the case of the Olympic class.
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
I still see it was not necessary to spend so much on that type of gantry, and to question the efficiency as building the Titanic hull took nearly four months longer than Olympic hull which at the time, they were both the same size.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
I still see it was not necessary to spend so much on that type of gantry, and to question the efficiency as building the Titanic hull took nearly four months longer than Olympic hull at the time, they were both the same size.
The Arrol Gantry was specifically designed for the Olympic Class vessels. The previous one in place was not sufficient for the three ships and so the Arrol Gantry, acted as an overhead crane for the construction of them. Without the Arrol Gantry, Olympic and Britannic would not have existed, and neither would have the Titanic (since they were a trio). It later became a landmark in Belfast, just as Samson and Goliath would decades later.

There is no getting around it. Plain and simple.
 
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Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
The Arrol Gantry was specifically designed for the Olympic Class vessels. The previous one in place was not sufficient for the three ships and so the Arrol Gantry, acted as an overhead crane for the construction of them. Without the Arrol Gantry, Olympic and Britannic would not have existed, and neither would have the Titanic (since they were a trio). It later became a landmark in Belfast, just as Samson and Goliath would decades later.

There is no getting around it. Plain and simple.
Sorry for the delay in reply. That statement without Arrol Gantry, Olympic and Britannic would not exist and neither Titanic to. I am afraid that is not true. Any of those three ships could have been built with T tower cranes as was Lusitania and Aquitania.
I realized I may not have explained why they used that type of gantry. First, I see that type of gantry is not new and had been used in other shipyards and built by William Arrol Co to. The purpose as I under standard that type of gantry is to build war ships in secrecy of new technology which is a must to keep ahead of foreign navies. The sides can be covered up from prying eyes. As T tower cranes are very exposed to the genral public. I have seen a photo this type of gantry as used by Beardmore Clydebank Glasglow shipyard who specialise in wars ships with two ships in progress and the sides cover up. The drawback it will take long to build hulls as there is restricted movement of materials when building two ships side by side. And a clash of cranes running on the same track. But as far the Admiralty is concern it performance of new technology is number one priority.
Seeing photos of other shipyards the T tower cranes seems to be the standard practice for quite a few yards to build commercial ship hulls
However, second thought was H&W thinking of building wars ships in the future.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
That statement without Arrol Gantry, Olympic and Britannic would not exist and neither Titanic to. I am afraid that is not true.
I disagree. The construction of Titanic and her sister ships represented a monumental task to Harland & Wolff - it had never been done previously. So, they required a gantry that would fulfill that requirement. You do realize the gantry had to accommodate a number of mobile cranes, do you not? Money apparently was not a factor for William Pirrie, as he was willing to do whatever it took to build the Olympic class liners.

Any of those three ships could have been built with T tower cranes as was Lusitania and Aquitania
Says who? Is this evidence based or pure speculation on your part?

As I stated, the Arrol Gantry ended up becoming a landmark in Belfast and was in place until the 1960s. So the fact that you are griping about a hundred and fourteen year old decision, is quite bemusing.
 
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