Was April Original Scheduled Sail Date


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Karen Fink

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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
 

Paul Lee

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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

 

Karen Fink

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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
 

Paul Lee

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

Paul

 
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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

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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.gif

Alex
 

Mark Baber

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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

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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.gif

Alex
 

Mark Baber

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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

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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.
 

tom blackburn

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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

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

Steven Hall

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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?
 

John Clifford

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Actually, if the Titanic had sailed on March 20th, and made it to New York, she would have sailed out of New York on March 30th, which was a Saturday, as the ships could stay in port for a few days.

At that point she would have arrived in Southampton on April 6th, and would have sailed out on April 10th.

This way, Olympic would have been sailing in one direction, and Titanic in the other; they would have passed each other sometime on Monday, April 15th.

Somewhere there are copies of ship departures postings, from New York, which listed Titanic as scheduled to sail out on Saturday, April 20th, now listed as "The Voyage That Never Took Place".
 

Dave Gittins

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Looking at the ice records, I see Titanic would have easily made it safely to New York in March. Practically no ice reached the track to New York. The difference between March and April is quite remarkable.
 

Paul Lee

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You're right Dave. I compiled the following list from Lloyds after speculation that the Olympic's somewhat slow speed for her westbound passage before the Titanic may have been due to ice warnings (none of which are explicitly stated in her PV for that period). I found the following:

April 8 - British Steamer Brinkburn reports lat 47 long 47 - encountered ice, field ice and numerous small bergs.
April 8 - British Steamer Lord Cromer - 150 miles east of St.Johns (N.F) encountered much field ice
April 6 - British steamer Strahfillan reports lat 49 N 48 W encountered ice
April 3 - Danish steamer [unreadable] lat 45 04 N, long 56 38 W saw drifting ice and ice fields
April 7 - Armenian reports lat 42 36 long 49 36 encountered field ice which extended for a distance of 50 miles
April 9 - Knutsford from New York reports a temperature drop in 40 56 N 47 56 W which was attributed to a huge iceberg seen 1.5 hours later
April 8 - British Steamer Royal Edwards reports from 42 5 N 49 39 W to 42 30 N 50 10 W passed thick and heavy loose field ice
42 48N 49 40W - saw a large iceberg
April 7 - British Steamer Rosalind ran into a strip of field ice 3 or 4 miles wide and extending north and south as far as could be seen in
45 10 N 56 40 W
April 8 - British Steamer Rio Pirahy reports in lat 42 44 long 49 34 - for 7 hours passed a large quantity of field ice and icebergs.


Before these dates, there were very few reports of field ice especially on the New York route. Before April it seems that ice wasn't a menace unless your port was sealed in! All these, apart from the rogue iceberg seen by the Knutsford, are well to the North, away from the Olympic's course to New York.

Paul

My ebook on the Titanic and the Californian is available at http://www.paullee.com/book_details.php
 

tom blackburn

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I rechecked my White Star schedule and it does show the Titanic leaving for New York on the 20th of March and returning leaving from New York on the 30th of March.
 
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