We built the Titanic call for participants


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Philip Hind

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A new Channel 4 series will challenge four skilled men and women to rebuild integral parts of Titanic.

This new primetime series for Channel 4 (UK) and National Geographic (USA) will explore an extraordinary era of industrial history and bring to life the truly colossal task that was achieved in the construction of Titanic. An ambitious building challenge will be at the core of each episode. Using traditional Edwardian techniques, machinery and materials, the team will rebuild or restore integral parts of the legendary vessel.

The series will not just focus on Titanic, but will also explore the larger topics of British industry and Edwardian manufacturing, as well as the social history of this era.

We’re looking for passionate engineers, construction workers, architects and designers who have worked on large-scale projects… people with applicable skills who are also happy to be hands-on. These individuals will head up the pioneering team that will take on this exciting challenge.

You must be UK-based and available for 3 months beginning in April. If you’re interested in taking part, please email some information about yourself to [email protected].
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Thanks Phil, interesting.

Alas for the tyranny of distance, I can't take part - not that I've worked in engineering for 18 odd years now either, but let's not go there. Instead I'll look forward to seeing it when it makes it to the telly.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Well, if these skilled men and women are expected to "restore integral parts of the legendary vessel" the chief requirement will be an ability to work under pressure. And the ability to hold their breath for a very long time.
 

Paul Rogers

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Do you think the "contestants" might need a financial services training consultant on hand? I could run a few sessions on the following:

• Business Loan insurance: designed to pay off debts in the event of an unforeseen disaster that damages a company's ability to trade;

• Key-Person insurance: to provide funds allowing a company to replace a senior employee who dies whilst working on an expensive new project;

• Corporation Tax planning: ideas on how to minimise a manufacturing firm's Corporation Tax liability through investment in staff Death-in-Service benefits.

My day rate is reasonable and I can start next week.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Only four skilled men and women? There is the promise of a team, lurking behind them, of course. Still seems a long way from the number of people necessary to build a ship, never mind restore one.

But Paul is right. We need modern skills too.

He can financially indemnify participants, and I am volunteering to do the PR. Nobody identified with a sinking ship, the fate of which they fail to circumvent nearly 100 years later, should be penalised in career terms. That's where I come in. The ability to make a decent mug of tea, plus the ability to do creative stuff on a Mac computer should do the business. I'm ready to go.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Now hang on, Mon, you'd best not take on too much. Don't forget you'll be filling in for Margaret in the next series of The Apprentice. And that's a crucial role - Nick couldn't make a decent mug of tea to save his life.
 

Paul Rogers

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That's all very well, Paul, but can you make a decent mug of tea?
For heaven's sake, Bob, of course I can: I'm English! The English lead the world in making decent mugs of tea.

Contestant: "We need to cut the individual stiffeners from the long stock, trim and de-burr. I generally de-burr the long edges of stiffeners with a Vixen file and finish with either sandpaper or the ScotchBrite wheel. Then we need to file and de-burr the edges of the rivet holes, then de-burr the insides of the lightening holes on the drill press."

Paul: "Right then. I'll go and put the kettle on."
 

Bob Godfrey

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Bob: "Each to his own, Paul. I'll make the tea. You nip down to the corner shop and get me a packet of Woodbines."

Paul: "Right then. While I'm down there I'll see if I can interest them in some expert help with their collective investment schemes."

Bob: "Whatever. Just make sure you get the right change this time."
 
Jun 11, 2000
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I've got an acquaintance who's an engineer. She's been toiling for years with her team, looking into the mysteries of power - for whatever - apparently most of it leaks away. I don't know what this means. Anyway, she says nobody employable would be available for 3 months from April.
 

Paul Rogers

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That leaves retired engineers of course, Mon, of whom there must be plenty. They might possibly be better equipped to deal with Titanic-era technology also.

Quite a few construction workers are likely to be available too, thanks to the recession. Not too sure how many working architects and designers may have a few months to spare...

Where's Fred Dibnah when you need him?
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Oh dear, he died. But he was very good. He was a great aficionado of mechanics, machinery, lifestyle from the 1900s - 1970s, and general good humour. He personally demolished old chimney stacks of huge stature, climbed up dizzying buildings for various reasons, and made TV documentaries about how life was before 1970. He was totally involved in the life of craftsmen and manufacturers, and had little interest in the "service economy". I really miss him. What a bloke.
 

Jim Currie

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Put an advert in shipsnostalgia.com - plenty of 'steam-jimmies' there. Or perhaps clydepuffers.com Now they really are old steam men or is it men of steam? I can't think under pressure. Whatever site you choose, you'll be put in the frame and enjoy a riveting read at the same time.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Went to your YouTube link, Bob. Hmmm. Fred, of course, was famed for having a few pints to help him climb 300ft up a chimney, and I reckon he'd had a few before this interview too. He was relatively young in the clip, before his last, much younger, and redoubtable wife got a grip of him. I think I'm right in saying he cut down on the pints considerably, gave up smoking, and took up washing-up.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Pass the Fairy Burst, Bob, the Fairly Burst. I've told you before, get a dishwasher (mechanical). It's a liberation. I persuaded Paul to get one, though Carol doesn't like it too much as it means he just skedaddles off online after he's expertly loaded it, instead of chatting to her over the suds and drying-up cloth. But it'll hide about 3-meals worth of dirty dishes and pans before you finally have to put it on. Wonderful!
 
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