Mr. V. Penney signed-on to the Titanic as a trimmer. Titanic was his first ship.
On the morning of 10 April he was drinking in The Grapes pub with, among others: John Podesta, William Nutbean, and Alfred, Bertram and Thomas Slade. Penney lodged with the Slade brothers at 21 Chantry Road, Southampton and Podesta lived just a few doors down at No. 31.
I got up on the morning of April 10th and made off down to the ship for eight o'clock muster, as is the case on all sailing days, which takes about an hour. As the ship is about to sail at about twelve o'clock noon most of us firemen and trimmers go ashore again until sailing time. So off we went [with] several others I knew on my watch, which was 4 to 8. My watch-mate, whose name was William Nutbean and I went off to our local public-house for a drink in the Newcastle Hotel. We left about eleven fifteen making our way toward the docks. Having plenty of time we dropped into another pub called the Grapes, meeting several more ship-mates inside. So having another drink about six of us left about ten minutes to twelve and got well into the docks and toward the vessel. With me and my mate were three brothers named Slade: Bertram, Tom and Alfred.
We were at the top of the main road and a passenger train was approaching us from another part of the docks. I heard the Slades say, "Oh, let the train go by". But me and Nutbean crossed over and managed to board the liner. Being a long train, by the time it passed, the Slades were too late, and the gangway was down leaving them behind. So it seemed they did not have to go.
As a result Penney and the Slades were listed as having deserted the ship.