Tag Archives: Harland & Wolff

Friday Titanic News-Harland & Wolff, Could Titanic Have Survived Head on with Iceberg and more!

Enormous gantry cranes in the yards of Harland & Wolff, Belfast 2018.
Image Credit: August Schwerdfeger via Wikimedia Commons

Grennan, Dan. “Titanic Shipyard Faces Closure After 160 Years as Jeremy Hunt ’is Set to Block £200m Aid Package For…” Mail Online, 15 May 2024, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13421011/Titanic-shipyard-Hunt-aid-package-Harland-Wolff.html.

The historic Belfast shipyard where the Titanic was built is facing closure after 160 years as Jeremy Hunt is ‘set to block a £200million aid package for Harland & Wolff’.  Government insiders have reportedly voiced ‘serious fears’ that the firm based on the docks in north Belfast could collapse as a result of the funding cut, which would end centuries of shipbuilding in the city. Harland & Wolff currently builds Royal Navy ships as part of a £1.6bn contract but it is believed the vessels could be constructed in the Spanish port of Cadiz if the businesses shuts down. It would be the first time in British naval history that a warship was built by a foreign yard. The historic ship building firm, which has had financial issues for decades and has a market value of £20million, was given the green light for a £200million support package at Christmas.

 Additional news:

Oliver, Matt. “Rivals Line up to Take £1.6bn Navy Contract From Titanic Shipyard.” The Telegraph, 16 May 2024, www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2024/05/16/rivals-line-up-to-take-16bn-navy-contract-titanic-shipyard.

Britain’s biggest defence companies are lining up to take over a £1.6bn Royal Navy supply ship contract amid fears the business tasked with delivering it could collapse. However, the Government source added that talks were still focused on helping to secure Harland & Wolff’s future, adding that contingency plans would only be looked at in a “worst-case scenario.” Harland & Wolff was plunged into uncertainty earlier this week after it emerged a loan guarantee promised by the Government was in doubt amid legal concerns it could breach state aid rules.

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Photograph of iceberg taken by chief steward of Prinz Adalbert on morning of 15 April 1912 near where Titanic sank. At the time he had not learned of the Titanic disaster. Smears of red paint along the base caught his attention. The photo and accompanying statement were sent to Titanic’s lawyers, which hung in their boardroom until the firm dissolved in 2002. Public Domain

Elliott, Richard. Could Titanic Have Survived a Head-on Impact? 14 May 2024, www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/could-titanic-have-survived-a-head-on-impact.html.

Edward Wilding, a senior naval architect from Harland & Wolff shipbuilders, gave evidence to the British inquiry into the loss of the Titanic concerning the design and construction of the ship. On the 19th day of the inquiry, 7th June 1912, the following exchange took place.

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Banim, Julia, and Julia Banim. “Inside Cottage Frozen in Time With Newspaper of Titanic Tragedy Left on Table.” The Mirror, 14 May 2024, www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/inside-haunting-cottage-frozen-time-32806392.

A clock on the mantelpiece is stuck showing 12.15, a pair of glasses are left ready to pick up and a rusted OXO tin has been left open, with two pocket watches stored inside. Hundreds of handwritten letters fill the drawers, and three kettles are sat on the stove, next to a cup which appears to have been placed there just before it was abandoned. Old books and newspapers including the Mid Ulster Mail from 1917 were left sitting in the living room which had been shut off for more than 50 years, alongside one newspaper which reported the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

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Kasprak, Alex. “Abandoned Castle ‘Frozen in Time’ After Owner Died on Titanic?” Snopes, 13 May 2024, www.snopes.com/fact-check/engelhart-cornelius-ostby-titanic.

One person inspired to travel there, in 2022, was urbex TikToker Ramy Awad. On that trip, he created a video, titled “Exploring a castle that was owned by passengers on the Titanic,” that went viral, thanks in part to coverage in outlets like the New York Post and Newsweek. Speaking to the Post, Awad claimed that  [The] property was once home to Norwegian businessman, Engelhart Cornelius Ostby, who died in the maritime tragedy, on April 14, 1912. […] Awad claimed he came across paperwork inside the castle linking the Norwegian with the castle. Snopes can find no evidence to substantiate the claim that Østby inhabited this residence, but we can find ample evidence against the notion. 

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RMS Olympic First Class Lounge (1912)
Photo: Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Northlines. “Antique Piano From Titanic’s Sister Ship Poised for an Encore Performance.” Northlines, 14 May 2024, thenorthlines.com/antique-piano-from-titanics-sister-ship-poised-for-an-encore-performance.

An upright piano crafted over a century ago by renowned piano makers Steinway & Sons is poised for a comeback performance, thanks to efforts by music and history lovers to restore this piece of maritime musical heritage to the public. Commissioned in 1912 for the ocean liner RMS Olympic, sister ship of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, the walnut instrument bears serial number 157550 and its origin has recently been verified through records. Currently housed at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds, England, the piano is remarkably well-preserved from its days entertaining passengers aboard the Olympic before being retired over 80 years ago.

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Killingbeck, Dale. “Wyoming History: Wyoming-Bound Passengers Among Survivors of Titanic Disaster.” Your Wyoming News Source, 11 May 2024, cowboystatedaily.com/2024/05/11/wyoming-bound-passengers-among-survivors-of-1912-titanic-disaster.

Hugh Woolner, 45, a former stockbroker, was chairman of the National Oil syndicate of London and involved with Western Exploration company drilling northwest of Casper. He was enjoying all the perks of the first-class accommodations on the celebrated ocean liner’s first voyage. His physician advised him to take the ship as a means to avoid getting pneumonia — something he contracted on a previous crossing on a different ship.

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E/M Group, LLC. TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition Coming to Warsaw. 10 May 2024, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/titanic-the-artifact-exhibition-coming-to-warsaw-302142485.html.

More than a century after Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage, the stories of love, heroism, sacrifice, courage, and loss born from that fateful night endure. Now, E/M Group and RMS Titanic, Inc. are honored to bring these stories to Warsaw, Poland when TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition opens on September 1st, 2024 at the SOHO ART CENTER. SOHO ART CENTER, located in the Kamionek neighborhood of Warsaw, presents cultural exhibitions and is part of a vibrant community. For more information, visit www.titanic.pl.

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White, Kelly. “Titanic Memories Haunt Worth Library – Southwest Regional Publishing.” Southwest Regional Publishing, 10 May 2024, southwestregionalpublishing.com/2024/05/10/titanic-memories-haunt-worth-library.

Bringing the ship back to life was the Worth Public Library on April 15 with a program called, The Haunted Titanic, with local historian Bob Trzeciak, who walked patrons through the history, the lasting impact, and why it has remained a fascination for all of those 112 years. The event was free and open to the public at the library, 6917 W. 111th St. “It’s hard to nail my favorite part about the Titanic to just one thing but the fact that what could go wrong did,” Trzeciak, of Alsip and Paranormal Radio Activity, said. “Very unfortunate circumstances.” Trzeciak was introduced to paranormal findings by brother, Ray Trzeciak, who while attending college at Governors State University, introduced Trzeciak to parapsychology, the study of mental phenomena that are excluded from conventional scientific psychology. He showed Trzeciak parapsychology textbooks and information on findings. “Some of the Titanic’s hauntings are fact and some are fiction,” Trzeciak said.

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Liles, Jordan. “Video Shows Wine Retrieved From Titanic Wreckage Sold for $1.4 Million at Auction?” Snopes, 7 May 2024, www.snopes.com/fact-check/titanic-wine-sold-auction.

On April 30, 2024, online users began virally sharing a video on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and X, with a rumor claiming the clip showed a bottle of wine recovered from the wreckage of the Titanic selling for $1.4 million at auction. “A sealed bottle of wine recovered from the Titanic has sold for a record-breaking $1.4 million at auction,” the TikTok user claimed in the text caption alongside the video. “The Oceanic Reserve Champagne, produced by the ‘Maritime Vineyards,’ is one of few intact bottles salvaged from the wreck, making it a highly sought-after piece of history. The sale underscores the enduring fascination with the Titanic disaster and the value placed on preserving its memory.” Snopes has rated this rumor “Miscaptioned.” The video was genuine and did not appear doctored but also did not show a bottle of wine recovered from Titanic selling at an auction for $1.4 million. We found no news articles describing any such auctions. Further, a Google search for “Oceanic Reserve Champagne” and “Maritime Vineyards” produced zero helpful results — indicating these were not genuine product or company names.

 

 

Titanic Chronology 2 April 1912-Titanic Sea Trials

[This has been updated for 2024 with some new information.

Titanic leaving Belfast with two guiding tugs, 2 April 1912
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

 

Titanic’s sea trials would begin at 0600. It was cancelled the previous day due to bad weather. The day was clear and fair for the trials. Aboard were 78 stokers, greasers, and fireman. 41 members of the crew were also aboard. Harold Bride and Jack Phillips were aboard as well both as radio operators and to make sure the equipment was ready.

Various representatives were aboard which included the following:

  • Thomas Andrews and Edward Wilding of Harland and Wolff
  • Harold A. Sanderson of IMM
  • Francis Carruthers of the Board of Trade to certify the ship was working correctly and fit to carry passengers.

Unfortunately, due to illness neither Bruce Ismay nor Lord Pirrie could attend. The Titanic was out through a series of tests to show how she handled. These were done in Belfast Lough and in the Irish Sea. Over 12 hours the ship was driven at different speeds and her turning ability was tested. Testing on how fast Titanic could stop quickly (called a “crash stop”) was done as well. This was achieved by reversing full ahead to full astern. Titanic came to a stop in 850 yards taking approximately 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Titanic covered a distance of about 80 nautical miles (92 land miles) with an average speed of 18 knots (21 mph). Titanic reached its maximum speed of slightly under 21 knots (24 mph).

Titanic returned to Belfast at around 1900 (7 pm). Carruthers as surveyor for the Board of Trade signed the document (“Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew”) certifying for 12 months the ship was seaworthy. Titanic would depart at 20:00 (8 pm) for Southampton. It would take 28 hours to reach her destination near midnight on 4 April 1912.

Sources:

Cameron, Stephen. Titanic: Belfast’s Own. Wolfhound Press (IE), 1998.

Walter Lord
—. A Night to Remember. Henry Holt, 1955.
—. Night Lives On. Avon, 1998

—. “Titanic.” Wikipedia, 2 Apr. 2024, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic.

Titanic Chronology: Construction Begins on Titanic (31 Mar 1909)

RMS Titanic ready for launch(1911)
Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress, digital id#cph.3a27541)

Due to the immense size in constructing the Olympic class vessels for White Star Line, Harland & Wolff had to demolish three existing slipways on Queen’s Island in Belfast Harbor. The two new ones, the largest ever built at that time, would be where both Olympic and Titanic would be constructed. The keel for Olympic was laid on 16 December 1908 and Titanic on 31 March 1909. Both ships would be constructed parallel to each other. Queen’s Island became known as Titanic Quarter and an enormous gantry was built to hold the cranes needed during construction. Expedited completion for each ship was 26 months. The base of both ships had a double bottom of 5 feet 3 inches deep supporting 300 frames (each were 24 and 36 inches apart and measured up to 66 feet) which terminated at the bridge deck (B deck). These were covered with steel plates which provided the outer skin of both ships. Both ships were floating box girders with the keel as the backbone of the ship.

Sources:

Books

Purchase Titanic Books on Amazon.

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

Internet

Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

Wednesday Titanic News-Harland & Wolff; CEO Titanic Sub Made Unfortunate Joke

Harland & Wolff David and Goliath crane in Belfast, 2006
Plastic Jesus (Dave) via Wikimedia Commons

Taylor, Guy. “Harland and Wolff: Titanic Shipbuilder Sailing to Sunnier Shores.” MSN, 6 Mar. 2024, www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/harland-and-wolff-titanic-shipbuilder-sailing-to-sunnier-shores/ar-BB1jqeev.

Harland and Wolff, the shipyard that built the Titanic, looks to be sailing to sunnier shores just a few years after it was saved from administration. The Belfast-based firm was named as the preferred bidder for a £120m contract to build a new port for the Falkland Islands yesterday.The two-year project involves installing new floating pontoons to improve facilities at the port, which is based in the Islands’ capital Stanley.

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Image: OceanGate

Amalaraj, Perkin. “Doomed Titan Sub’s CEO Joked ‘what Could Go Wrong’ Before Disaster.” Mail Online, 6 Mar. 2024, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13164101/CEO-doomed-Titanic-expedition-joked-wrong-eerie-radio-interview-weeks-disaster-new-documentary-reveals-experts-passengers-torturous-moments-Titan.html.

The CEO of the doomed Titanic exploration company whose submarine imploded, killing all five people onboard including him, eerily joked ‘what could go wrong?’ just weeks before the disaster.  Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, gave an interview to St John’s Radio, a Canadian radio show just a few weeks before the ill-fated Titan sub imploded during an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, in June 2023. He coolly joked during the interview: ‘What could go wrong?’

Search for  Titanic Books on Amazon

Friday Titanic News (23 Feb 2024)

Happy Friday everyone!  We are now steaming full speed towards March. Winter is still making itself felt where I live (lots of rain recently) to places where snow is still falling. The Spring Equinox is not that far off either, but winter has been known to go on after that astronomical end to winter.

Here is some Titanic and related news you might find interesting.

It is not often one sees a negative review of a Titanic exhibition (mostly complaints about cost and crowds), but this is one of them about a Titanic exhibition near Chicago.

The Grand Staircase of the RMS Olympic
Photo:Public Domain (Wikipedia)

Vitali, Marc. “Does It Sail or Sink? Exhibition on the Titanic Launches at Skokie Mall: Review.” WTTW News, 20 Feb. 2024, news.wttw.com/2024/02/20/does-it-sail-or-sink-exhibition-titanic-launches-skokie-mall-review.

There is plenty to see here, but this exhibition is more of a cabin berth than a stateroom. It will refresh your memory of who’s who in the drama, and it should excite the imagination of younger visitors with an interest in the subject. Hardcore history buffs would do better at their local library. One small but significant complaint — I noticed a grammatical error on an information card inside a case in the first gallery. Then I found another mistake. And others. Apostrophes were misused, “then” was used for “than” — that sort of thing. Apparently, the proofreader went down with the ship.

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Over in Bristol (UK), there is a Titanic exhibition going on though not as big as its predecessors.

 “Salvaged Titanic Artefacts Resurface in Limited Exhibition.” Bristol24/7, 18 Feb. 2024, www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/salvaged-titanic-artefacts-resurface-in-limited-exhibition.

A limited exhibition showcasing “never seen before” items salvaged from the Titanic’s wreckage is underway in Bristol. The Titanic Exhibition at Paintworks in Brislington invites visitors to explore Bristol’s connection to the renowned passenger liner, learn about the people that travelled on board and come face to face with items from the wreck site. The display is curated by White Star Heritage, experts in collecting and preserving Titanic and White Star Line ship artefacts, aiming to breathe life into the ship’s story more than 100 years after its sinking in the north Atlantic.

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RMS Titanic pictured in Queenstown, Ireland 11 April 1912
Source:Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh Ireland/Wikimedia Commons

I have not seen this yet, but judging from all the digital ink being written about it, the creator has certainly gotten a lot of attention. There are actually quite a few Titanic simulations out there (YouTube has a lot of them).  From the witness statements, the sinking was more dramatic than has ever been depicted on screen.

O’sullivan, John. “Recreation of Titanic Sinking Goes Viral With Social Media Users Horrified.” Irish Star, 17 Feb. 2024, www.irishstar.com/news/us-news/titanic-sinking-video-recreated-footage-32144323.

The story of the Titanic is known all over the world. The 1996 James Cameron blockbuster movie was hugely successful at the box office, but does it show what really happened when the ship sank? Science Girl’s simulation suggests that the real sinking was much more frightening than we could ever imagine. Cameron, who made the film, said he only got “half right” how the ship sank, even though he had lots of experts to help him.

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Harland & Wolff David and Goliath crane in Belfast, 2006
Plastic Jesus (Dave) via Wikimedia Commons

This is certainly good news for Harland & Wolff.  It has had some very lean years that made it look like it might even be shuttered at one point. They have managed to bounce back and this one famous shipbuilder is getting  a contract to refurbish a cruise ship.

M, Frank. “Historic Shipyard Behind Titanic Will Refurbish the Next World Cruise Ship.” Cruise Radio – Daily Updates on the Cruise Industry, 16 Feb. 2024, cruiseradio.net/world-cruise-ship-titanic-shipyard.

The startup recently acquired the 924-passenger MS Braemar from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Renamed Villa Vie Odyssey, Villa Vie has secured a dry dock slot for a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. The Harland & Wolff shipyard has over a century of history and famously built the Titanic eighty years earlier. It undergoes a 10-week refurbishment program. The company announced deals with various contractors for transforming and managing shipboard functions. The ship was last refurbished in 2019.

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Here is an interesting video detailing the sinking of the Lusitania.

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Finally to close out this Friday, retro is becoming cool again. Some creative individuals are going back and making updated opening scenes of television shows done back in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Using updated special effects and other things, you can make an opening like it would be shown today. Here is one for one of my favorites, the classic Battlestar Galactica.

Titanic Chronology: Titanic Sea Trials (2 April 1912)

Titanic leaving Belfast with two guiding tugs, 2 April 1912
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Due to delays in fitting out, repairs to Olympic and bad weather, Titanic began her sea trials on 2 April 1912. The trials began at 0600 (6 am). There were stokers, greasers and fireman along with crew members aboard. Thomas Andrews and Edward Wilding were aboard representing Harland & Wolff. Harold Sanderson represented IMM. Both Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie were ill and could not attend. Francis Carruthers from the Board of Trade was also present to see that the ship was fit to carry passengers. Marconi wireless operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride were also aboard.

The sea trials took 12 hours and tested the ship’s ability to travel at different speeds, turning ability, and ability to stop quickly. Titanic was tested both in the Irish Sea and in Belfast Lough. About 80 miles were covered during the trials. The ship would return to Belfast around 1900 (7 pm.). The surveyor from the Board of Trade signed papers that the ship was seaworthy for the next 12 months.

Titanic would depart an hour later to head to Southampton to take on additional crew, passengers, and supplies.

Sources:

Books

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

 

Internet

Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

 

,,,

Titanic News For New Year’s Eve 2022

Video: Ring goes overboard in Titanic-styled proposal
Sky News Australia, 1 Dec 2022

A man is preparing to propose to his fiancée standing on the tip of a boat. And then when tries to pull out the box with the ring, it goes flying landing into the water, sending him into the water to get it back. He got it, got back in, and proposed soaking wet to his bride-to-be who was laughing and accepted it.

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RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

110 years later: The Titanic’s impact on Maine
News Center Maine, 14 Dec 2022

Malcolm Smith, the author of “Mainers on the Titanic,” told NEWS CENTER Maine around 14 people from the Pine Tree State were on the vessel when it struck that fatal iceberg. Half of them survived, he said, most of them women. “It broke down that the females from Maine survived. Men didn’t, generally speaking,” Smith said. Of the Mainers that were on the Titanic, most were from Mount Desert Island. They were families that came to Maine for the summer and could spend half a year in the state. “Employers, neighbors, friends. They were part of our fabric,” Smith said.

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The forgotten story of Africa’s Titanic tragedy that claimed nearly 2000 lives, including Ghanaians
GhanaWeb, 28 Dec 2022

The MV Joola sank over 20 years ago but it is still being felt today. It was not reported much in the American or European media. 1,863 people died and only 64 survived.

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‘Titanic: The Exhibition’ unfurls stories of passengers with real objects
Daily Sabah, 29 Dec 2022

Apart from being a mere exhibition, it is an emotional journey, unfurling the true stories of the Titanic’s passengers. I have never been so emotional and fascinated while visiting an exhibition in my life. In the depths of history or in terms of Titanic’s historic tragedy, it was a truly remarkable experience.

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Titanic warship shipyard forced to delay essential projects after troubled forecast
Daily Express, 30 Dec 2022

It was only months ago things were looking rosy for Harland & Wolff with new shipbuilding contracts. According to the article, the main reason to delay many of the projects is to difficulty in obtaining parts. This echoes what is happening in a lot of industries today where parts needed have become difficult to get due to a number of factors related to the pandemic shipping issues that have not been fully restored, the war in the Ukraine, or simply the skyrocketing costs of many needed items. Harland is delaying the contracts, but it is hurting their bottom line. Some are concerned it may make it harder to pay off their debts leading to concern amongst investors.


Harland & Wolff Gets Defense Contract; Titanic Watch to be Auctioned Off

Harland & Wolff secures titanic defence contract
Proactive Investors, 16 Nov 2022
https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/998567/harland-wolff-secures-titanic-defence-contract-998567.html

Part of Team Resolute alongside BMT and Navantia UK, Harland & Wolff was selected as the preferred bidder for the Ministry of Defence’s £1.6bn contract to manufacture three vessels providing munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates. Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard will construct all three 216-metre-long vessels, which upon completion, will be the second longest UK military vessels behind the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

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Edmund Fitzgerald has become Titanic of the Great Lakes, maritime historian says
Mlive.com, 17 Nov 2022
https://www.mlive.com/news/2022/11/edmund-fitzgerald-has-become-titanic-of-the-great-lakes-maritime-historian-says.html

Stonehouse later recalled that he was neither surprised by the conversation itself, nor really by the fact it happened off the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Because in the last four decades, the Marquette resident has learned that the fate of the Fitzgerald can and probably will be discussed anytime and anywhere.

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Pocket watch that stopped at the moment its owner went down with the Titanic is set to fetch £100,000 at auction
Daily Mail, 18 Nov 2022
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11439039/Watch-stopped-owner-Oscar-Woody-went-Titanic-set-fetch-100-000.html

A pocket watch that stopped at the very moment its owner went down with the Titanic has surfaced for sale for a whopping £100,000. Oscar Woody perished along with 1,520 others when the ill-fated ship struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic in 1912. Mr Woody served as the postmaster on the Titanic. As the liner started to sink he and four colleagues made a futile attempt to save hundreds of mailbags by carrying them to the upper decks. Andrew Aldridge said: ‘We are getting a considerable amount of interest in this item already.This is probably one of the most iconic and important items of Titanic memorabilia offered for auction in recent years.”

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For your weekend:

Remembering Canada’s Titanic, Cruise Ships Sunk Harland & Wolff Financial Troubles

RMS Empress of Ireland 1908
Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)

Remembering Canada’s Own Titanic-Like Maritime Disaster (TVO today, 15 Aug 2022)

I’m also willing to bet that almost none of you knows that two years later, on May 29, 1914, a similar passenger ship called the Empress of Ireland suffered a similar fate in the St. Lawrence River, in Canada, causing the deaths of nearly 1,000 souls.  Why are we so familiar with one tale, while we know next to nothing about the other? Maybe because Titanic was on its maiden voyage, and the Empress had nearly 200 missions to its credit. But I can spend the next several paragraphs trying to rectify the situation.

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Costa Concordia, 12 Feb 2012
Horacio Arevalo via Wikimedia Commons
The Costa Concordia was righted, re-floated, and sent to Genoa where it was scrapped. All that remains are the surviving lifeboats now on other vessels. The area it sank had to cleaned up to prevent environmental damage.

How Many Cruise Ships Have Sunk? (Cruise Mummy, 15 Aug 2022)

Within the last 100 years, only 10 cruise ships have sunk, if you include river cruises. Almost 900 people have died in these incidents but around half of those can be attributed to one river cruise ship sinking. Many of the incidents involved no loss of life at all. Arguably the most famous cruise ship sinking in the last 100 years is that of the Costa Concordia. She sank in 2012 and is the only modern major ocean cruise ship serving passengers from around the world to have sunk during a cruise.

(I suspect they will get lots of email on this-MT)

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Harland & Wolff David and Goliath crane in Belfast, 2006
Plastic Jesus (Dave) via Wikimedia Commons

Harland & Wolff Reports £25.5m Loss As Expenses From Growth Swell (MSN, 16 Aug 2022)

Shipbuilder Harland and Wolff has reported a widened pre-tax loss of £25.5m as expenses swelled during its Covid-19 recovery. It added that it had £20m in future contracted revenue. More recently, outside of the reported period, Harland and Wolff has struck two deals – worth £8.5m and £10m – with waste management company Cory Group and its subsidiary Riverside Energy Park to build barges for transporting waste on the River Thames. Bosses said the company had made an operating loss of £22.3m (up from £9.1m in July 2020). Chief executive John Wood said the company had gone from a “one-project non-revenue generating” company to having “one of the largest” fabrication footprints in the UK.

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Treasures That Survived From Titanic, And Today Are Worth A Fortune (MSN, 16 Aug 2022)

Slideshow of many Titanic items that survived the sinking and their astronomical value.

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Poster Advertising Vinolia Otto Soap for Titanic
Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Reality of Bathroom Accommodations on the ‘Titanic’ Show How Much Times Have Changed (MSN, 18 Aug 2022)

For example, did you know that there were only two bathtubs on the ship for first class passengers to use, one for men and one for women? And that this was considered a big deal, since most ships didn’t have any bathtubs on board at all?  Most of the first-class passengers didn’t even get to have their own private bathrooms, since those were reserved for the wealthiest people on the ship.

[The article does not quite explain that first and second class, they did have their own sinks to wash up . There were showers available but, to conserve water, the use of bathtubs was limited so you had to reserve them in advance. It was considered a luxury to have two bathtubs. Even today cruise ships use showers rather than bathtubs to conserve water. Pity the poor stewards that had to clean the bathtubs after every use or make sure the water tanks were filled in the first- and second-class suites so that people had hot and cold running water in their basins. MT]

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Image: Duncan Harris via Wikimedia Commons

New Theory Argues That It Wasn’t The Iceberg That Caused The Titanic’s Demise (25 Entertainment.ie, 16Aug 2022)

The theory of a fire on board had been suggested in the past, but new analysis of rarely seen photographs has prompted researchers to attribute the fire to being the primary cause of the ship’s demise. Irish journalist Senan Molony, who has spent more than 30 years researching the sinking of the Titanic, studied photographs taken by the ship’s chief electrical engineers before it left Belfast shipyard. He identified 30-foot-long black marks along the front right-hand side of the hull which suggest this area was damaged before the iceberg struck the ship’s lining.

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Public Domain

The True Story Behind Titanic’s Priest (He’s A Real Life Hero) (Screen Rant, 20 Aug 2022)

Thomas Byles was played by James Lancaster in Titanic, and he only appears in one scene, and it’s a very brief appearance. In it, Byles is seen reciting the Rosary and Revelations 21:4, while many passengers prayed with him and held his hand. Unfortunately, Titanic failed to show Byles’ heroic acts in helping save the lives of many third-class passengers and instead left that to Jack, Tommy, and Fabrizio, who broke their fellow third-class passengers free when they were locked by the ship’s security guards.

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‘Minnesota’s Titanic’: The Sea Wing disaster killed 98, yet the tragedy remains little known (Inforum, 23 Aug 2022)

On July 13, 1890, the steamer Sea Wing was returning from a carnival-like day at a military encampment when it capsized from a sudden and violent storm. Many of the excursionists made the understandable but fateful decision to retreat to the ship’s passenger cabin for protection. When the ship flipped over, they were trapped inside the upside-down boat and drowned. Ninety eight passengers – nearly half of the people on board – died as they were tossed into or submerged in the churning waters. The sense of tragedy was accentuated by the fact that the day had begun so promisingly: a pleasure cruise down the Mississippi River from Diamond Bluff to a National Guard encampment at Camp Lakeview near Lake City.

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Titanic Chronology: Titanic Sea Trials (2 April 1912)

Titanic leaving Belfast with two guiding tugs, 2 April 1912
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Due to delays in fitting out, repairs to Olympic and bad weather, Titanic began her sea trials on 2 April 1912. The trials began at 0600 (6 am). There were stokers, greasers and fireman along with crew members aboard. Thomas Andrews and Edward Wilding were aboard representing Harland & Wolff. Harold Sanderson represented IMM. Both Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie were ill and could not attend. Francis Carruthers from the Board of Trade was also present to see that the ship was fit to carry passengers. Marconi wireless operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride were also aboard.

The sea trials took 12 hours and tested the ship’s ability to travel at different speeds, turning ability, and ability to stop quickly. Titanic was tested both in the Irish Sea and in Belfast Lough. About 80 miles were covered during the trials. The ship would return to Belfast around 1900 (7 pm.). The surveyor from the Board of Trade signed papers that the ship was seaworthy for the next 12 months.

Titanic would depart an hour later to head to Southampton to take on additional crew, passengers, and supplies.

Sources:

Books

Behe, George TITANIC: SAFETY, SPEED AND SACRIFICE, Transportation Trails, Polo, IL 1997

Eaton John P. & Haas Charles, TITANIC TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY, SECOND EDITION, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1995 First American Edition

Lord, Walter, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, New York, 1955. Multiple revisions and reprints, notably Illustrated editions (1976,1977,1978 etc)

Lord, Walter, THE NIGHT LIVES ON, Willian Morrow and Company, New York, New York, 1986 (First Edition)

Lynch, Don & Marshall Ken, TITANIC AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Madison Press Books, Toronto, Ontario Canada, 1992

 

Internet

Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Titanica
History.com

 

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