In This Issue
UNSINKABLE YEAR – UNSINKABLE SHIP. This is the first issue for 2012 and it is truly a year we have been anticipating. There are hundreds of commemoration programs and activities taking place worldwide and a slew of books have been coming out which makes people wonder if there is anything new under the sun on Titanic? We think we have found one. The word “unsinkable” connected with Titanic has generally been used as a term of exaggerated pride from passengers or crew or media hubris. After all, how could an intelligent person believe a ship is unsinkable and where did the term regarding the ship begin? The article, Unsinkable Ships opens doors to its origin and rationale and, labeling Titanic “unsinkable” or “practically unsinkable” wasn’t new or unusual; rather, it was late in the game.
Our visits when the late Mike Rudd hosted Titanic Heritage Tours were memorable and we were fortunate to see Harland & Wolff before many of the buildings were torn down and the area forever changed. Naturally we wondered what it was like to be there while Olympic and Titanic were building. It is impossible to do that but excerpts inside from a little book titled “A Day in a Shipyard.” is as good as it gets. The text is a virtual guided tour written especially for young adults. Published in 1910 and reprinted in 1931, mechanical and technical jargon is omitted and descriptions are easily understood. The shipyard and ship is not named but it is obvious the yard is Harland & Wolff and the ship described is Olympic. In this issue we will concentrate on her keel and riveting.
More often than not we read of the dramas that unfold aboard the great ocean liners as they plied their trade on the high seas; great vessels braving winter storms, collisions, fires, but we rarely hear of events aboard these vessels when in port, or, even less frequently, when they return to the shipyard for servicing or repairs. After all, at the end of the day there’s very little drama involved in a routine service… Or is there?
This particular story begins on 18th November 1911 at Belfast when Olympic having returned to the Harland and Wolff shipyard on 6th October to undergo major repairs following the collision with HMS Hawke. Six weeks on the repairs were all but complete and Olympic was scheduled to leave in two days to return to commercial service, but while everything seemed to be on course, behind the scenes a hitherto unrecorded human drama was about to unfold.
First-hand survivor accounts are always a favorite and, in Katie Gilnaugh’s letters to Ed Kamuda, she recounts leaving Queenstown and the Titanic disaster.
A beautiful scale model of the French research vessel, Le Suriot, built and donated by Grand Prix Reproductions’ Jeff Alderman, a THS member and professional model builder, is the latest addition to the Titanic Museum.
Of all the interviews of Ed Kamuda since the 1950s, this was a first when a German crew taping a documentary for the 100th anniversary that includes the formation of the Titanic Historical Society, had a stand-in for a “teen age” Ed.
We are getting down to the wire for the Titanic Centennial Memorial Unveiling project and weekend convention. Our grateful thanks to all who have contributed. More program details are in the issue, don’t miss out, register now.
By Ed and Karen Kamuda
Adapted from “A Day in a Shipyard”
A NEW SHIP MODEL FOR THE TITANIC MUSEUM
By Jeff Alderman
A MATTER OF HUMAN RELATIONS
By Simon Mills
NEW DOCUMENTARY INCLUDES FORMATION OF THE TITANIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY
TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL IN OAK GROVE CEMETERY A FIRST LOOK
TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL WEEKEND CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS
TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL DONORS
KATIE GILNAUGH MANNING RECOLLECTIONS OF QUEENSTOWN AND THE TITANIC DISASTER
By Edward Kamuda
Bruce Ismay boarding a lifeboat––was he “ordered” or allowed in? Who designed the Europa and Columbia motif on White Star menu cards? Looking for information about a White Star button; was there a passenger ship called Victoria that picked up a message of distress from Titanic? Looking for information how tea was served on board Titanic.
And the Band Played On reviewed by Ed Kamuda; Promise Me This reviewed by Ray Lepien; Racing Through the Night reviewed by Ray Lepien; The White Star Collection: A Shipping Line in Postcards reviewed by Paul Louden-Brown
FRONT COVER A Liner Just Launched, is the title of a watercolor of Olympic that appears in A Day in a Shipyard.
BACK COVER Huge gantries built to hold Olympic-class ships fill the background in the circa 1911 postcard view of the Custom House in Belfast. (Kamuda collection)