19 January 2009

British Pride

On this day in 1936, the New York Times published a story on Britain's move to regain its dominance of the sea lane "between Daunt's Rock and the Ambrose Channel Lightship" -- the former being the official starting point of the westbound transatlantic passage, the latter serving as a beacon marking the main shipping channel for New  York Harbor. The Mauretania, Homeric, Majestic, and Olympic all had been retired, leaving the Queen Mary, with her impending sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, to fulfill the hopes and restore the pride of the British nation--for Germany's Europa and Bremen, as well as France's Normandie, were faster than any ship in the Cunard White Star line. Not only that, the Germans were maintaining a weekly service to New York, while the French were taking steps to establish one as well. Emphasizing the importance of the new liner, according to the NYT, the British government had turned down another group of London's shipowners seeking money for a passenger service to New York "whose star attraction was to be a £10 fare." All resources and energy were being put into the two Queens. 

New York Times archive


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