27 May 2009

All Ashore!

From the Bend Bulletin of Bend, Oregon, USA:


Queen Mary Brings 2,100
on Maiden Trip
     Aboard S.S. Queen Mary En Route to New York, May 27 (UP)-Great Britain's proudest ship put out to sea on her maiden voyage at 4:32 p.m., Greenwich time, today.
     The super-liner, which is expected to smash all commercial speed records in a run to end Monday at Ambrose lightship, off New York, was edged slowly from her pier at Southampton, Eng., by six tugs. While half a million proud Britishers cheered her on her way her nose swung eastward toward the isle of Wight and the passage to open sea.
     A favorable sea and a following wind awaited her beyond the jagged entrance of the Needles, gateway to  Southampton. 
     Hundreds of craft tied down their whistles in tribute to the newest candidate for the blue ribbon of the north Atlantic, at present held by the Normandie of the French line.
     Through the harbor haze thousands crowded the rails of South African and oriental liners, corss channel steamers, yachts and rowboats almost beside the Queen Mary. The rest of the huge crowd contented themselves with vantage points on shore. 
     The Georgic of the same line, left behind at Ocean dock, looked like an excursion steamer as the hulk of the Queen Mary started to move. Off to one side, across Southampton water, lay the Majestic, once herself "the largest ship afloat," and now destined for the scrappers. 
     It took stewards more than a half hour to shoo last minute visitors down the gangplanks to the passenger shed. The final "all ashore" was given ten minutes before actual departure, as stevedores sent the last baggage nest aloft and the straggle-end of hundreds of mail sacks and thousands of letters and flower boxes were taken up the gangways. 
     Passengers had arrived every few minutes on special trains from London.
     The gangways were lowered, the hawsers slackened and were cast off, and the ship was edged out into Southampton water.
     Twenty-one hundred passengers, a crew of 1,000 and 5,000 bags of mail were aboard when Sir Edgar Britten, commodore of the line, gave the quiet order which started the ship on her first north Atlantic run.

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