26 May 2009

A Good Voyage

From the Evening Independent of St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, on this day in 1936:

Liner Queen Mary Makes Her Maiden Voyage Tomorrow
     Southampton, Eng., May 26. - AP -Britain's greatest shipbuilding achievement, the 80,773-ton liner Queen Mary, was pronounced ready today for the start tomorrow afternoon on her maiden voyage to the United States.
     Set to enter the struggle for supremacy in Atlantic passenger service-especially the race for the blue ribbon of fast travel-the new super-liner awaited only the 2,650 passengers who will make the first crossing.
     Five boat trains from London will bring most of the passengers directly alongside the ship, the first train arriving at 1:00 p.m., (8:00 a.m., e.st.) tomorrow and the last shortly after 3:00 p.m., (10:00 a.m., e.s.t.).
     The Queen Mary is scheduled to let go her mooring cables at 4:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m., e.s.t.) and head down the Solent toward the English Channel. 
     The vessel is 1,018 feet long and 118 feet wide with 12 decks and accommodations for 3,800 people including the crew of 1,200.
     Hundreds of thousands of spectators, drawn from all parts of Britain, were expected to view the departure, Southampton preparing for the largest influx of visitors in its history.
     Members of the royal family, after a final inspection of the ship yesterday, wished the captain, Sir Edgar T. Britten, "a good voyage."
     Queen Mary herself, who visited the liner yesterday for the first time since she christened it 18 months ago, observed today her 69th birthday anniversary, spending the day quietly at Buckingham palace with members of her family.

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