27 May 2009

The View from Australia

From the Sydney Morning Herald:


Starts Maiden Voyage.


                                                                                London, May 27.
     The Derby crowds were rivalled by the crowds of sightseers at Southampton to watch the departure of the liner Queen Mary on her first trans-Atlantic voyage, which, amid scenes of enthusiasm, she began at 4:32 p.m.
    The captain, Sir Edgar Britten, inspected the crew at 11 a.m., and the ship was thoroughly searched for stowaways. 
    The decision whether to attempt the record or not rests with Sir Edgar Britten, and will depend largely on the weather. 
Broadcast Description
     Despite the atmospherics, a vivid idea of the excitement preceding the departure of the Queen Mary from Southampton on her maiden voyage was gained by the broadcast description heard in Sydney early this morning. 
     Listeners first heard of the trains which had been arriving all day with hundreds of passengers, many of whom, according to the commentator, "seemed to lose all sense of direction." Bunches and bunches of flowers were also arriving throughout the day, the numbers being "simply astounding."
     The last passenger train was then heard arriving. According to the announcer, "the passengers are looking for the Queen Mary but they can't see her. All they can see is the inside of a shed."
     From microphones fitted in various parts of the ship, descriptions of the pre-departure activity were then given with all its hustle and bustle. 
     Then the bands played, the last bunches of flowers were taken on board, the last gangway was lowered, and the liner majestically began her first Atlantic crossing. 

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