18 September 2010

Almost Ready


From The Sydney Morning Herald in 1934:

GIANT LINER
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Plans for the Launching.
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NAME A CLOSE SECRET.
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(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE.)
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LONDON, Sept. 18.
The last rivet has been driven in the hull of the giant Cunard liner, No. 534, and everything is almost ready for the launching ceremony by the Queen on September 26, when it is expected, a crowd of 250,000 will assemble in the vicinity to see the vessel take the water.

The work on the ship has been completed 10 days before schedule, and the great yards are now practically silent, except for the hammering by artisans who are erecting the stands for the spectators.

The secret name to be bestowed on the wonder liner is closely kept, although there will be no surprise if Britannia is chosen, a name that would certainly arouse pride in every British heart the world over.

The King and probably other members of the Royal Family will be present when Queen Mary gives the name and her blessing to this, the largest, fastest, and most magnificent vessel ever built.

A suite of five rooms has been constructed near the plating shop for the Royal visitors, and a fine dining hall to accommodate 1000 guests has been provided.

On the arrival of their majesties, the King will be presented with an address of welcome by the chairman of the Cunard and White Star lines (Sir Percy Bates), after which the Queen will proceed with the christening and launching ceremony, her words being broadcast to the world.

Special precautions are being taken to safeguard the thousands of onlookers on the banks of the Clyde, for, when the ship enters the water, she will throw up waves which may sweep over the lower banks. Nobody will be permitted to encroach on any area that is considered dangerous. The police have been instructed to keep such places clear.

As for the liner herself, the design embraces every conceivable provision for safety, comfort and grandeur, a feature being the latest devices for preventing fire. Her 11 decks will include a promenade deck 750 feet long. The swimming pool will be the largest ever installed in a liner, and there will be a church complete with stained-glass windows.

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