26 October 2010

Britannia?

From The Glasgow Herald on this day in 1934:

A Geographical Aberration

After launching the biggest ship in the world Clydeside could be pardoned for thinking that "Glasgow and the Clyde" was a phrase known to all the world. To shatter our pride we have received a copy of a Buenos Aires paper, published the day before the launch of the Queen Mary, in which we read: --
To-morrow there will be launched at Glasgow the biggest Transatlantic liner in the world. The huge bulk will move down the greased ways, held back by chains to prevent it from sliding at a too excessive speed into the river Mersey. For some months they have been making careful preparations having calculated exactly the day and the hour when the autumn tides would be most favourable. It is impossible to neglect on this occasion a single centimetre of water, as the Mersey is only 700ft. broad and the Britannia is 1018ft. in length.
But it must be admitted that the geographical aberration of our Argentine contemporary was only a temporary one. When next day it reported that "el vapor Queen Mary" had been safely launched, it made it clear that it was into the waters of the "rio Clyde."

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