25 January 2012

The Queen Speaks for Herself

On this day in 1936:



When the Queen Mary ploughs her majestic way across the Atlantic on her maiden voyage next May the ship herself will "tell" the story of the trip.

The B. B. C. have made elaborate arrangements for broadcasts, from the vessel from the moment she sails from Southampton until she greets New York for the first time.

We will hear the excited voices of the passengers on the dock at Southampton, the loading of the luggage, the sirens of other vessels in farewell salutation.

Then during the voyage we will be able to listen to a detailed descriptive [sic] pictures of day-by-day life on board.

And last of all, across three thousand miles of ocean, will come the sounds of the welcoming cheers from New York.

Mr. R. H. Eckersley, Assistant Controller of Programmes, will supervise all the broadcasts. Mr. John Snagge and Mr. R. H. Wood will be in charge of the technical side, and Mr. John Watt will produce. They, with about six assistants, will sail in the ship.

The departure from Southampton will be described in commentaries from ship to shore.

On each night of the voyage a "flash" from the ship will be included in the news bulletins. The biggest broadcast of all is planned for the second night out. It will last for three-quarters of an hour and will take the form of a tour of the the ship. Forty points of the ship are being wired for microphones.

It is in this broadcast that the B. B. C. intend to make the Queen Mary speak for herself. From the bridge we will hear the voice of the commander, grey-haired Captain Sir Edgar Britten, as he gives his orders. Then the clang of the telegraph taking the message down to the engine-room.

And then...the throb of the giant engines....the chatter and laughter from the dining-rooms....the dance bands on the sun deck and in the ballroom....the quiet tones of the men in the crow's nest....the surge of the Atlantic.

Source: The Longreach Leader (Queensland, Australia)

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