Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tyne-Built Star of the Seas

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tyne-Built Star of the Seas

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Morton Nostalgia Editor

THE Mauretania is one of the vessels that defines the great shipbuilding history and tradition of the River Tyne.

Launched at Swan Hunter's Wallsend yard in September 1906, the mighty ship was completed the following year.

The Mauretania's career spanned four decades of the 20th century, and she was the largest and fastest ship in the world, ahead of her sister ship, Lusitania.

Now, a new book, The Unseen Mauretania 1907, by J Kent Layton, and published by the The History Press has just been published.

Packed with evocative rarely-seen images, the book pays homage to one of the most famous ships of all time.

She left the Tyne in October 1907, towed out to the open sea to the sound of ships' sirens and the applause of thousands of spectators, and steamed her way to Liverpool, her home port.

At the time of her launch, she was the largest moving structure ever built.

Designed to carry 560 passengers in first class, 475 in second, and 1,300 in third, plus a crew of 812, she weighed more than 30,000 tons and achieved a speed in trials of 26 knots.

Mauretania departed Liverpool on her maiden voyage in November 1907 under the command of her first captain, John Pritchard and later that month captured the record for the fastest eastbound crossing of the Atlantic.

In September 1909, the Mauretania captured the Blue Riband for the fastest westbound crossing.

The ship exemplified a new brand of style.

The first-class accommodation was a marvel of Edwardian opulence, with the principal rooms in luxurious French and Italian Renaissance styles.

The grand staircase was fifteenth-century Italian and the two dining saloons were in the style of Francis I. The lounge was 80 feet long in the Louis XVI manner, with graceful columns supporting a dome in cream and gold. …

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