Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Legend of the Tyne Makes Its Debut; MAURETANIA IS LAUNCHED AT SWAN HUNTER ON THIS DAY 110 YEARS AGO

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Legend of the Tyne Makes Its Debut; MAURETANIA IS LAUNCHED AT SWAN HUNTER ON THIS DAY 110 YEARS AGO

Article excerpt

ON this day 110 years ago the mighty Mauretania was launched on the River Tyne.

The ship was one of a string of ocean liners built in the years before and after World War I. With their dark hulls, gleaming white superstructures and towering funnels, they were stunning examples of early 20th Century human achievement and supreme luxury.

The Mauretania and her sister ship, the Lusitania, were probably the most famous of them all. Between them they held the Blue Riband, the Atlantic speed record, for more than twenty years.

Mauretania was built for the Cunard Company by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson.

The hull of the Mauretania was launched by the Duchess of Roxburghe on September 20, 1906.

Thousands watched the event, including families who who'd scaled the ballast hill on the opposite side of the river at Hebburn.

Once the fixtures and fittings were complete, the ship left the Tyne in October the following year.

Towed out to open sea to the sound of ships' sirens and the applause of thousands of spectators lining the River Tyne, she steamed her way to Liverpool, her home port.

At the time of her launch, Mauretania 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 above 30,000 tons and achieved a speed in trials of above 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. …

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