Page 79 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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worked in any other way than by hand gear - worked by rods and gear. 21118. I am pointing out to you that this requirement which you have referred me to says nothing at all about hand gear? - I do not see how they could be worked in any other way from the upper deck. 21119. But they were in the “Titanic”? - I understood, I have not examined that, that that merely relates to a clutch, but did not work it. If the clutch did not work the door would not work. 21120. But that releases the clutch, and then the doors close automatically. Is not that so? - I would like to ask whether that door is not also operated by a rod and gear from the upper deck. Sir Robert Finlay: It is. 21121. (The Commissioner.) But is that what you meant when you were giving your evidence before lunch? I thought you meant that there was a requirement of the Board of Trade by which these watertight doors were to be capable of being worked by hand gear as distinguished from electric gear, or whatever the gear is that worked it on the “Titanic”? - It may not be worded in that way in that particular book, but that is a requirement of the Board of Trade, that they will not allow you to work a door by any other means than hand gear. That must be one of the gears to work the door; it must be by hand gear from the upper deck. 21122. Then can you account for the Board of Trade having passed the plans for the “Titanic”? - I cannot account for that. Sir Robert Finlay: Your Lordship recollects that those doors may also be opened and closed by hand. The lowest set of doors are closed from the bridge by pressing the button for the electric current, and then they may also be opened and closed by hand unless they have been shut from the bridge, in which case they could not. The Commissioner: But the question is whether they can be worked from the upper deck by hand gear. Sir Robert Finlay: No, except by the electric current. The Commissioner: That is not what I call hand gear. That is the point. It may be quite immaterial, and I daresay it is, but I did not understand the witness. I gathered from what he said before lunch that there was a Board of Trade requirement by which these doors were to be workable from the upper deck by hand gear. Now, I do not find anything in the rule that he has given to me to support that statement. Sir Robert Finlay: I do not think there can be any such rule, my Lord. The Commissioner: And if there were any such rule, I cannot understand how the Board of Trade came to pass the plans. Sir Robert Finlay: Except, my Lord, working by the electric switch from the bridge is another matter. The Commissioner: Yes, that is another matter, and if you call the electric switch hand gear, then, of course, there is hand gear on the upper deck. I do not call that hand gear. Sir Robert Finlay: I did not understand your Lordship to be using the expression “hand gear” in that sense, as including the electric switch. 21123. (The Commissioner.) I was not. I was regarding the two things as different. (To Mr. Wilding.) Were there any contrivances by which the doors could be worked from the upper deck by hand gear? Mr. Wilding: Yes, my Lord. 21124. What were they, because I have heard nothing of it? Mr. Wilding: There was a rod going down as nearly vertical as possible to the door. The rod had on its lower end a worm, and that was geared into a worm wheel on the door shaft, and the door could be lowered or raised by that means. 21125. (The Commissioner.) Oh, well, that is hand gear.
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