Page 9 - The Times Titanic Souvenir 1988
P. 9
iltmtilrcsnxY CHAPTER II Bonvoyagc DOCKED at Southampton, the Royal and United States Mail Steamer Titanic glistened in the cold, bright, spring morning. Gathered along the quayside was a crowd of well-wishers bidding farewell to friends and relatives, gazing in awe at the giant tower- ing over them the largest liner in the world. None of the passengers or well-wishers realised that the prepa- rations for theTitanic's maiden voyage had been fraught with dif- ficulties. A national coal strike had left the new ship without suffi- cient fuel for the long voyage to New York. Other liners, paralysed by the same problem, agreed to give up their meagre reserves to help. The task of removing coal by hand, from one ship and into the bunkers of the Titanic, was a dirty business and meant cleaningthe newlirnr from stem to stern- Despite this prob lem, at noon, the all- ashore whistle shrie-: ked and, among goodbyes and bon wyages from the , been bandied, but not seriously.'These land, the gangplanks : proposals haven't been presented to me," he were removed. ; says, "I think they know better, but it's The Titanic sets sailsfrom Southlampton- but het the sleek new , that hopefulness that surrounds a maidenwyageuuld have been over in minutes i periphery of fandom. It's the same indred her way : hopefulness that fuels hopes of special cuts the White Star dock to begin her passage down : and director's editions." Water and out into the open sea. i Cameron says there will be none of these, But as the Titanic passed the New York the other ship i but he is working on an educational Titanic straining at her lines, drawn by the suction from the new vessel i CDRom which will show unused footage three enormous propellers, driven by a power plant capable i of historically accurate events. "In fact we developing 55,000 horsepower. Inud reports shattered the : have an embarrassing amount of unused hearted mood. The three-inch steel hawses securing the liner , footage," he sheepishly admits. her moorings snapped, recoiling through the air and land i After tfuee years, it would be reasonable , to assume that Cameron would be sick of within a few feet of startled on-lookers. The New york3 stern began to swing out towards the , the history of theTitanic.In fact, the White Star liner. Captain Edward J Smith, in command of i oppositeisthecase."Irnjustas fascinated t , by it as I ever was, he says, "because there'y' Titanic, immediately ordered the port propeller t,?/ His quick action and the prompt attention of the tugs i the Titanic's maiden voyage ending ingloriously at S lbn't expect : During lunch, a number of passengers commented upon i any director's cuts lucky escape for both the ship and her skipper. Smith was a lar and well-liked commander among the passengers and : or special editions ! crew. In fact, he was so admired that he had been given the name Millionaires'Captain or was simply referred to by his always something new to be learned, tials, EI. always some new light to shed on it. I have The incident at Southampton meant that the Titanic arr my own opinions on the history and some late at Cherbourg. A number of wealthy American pas of them are @ntroversial in Titanic circles." Cameron says that he was sensitive to inconvenienced by the delay, boarded at the French port. the need to make Titanic historically them was John Jacob Astor. accurate. He savages his industry for The following day, the Titanic dropped anchor off lreland. taking liberties:'The problem is that tenders brought more passengers and mail aboard. As the Hollywood doesn"t feel a $eat deal of liner weighed anchor for the last time and turned out into responsibility for telling history correctly." the Atlantic, the 2,200 passengers (mntinued on page 13) He says: "I didnT want to make the mistake 10
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