You will find, below, a list of updates since January 2015. For earlier articles, please consult the news archive.
The revised and expanded edition of The 'Olympic' Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic (History Press; 2011) has been reprinted! It's available for purchase for the first time in several years if you visit the bookshop. The original edition from 2004 was described as 'extraordinarily researched' and 'highly recommended', but the revised and expanded edition seven years later was substantially improved further. It was expanded from 352 to 384 pages with a brand-new colour section on top.
A link to a new article, Olympic, Titanic & Britannic: An Issue of Finance (External Link), has been added to the article indexes.
It's widely believed that construction of the three 'Olympic' class ships was made possible by the use of American money - resources from either J. P. Morgan or IMM. The truth is the opposite. White Star was not supported by IMM's resources. IMM was supported by White Star. Construction was financed through capital raised in the United Kingdom. This article explains in detail how:
It was first published in the Titanic International Society’s Voyage July 2020: Pages 135-39.
One of many myths is that Britannic was longer than her sister ships. This new article explains that she was not and discusses why her breadth was increased. Britannic: The Length and Breadth of the Ship.
The dossier about Titanic's Centre Propeller has been updated with new material and a link to a new research article, Titanic's Centre Propeller: The Stephen Pigott Evidence, which was first published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in July 2020. It analyses a discovery by researcher Joao Goncalves of a notebook in the papers of Stephen Pigott, a turbine engine specialist who worked for John Brown & Co. (The Clyde shipbuilder was subcontracted by Harland & Wolff to work on the low pressure turbines for Olympic and Titanic.)
The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company: Its Early Development In A Few Facts & Figures is a short article that provides a few statistics highlighting the growth of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company's (White Star Line's) fleet and annual profits over its early decades of existance, including a comparison with Cunard from 1898 to 1907. It appeared in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in September 2019. It helps provide some context to the company's development and growth.
Olympic & Titanic: Refining A Design discusses several minor refinements to Titanic's design based on experience with Olympic (similar changes were then incorporated into Olympic and Britannic). It is a greatly expanded version of an article originally made available on the Titanic Research & Modelling Association (TRMA) website in 2005, which published information about these changes for the first time. This expanded article appeared in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in December 2019.
HMHS Britannic: A Mystery of Numbers has been uploaded to the site. This article discusses Britannic's official number, looking at the evidence that she was allocated both the number 'G.608' and 'G.618' during the different phases of her service as a hospital ship. It was published originally in the Titanic Historical Society journal Titanic Commutator in 2008 and has been reproduced as it was originally written, with an additional introductory note.
Whatever Happened to Germanic/Homeric? has been updated with some additional information from Ralph Currell.
Titanic: 'She Sailed Only Half Full?' is a new article exploring Titanic's passenger numbers. It's not unusual for people to express surprise when they learn Titanic was little more than half full on her maiden voyage. However, there's no reason to assume she would have been fully booked - she sailed outside of the high season. The article was published in the Titanic Historical Society's Titanic Commutator journal in April 2019.
A new article has been added: Titanic's Lifeboats: Fact & Fiction. The article examines a series of false claims made about the topic in a television programme, which cited a primary source in support of the claims but completely misrepresented the contents. It was published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in March 2019.
A new article for a new year: Titanic's Lifeboats: An Increased Capacity. The article draws a contrast between the shipbuilder's original design proposals in July 1908 and Titanic's lifeboat configuration when she was completed in April 1912, demonstrating that her total lifeboat capacity (measured as a proportion of the total passengers and crew she could carry) actually increased about 39 percent. It was published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in September 2018.
October 2018Oceanic: White Star's 'Ship of the Century' is now available for pre-order prior to its 1 November 2018 release. Signed copies can be bought through the Bookshop.
May 2018A new article has been uploaded, Olympic: A Floating French Hotel. It discusses in detail some of the various schemes to purchase her and, in particular, one consortium's plan to acquire her and use her as a floating hotel in the south of France.
April 2018The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic is released as a cheaper softcover edition from May 2018 and signed copies can be bought through the Bookshop.
February 2018A belated Happy New Year! Lots of things have been going on behind the scenes and new reviews of The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic have been uploaded.
April 2017First published in January 2017, in response to yet another popular Titanic conspiracy theory, ‘Titanic Fire & Ice (or What You Will)’ explores in detail many of the false claims that were made in a recent TV programme and addresses them by examining the evidence point by point. This paper is a co-authored effort by (in alphabetical order) Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Ioannis Georgiou, Steve Hall, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt with editing by Cathy Akers-Jordan. It is a comprehensive analytical paper complete with detailed references and acknowledgements, but has a single page summary of our conclusions on page 45.
The reviews are in for The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic.
The 'Big Four' of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic has been released by the History Press. An exclusive preview page has been uploaded, and you can buy your own personally inscribed, signed copy here.
A new article has been uploaded:
The pages for RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister and Olympic Titanic & Britannic: An Illustrated History of the 'Olympic' Class Ships have been updated with reviews.
January 1st 2016
All good wishes for a happy, contented and prosperous New Year!
September 5th 2015
The revised and expanded edition of RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister is released by the History Press in the next few days. Thoroughly improved and expanded from the original edition that was published in 2004, the new volume has been expanded from 320 to 352 pages, with a revised colour section. Despite all this additional material, the new edition is being sold for the same price as the original was eleven years ago!
A new preview page has been added, containing a full contents listing, previews of some of the pages inside, and some additional notes about the book's history. Signed copies can be purchased directly from the Bookshop.
April 24th 2015
The reviews are in for The Sting of the Hawke: Collision in the Solent - The Full Story Behind the Collision Between HMS Hawke and RMS Olympic on 20 September 1911 and four reviews have been added.
January 15th 2015
As we enter 2015, all good wishes go out for you to have a happy, contented and prosperous New Year! Thanks to everybody who has visited and supported Mark Chirnside’s Reception Room.
It will be a busy year with new releases planned. To kick off, a new page has been added to the website to preview the new book The Sting of the Hawke: Collision in the Solent - The Full Story Behind the Collision Between HMS Hawke and RMS Olympic on 20 September 1911, co-authored by Sam Halpern and Mark Chirnside. This recently-released volume aims to offer a definitive account and analysis of the infamous collision. To sneak a peak inside, click here and, if you'd like to buy a copy signed by Mark, then you can do so in the Bookshop.
Another link has been added to the Links page, directing readers to Drew Keeling's excellent website looking at mass immigration as a travel business.
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