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SEPTEMBER 25th 2008

The author’s copies of the Aquitania book arrived. Distribution is already in progress and customer copies should start to arrive in the post - and in bookstores - over the coming days.

SEPTEMBER 15th 2008

The Aquitania book will begin to be distributed before the end of the month. Unfortunately, it has taken longer to print it than any of the previous books. Such is the nature of publishing!

AUGUST 1st 2008

The Aquitania book went to the printers in the middle of July, and it will shortly begin to appear in bookstores. As it is distributed, pre-orders will begin to be shipped. A new preview page has been added to the site. It provides a lot of information about the book, its history, and some of the material contained within. There are even page shots which allow the reader to take a brief look inside the book itself.

Readers interested in obtaining a signed copy of the book are invited to contact Mark using the e-mail address on the homepage; alternatively, keep your eyes peeled for listings to go up on Ebay.

New articles have been added, as well: a dossier, Aquitania ‘The Grand Old Lady’; the Majestic Gallery, which contains nearly forty pages and a large number of Majestic images; Homeric’s First Class Dining Saloon, containing a rare deckplan showing the layout of the dining saloon as it was in 1932; or, you may wish to step onboard the good ship Adriatic for the Adriatic Mediterranean Cruise 1931; explore the new Baltic’s Cabin Class 1928; examine Majestic Tourist Third Cabin Accommodation 1929; take Majestic Second Cabin 1931 (just before second class - or ‘cabin’ - vanished entirely); or view a rare White Star Line brochure, issued in Italian to try and lure immigrants onboard Majestic, Majestic: Vedute in Terza Classe. It includes a remarkable comparison of the liner’s length and that of the leaning Tower of Pisa. Take a peek inside: Aquitania Tourist Third Cabin 1929. Three new FAQ pages address questions - and misconceptions - about three of the ships featured on this site: Majestic: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Olympic: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Aquitania: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Some sixty pages have been added to the site during this update and it has more than doubled in size. There should be plenty of material for returning visitors!

MAY 5th 2008

A new link has been added to the external articles section at the bottom of the Titanic index page, which can also be found on the main Article Index. It directs readers to the new article on the Encyclopedia-Titanica website, The Mystery of Titanic's Central Propeller, which provides some very intriguing new evidence regarding the propeller specifications.

APRIL 1st 2008

After three years online, a new page has been added to show some of the website improvements made over that time: Archive: Mark Chirnside’s Reception Room 2005-08. An explanatory note was posted, giving news of the Aquitania book and its publication date.

MARCH 15th 2008

The first three months of 2008 have been unusually busy, and seen many updates to the site. As part of another substantial update, a new letter has been added to the ‘To the Editor’ page; four new dossiers have been added, grouping together links to articles and other material on the following topics: Titanic: Time and Speed (including the new paper co-authored with Sam Halpern: Titanic: Changing the Reality); Gigantic; Titanic ‘Conspiracy’; Majestic Model. There is considerable new and original material.

Another change involved the installation of the new ship index buttons on the main Article Index page, promised on January 1st 2008, so that articles on each specific ship are grouped together for easy navigation:

The original indexes remain available as a complete record of articles in chronological order, for those who prefer to use them.

FEBRUARY 13th 2008

A dossier was added, including some Homeric deckplans and interior views. This interesting ship’s history has often been overlooked. Thanks are due to J. Kent Layton for assisting with preparing the deckplans for uploading.

FEBRUARY 2nd 2008

A new article, Aquitania ‘Down the Years’, was uploaded today. It shows a number of modifications that were made between 1914 and 1938, using period plans. Nearer the publication date, a preview page will be uploaded to showcase the Aquitania book. Following consultation with the publisher, the book will not be available by the end of the month, but it will hopefully be ready for April instead. Further updates will also be released through the mailing list, but suffice to say the slight delay will be more than worth it as it will result in a vastly superior product.

JANUARY 17th 2008

Following the recent acquisition of Tempus Publishing by The History Press Ltd., an explanatory note was posted to allay any concerns as to whether Mark’s books would continue to be available.

JANUARY 16th 2008

Another article was added - Britannic: A Glimpse From John Riddell’s Photograph Album - which was published on the Titanic Research & Modelling Association website. It can be accessed from the external articles section of the Article Index page.

JANUARY 1st 2008

Mark Chirnside’s Reception Room enjoyed a successful year in 2007. The redesign of November 2007 led to the highest number of monthly hits since the website was launched, while November 9th 2007 marked the highest number of hits in a single day: some 546 page loads. All in all, traffic in 2007 increased by eighty-four percent compared to 2006. The website celebrates three years online on April 1st 2008.

In the first update of the New Year, an article added in December 2007 was uploaded: The 66,000-ton Myth. The article examines the figure of 66,000 tons that is often recorded as Olympic and Titanic’s displacement, and brings together a number of sources demonstrating that it is a myth. The truth was impressive enough.

Another new article for January 2008, Olympic’s Expansion Joints, examines changes made to Britannic as lessons learned from operating Olympic were used to improve her younger sister, as well as addressing some misconceptions that surfaced in 2007. It was published first by the Titanic Historical Society’s Titanic Commutator journal in September 2007.

The third new article, RMS Majestic: Weekend Cruise to Nassau, 1935, displays a fine brochure that Cunard White Star issued in October 1935, advertising her final cruise. It provides an interesting insight into Majestic a few months before she was withdrawn from service as a passenger liner.

A number of additions are planned for 2008, including several new and original research articles. Among them is a Majestic Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ) feature which examines several myths; an article about Majestic’s service as HMS Caledonia from 1937-39, her fire in September 1939 and scrapping in the early 1940s (using rare images and new material); and an Olympic FAQ feature.

As the amount of material on the website increases, in order to make navigation even easier several sub-indexes will be added - grouping articles together by ship. When these changes are made, if a reader wants to examine Majestic articles, then they will be able to click on a new Majestic button (placed on the existing Articles Index page) to take them to the Majestic related material. There will be Olympic, Titanic, Britannic, Majestic and Aquitania indexes; and the complete Articles Index page will be retained - listing all articles on this site, and external articles, in chronological order - for readers who prefer to continue to navigate from that.

Hopefully, the Aquitania book will be published by the end of February 2008 and the website will be updated to reflect its release, while a notification will be sent out to mailing list subscribers. Thanks are due to everyone who has shown an interest in the project. It is sincerely appreciated.

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