It was great to be able to present my lecture about Thomas Andrews and the observations he made during Olympic‘s maiden voyage in June 1911. I spoke at PRONI, in a lecture jointly supported by PRONI and the Belfast Titanic Society:
‘Olympic: Thomas Andrews’ Notes from a Successful Maiden Voyage”’
In June 1911, Thomas Andrews was onboard Olympic during her maiden voyage to observe how she performed under normal operating conditions at sea; to monitor her progress; and make all sorts of notes. His comments were wide ranging and went beyond matters of shipbuilding in a number of cases. These included recommendations for changing particular operating procedures or improving the working practices of the ship’s crew; improving aspects of the ship’s passenger accommodation and increasing her earning power, such as by adding additional staterooms; or in making economies (he saw no need to provide both linoleum tiles and carpeting in the captain’s sitting room). He made a particular recommendation to try and help keep third class female passengers safe from unwanted attention. Andrews’ notes included many aspects where Titanic‘s design was improved compared to Olympic‘s. They show a remarkable attention to detail, demonstrating the concerns of a knowledgeable professional who was intent on improving her design in even the slightest way.
RMS Majestic: The ‘Magic Stick’ second edition
RMS Majestic: The ‘Magic Stick’ was published by Tempus Publishing in November 2006. Unfortunately, the initial print run soon sold out and, following a change of ownership of the publisher, it was never reprinted. For years, it has been rare to come across a second hand copy. One was even advertised on Amazon UK for the grand total of £3,827.24 (plus postage) in 2014!
The good news is that this much sought after book is being released as a revised and expanded edition by the History Press. The original book consisted of 96 pages and this has been increased to 144 pages, with new information and rare illustrations (particularly relating to her time as the naval training ship HMS Caledonia). There is an extensive colour section with previously unpublished images and deck plans. It is anticipated that the new edition will be available in spring 2024.
We will keep you posted. This blog will be updated as soon as signed copies are directly available, so stay tuned.
Titanic Talkline Podcast
My Titanic Talkline podcast (Season 1, Episode 17) is available online: ‘Mark Chirnside comes aboard this week for a great chat about the Titanic and her sister ships, Olympic and Britannic, as well as the Harland and Wolff shipyards!’ Thanks to Alexia Thirumalai for inviting me and hosting.
New Article: ‘”The Old Rules…Are Entirely Obsolete”: British Lifeboat Regulation in the 1880s’
A new article, ‘”The Old Rules…Are Entirely Obsolete”: British Lifeboat Regulation in the 1880s’, explores lifeboat regulations in the 1880s. They were comparatively worse than the rules in force when Titanic foundered in 1912, but a senior official argued ‘you can make ships perfectly safe by [watertight] subdivision’.
Mark Chirnside’s Reception Room has been overhauled to improve the user experience on mobile devices, make it easier to order books and generally refresh it for the 2020s. All credit for the work goes to TMB Studios!
Oceanic: White Star’s ‘Ship of the Century‘ is now available for pre-order prior to its 1 November 2018 release.
The ‘Big Four’ of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic is released as a cheaper softcover edition from May 2018.
The ‘Big Four’ of the White Star Fleet: Celtic, Cedric, Baltic & Adriatic has been released by the History Press.
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!
Mark’s new book, Olympic Titanic Britannic: An Illustrated History of the ‘Olympic’ Class Ships, was released on 31 January 2012.