to London Waterloo
Bristol Temple Meads
Photos by Charlotte V
Regards. Guy Vincent
Michael L Roach
Made its first visit to Plymouth 85 years ago today
The magnificent motor yacht in the first photograph is named Nahlin and was built by John Brown's shipyard on the River Clyde in 1930 – yard number 533. The next ship to be laid down, number 534, was equally magnificent and was the RMS Queen Mary which entered service in May 1936. The maiden voyage left Southampton on 27 May 1936 and reached New York on 1 June 1936. The ship held the blue riband for crossing the Atlantic for many years. In the second photo the RMS Queen Mary is seen in Plymouth Sound 85 years ago today on 15 March 1937 when making its first call at Plymouth. The passengers and mail will be transferred from the Queen Mary to the GWR tender “Sir Richard Grenville” which will land them in Millbay Docks from where the passengers will be whisked off to London Paddington by Ocean Express if they wish. The passengers would have been able to buy their rail tickets on board the ship before arriving at Plymouth to save time. The third class fare for the single journey in the 1930s was 32 shillings and 2 pence (£1.60) which included an element for the short trip in Sir Richard Grenville and dock landing charges. The first class fare was just over 50 shillings (£2.50). In 1936 the GWR Ocean Expresses carried 69 percent of the 33,000 passengers landing at Plymouth which were only of use to anyone going to London because they were nominally (and actually very often) non-stop. The GWR pulled out all the stops to give the passengers a fast run because many were film stars, celebrities and leaders. In the 1930s more than a dozen shipping lines dropped off passengers at Plymouth from all over the world. There were other famous ships associated with Millbay Docks. In 1911 the crew members of the “Titanic” who survived the disaster were landed here; and the last ill-fated voyage of the “Endurance” started from Millbay Docks. The ship sailed from Millbay for Antartica on 6 August 1914; became trapped in the ice on 18 January 1915; was abandoned by the expedition leader Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew and finally got crushed and sank in November 1915. An expedition to find the Endurance succeeded in the last few days when the ship was finally discovered nearly two miles below the ice on 5 March 2022.
MLR / 13 March 2022
SCANS: 5409, 5416/7/8
Today, Nahlin still sails the seas, owned by Dyson, the vacuum cleaner man.
Chris Bellett, Retired S&T Engineer, CRS Member