Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

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Nov 2019



Tue 12th Nov 2019
Brian Healey - Glitz and Glamour in the Age of the Transatlantic Liner

Brian's love of travelling by ship was sparked at an early age by sailing from Llandudno to the Isle of Man for 5. These vessels were modelled on the ocean going liners than plied to Atlantic between Europe and North America. From the mid-19th century this voyage was made by vessels that were powered by both sail and steam and took around 18 days at an average speed of 10 mph By the second half of the 19th century the number of passengers making this crossing was increasing rapidly. This was met with increasing competition by shipping lines to meet this demand. Also, improvements to the ships' designs and performances enabled faster crossings to be made. The Blue Riband title was awarded to the ship with the fastest Transatlantic crossing of the 2,800 nautical miles. By 1889 the crossing was made in 6 days.

By the early 20th century there was a stunning level of opulence and elegance, for those who could afford it, on board ships from several nations. For the shipping lines, however, there was more profit in the masses who travelled in steerage.

Brian's many images clearly showed the beauty of the ships and of their interiors.

The last winner of the Blue Riband was the SS United States in 1952 with a time of 3 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes. By the early 1960's jet powered air travel had put paid to the mass transit of passengers making the voyage across the Atlantic.

It was a very interesting evening enjoyed by all present.

Peter Robinson