RMS Mauretania at Swan Hunters

Swan & Hunter Ltd. was a small shipbuilding company, but under the direction of the very ambitious George Burton Hunter they were determined to break into the top flight of world shipbuilding. Hunter opened negotiations with Wigham Richardson & Co Ltd., whose Neptune Yard was upstream of Swan’s Wallsend Yard, about a possible merger. This was finally agreed to on 26th May 1903 and a new company, Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., was formed.

RMS MAURETANIA was one of the most famous ships ever built on Tyneside and this set shows some fantastic photographs of the construction.

Mauretania Construction
Photograph of the nearly completed vessel Mauretania in September 1906. The West shed used to build the “Mauretania” was 728 ft long x 95 ft wide x 130 ft high complete with a glass roof. It survived until 1959.

Mauretania Build
This is a view from the aft looking forward at the Mauretania, showing the installation of the forward coal bunkers – an original Magic Lantern slide is dated 04/04/1905.

Mauretania Decks
Photograph taken from the stern showing completed bunkers and the decks taking shape on the Mauretania.

Mauretania Continued
Work proceeding on the double bottoms on the construction of the Mauretania. Note the hydraulic riveting machine in the foreground to the right.

Men at Work - Mauretania
Boiler room of The Mauretania after the conversion to oil burning, 1921.

Mauretania's Turbines
Photograph showing the assembly of a turbine rotor. Each of the blades were cut to length by hand and there were over 3 million blades in Mauretania’s turbines.

Workmen - Mauretania
The aft launch cradle in position. This photograph shows some of the workmen who built the vessel.

Staff - Mauretania
Photograph of a completed low pressure rotor with staff to indicate scale on the Mauretania.

John Currie - Mauretania
This photograph is taken in Canada Dock in Liverpool, 1909. The gentleman in uniform is Mauretania’s first Chief Engineer, John Currie.

Mauretania Turbine Casing
Transportation of large components. This photograph illustrates the progress made in the use of steam between the “old” traction engine and the “new” turbine casing for ships.

Propeller from Mauretania
A complete propeller assembly at Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co. for the Mauretania.

Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co "Mauretania"
Photograph of one of the four original propeller bosses for Mauretania at Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co.

Anchor Men - Mauretania
This is another illustration of the size and weight of the anchor chains of the Mauretania.

RMS Mauretania - deck
This is the boat deck of the Mauretania.

Mauretania - Promenade deck
Heres a view of the promenade deck of the Mauretania.

Mauretania - Full speed ahead
Here's Mauretania at full speed, built by the shipbuilders Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd, at the Wallsend shipyard.

Mauretania Stern
Here is a stern view showing the disposition of propellers of the Mauretania.

Mauretania - Room
Here's the special state room on D deck of the Mauretania.

Launch Party - Mauretania
People attending the official launch party of the Mauretania.

First Class Pantry - Mauretania
This is one of the first class pantries on board the Mauretania.

Kitchens - Mauretania
First and second class kitchens on RMS Mauretania

Mauretania Starting Platform
View of the engine room controls. The inner wheel you can see towards the middle of the photograph was used to control steam to the low pressure turbine for manoeuvring. The outer wheel was used for ocean steaming and controlled the main steam flow to the high pressure turbine.

Verandah Café - Mauretania
On board the RMS Mauretania, was housed this spectacular verandah café. It was situated on the boat deck where passengers could sit and drink their coffee in the open air - looking out to sea.

Children's Room - Mauretania
The children's dining-saloon and nursery on the shelter deck of the Mauretania, was decorated with paintings illustrating nursery ryhmes by the artist J. E. Mitchell of Newcastle.

Grand Entrance - Mauretania
There were 9 decks in the Mauretania and this was the Grand Entrance on the boat deck.

Observation Room - Mauretania
The observation room was based on the promenade deck. Here passengers could view the vessel forging ahead, but had protection from the strong winds that were caused by the great speeds that Mauretania travelled.

Navigating House - Mauretania
Heres a view of the navigating house on board the Mauretania.

Dining Room - Mauretania
This is the second class dining room on the Mauretania.

Library - Mauretania
This photograph shows the bookcase in the library of the Mauretania. Situated on the boat deck, along with a lounge, music room and smoking room, the library was one of many first-class facilities on board the ship.

Drawing Room - Mauretania
Heres a view of the second-class drawing room on the RMS Mauretania.

Promenades - Mauretania
Heres a view showing the second- class promenades of the Mauretania.

Boiler Uptake - Mauretania
This section of the Mauretania was the lead from the boilers to the base of one of the funnels, to exhaust the smoke and flue gas.

Mauretania - Turbine Machinery
Turbine machinery for the Mauretania, in the erecting shop of the makers, the Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Company Limited.

Mauretania - Propeller
This shows one of the four bladed propellers of the Mauretania, manufactured by Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Company Limited (as can be seen on one of the blades to the right).

Stern of Mauretania
View of the stern of the ship showing the propellers.

Mauretania - Bridge Front
A view of the bridge front of the Mauretania.

Onboard the Mauretania
A view of the deck onboard the Mauretania, with a young boy and girl skating along the deck.

Bower Anchor - Mauretania
Here is a man stood next to a bower anchor, which were usually attached one each side of the bow. This was one used on the Mauretania and the gentlemen helps demonstrate how large these anchors actually were.

Mauretania Voyage 1935
Mauretania off the Tyne on her final voyage to Rosyth, where she was broken up. From a collection of Quarter plate glass negatives of photographs taken by James William Coleby, of Willington Quay.

Sea Trials - Mauretania
Mauretania leaving the Tyne for sea trials. From a collection of quarter plate glass negatives of photographs taken by James William Coleby, of Willington Quay. Anonymous in comments added The Mauretania leaving for her preliminary trials on September 17th, 1907. She returned for finishing and painting and departed for her delivery trip and formal trials on October 22, 1907.


Anonymous said...

The finest ship ever built. Held the Blue Riband for crossing the Atlantic longer than any other ship. Built in the days when the Tyne ruled the world, shipbuilding, engineering, armaments, coal and NUFC


Anonymous said...

My grandparents, Margaret Johnson and John Malia, met while working on the fitting out of tha Mauretania. She sewed carpets and he was a cabinet maker. I now live ib Bristol and there is a pub called the Mauretania and it has some wooden panels which were once original ship. I would like t think that he worked on these panels!

Anonymous said...

The date of the last photo, "Leaving the Tyne for trials", shows the Mauretania leaving for her preliminary trials on September 17th, 1907. She returned for finishing and painting and departed for her delivery trip and formal trials on October 22, 1907.


ILuvNUFC said...

Thanks. Info now added to photo.

Anonymous said...

My great grandfather was brought up north from London by Robson's to work on fitting out the Mauretania. He was a cabinet maker-upholsterer. That's why our family is now in the north-east.