SS Shieldhall, used to be a Clyde ‘sludge boat’. 1972 GT, built in 1954 and now saved as a piece of history and maintained by volunteers.
In 2012 she was repainted in the colours of R.M.S Titanic to mark the centenary of the sinking. She operates over the weekend as a pleasure steamer taking tourists up and down the Solent and she now ‘lives’ at Southampton.
As we sailed down the Solent in the Celebrity Silhouette for the start of our cruise to the Baltic, SS Shieldhall was returning to Southampton (top picture), and as the two ship passed each other they used their sirens to signal bon voyage.
We were a little larger than the ‘sludge boat’ at 122,210 gt
London Hotel on the junction of Oxford Street and Terminus Terrace, in Southampton.
Had to sample a local ale . . .
As I drank the face disappeared, thankfully.
The pub was built in 1907 on the same spot as an early building, which is shown on a map dated 1846, and that building was called The Railway Hotel. Across the road is the old railway station, now a casino.
This building was the Terminus Station, and the families of the survivors off the Titanic waited here for word of their loved ones.
The hotel on the right was South Western House, and passengers could alight from the train and walk from the platform in to the hotel. It was ‘the’ place to stay while waiting for your trans Atlantic liner.
The rear area of all our yesterdays. . .
The front of South Western House today.
No longer a hotel, because the rooms were converted in to 77 apartments in 1998.
Across the road from South Western House I found a tailor that I used (only once) in Liverpool during my time at sea. The sign was the only indication that the derelict building had once been famous.
It was in 1907 that the White Star Line moved its trans Atlantic passenger services from Liverpool to Southampton. By 1912 Southampton had become the home of 23 shipping companies.
Union Castle Line
Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, this building used to be the Radley Hotel in the 1840’s when George Radley was the owner. It closed in 1907 and Royal Mail Steam Packet Company bought the building.
Back to Oxford Street and across the road from the London Hotel we found The Grapes. Unfortunately we never did manage a drink in the Grapes.
Over the top of the main door I’ve blown up the picture of the Titanic.
This pub was a favourite drink hole for engine room firemen and coal trimmers because it was one of the closest to the docks. On the day that the Titanic sailed six Titanic crew members left the pub at 11.50 am to join the Titanic as she was sailing at Noon.
As they all entered the dock area a boat train was arriving and two of the six crossed in front of the train, and the other four waited for the train to pass. When the remaining four reached the dock they saw ‘Titanic’ and realised that they had missed the sailing.
Of the four who missed the sailing three were brothers and the fourth was their lodger. The two who crossed the railway lines in front of the train didn’t return.
Further up the road from the Grapes we came across the Sailors Home, built in 1909 for merchant seamen and orphans who would be trained to go to sea.
Note the name of the building – it was politically correct in 1909, well before PC had been invented.
Twenty-seven crew members who sailed in the Titanic gave the address of the Sailors Home as their home. Eighteen died when the Titanic sank.
Reginald Robinson Lee, one of the survivors of the sinking, was the lookout man who first saw the iceberg. Lee died at this home in 1913 from heart failure after having pneumonia and pleurisy – he was forty three.
He survived because he had been ordered to be a rower in one of the lifeboats –
it was lifeboat 13.
James Moody 1887 – 1912
James Paul Moody was the sixth officer, and the only Junior officer to die during the sinking. He helped load lifeboats 9, 12, 13, 14 & 16. The fifth officer, who was with Moody, commented that the lifeboats should have an officer aboard to take control, and as the junior, Moody should go in the boats. Moody differed to the fifth officer that he should go and he (Moody) would follow.
The fifth officer boarded the lifeboat and Moody crossed to the starboard side of the vessel to help with the evacuation until the water came across the deck. He was last seen trying to launch a collapsible lifeboat while standing on the top of the officer’s quarters just before the ship sank. He was twenty four when he died.
James Moody was a Conway cadet (1902- 3) and after his death his family donated a trophy to the Conway, which was called The Moody Cup to be competed for annual in a sailing race.
The cup is now on display at the Liverpool Maritime Museum. His memory is kept alive today when each year the cup is loaned to the Conway Club Sailing Association where it is awarded for the best sailing log of the year.
During my time on the Conway, we used to race sailing boats on the Menai Straits and it was a great honour to win the cup for your ‘top’. (Top is equivalent to ‘House’ in other schools – I was a member of Maintop.)
There is a link between Reginald Robinson Lee and James Moody. Reginald Lee was the masthead lookout and James Moody was the junior officer of the watch on the bridge when Lee saw the iceberg.
The Sailors Home building is no longer a Sailor’s Home. but a Salvation Army Hostel. In 2007 the inside was gutted to update the hostel. The only remains of the original building is the outside front façade.
The land around the area of Oxford St used to be owned by a rich French Norman, Gervase Ia Riche.
When he died he left the land to Richard the Lion Heart, who in turn left it to his brother King John.
Edward III gave it to his wife Queen Phillipa to start a new school in Oxford, which became Queens College Oxford. This is why Oxford St, College Street, John Street and Queens Park in Southampton are so named, and the college still owns much of the land.
Queens College Oxford sold the site of the Sailors Home for £1500 in 1907 to build a Sailors Home.
If you ever visit Southampton I recommend a visit to the Titanic Museum , which is well worth seeing. The Titanic section is within the Seacity Museum
R M S TITANIC Celine Dion