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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 4

Part 4 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 3rd March 1936. Tuesdays now became the regular publication day for each part.

It included a colour plate illustrating the “distinctions of rank as recommended by the Board of Trade in the Mercantile Marine.” This accompanied an article on the Mercantile Marine. The coloured plate was attached to page 124 of this issue. There was no photogravure supplement.

The Cover

Our cover this week shows the famous Mauretania leaving the Tyne on October 22 1907, to be taken over by the Cunard Line.


Contents of Part 4

Thames to Tahiti

The Blue Riband of the Atlantic


Buoys and Beacons


In the Mercantile Marine

The Last of the Giants

Salute to a Hero

Salute to a Hero

The Q-ships ceased their activities at the end of the war of 1914-18. But the deeds of the men who manned them have lived on to provide a record of courage and self-sacrifice that cannot be surpassed. The most famous Q-ship officer was Gordon Campbell, whose story is told here. This is the first article in the series Mystery Ship Adventures, and was written by Lieut.-Commander E. Keble Chatterton.  The article concludes in part 5.

(pages 129-132)



This page illustrates four lightships. They are used to mark sandbanks or other obstructions to navigation where it is impossible to erect a stone or steel lighthouse.

The Seven Stones is non-self-propelling and has a distinguishing mark on the mast. Lightships of this type are generally of wooden construction. The Elbe (top right) is a German example marking the entrance to the port of Hamburg. Self-propelled and of steel construction. The Heald is a characteristic American lightship. The large funnel with big, locomotive-type fog whistle at the top and the lantern fixed high on a strong foremast should be observed. The Humber (lower right) is automatic and unattended. The lantern, with distinguishing mark on the top, is on a steel mast; the hull is of the barge type.

(page 114)

Thames to Tahiti

Concluded from part 3.

(pages 37-38)

The photograph (left) shows the Pacific Moon. moored in Papeete harbour, Tahiti, after a voyage lasting a year and five days. Here the yacht was sold to a young Argentine. Sidney Howard, after spending some time in the South Seas, went by steamer to New Zealand and Australia, and then returned to England. Johnstone returned from Tahiti to Europe in a French vessel.

Pacific Moon

The Blue Riband of the Atlantic

One of the most coveted honours of the sea, the Blue Riband of the Atlantic has a history that is as dramatic and as interesting as any. This is the story of the ships that have won it, after a grim struggle, only to have to yield it up again to some more modern rival. The competition for the Blue Riband has its practical value, too. This chapter includes special pictures of the record-breakers whose name do, indeed, live on in the accounts of their fine achievements. The article is by Frank Bowen.

(pages 107-113)


The Mauretania

Triumphant for twenty years. The Mauretania, built in 1907. In 1909 she logged an eastward record at an average of 25.89 knots and a westward record at 26 knots. Her time from Daunt’s Rock (entrance to Cork Harbour) to Sany Hook (New York) was four days ten hours forty-one minutes, a record which stood for twenty years. After the war of 1914-18 she averaged 25.5, 25.6 and 25.7 on several passages. Her chief dimensions were: gross tonnage 31,398, length 762 feet and beam 88 feet; and her four sets of turbine engines developed 68,000 shp. She was broken up in 1935. Her sister ship was the Lusitania, sunk in 1915. Both belonged to the Cunard Line, now merged in the Cunard White Star Line.

(page 107)

This British Pathe newsreel clip reports on the Bremen winning the “Blue Riband” from the Mauretania in 1929. There is footage of both ships in the clip.

Buoys and Beacons

This page illustrates the principal types of buoys and beacons commonly in use in harbours and estuaries. Can, cone and spherical buoys may be lighted or unlighted according to requirements. Steel construction is used throughout. Special buoys are used for a variety of purposes as day signs. Beacons vary in characteristics according to the ground in which they are fixed. Such lights are automatic.

These illustrations were almost certainly by the “house artist”  Mr K. M. Sibley.

(page 115)

This British Pathe newsreel clip covers the story of lighthouses, lightships and buoys. It was made in 1938.

buoys and beacons


Symbol of the changing East, Yokohama has developed in a hundred years, despite obstacles and disasters, from a fishing village to a port that handles more than three million tons of shipping annually. The article is by Sidney Howard. This is the first article in the series Great Ports of the World.

(pages 116-122)

Yokohama harbour

A Busy Quayside at Yokohama

This picture shows only a small section of the great port. Harbour craft seen in the foreground carry cargo from the big ships to the shore. Some 3,000 lighters and numerous other vessels work in the harbour.

(page 119)

In the Mercantile Marine

Mechanization and steam have not lessened the romance of a career at sea. Courage, endurance and resourcefulness are still called for, and the seas retains its appeal to youth. The old (and not always romantic) days when a boy ran away to sea are long past. But, although there are now a number of special training centres that equip future officers and men for their arduous life, a career in the Mercantile Marine retains its appeal. This chapter is by Frank Bowen and is the first article in the series Going to Sea.

(pages 123-126)


The Worcester

Formerly a warship of the early wood and steam type, the Worcester, moored in the Thames near Greenhithe, Kent, is now a training ship for boys who intend to become officers in the Mercantile Marine. Cadets enter between the ages of twelve and sixteen, live on board and have their playing-fields on shore close to the vessel. Cadets are taught the principles of navigation, seamanship and marine engineering.

(page 124)

This British Pathe newsreel clip “Every Inch Sailors” shows the Lady Mayoress of London presenting prizes to cadets of HMS Worcester - the “nursery” of the Mercantile Marine.

Distinctions of Rank in the Mercantile Marine

The colour plate issued with part 4 illustrates the distinctions of rank as recommended by the Board of Trade. These distinctions are not strictly followed by all the shipping companies. The ranks range from Certified master (1, top left), to Cook (36, lower right).

Illustrated on the bottom line are the standard cap badge for officers, Peak of Master’s cap, peak of cap for all other officers, Petty officer’s cap badge, and mercantile Marine coat button.

(between pages 124-125)

distinctions of rank in the mercantile marine

The Last of the Giants

A four-masted barque, now of 3,111 tons, the Herzogin Cecilie, one of the last sailing ships in regular service, proudly and gallantly challenges the almost universal use of machinery. The article is by Frank Bowen

The flagship of Gustav Erikson, an important Finnish shipowner, the Herzogin Cecilie as she is to-day has a gross tonnage of 3,111. The vessel is used as a training vessel for young Finnish sailors. Her first charter under the Finnish flag was to carry a cargo of timber from Fredrikstad to Melbourne in 1922. Despite bad weather, the outward voyage was made in ninety-two days. The ship has been sailing with a crew of about twenty-five, and on occasion with only nineteen.

(pages 127-128)

This British Pathe newsreel records the “Queen of Sail” aground near Salcombe (1936).


The Decoy

The innocent-looking stern of a “mystery ship” flying the Red Ensign as a disguise. Beneath the lifeboat is a gun ingeniously hidden by what appears to be a life-belt locker. Other screens are specially hinged so that they will flap down at a touch, and give free play to the guns.

(page 131)

the Herzogin Cecilie