Too many Britannics

 Amongst the "ribs" and plaques now installed in Royal Avenue ( neƩ Hercules Street ), something about this one seemed odd....

The "original" White Star Britannic was of the Olympic class and was delayed in the yards whilst lessons of the Titanic were incorporated. She was wider than the previous two of the class and had much higher bulkheads, as well as double-skinning over critical spaces in the hull.

She had a gross tonnage ( volume in units of 100 cubic feet ) of around 55,000.

 This Britannic, however, was a relatively small motorship ( as opposed to a steamship ). She was built in the late 1920s and was one of only two ships transferred to Cunard following the merger with White Star.

Certainly a worthy ship, but rather a strange choice in the company of the two other Olympic class vessels.


Comprehensive and satisfying reply from Anne S of the "Streets Ahead" project team:

''Thank you for your email dated 19 July and your comments regarding the feature lighting masts on Donegall Place. These masts were installed as part of the Department for Social Development's 'Belfast: Streets Ahead' project. Each mast has been branded the name of a famous White Star line ship, built in Belfast.

In relation to your query regarding the mast with the name Britannic, there were three vessels built by Harland and Wolff known as Britannic. The earliest one was launched on 3 February 1874 and was a small 5,004 tonne passenger ship named Hellenic Britannic (hull no 83), the second one was called Gigantic Britannic (hull no. 433) and launched on 26 February 1914 tonnage 48,158, the third one was called Britannic (hull no. 807) and launched on 6 August 1929 as a passenger ship tonnage 26.

Britannic (hull no 807) was chosen because this vessel worked as a transatlantic passenger ship servicing the London - Le Harve - Southampton - New York route. This Britannic was an opulent and luxurious vessel and very popular with the passengers as it was furnished with a traditional range of period style furniture and fittings.

Whilst Gigantic Britannic (hull no 433) was a fine vessel, it was incomplete as a passenger liner and was primarily used as a hospital ship during her short career.

After much deliberation it was decided to include Britannic (hull no 807) rather than Gigantic Britannic (hull no 433).

I trust this reply has explained the naming of the Britannic mast.''