Calshot History 1929-1939 – The Pre-WWII Years

Invitation       4th November, 1929.   The original invitation to the launching ceremony of Calshot.


LaunchLaunched on 4th November, 1929.   Mrs. Hilda White names the Red Funnel vessel.  “I name this ship Calshot, may god bless her and all who sail in her”.

A tug-tender not only maneuvered the famous ocean liners, but also took passengers, their baggage, mail and ship’s stores to and from vessels lying at anchor outside the docks, usually at Cowes Roads.  Calshot had a certificate to transport 566 passengers in her first and second class saloons and deck promenade space.

TrialsCalshot on trials in 1930.  Note the small wheelhouse and open sides which  resulted in passenger discomfort during inclement weather.

1st ClassCalshot – First Class Saloon

First class seating accommodation on the main deck forward has cushioned seats and upholstered backs, fitted round the ship’s side.  The refreshment room on the lower deck forward, has similar seating.  Aft of the refreshment room is the pantry and bar.

2nd ClassThe original layout of the second class saloon in 1930 for steerage and emigrant passengers.   Note the wooden slatted seating.  First class passengers had material covered padded seating, a bar and steward service.  Accommodation for second class passengers was on the main deck aft, with a companion ladder leading down to the lounge from the upper deck.  Heating throughout was by steam radiators.

RMS OlympicCalshot with RMS Olympic, sister ship of the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

Aquitania Calshot with open sides and the Cunard liner RMS Aquitania before World War II.

EuropaCalshot with  the German liner Europa before World War II.  Note the Nazi flag flying astern of Europa.

In the 1930’s and 1940s, Calshot often carried world famous celebrities, film stars and politicians.  She is a class of vessel uniquely associated with the great ocean liners of the past.  The White Star liner Olympic, sister ship of the ill-fated Titanic, Cunard’s famous flagship RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth, Mauritania, United States, Bremen, France, Nieuw Amsterdam, Statendam and the French Line’s flagship Normandie are just a few of the liners with which she was involved.

 QM27th May 1936.   The maiden voyage departure of RMS Queen Mary from Southampton with Calshot and other tugs in attendance.   There  were numerous vessels and huge crowds wishing her bon voyage on this most memorable day.

Leaving QMCalshot returning to her Southampton berth while passengers on board RMS Queen Mary celebrated the departure.  Until the  outbreak of World War II Calshot was engaged in local waters and became very well known in the Solent area.