.... Promenade the magnificent Adelaide Arcade,
.... Revel in the activities and entertainments of 1911,
.... Be amazed as
- the huge Arrol Gantry where Titanic was built,
- Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament,
- and the Statue of Liberty.
Tower above you!
ALL CREATED WITH THOUSANDS OF BALLOONS Designed and Constructed by a volunteer team of NATIONAL andand INTERNATIONAL DESIGN ARTISTS In support of
Join us and celebrate the spectacle and emotion as we take you back to 1911 and your Invitation to join the 'Voyage of Discovery' toward 14th April 2012.
The story of the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic begins over a dinner early in 1907. The Chairman of the White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay dined with Lord Pirrie, the Chairman of Harland and Wolff Shipbuilders. The topic of conversation over dinner was of the two remarkable new liners Lusitania and Mauritania, both from the rival company Cunard lines. Ismay raised the concept of building bigger and more luxurious ships, in order to surpass the existing competition.
J Bruce Ismay had a long-term goal for the White Star Line to attain the "Blue Riband" (an unofficial accolade given to the passenger liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in regular service with the record highest speed.)
After dinner, Ismay and Pirrie conceived the idea of building three giant sister ships, the Titanic, Olympic and Gigantic.
The Arrol Gantry
Since 1853 Harland and Wolff on Belfast's River Lagan have been building ships. Around the turn of the 20th century ships were increasing in size at an incredible rate and to ensure that they could accommodate these larger vessels, Harland and Wolff had constructed larger docks together with bigger slipways. The builders of the Forth Rail Bridge near Edinburgh in Scotland, Sir William Arrol and Company Ltd, of Glasgow, were brought in to construct a huge new gantry that had been specially designed by the shipyard's own staff. At 840 feet long, by 240 feet wide and at a cost of £100,000 it could accommodate two Olympic class liners side by side.
Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic would be 882.75 feet in length, 92.5 feet wide and each have a gross tonnage of 45,000. They would be the biggest ships afloat.
The Houses of Parliament and 'Big Ben'
The Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament as it is also known, has changed dramatically over the course of nearly a thousand years of history. Transformed from a royal residence to the home of modern democracy, the architecture and cultural collections of the Palace and the wider Parliamentary Estate have continually evolved, sometimes by design, sometimes through accident or attack.
The two most recognized features of the Palace are:
Westminster Hall - The oldest building on the Parliamentary Estate. What makes it such an astonishing building is not simply its great size and the magnificence of its roof, but its central role in British history. In and around the Hall, grew up the major institutions of the British state: Parliament, the Law Courts and various government offices.
Closely involved in the life of the nation since the 11th century, a journey through the Hall's past is a journey through 900 fascinating years of history.
In 1834 the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock. The bell first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859.
St Stephen's Tower (Big Ben) - Just two months later, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today. The clock tower is actually St Stephen's Tower.
Big Ben's timekeeping is strictly regulated by a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum. Big Ben has rarely stopped. Even after a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber during the Second World War, the clock tower survived and Big Ben continued to strike the hours.
The chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC on 31 December 1923, a tradition that continues to this day.
The origin of the name Big Ben is not known, although two different theories exist.
The first is that is was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works, a large man who was known affectionately in the house as "Big Ben".
The second theory is that it was named after a heavyweight boxing champion at that time, Benjamin Caunt. Also known as "Big Ben". a nickname commonly bestowed to anything that was the heaviest in its class.
The Statue of Liberty
Anyone who says one person can't make a difference has never heard the story of the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty, officially Liberty Enlightening the World, was conceived and designed by French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, commenced in 1865 and completed in July 1884. Working with dreams of the famous figure, Bartholdi produced a number of miniaturized working models.
The idea excited him so much that he booked a passage on a ship and sailed to New York to drum up support for it. As he entered New York Harbor, Bartholdi noticed a small, 12- acre piece of land near Ellis Island, called Bedloe's Island. He decided it was the perfect spot for his statue.
Bartholdi spent the next five months traveling around the U.S. and soliciting support for the statue. There was some enthusiasm, but not as much as in France. It was, after all, a French statue ... and not everyone was sure the country needed a French statue, even for free. The U.S. Congress did vote unanimously to accept the gift from France ... but it didn't provide any funding for the pedestal, and neither did the city of New York.
Bartholdi returned to France and proceeded to work on the statue. Once the design was finalized, wooden molds were made, over which copper sheets were attached and hammered into shape. The copper shell was then joined to an internal iron structure designed by Gustave Eiffel, who later built the Eiffel Tower. The statue commemorates the alliance between the United States and France during the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783, and was funded completely through the donation of the French people.
On the 4th of July, 1884, The 151 feet (46 meters) tall 225 ton Statue of Liberty was delivered to the American Ambassador in Paris. People were awed as the colossal 15-story lady towered over the four and five-story buildings surrounding her. In order to bring it to New York Harbor, The Statue of Liberty was dismantled into 300 pieces and packed into 214 wooden crates. The pieces of her torch-bearing arm alone, which had been displayed previously in Philadelphia for the 1876 centennial- filled 21 boxes.
When the Statue of Liberty was finally ready to be shipped to the United States, problems across the Atlantic emerged.
The pedestal on which she would be placed was nowhere near complete. An estimated $100,000 was still needed. When it appeared that New York was coming up empty- handed, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco began to compete to have the Statue of Liberty built in their cities.
At last on June 17, 1886, she arrived in New York Harbor, and was officially installed on a massive monument designed by Richard Morris Hunt, and built with funds raised by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Located on Bedloe's Island, renamed Liberty Island in 1956 by an act of Congress, the concrete and granite pedestal was surrounded by a star- shaped wall, which was part of Fort Wood, built in the early 19th century to defend New York during the War of 1812.
In October of 1886, President Grover Cleveland delivered a dedication address at Liberty's dedication ceremony, during which she was finally unveiled to the American people.
The statue was late – very late. But better late than never A Woman of few words .....
The verse most closely associated with the statue, "Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ..."
was not added to the pedestal until 1903 ... and only after officials realized what an inspiration the statue had become to the waves of immigrants arriving at nearby Ellis Island.
Copyright © 2011 - BASA-A - All rights reserved. Conforms to W3C Standard