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Design Construction Fitting Out Trials Service War Service Final
With fitting out completed, the vessel left the River Tyne on 17th September 1907 to carry out preliminary trials off the east coast of Scotland. These early trials were conducted in great secrecy as they were testing  new technology and any failure would have been very embarrassing for the builders. Even the Marconi apparatus fitted on board was not used to keep the builders informed of progress. Confidentiality was maintained by the use of carrier pigeons. During many runs on the St. Abbs Head Mile the best speed attained was 25.73 knots and following low speed manoeuvring trials off Whitley Bay MAURETANIA returned to her berth on 20th September. The trials were classed as a success and  the concept of the vessel had been proven. There was a slight problem with vibration, which was to remain with her during her long career but this was classed as being within acceptable limits. Following  a general spruce up the vessel finally left the River Tyne on her delivery voyage to Liverpool under the command of Captain Pritchard on 22nd October 1907. She was given a magnificent send off being escorted down the river by all manner of craft while thousands upon thousands of people lined both banks of the river to say bon voyage to a ship which had captured the hearts and minds of the entire region.

Following a trouble free delivery voyage MAURETANIA was dry docked in the Canada Dock in Liverpool where her bottom was cleaned and she was finally painted in Cunard colours in readiness for her official trials from 3rd to 7th November. During the trials she was steamed continuously for 48 hours on a course from Wigtownshire to Lands End and the average speed recorded following the various north and south runs was 26.04 knots. The second run south was carried out at a speed of 27.36 knots. On the 6th November the ship made various runs on the Skelmorlie Mile off the west of Scotland the best of which was carried out at a speed of 26.75 knots. Following further runs on a course between Ailsa Craig and Holy Island the vessel returned to Liverpool early on 7th November having conclusively proved that she could maintain a speed in excess of 26 knots over long distances.

Group photograph showing many of the leading figures involved in the design and construction of the “Mauretania” taken during the delivery voyage to Liverpool 23rd October 1907
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