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White Swan Hotel

The White Swan Hotel is a 300 year old Coaching Inn set in the heart of Alnwick. Although the hotel has been extensively modernised it retains many of the features which were such a welcome sight to travellers taking the stagecoach from London to Edinburgh. You can experience the splendor of the RMS Titanic. The historic Olympic Suite has the original panelling, mirrors, ceiling and stained glass salvaged from RMS Olympic, the Titanic's sister ship. The hotel also has the Olympic's staircase which featured so prominently in the recent blockbusting film. The Olympic Suite is licensed to hold civil wedding ceremonies and is a romantic and elegant setting for receptions and parties for up to 200. Smaller, more intimate receptions and banquets can be held in the Bondgate Suite. The House of Hardy Bar is named after Alnwick's world-famous fishing tackle company. The walls are hung with photographs, rods, fliesand angling memorabilia. It's a collection which arouses interest and enthusiasm even amongst those who don't know a Connemara Black from a Green Sedge! The House of Hardy Country Store is situated within walking distance of the hotel, tours of the factory can be arranged.

The White Swan Hotel is proud to be associated with the RMS Olympic, sister ship to the legendary RMS Titanic. In the early 1900's, J. Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of the White Star Line and Lord Pirrie, Chairman of Harland and Wolff, Belfast, met to discuss the construction of two, later to be three, huge liners in an attempt to compete with Cunard who already had the Mauritania and Lusitania on the lucrative North Atlantic passenger service. Those three ships were the RMS Olympic, the RMS Titanic and the RMS Brittannic.

The RMS Olympic was the first of the three sisters to be completed and was launched in 1911. She also completed service in the First World War and later returned to carry passengers in luxury. Of the three sisters, RMS Olympic was the only one to complete a full, serviceable life. She completed her last journey in 1935 and was later scrapped at Palmers Shipyard, Jarrow. At the sale that followed, anything that was of any use was auctioned off. The then owner of White Swan Hotel Mr Algenon Smart, who had been a frequent passenger on the liner, successfully bid for the wood panelling and ceiling from the First Class Lounge, the Second Class Staircase and the revolving door from the liner's Restaurant. The fittings from the First Class Lounge can now be seen in the hotel's 'Olympic Suite' and the staircase now leads up to the hotel's first floor. The revolving door now forms part of the main entrance.

The RMS Titanic, reputed to be the World's largest liner, even larger than her two sisters due to the weight added by extra accommodation and having her promenade deck glazed in. The RMS Titanic foundered and sank after a legendary collision with and iceberg n April 15th 1912 with the loss of over 1500 lives. She was 're-discovered' in 1985 by Dr. Robert Ballard, some 400 miles from land and at a depth of 12,500 feet.

The RMS Brittannic was destined to be named The Gigantic. However, following the Titanic disaster, it was thought it would be tempting providence to call her by that name and so she was renamed RMS Brittannic before completion. At the time of her launch, the First World War (1914 - 1918) was in progress and she was immediately requisitioned as a hospital ship. She was torpedoed on November 21st 1916 and still lies in the Aegean Sea.

Terence L. Mumford, Titanic Historian and Researcher.

A Visitors Book is available if you would like to make any comments or requests.

The following pages were designed by MIRROR IMAGE. All photographs taken by Ray Urwin©.
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