TRMA Tech Feature of the Month
March 2005

On the Olympic-class ships, there are two smaller cargo hatches located at the aft end of B-Deck whose purpose isn't readily apparent.   These hatches - both labeled Hatch #4 - are also the only hatches located to port and starboard.  All other hatches on the ship are located along the ship's centerline.  These hatches were the principle loading points for the massive quantities of perishables and foodstuffs that had to be replenished each time the ship arrived back at Southampton.

Photo courtesy of the Rivet Counter

The hatchway on each side passed through another hatch cover on the 2nd class promenade below, and trunked (walled) as it descended through the passenger areas on D, E and F Decks. On G-Deck, a cargo net lowered by crane could be unloaded and supplies distributed to the various purpose-built storerooms (partially shown below).  By removing another hatch cover on G-Deck, the crane could lower supplies one deck further, to the Orlop Deck.  This is where the beef, poultry and other refrigerated food storage rooms were located, plus wine & spirits and other miscellaneous supplies.

Detail from General Arrangement plans courtesy Bruce Beveridge.  Copyright 2004 Bruce Beveridge. 
A full set of these plans is available for purchase - click here.

In addition, foodstuffs and consumable supplies in smaller amounts could be loaded directly from the dock via an E-Deck door on each side of the ship (seen in the photo below). These doors accessed storeroom compartments which adjoined the trunks, separated by an iron rod grating. The hand carried items were loaded onto a cargo platform suspended by the crane, and then lowered down to the storage areas two or three decks below.

For modelers, the B-Deck hatch covers are represented incorrectly in the 1:350 Minicraft kit and should be modified as outlined in the Hatch section of the Rivet Counter Tutorial. 

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