Author Topic: Polar Star  (Read 37100 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Douglas

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2004, 04:52:56 PM »
Hello Joanna, Harald and friends:

The 'private person' who built the model of the Standart some 20 years ago is myself: Douglas Huntzinger

Harald is a friend of mine and we have shared much data on the imperial yachts.  

I built the model of the Standart  because of my interest in the imperial family and steam yachts.  The model has been in many model boat shows and has caught the eye of several judges and she has therefore collected a few award ribbons.

I will always remember the day the plans of the Standart arrived on my front porch.  They were sent to me by the Maritime Museum in London back when they could be purchased for a reasonable price.  

I also  have the complete plans for the Polar Star and the  deck plans of the Imperial Yacht Livadia.

I obtained the plans for the Polar Star from a mysterious  undercover source in Moscow. Sort of a James Bond  007 affair.

Douglas Huntzinger

Offline nerdycool

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2004, 07:57:09 PM »
Wow, Douglas.... my hat's off to you!

I found a picture which I was so excited to come across... I would post it, but unfortunately, I don't know how to do that (anyone want to help me learn how?). It's a picture of 3 of Alexander III's children on a ship on which I assume is the Polar Star. I would try to identify the kids, but I am not so good at that. My first guess would be Nicholas, Xenia, and George... but I've been wrong before, so anyone know for sure?

http://groups.msn.com/ImperialDynastyTheROMANOVARCHIVES/onefamily.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=62

Offline Joanna

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1299
  • Winter Palace Research
    • View Profile
    • Winter Palace Research
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2004, 08:28:27 PM »
OH MON DIEU  Douglas I am in awe of your model  :) Do you ever send it to US or Canada for viewing although insurance would be prohibitive?

Harald will you be adding photos of Douglas' model as an adjunct to your site? It is a great idea so that others can find it there as your site is the definite source today on the Standart  :)

Nerdycool, I think like you it is Nicholas, Xenia and George!

Joanna

Offline Douglas

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2004, 08:29:58 PM »
Nerdycool:

That does not appear to be the Polar Star.  The photo is taken at the stern of the yacht, hence the flag, but the PS did not have a raised sternside that the threesome are sitting on.  The PS had a flush deck and railings  all round.

My guess is that it  is one of the other imperial yachts or even one of the Russian warships of that era.

Douglas

Offline Douglas

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2004, 08:40:07 PM »
Given the age of Nicholas in the photo at the stern....the yacht in the photo could be the Alexandria.  It is definately not the Standart or the Polar Star.

Thanks all for your kinds words on my model.  Yes, I think that it is a great idea for Harald to include some photos of my model on his website. ;-)

Harald:  Thank you also for the heads-up on an exhibition of Imperial Yachts in Russia in 2005/6.  I had not heard of this. ;)

Offline Douglas

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2004, 10:06:59 PM »
Harald:

I will be happy to send you some photos of my model of the Standart.  I  have them in two formats:  high res and low res.  Which  would be best for your site?

Also, I agree with Harald that  the photo mentioned above appears to be the yacht Alexandria.  Is the name "Derzhava" a name that was later given to the vessel by the Soviet Navy?  The yacht Alexandria was built in 1851 and was used by four Tsars.

As for my official title, how about the 'Tsars' Official Model Maker'?  I am  one of the tsars on another thread,  which is a full time job with lots of responsibilities! ;D

Offline Mike

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
    • View Profile
    • Erast Fandorin Museum
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2004, 02:36:52 PM »
Quote
Derzhava (meaning "Orb")

Derzhava has also a second meaning: Power (in its meaning of "State"), e.g.:
Morskaya derzhava = sea power; Druzhestvennaya derzhava = friendly power, etc.

Offline Douglas

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2004, 11:16:54 PM »
Hello Joanna:

Thank you so much for adding to my knowledge of the Livadia and Mr. Murdoch.

The imperial family was very attached to their various yachts.

The heir Alexie was naturally supposed to wear a sailor suit while on the Standart during their summer cruise. This was tradition that was over  a hundred years old at that time.    Alexie was so very impressed with the life of the sailors on the ship that he insisted on wearing his sailor suit all year round.  Just a typical little boy.   :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Douglas »

Offline ChristineM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2882
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2004, 06:14:59 AM »
Firstly, thank you Joanna.   I am particularly interested in the theme 'Scots in Russia' and this is a new one for me.   Could you please let me know your source.

Secondly, the Alexandria was built on the Clyde.   There is a scale model of this very peculiar paddle steamer  (she looked more like a flounder - she was virtually circular) in Glasgow Museum of Transport.   There is also a model of another imperial yacht commissioned to be built on the Clyde, but for some reason, this was not realised.  This gives me the impetus to go to the museum and find out more.

According to the legend attached to the model of the 'Alexandria' - she ended her days as a coal tramp on the Black Sea.

tsaria

Offline ChristineM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2882
    • View Profile
Re: Polar StarI
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2004, 06:40:17 AM »
Dear Harald

Beneath you will find information regarding the 'Livadia' (you were correct).   My husband, who is a documentary film maker made four, fifty minute long programmes for BBC television entitled 'Clyde Built'.   He has given me these research notes.

'Only the best would do when the Tsar of Russia, Alexander II, was looking for a new royal yacht in the last quarter of the 19th century.   He engaged his own country's top designer and took the building work to Scotland, to the Glasgow shipyard of John Elder and Company at Govan.

'In doing so, he was ordering the most eccentric vessel the Clye had ever seen - a fat-bodied ship more than half as broad as it was long, rather like a flatfish.

'Inside this oddity, to be called the 'Livadia', you would find the most luxurious imperial quarters, estimated to have cost half a million pounds, complete with rose garden and illuminated fairy fountain.   The floating palace to end them all.

'This construction was the brainchild of Vice Admiral Popov, who had distinguished himself in the Crimean War and would go on to become the Russian Navy's chief designer.   Interior planning would be left to the highly-talented Glasgow architect William Leiper, who was tempted home from Paris by the imperial commission.

'With the 'Livadia's' shape, Popov was aiming at a stability which would cut down on royal seasickness while, adding to the unorthodoxy of it all, there was breadth to place the three funnels in a side-by-side array.   He also wanted a double bottom and an outer belt of armour to protect the actual hull.

'The Clyde never having seen anything like it, older heads shook in doubt and disbelief that such a contraption could ever be launched let alone reach the minimum 14 knots, below which the Russians would not accept delivery.   But Sir William Pearce, boss of the yard and alter the local Member of Parliament, had tested a model on Loch Lomond, knew he could get the speed - and was in no doubt about the publicity value of such a venture.

'The Tsar's yacht did indeed cause a bigger stir than anything since the 'Great Eastern, giving a foretaste of public fascination over the 'Queen Mary' half a century later.

'When the 'Livadia' was launched on 7 June 1880, Admiral Popov himself was there.   The Tsar was represented by the Grand Duke Alexis, who raised a few eyebrows in his speech by calling Glasgow 'the centre of the intelligence of England'.

'The royal yacht sailed off on a sea of publicity and easily reached fifteen and three quarter knots, as Pearce knew it would.   As public interest followed her from the Clyde to the Black Sea, word came back that her head tended to dip into the sea, disappointing her designer.

'However, more serious dramas lay ahead.   Before the Tsar could make acquaintance with his Scottish yacht he had been assassinated by the Nihilists, who were out to change the system.

'So the Romanovs never did know the charms of this amazing construction.   It lay rusting in the Black Sea, her engines given to a lesser craft, and survived wars and revolutions till her freakish outline was finally broken up in 1926.   Without a career of any sort, the 'Livadia' had known her greatest glamour in the confines of a Govan shipyard.'

I will try to get to the Museum soon and hopefully get a photograph of the model of the 'Livadia.   I will also get details of the other yacht (which I think was provisionally named the 'Alexandria') and perhaps a photograph of this vessel too.

I trust you find these details of interest.

tsaria

Offline Mike

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
    • View Profile
    • Erast Fandorin Museum
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2004, 09:08:30 AM »
The reason why "Livadia" was never used by Alexander III might be his known loathing of the Admiral Popov's peculiar design for coastal defence ironclads, similar to that of "Livadia". In his letter to GD Mikhail Nikolayevich, the then Tsesarevich Alexander calls it "that nasty popovka".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Mike »

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2004, 02:23:21 PM »
Thanks so very much Douglas!!! Itīs great to see the plan at last. I know nothing about ships but after seing this plan i assume that the main halls were all on an upper deck(i hope you understand what i mean), no? I mean that i cannot find the main dinning room in that plan and from the old photographs i supposed it was in the highest deck(board? really, i cannot explain properly...)

Offline Douglas

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2004, 02:29:20 PM »
Hello Antonio!:

The Main Deck plan of the Polar Star is the deck just below the weather deck.  The dining salon is on the Main Deck at the stern or back of the yacht.  

The  weather deck, to use the British term, is the one that is open to the sky.  At the stern of the yacht was a small pavilion that was used to keep one out of the sun and rain.

You can see the Tsars cabins just forward of the dining salon.

I will post more plans of this yacht later today or tomorrow.

Douglas

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2004, 02:38:03 PM »
Thanks so much for your explanations! So weather deck is what i meant. Now i understand. I thought that dinning room was too big, and supposed it was for the ship crew. Then, there were no other pavillions for rooms in the weather deck of the Polar Star?

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: Polar Star
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2004, 03:06:20 PM »
Quote
Antonio:  I just posted the internal side view of the Polar Star.  This should answer your very good question.  I am not placing the  plans on this site because they are too big for the pages.  More info will follow.   :)


Thanks Douglas, iīm really looking forward to read your new information!