I LOOKED at the 'photo of Southampton Old Docks, in the Echo of Wed.10th. Feb. with interest as my father served with the White Star Line and later Cunard as a purser from the 1920's the early1950's after which he worked in their Canute Road, Southampton, office until retiring in the mid 1960's.

I am afraid I have to disagree with Robert Smith's reply in today's (Friday)12th. Feb. edition regarding the names of the ships.

The photo could well have been taken before I was born in 1935 but it was definitely taken before the WW2.

I think the ships shown in the 'photo were probably correct but the four funnel Mauritania was definitely scrapped before WW2 as was, I think the Olympic and Homeric (my father served on both ships at one time but definitely pre. WW2).

The Aquitania continue to sail for Cunard, if I am correct into the late 1940's. and my father served on board on the North Atlantic and for her final voyage to the breakers yard in the Gare Loch in Scotland in the 1950's The Empress of Britain I think also lost in the war or sold or scrapped before WW2.

There was a later more modern Mauritania, with two funnels (rather like a scaled down original Queen Elizabeth) which was launched, I think at the Cammell Laird shipyard, on Merseyside and which continued to sail possibly into the late 1950's or early 1960's when she was either sold or scrapped. I did have a large commemorative brochure issued when she was launched, which I think was immediately pre war which I have passed on to my grandchildren.

There was, I think, a later Homeric with, I think, just one funnel,. I am not sure if she was a later Cunard Line ship or of another line. She could possibly have been a ship bought by Cunard from another line and renamed.

I don't think the floating dock was in Southampton post war either.

I hope this is of help to Bob Dudley and Robert Smith and anyone else interested in old Southampton Port.

John Raffle