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The final voyage of France
The final voyage of France

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fred henderson



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The France was built after the need for her service was over. She was only able to operate because of a large Government subsidy. When this was ended CGT closed the Transatlantic service. As France was approaching the entrance to Le Harve the French seamen's union ordered their members to take over the ship. They promptly obeyed and the ship came under the control of a strike committee headed by a dining room chef. France was anchored in the main channel blocking access to the port. After lengthy negotiations the passengers were allowed to transfer to a ferry, then the ship was moved out of the main channel and eventually the whole farce collapsed. I think this photo captures the self importance and divorce from reality of the strike leaders rather well.

Fred
· Date: Sun, 11 September 05 · Views: 417
· Tags: 1 · Filesize: 105.1kb, 105.1kb · Dimensions: 800 x 688 ·
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John_F
member

Registered: May 2005
Posts: 7
Mon, 12 September 05 03:57

Looks like Fred Kite, front row, centre.

Regards,
John.
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burjp
Member

Registered: August 2005
Location: Fécamp. Pays de Caux
Posts: 105
Sun, 30 October 05 13:34

I do wonder what this photograph has to do with ocean liners ?
This crowd doesn't really call for sympathy because it seems that relations on board were poor to say the least , and she was constantly plagued by strike too often for futile motives.
Remember Cdt's Pettre epitaph of the France ( freely translated ) : Normandie was a victim of History , France fell to people who won't be a part of history .
For more on this bunch see Christian Pettre's book : " splendeur et rouille" ( editions Pen Duick 1979).
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fred henderson

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Registered: June 2005
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Sun, 30 October 05 17:14

I posted this photo as a reminder that ocean liners were subject to economic conditions, burjp. The site is called Ships Nostalgia and we all regret great ships passing out of service, but there are times when the crews hasten their departure. It is also interesting that as the France action took place during a voyage and is the only case that I know of a passenger liner crew mutiny. Of course the French Government ignored that aspect.

Fred

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Fred
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Doug Rogers

Registered: August 2004
Posts: 2,505
Sun, 30 October 05 18:31

Good picture Fred, sad in its way and knowing that currently she may well be on her way to the breakers. I can remember the incident though, another blast from the past!!

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Doug
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Burntisland

Senior Member

Registered: January 2006
Location: Brunswick, Georgia, USA
Posts: 457
Thu, 16 February 06 06:01

Thanks for posting that pic Fred. Certainly recalls a period of strife and hopelessness for the individuals affected. But ya know, there's always something caustic and ironic about a photo that depicts anything French................it's a bit like the way I felt when I saw the famous photo of the Frenchman standing on the corner in Paris as Hitlers army marched down the Champs Elysess and the French flag was being taken down. I'm sure many of you recall seeing this photo.....the man was a heap of tears while a woman behind him had a stern determined look on her face................Shall I continue at the risk of being politically incorrect?
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