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White Star Line transferred their New York service from Liverpool
to Southampton in 1907. Their first arrival
was Adriatic on a North Atlantic Express service. At
the same time, the size of liners was increasing and the need for
more quayside space was obvious, so the dock company began
constructing a new dock.
White Star Dock (Later Ocean Dock)
White Star Dock opened in 1911. Unlike previous dock basins, White
Star Dock was built dry: a dam was constructed to keep water out of
the construction site and the dock was excavated behind it.
Single-story transit sheds were built around the berths and sixteen
electric cranes installed.
Shed 44: Ocean Dock
Soon, other shipping lines, including Cunard and Canadian Pacific,
were attracted to the dock because of the space it gave for their
large liners. In 1922 the dock was renamed Ocean Dock. In addition
to the North American traffic handled at the dock, berth 45 was
reserved for ships carrying timber and a storage shed constructed
Docks: Ocean Terminal and 'Queen Elizabeth'
After World War 2, a new reception building was built next to
berths 43 and 44, mainly for use by passengers travelling
on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary.
Costing half a million pounds, the Ocean Terminal featured waiting
areas, buffets, money exchange, railway booking offices as well as
a press room for journalists covering the liners. A covered balcony
was provided for friends meeting passengers along with escalators
and lifts. Opened by Prime Minister Clement Attlee on 31st July
1950, the art deco-style terminal was to stand for over 30 years,
being demolished in 1983.