Olympic to be scrapped as White Star purge continues

Cunard-White Star formally announced on 25th January 1935 that Olympic was to be withdrawn from regular trans-Atlantic service and would be used for cruises, at the end of the spring schedule. In spite of the major refit conducted at Harland & Wolff’s yard at Southampton, more cracks had been discovered in 1934, but were poorly repaired. In February 1935 further welding was needed.

olympic & maure laid upOn 31st March 1935 Cunard-White Star stated: “Olympic will drop out of the trans-Atlantic trade for the summer season”, and a series of cruises were proposed. Olympic departed from New York for Southampton on 5th April 1935 on her last passenger-carrying voyage. Arriving at Southampton on 12th April, she was towed to Berth 108 in the Western Docks, where she was laid up, ahead of Mauretania.

On 13th April Cunard-White Star cancelled plans for Olympic’s cruising schedule, and announced that the lay-up would be extended for three months. At a board meeting in late April, it was formally announced that the company “had no further employment in sight” for her. Cunard-White Star announced on 20th August that Olympic would be opened the following week for inspection by prospective purchasers.

olympic heading for breakers copyShe was bought on 10th September 1935 by Sir John Jarvis for £97,500, who then sold her on to Thomas Ward’s, to be scrapped at Jarrow, which had been badly affected by unemployment. Under Captain P.R. Vaughn, Olympic left Southampton on 11th October, and arrived at Palmer’s Yard, Jarrow, on 13th October. Cut down to the waterline, Olympic was towed to Inverkeithing for final demolition on 19th September 1937.