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DLR Acquire RMS Model to Join LexIcon's 'Lego' Leinster

21st October 2018

#rmsLeinster - In advance of last week's RMS Leinster centenary ceremony, Afloat visited Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (dlr) LexIcon Library, to discover in addition to the 'lego' model of RMS there was another model recently acquired, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On arrival to the LexIcon's foyer where the large 'Lego' model of RMS Leinster was on display, it was soon revealed upon queries to a staff member in the flagship iconic library, that another albeit traditional timber build model was in the building. This led to a sneek preview, of the smaller and older model which was then also available to the public, but not officially announced.

The contemporary model of RMS Leinster was acquired through a bookseller in recent weeks by the Local Studies team at the dlr LexIcon. On the day of the state held RMS ceremony that took place in Moran Park, adjacent to the library, to mark the appalling tragic sinking of the Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) Leinster off the Kish Bank following a German U-boat attack, the model was officially put on display. For further images of the model click the dlr tweet issued on the day of the RMS centenary commemorating the loss of more than 560 lives.

Upon closer inspection, the lifeboats seemed somewhat crude in construction, perhaps suggesting this is the work of an amateur, however overall the modelling of the RMS is more refined. Should any work be done, it would be the rigging given the condition. A display case also made of timber surrounds the model which can be seen in the Local Studies Room on Level 5 as referred above. While two floors below on Level 3 is the 'Lego' Leinster model on display.

Interestingly, this model depicts RMS Leinster in dual colours, the original pre-war black hull and red funnelled livery (portside) and the 'dazzle-camouflage' (starboard) used during the Great War. The use of the latter livery was used as a counter measure to the threat posed by the German U-Boats.

The dazzle's geometic paint did not strive to make the ship invisible, but the design was used rather to confuse the enemy, by making it more difficult to sink as it was harder to gauge the ship's distance, direction and speed.

The Lego model was based on plan drawings supplied by the National Maritime Museum of Ireland (NMMI) located beside the dlr LexIcon. The model was constructed by James Shields.

If you had missed or want to see more about the RMS Leinster centenary, click the following link noting an RMS Exhibition in the dlr Library continues until the end of this month. In addition to the NMMI (website) which has permanent display of RMS Leinster related exhibits which too are well worth a visit.

Published in Historic Boats
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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