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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Titanic letter warned of 'danger'
The letter and inset of the signature
Alfred Rowe's letter and diary have been put up for auction
A final letter from a passenger on the Titanic who described the liner as a "positive danger", is to go up for auction.

Alfred Rowe, 59, farmer and landowner in the US, wrote that the ship "is too big" in the letter home to his wife.

He sent it on 11 April 1912, from Queenstown, Ireland, the ship's last port of call before it hit an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,522 lives.

The letter will be auctioned on 21 April in Devizes, Wiltshire.

In it, Mr Rowe wrote to his wife, Constance: "Mr dearest girl, she is too big, you can't find your way about and it takes you too long to get anywhere.

"She has no excessive speed to compensate for all this and is a positive danger to all other shipping in port."

Letter and a photograph of Alfred Rowe
Keys belonging to Titanic's post room will also be auctioned

Mr Rowe, who was originally from Liverpool, was found frozen to death.

He also wrote how the Titanic had a near-miss with another ship as it left Southampton.

His letter has now been put up for auction by his family - along with Constance's diary, in which she reveals how she was told of his death.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: "What makes it so unusual is that it doesn't describe Titanic as the floating palace that most of the people thought.

"Everyone knows Titanic was the biggest and best of the era, but Alfred Rowe puts almost a negative spin on it."

It is expected to make around 20,000 but is not the most valuable item from Titanic due to be sold.

The auctioneers say the keys to Titanic's post room are likely to make anything between 30,000 and 50,000.

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