P & O Archives.

david
17th March 2006, 07:41
With the apparent demise of this company (maybe demise is too strong a word!!) by the Carnival, Dubai Port Authority and Stena takeovers/"mergers" I wonder what will happen to the Archived materiel accumulated since probably day 1 back in 1837?
This thought struck me whilst on a Diamond Princess cruise last week' where in one of the Lounge/Bars there a number of reproductions from the archives. I also own a copy of "The Story Of P&O" (1995 D & S Howarth) that is profusely illustrated with paintings, etchings,lithographs etc etc and many fine B/W pic from the earliest days of photography.
The company has been inextricably associated with Australias ups and downs for more than 150 Years, I believe that this remarkable archive must be preserved at all costs, maybe in the NMM, and from time to time selected works be toured around the world particularly to port cities that formed such strong links with the company..ie Bombay, Singapore,HongKong,Sydney and of course the home of the "Southern Octopus", New Zealand.
I hope that some members may be closer to the center of things in relation to P & O than I am downunder, but I have seen so much material lost in the past as it has simply slipped under the radar and is suddenly gone!!
As professed ship lovers I would hope that the SN members could debate this new thread with some vigour.

David. Sunshine Coast, (Gleam) Australia.

gdynia
17th March 2006, 07:50
With the apparent demise of this company (maybe demise is too strong a word!!) by the Carnival, Dubai Port Authority and Stena takeovers/"mergers" I wonder what will happen to the Archived materiel accumulated since probably day 1 back in 1837?
This thought struck me whilst on a Diamond Princess cruise last week' where in one of the Lounge/Bars there a number of reproductions from the archives. I also own a copy of "The Story Of P&O" (1995 D & S Howarth) that is profusely illustrated with paintings, etchings,lithographs etc etc and many fine B/W pic from the earliest days of photography.
The company has been inextricably associated with Australias ups and downs for more than 150 Years, I believe that this remarkable archive must be preserved at all costs, maybe in the NMM, and from time to time selected works be toured around the world particularly to port cities that formed such strong links with the company..ie Bombay, Singapore,HongKong,Sydney and of course the home of the "Southern Octopus", New Zealand.
I hope that some members may be closer to the center of things in relation to P & O than I am downunder, but I have seen so much material lost in the past as it has simply slipped under the radar and is suddenly gone!!
As professed ship lovers I would hope that the SN members could debate this new thread with some vigour.

David. Sunshine Coast, (Gleam) Australia.

David
Totally agree with your sentiments but in reality once a shipping company closes down and the mariners dissapear to new horizons the pen pushers are not concerned about archived records. It is down to members on various websides like SN to keep this knowledge flowing whether having sailed in the company in question or having an interest.Sadly once a company goes under we loose such alot of histoical value.You can see it plainly on here when a member enqires about information how people are so helpfull and alot of this comes from personnel records.

Paul UK
17th March 2006, 10:50
Hi Guys

Maybe David (Pompey Fan) may have some contacts that can be approached to secure this material if they have not already done so.

Paul

Pompeyfan
17th March 2006, 11:11
It depends on what material. I will be aboard Oriana in May and could ask a few questions. The only contact I have is her captain Mike Carr who I worked on Arcadia with but I think he is on leave when I am on board. I have certainly got material from Arcadia that P&O may not have now. As Gdynia indicates, the pen pushers are not concerned about archive records. Back to Oriana, there is a lot of cricket memorabilia which I am sure was from the Cricketers Tavern on Canberra. But I have a feeling that much of the archive material Dave refers to is more likely to be in the posession of former crew members or gone. There are a few paitnings on Pride of Bilbao which I will check out in September. But in the meantime, I will ask a few questions in May, and could even contact Wavelength, the crew mag. David

Paul UK
17th March 2006, 17:36
I feel that would be the best route, however I wonder if a letter to HQ in southampton might be a good idea.

Paul

Hugh MacLean
17th March 2006, 18:00
Hello David & All,

I agree with Gdynia here. Archived records will not be their top priority. If you can make some noise early on then at least you stand a chance that they will be preserved. Lots of shipping records since the War are now not held in this country.

The Research Forum on here has been very popular because people want to know what happened to the ships they sailed on or their fathers and grandfathers sailed on. It is part of our history and it would be a sad day indeed if it were lost forever.

Rgds

froggie
17th March 2006, 19:03
The P&O archivist has an office at The National Maritime Museum - Greenwich. He is still there.

tom e kelso
17th March 2006, 19:47
Last things first, Froggie, are you sure that it is not the erstwhile P&O historian, Stephen Rabson who has an office in NMM? Retired from P&O a number of years I believe he continues in an "honorary" position at NMM. As for archivist, several months ago, a lady who signed herself as "archivist" (forget her name)sent a circular letter from P&O corporate office in Pall Mall to various maritime museums in the UK. This was accompanied by a long list of artefacts...principally, paintings and photographs , ship's bells etc from the P&O coffers. The musuems to which it was addressed were asked to register their interest should it be finally decided to distribute. This by the way was a month or two before the DPP bid became public.

Tom Kelso

david
18th March 2006, 07:50
Yeah Tom, good one!!
This is just the thin end of the wedge ,as we say downunder.
We(enthusiasts) M U S T start to talk amongst ourselves about these matters before stuff just starts to disappear.
I recall reading in the books about the fabulous private motor yachts of the millionaires and zillionaires in the US of A during the gilded era, that there was a huge collection of Glass Plate Negatives(like thousands of them!!) taken by a guy who photagraphed these wondorous vessels that were stored in a shed in his backyard....when he died, his rellies who did not give a rats about them, sent them to auction, where they were sold to a Tomato farmer to make Glasshouses!!! Can You Believe it.
This sort of thing must never be allowed to happen again. Nor must these ARCHIVES be allowed to get into the hands of those creepy types who lock them away in their strange private places, this is part of our collective history, ours Downunder and you lot that sent our ancesters here.
I trust I dont sound like someone alarmist, or (Applause) (Applause) with an axe to grind, but maybe, just maybe we as enthusiasts can begin to discuss these matters.

gdynia
18th March 2006, 08:05
Yeah Tom, good one!!
This is just the thin end of the wedge ,as we say downunder.
We(enthusiasts) M U S T start to talk amongst ourselves about these matters before stuff just starts to disappear.
I recall reading in the books about the fabulous private motor yachts of the millionaires and zillionaires in the US of A during the gilded era, that there was a huge collection of Glass Plate Negatives(like thousands of them!!) taken by a guy who photagraphed these wondorous vessels that were stored in a shed in his backyard....when he died, his rellies who did not give a rats about them, sent them to auction, where they were sold to a Tomato farmer to make Glasshouses!!! Can You Believe it.
This sort of thing must never be allowed to happen again. Nor must these ARCHIVES be allowed to get into the hands of those creepy types who lock them away in their strange private places, this is part of our collective history, ours Downunder and you lot that sent our ancesters here.
I trust I dont sound like someone alarmist, or (Applause) (Applause) with an axe to grind, but maybe, just maybe we as enthusiasts can begin to discuss these matters.
David

I started the ball rolling yesterday by contacting my local MP in Bonnie Scotland.Its not just P and 0 but the companies they swallowed up over the years. Once History is lost it can never be regained.She has been very good in the past and hopefully can rock a few boats as P and 0 are not just British,men and women from all over the world have given valuable services to them in the past so its time they gave something back to us.

Rutts
29th March 2006, 09:06
I heard a story recently regarding the take over of P&O Nedlloyd by Maersk. It concerned the Wellington office (former NZ Head Office) of P&ONL in February after the official take over by Maersk. The office is in the process of being closed down and this will happen by April. Some staff have moved North to Auckland and those that did not are down the road. In February, Maersk sent someone through the Wellington office with the instruction that any remanents of P&ONL was to be dumped. This ranged from pictures on the walls of vessels, stationery, coffee mugs etc anything that referred to P&O Nedlloyd. Nothing was to remain. The clean out was that thorough that someone had to go out and buy some cheap coffee mugs so the staff could at least have a drink.

nzmatt
29th March 2006, 09:44
P&ONL was to be dumped. This ranged from pictures on the walls of vessels, stationery, coffee mugs etc anything that referred to P&O Nedlloyd. Nothing was to remain. The clean out was that thorough that someone had to go out and buy some cheap coffee mugs so the staff could at least have a drink.[/QUOTE]

WHAT????

they had some good models there of the nzp and mairangi bay.i hope the museum of wellington would get these.man if i was there i would get all those to my place.but i am not thats sad shame on mearsk for doing that :@ more history gone

exsailor
29th March 2006, 11:10
Whilst being 12,000 miles from the UK, I totally agree with David's sentiments.
This is not only British history at stake, it is that of the last signs of the once great British Empire - the pink bits that cluttered the world map on the wall at school.
I was with the USSCo (Shore staff) when P & O sold out to NZ Maritime Holdings/TNT. Branch offices, both in NZ and overseas were closed at an alarming rate by the new owners, with much of their historic content being dumped or scattered far and wide. Our branch, Port Chalmers, was a major repair yard dating back to the earliest days of the company with bits and pieces, including unused spares from many long gone vessels hidden in dark corners. The strongroom, which was originally built for storing gold and would have swallowed the contents of a 40' container with ease, was full of papers. Little was saved - most was either sold as scrap or went to the tip.
New owners (not only of shipping companies) look foward to returns, and have little regard to the past.

teachertalk1234
29th March 2006, 12:22
I feel very saddened as I read this thread. I was indeed one of those who worked for the P&O and was made redundant from the Dover operation of P&O Ferries back in the early eighties. I always felt great pride in being able to say I worked for the P&O and sailed the big ships, I was happy when the offer came to move to ferries where I was for two years. However we were shunted to our rivals Townsends without a thank you for the work done by those stallwarts who began the service in Dover and allowed P&O to move into the ferry market. Since Inchcape there seems to have been little regard for those who made the company what it was. It now seems that all trace of what they and thier constituent companies did will be lost. I do salute you and offer what I can in the way of encouragement.

Philip Shackleton. past 4th 3rd and second engineer now a teacher and head of maths.