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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
P&O have websites of course but they are aimed at current clients and shareholders/investors as you would expect. Have any of the members of Shipsnostalgia come across any P&O archives or other resources that are accessible to the public. I am interested in the period 1900 to 1930.

Thanks if anyone has any information on this.
 

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The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich holds P & O staff records 1845 - 1957 (restricted access) and business records 1840 - 1959, plus a large number of ship photos. The NMM website also shows an extensive bibliography on P & O matters.
Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick and excellent response

Thank you Douglas and Pmmpeyfan for the very useful pointers. I have checked out the websites and will investigate thoroughly as soon as I can. I hope to visite the NMM next week as well. As I live in the North of England I have had to wangle a business trip to fit it in!

This has inspired me to think about setting up a website similar to the Strath Sisters one for the P&O M class liners. Might take a while though.
 

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I have the history of the P&O line which I could send to you. It is only a small book but has all the ships over the period you speak of I think. David
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello David,

Thank you for your kind offer - I would be very pleased to see this book if it is not one that I already have. I have the David and Stephen Howarth book - "The story of P&O" and "20th Century Passenger ships of the P&O" by Neil McCart. If your book is not one of those I will look out for it to purchase as well. Also interesting is the book "Liners in Art" by Kenneth Vard. This contains a picture of Morea in drydock which from the title is still owned by P&O (the picture that is!).
Regards, Benjidog

Pompeyfan said:
I have the history of the P&O line which I could send to you. It is only a small book but has all the ships over the period you speak of I think. David
 

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Following Benjidog's request. I have had an idea. When I was on Arcadia, I wrote in her internal newspaper under the name of Medic regarding shipping matters. This included writing about ships we saw in port. I also covered the history of P&O from the beginning to around 1954 when Arcadia was built. I have found these notes and kept the editons of Arcadus(I keep everything) from the material I had at the time. It should cover all the history and every ship until 1954. If members are interested I can repeat this on the site over the next few weeks or months?. David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
David,

I am sure that many members of this forum would be interested in a transcription of your notes. It strikes me as sad that there is so much stuff in people's heads and notebooks that will be lost if it is not passed on. Who knows what will happen to this material in the long term? If you record it and pass it on to others it has a better chance of survival and it will be another resource for people in the future to draw on to find out what life was like in our era. Too much history is about what the aristocracy was up to (mostly causing wars, having a great time at our expense and wasting our money!) and not enough about real people. Sadly, unless you are over 90, you won't be able to help with my research about P&O's Morea as it was scrapped in 1930, but I am sure it will help others.

I really hope you will be able to find the time to do this. I suspect there are a lot of other members of this forum with plenty worth recording as well.
 

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Benjidog... I would also refer you to the book "Ships That Passed" by Scott Baty. (Reed Books ISBN 0 7301 0008 1 published 1984). It deals with vessels running to the Antipodes and has separate chapters on the concerned companies and their vessels. The P&O chapter is good, has a fair write up on the P&O vessels and more importantly for you has a write up on the M's and a nice picture of the Morea.
Good luck and let me know if I can assist you further.
 

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Very interesting. Perhaps I no longer need to carry on with my own history?. Or perhaps I will not need to list all the ships in the fleet because they seem to be here. however, my history is from my own archive notes. but that is a very useful site boatyboy. David
 

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Newda898 very many thanks for giving us the P&O website, a wealth of information,details of some of the ships I sailed on, most of us knew nothing about.
Excellent information.
 

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P&O books

Benjidog,

You mention the north of England. I live in Rochdale and have several books about P&O (and BI). You are welcome to see them if you live in the area.

James.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update on research material

I have found a number of guides that could be of interest to a number of members at the NMM. I am going to check them out and will put a summary in here of how useful they appear to be. Sounds like they have a load of good stuff in their library - the only problem being that anyone wanting to check it out will have to go to Greenwich to do so. :mad:
Benjidog
 

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One thing they won't have at NMM Benjidog is some of the info I will be putting out on Arcadia in due course. They will have most of course, but not what I compiled. But that will only be after I recieve enough replies to carry on with the history of P&O. There has been a nice lot of views which is great, but no comments as to whether it worth carrying on or whether there is already enough informatiion on the net. David
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
National Maritime Museum Research Guides

The NMM website has a lot of information about their collections and how to undertake research - check out http://www.nmm.ac.uk/server/show/nav.005002

Here is a brief description of some of the Research guides available from this site and what they are about. This could be of interest to anyone studying the history of vessels and those that manned them. Most of the do***ents are held in the Caird library at the NMM. I visited them last week and got a readers ticket there and then (you need ID); the staff were very helpful:

RESEARCH GUIDE C1: THE MERCHANT NAVY: TRACING PEOPLE:CREW LISTS, AGREEMENTS AND OFFICIAL LOGS.
This describes the records that may be available (not all still exist!) on muster rolls and crew assignments back to 1747. It says that for 1861 to 1938 there is a 10% sample in the National Archives at Kew, the NMM hold records for 1861, 1862 and years ending in 5 - the remainter are in the Maritime History Research Collection in Canada. For 1939-50 agreements, crew lists and logbooks are in the National Archives. For 1951-1977 again 10% are at Kew, the NMM has 90% of material for years ending in 5 and the remainder in Canada. From 1978 onwards crew agreements are held by the General Register and REcord Office of Shipping and Seamen in Cardiff. Indexes of the Canada material are held in the NMM library. British merchant ships had to keep logs from 1850 though only about 20% survive apart from WW1 and WW2 years. There is information about where existing logs can be found.

RESEARCH GUIDE C3: THE MERCHANT NAVY: BIBLIOGRAPHY.
This contains a short bibliography of books in the NMM Caird library. The full catalogue is available on line with search facilities.

RESEARCH GUIDE C4: THE MERCHANT NAVY: SOURCES FOR ENQUIRIES
This provides a list of places other than the NMM that have records and information related to mercantile history and an overview of what kind of information they hold.

RESEARCH GUIDE C5: THE MERCHANT NAVY: SOURCES FOR SHIP HISTORIES
This provides information about types of records that may exist and where they may be checked out. It includes Lloyd's Register, Lloyds Lists and indexes - The Guildhall library has a partial index pre-1838, NMM has microfilms from 1838-1927 and there is a card index at Guildhall for 1927 onwards. Passenger records of all ships arriving at or leaving British ports between 1890 and 1960 are in the National Archive at Kew. Final fates of ships can also be traced in the Lloyd's register.

RESEARCH GUIDE C6: THE MERCHANT NAVY: THE MERCANTILE NAVY LIST
The Mercantile Navy List compiled by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen was published from 1849-1855 and 1857-1976 apart from 1941-1946. It contains a comprehensive listing and basic information for all merchant vessels registered under the British flag including many not listed in Lloyds. There is no complete set but the NMM covers 1857-1976.

RESEARCH GUIDE C7: THE MERCHANT NAVY: SHIPPING LISTED IN PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS
This guide lists some of the papers produced for the House of Commons related to shipping. They fall into three main categories - Board of Trade casualty returns, BOT Enquiry Reports and other special reports. Vessels listed include wrecked or mssing ships, steam packets, ships built in certain ports and vessels used for emigrants.

RESEARCH GUIDE C9: THE MERCHANT NAVY: WORLD WAR ONE
This guide outlines the main sources for researching the activities of merchant ships and their crews during the First World War, 1914 to 1918. Although overlapping some of the other guides this includes where to look for information about merchant ships brought into the Royal Navy, ship movements in war time (not publically available at the time), crews and gallantry awards, ships sunk by war causes, ships sunk by marine causes and cargo.

RESEARCH GUIDE C11: THE MERCHANT NAVY: THE HANDY SHIPPING GUIDE
This is a brief introduction to the Handy Shipping Guide which was produced between 1887 and 1988. It provides two main sources of information. (a) A list of all foreign, continental and coastwise ports and the ships presently to sail thereto, with details of the loading port, dock, closing date for cargo and,frequently, ship owners. (b) Custom clearances, inwards and outwards, for every major British port. Later issues include lists of vessels outward and homeward bound etc.

RESEARCH GUIDE C13: THE MERCHANT NAVY: TRACING MERCHANT SEAMEN: SOURCES OF INFORMATION IN THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
This contains additional information about tracing individuals to supplement guides C1 and C2.

RESEARCH GUIDE F3: SHIPPING COMPANIES: P&O BIBLIOGRAPHY
This is a list of about 20 books covering the history of P&O held in the NMM Caird library. It is a far from complete list of what has been published it seems!

RESEARCH GUIDE J1: HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE NMM
The NMM holds about a quarter of a million negatives, a million prints and fifteen hundred albums! A large proportion cannot be copied for copyright reasons. The guide tells you how to find out what is there. I can vouch for this service as they were able to trace a full set of plans for the RMS Morea which I am researching and said these could be provided for about £200 but I couldn't publish them without permission. (I will have to see what Father Christmas brings!) The collection includes negatives covering warships and naval life transferred from the Admiralty and other sources; a merchant ship collection from sailing vessels to the 1980s; life aboard ship; shipbuilding etc. etc.

RESEARCH GUIDE M8: THE SUEZ CANAL: SOURCES OFINFORMATION IN THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
This guide is a bibliography covering books etc. in the NMM dealing with the Suez Canal.

There is also a Film Archive and Art - painting, prints and drawings.

The NMM has a vast archive - much of what is in it is unique. For obvious reasons it can't be taken off the premises so if you want to research it you will need to plan one or more visits to the NMM. I have only just scratched the surface but hope the above will be useful to others.
 
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