Ships Nostalgia banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am not very good on searches and the like, so apologies if this question has been asked before.
I started in diaries to put down ports, dates etc. but gave up as it was just a job like any other, sort of. But now in my closing years, I wish I'd kept it up, along with world maps tracing routes.
What I was wondering is if there was anywhere you could go, so that if you have the name of the ship, its number and the dates you were on it, you could find out the voyage number and ports of call.
Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Hello geoffu,
Depends on the dates of your sea service. Could you tell us the date when you first went to sea and the date of your last voyage.
regards
Roger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Roger,
I joined M.S. Chilka (BISN) No. 184282 on 17th November, 1969 at Tilbury as 5/E/O. My last voyage was when I joined the M.V. Wild Curlew No. 360655 (P&OGCD) on 17th December 1979 in Koper as 3/E/O.
Cheers, Geoff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
I believe you can find this info in the Lloyds lists, these can be viewed at the guild hall in London and the national library of Scotland in Edinburgh. You can pay for a subscription to view Lloyds archives online but there is a fee for this no idea how much it is.

Guildhall, Library [[email protected]]

Voyage record cards from 1925 to 1974 are also held in the guild hall see the attached doc for details. sorry it would not let me attach it so here it is cut and pasted, I recieved this form the Guildhall a few days ago

Voyage Record Cards (VRCs) 1927 - c1975

History and Arrangement of the Cards


Lloyd’s first began to index the movements and casualties section of Lloyd’s List in 1838, as part of the reorganisation that followed the destruction by fire of Lloyd’s Rooms in the Royal Exchange during that year. The index was constructed on an annual basis, and was alphabetical by the names of the ships, all entered in manuscript in large ledgers. With some refinement in the original layout, this system continued until October 1927, when the ledgers were abandoned in favour of a card index.

The first set of cards was housed in a huge Scandex, which allowed quick access to the current Voyage Record Card (VRC) for any particular ship. Once the available space on a card had been filled, it was extracted from the Scandex and filed in a series of wooden drawers. When the first set of drawers had been filled with these non-current cards, another set of drawers was acquired and a new sequence started.

When the entire series was delivered to Guildhall Library in 1979, as part of the Lloyd’s Marine Collection, it was divided into eleven different sequences. With the assistance of special grants from Lloyd’s, the first five sequences, covering October 1927 to c.1949, were interfiled. The format demanded by the Scandex system required the name of the ship to be at the bottom of the card, so they are now filed upside down in metal filing cabinets.

The cards are now in one A-Z sequence by vessel name. If there is more than one ship with the same name, the larger vessels are filed alphabetically by nationality, followed by a random listing of smaller vessels such as trawlers, tugs etc. If there are two ships of the same name and nationality, the older vessel is filed first. This sounds relatively straightforward, but Lloyd’s were not always consistent in their filing practices and complications can arise. As a result, it requires a member of staff, familiar with the system, to retrieve cards when they are requested. For this reason advance notice must be given.

Reading and Using the Cards

The special value of the VRCs is that they index every entry in the Movements and Casualties sections of Lloyd’s List, and the unpublished Supplementary Mails, Advices and Confidential Sheets. Lloyd’s Shipping Index records only the last reported movement at the day of issue and does not refer to the unpublished material at all, so the cards are more comprehensive and considerably less ***bersome to use.

Lloyd’s themselves disposed of some issues of the Shipping Index, so there are considerable gaps in our files. After 1946, with the start of Lloyd’s Shipping Index: Voyage Supplement,

later to become Lloyd’s Voyage Record, the VRCs cease to be unique but remain the easiest method of
following a ship’s movements.

The entries on the cards follow a standard pattern, as below:
Feb 14/4
Liv 13/2​

The top line refers to the relevant issue of Lloyd’s List, 14th February, then column four, in the movements and casualties section. The bottom line gives the actual date of the event, 13th February, with an abbreviation for the name of the port, in this case Liverpool. The cards employ colour-coding to indicate whether it is a sailing (red), an arrival (black), or a casualty (blue) that is being reported. For a casualty, some indication of its nature will usually have been written next to the entry.

The abbreviation for the port is often reasonably obvious, as in the case of Liverpool (above); while the less familiar ports may be identified with the help of a gazetteer or by reference to Lloyd's List. A separate handout giving a list of some of the more frequently used abbreviations is available from the Enquiry Desk or as an e-mail attachment on request. The library has a fuller database of abbreviations that staff can consult on behalf of users.

Names of the more obscure ports are often given in full. Brackets around the name or abbreviation for a port, usually in the context of a casualty report, indicate that the report was dated from that port but that the casualty happened elsewhere. Entries where the abbreviation is found to represent not a port but a geographical feature (such as "Abbs" for "St Abb's Head") refer to a report from a signal station that the ship has passed that point. Entries where the column number is replaced by a letter refer not to Lloyd’s List but to the Supplementary Mail Advices or Confidential Sheets.

After 1947/8, the cards consist of pasted-up slips from the printed Voyage Record, giving the name of each port with the dates of arrival and sailing, or a cross and a date to denote a casualty report: brief notes on the nature of the casualty continued to be entered by hand.

In addition to the name of the ship, the cards specify flag, net tonnage (something of an anachronism, but easily converted to the more conventional gross tonnage with the assistance of Lloyd’s Register) and port of registry. Up to 1948, the cards also give the names and dates of appointment of the ship’s masters, if they appeared in the Lloyd’s Captains’ Registers (Guildhall Library Mss 18567-71 held at London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 0HB). The Registers were normally confined to the holders of British foreign-trade masters’ certificates. Subsequently, the ship’s date of build was given instead. Changes in tonnage or registration detail are given on the card.

A change of name means the beginning of a new card, but the old card will record the new name (for example: ‘n.c. to Seawise University’), while the new card will repeat the previous name (for example ‘ex-Queen Elizabeth’), so that the ship’s history can be traced forwards or backwards through all such alterations.

It should be remembered that Lloyd’s as a matter of principle does not normally report the movements of
coasters, fishing vessels, yachts or ferries, confining its attention to the ocean-going passenger and cargo ships. Additionally, in wartime, information concerning the movements of enemy vessels may be hard to come by, while the movements of other vessels, particularly troopships, may for security reasons not be reported. Casualties are a different matter and will be reported as far as possible for vessels in all these categories.

Those wishing to consult the VRCs should bear in mind the following:

  • A minimum of five working days’ notice must be given, since it is rare for a member of staff, who knows this series, to be free to fetch the required cards immediately. Staff at the Enquiry Desk are not free to do so.

  • The larger the number of cards required, the longer the advance notice to be given. There is an absolute maximum of 20 that can be requested at one time.

  • 20 refers to the number of vessel names, rather than the number of cards, which is not predictable: there may be times when it is not possible to fetch so many.

  • A small order of two or three vessels can be made by phone, but larger orders should be made in writing. Please list the vessels alphabetically and indicate what years you wish to see the cards for, or whether you want the ship’s whole career.

  • Proof of your name and address is required before consulting the cards in the library.

Before making a visit to consult the Voyage Record Cards, contact the library. Staff will be happy to give you advice on availability of the collection and whether the VRCs are the best source for your research. They are just part of an extensive collection of Merchant Navy history materials at Guildhall Library.

VRCs cannot be photocopied by personal visitors to the library. Visitors can bring a digital camera but will need to purchase a photographic permit (for personal research). Proof of name & address is required to view VRCs in the library, but we do offer a copy and post service (charges apply for photography permit and postal service).

Guildhall Library is a public reference library and its collections are available to all without formality. It is open Monday - Friday 9.30am to 5pm (Wednesdays 7.30pm) and alternate Saturdays. See our website for further details: Guildhall Library - The Library of London History - City of London

Last updated: April 2021
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
I should have added this, it was in the email when I received the above info and gives a bit more info, I said it was Lloyds List you look for but this was wrong it is actually Lloyds Voyage Record.

I have attached our help sheets for the Voyage Record Cards which run from c1927-c1975. After that date we hold “Lloyd’s Voyage Record” in which the vessel movements were published weekly and arranged in vessel name order. Unfortunately we cannot offer to research movements in this publication on behalf of enquirers but once we are able to re-open you are welcome to book an appointment to visit and consult the volumes at the library. .
For vessels pre August 1975 we will be able to supply copies of the cards once we re-open and return to normal.
We do not have a firm date for re-opening yet but when we do, it will appear on our website here https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/libraries/guildhall-library
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks John,
Looks a bit complicated, but will have to work my way through it. Hopefully will be able to access all I want without having to visit the library.
Cheers,
Geoff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Geoff, no problem send them an email they are very helpful although because of covid it may be a few days before you get a reply.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top