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ss Oriana

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

ss Oriana was launched on the 3rd November, 1959 by Princess Alexandria of Kent and took her name from that given to Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) by the poets of that era. I found it interesting that she was coronated in 1559.

Simon explains further about the name Oriana;

 

Courtesy of Malcolm Orr

Her name was derived from an Elizabethan madrigal describing the exploits of the mythical huntress Oriana in such a way as to make it evident that this was a veiled compliment to Queen Elizabeth I. 

  

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Courtesy of Ernest French

The two Queen Elizabeth's were symbolized by the double E monogram of Oriana’s badge surrounded by the O which represents Orient Line, the whole is surmounted by an Elizabethan Pearl Crown. Above is a picture which was in P&O's house magazine "Wavelength" showing The Queen being told the significance of the badge.  

   

The "Queen of the Sea".

 

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Courtesy of Don Cole

This is a simply stunning photo of the best ship that ever floated. She was built by Vickers-Armstrong (Shipbuilders) Ltd in Barrow-In-Furness in 1960 at Yard No 1061 and she was 41,915 tonnes of pure pleasure, 245.1m long, 30.5m wide with 730 cabins, 17 public rooms and 11 passenger decks. She carried 2000 passengers and 1000 crew and by her retirement she had steamed 3,430,902 nautical miles and her record day's run was 701 nautical miles at 29.21 knots

  

She began her maiden voyage from Southampton to Sydney on the 3rd December, 1960. Then she returned to Southampton via Auckland and the US West Coast ports. 

 

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Courtesy of Celia Chester

The above photo was taken during her sea trials. She was the fastest liner on the England-Australia route sailing from Southampton to Sydney via the Suez Canal in 21 days. In 1966 the name of the line was restyled to the P & O Line.

 

When leaving Southampton on the 11th August 1970 the Boiler Room had a serious fire and Greg Sinclair remembers it well. Some of the guys had fallen into the oil filled bilge in the dark and they were pitch black, covered with fuel oil. There are so many stories from that fire. It was very dramatic and quite frightening at some stages.

 

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Courtesy of Roger Lownsborough

 

Stephen Wedd adds this information;

That was myself and Mark Gardiner. We were first in after the fire as we were on watch at the start and had to pull up the plates in the port aft corner and climb down to access a heat warped extension on a fire pump valve (we didn’t fall in!). We were in up to our waist and wiped ourselves off with white towels afterward as there was no power thus no showers or water!! 

 

Greg adds;

Steve Wedd’s addition to my original story has stirred more of my memories. That was my first trip on Oriana and I was on the Starboard engine controls leaving Southampton. Some time after leaving, the Boiler Room alarm sounded beside me and I switched it off and told the J2, Will Rogers. He walked off towards the boiler room and very soon after came racing through the engine room saying “the boiler room’s on fire” as he went for the panic alarm. Everything went crazy from then. It’s all a bit of a blur now but being my first trip I think I just did what I was told during the fire, which was very serious. At one stage we noticed that the paint was falling off the boiler room/engine room bulkhead in sheets. I was sent onto the top of one of the “B Set” evaporators with a hose to cool down the bulkhead, which was literally red-hot. Brian Perry was up on one of the “A Set” evaporators (I hope I’ve got the evaporator names right). The heat up there was incredible with the glowing bulkhead right in front of me and I can’t recall what type of hoses we had but they weren’t putting out much water. I got a bit wobbly at one stage and Brian Perry must have seen that I was in a bit of trouble because he put his hose on me. That brought me back to my senses and I think we stayed there cooling the bulkhead until the fire had been contained from above, as the watertight doors were closed for most of the fire. I’d hate to think what would have happened if the bulkhead had given away during the peak of the fire. It was scary stuff.

 

Although the period of the actual fire must have been up to an hour, I can’t recall much more detail however this following memory has only just come back to me after all the years.

 

When we knew the fire was out the Chief, John Howell or the S2, Maurice Tate (I can’t recall whom) sent me up to the bridge to tell the Captain that the fire was out (we had lost all power and communications and were on the emergency generator only). I ran all the way up to the bridge and straight to the Captain. I was buggered and vaguely remember blurting out that the fire was out and then setting off back to the engine room. Strangely I don’t remember even looking out to see where we were nor do I know whether we were under tow by then. I remember the time of the fire to be grim and eerie in the engine room. We were on emergency lighting and with all the action going on, and the uncertainty of how much worse it could get, it was a frightening experience.

 

Steve Wedd adds;

Totally agree re the Fire experiences Greg. It was a major experience of my life and I used to dream (perhaps not nightmares) of it for years. I didn’t realize what went on in the Engine room during the fire, you’ve just enlightened me a bit re the paint peeling etc. and putting water on the bulkhead.

 

Bill Rogers (Panic merchant as we called him then) had put two small extinguishers on the plates in the port aft boiler room as fumes were coming from under #3 boiler well before we set off at 1.30pm. An oil spill two days earlier had not been pumped out (saving money) and with firing up all boilers the bilge water was very close to the boiler base, such that as we rounded Calshot it flashed on the bottom as we rolled slightly.

 

I remember trying to set off the large 34gall foam extinguisher (fwd starboard) but being driven back by flames, then going to E deck and tripping various fuel valves. We then stood at the stabilisers watertight doors and ran madly to the Gene room every time something rumbled !!

 

Later I was up on B deck and the Stadium deck pulling a hose from a tug aboard (B deck) then up and around the staircases to Stadium and into the top of the funnel areas near  the Officer cabins. We had no way of telling the tug when to start pumping and I remember madly waving down at them and they waved back. All the passengers were obeying instructions and standing on B deck by the boats. I also remember at an earlier stage telling someone (Pete Walters I think) that we needed to save steam for the genys and thus to ring “Finished with Engines”. At the enquiry interviews I was told “I hadn’t that authority” !!!  I knew that but who cares in a fire.

 

I was back on ‘fire’ watch at 8pm that night and as you say Greg, it was eerie. Total silence down below. A few nights later (perhaps my memory is exaggerating but I don’t think so) I counted nearly 100 Thorneycroft workers in the boiler room at one stage on various levels !

 

Pat Marshall adds more memories about the fire;

I was in the Generator Flat at the time standing under a blower as one did, whilst keeping an eye on the Switchboard. The Greaser remarked that we must be passing the Refinery as he could smell fumes, almost at the same time the Fire Alarm sounded and the J/4 came through to say that we were going to loose some pressure as there was a fire in the Boiler Rm. bilges. So the Switchboard was going to need unloading, actually it seemed almost seconds before the preference trips started operating....faster that it could be done manually. The worst bit was trying to keep the Emergency Diesel Generator on line as the load of the SOS Pump combined with the passenger area lighting kept tripping it off. As Steve Wedd indicated events did become a bit of a blur though I seem to recall Willie coming back into the Generator Flat with some of the Boiler room crew and saying that there wasn't anything else to be done but there was a chance that the fire would burn itself out. I believe there was an offer that anyone who wanted to could go but since we were surrounded by F.O. tanks and it was a long climb up to an open deck there didn’t seem much point in doing so.

 

Back to Greg;

The Engine Room & Boiler Room were a real mess and the damage was so bad that they thought she would be laid up for months but to their amazement P&O announced that she would be repaired and ready to sail in 2 weeks. The passengers were given the choice of staying on board for the whole period, the bars were opened and all was as if they were at sea. He even remembers wheeling in that first night. 

 

Here’s a great shot of her returning under tow.

 

Greg kindly sent this cartoon from the from the Daily Express on 13th August 1970.

 

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Courtesy of Greg Sinclair

Greg recalls not believing what the contractors (Thorneycroft) did during those two weeks. They took out so much equipment, motors, wiring, etc, repaired or replaced them. The repairs actually took a few days longer than 2 weeks and the passengers were getting a bit testy by the time they finally sailed.

 

Greg continues;

After two weeks of repairs we were almost ready to sail again. The boilers were fired up and gradually raised to working pressure and temperature. As the boilers heated up the bottom steam drums were starting to smoke. The lagging had been soaked with oil and started to flash and catch fire.

 

It was decided to try to remove the metal sheathing from the steam drum lagging and I was chosen to slide down under the plates and under No.2 boiler, lying on the tank tops to remove the screws. I was on my back with the steam drum only inches above my face, unscrewing the screws. I had a rope tied around under my arms and each time the lagging caught fire I was yanked out from under the flames by the others on the plates. Great fun.

 

It didn’t take too long for them to realise that it wasn’t going to be successful and thankfully for me, after two or three times the idea was abandoned. The powers that be decided that the steam drums had to be re lagged. It seems ridiculous now that trying this could even be contemplated. Besides being scary for me, we couldn’t have sailed in that condition.

 

The re-lagging took another two to three days for the contractors to complete and we were ready to sail again. This time we got away and my first voyage on Oriana had started. It was a difficult trip for the Engineers. The fire damage was repaired in a rush and was not fully completed. Wiring was tied up with string, the soot blowers had to be operated manually, etc. The bilges had become full of rubbish and we Junior Engineers had a hell of a time getting them pumped out. No.4 boiler blew up when we were in Nassau and we had contractors re-tubing the main furnace for another two weeks while at sea.

  

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Courtesy of Ian Smith

Ian writes;

A friend of mine found this painting hanging in the Aurora's Crows Nest Bar a few weeks ago.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

Going under to Pyrmont. Something I never did, always berthed at Circular Quay.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

Along side at OSPT Circular Quay.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

Good ariel view of the stern.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

No prizes for guessing where and not even when looking at those fabulous cars but I'll tell you it was circa 1967.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith 

Oriana leaving Sydney taken from the Bridge's southern pylon lookout.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

One of three main generators.

 

Courtesy of Ian Smith

Main switchboard.

  

Here’s a shot I took in a Norwegian Fjord. It’s the only time I’ve seen her dwarfed by anything.

 

Here’s a great shot of her at Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour at night.

 

Courtesy of Bob Johnston

and another one from the air in the same spot a few years earlier. 

  

A place that all the Engineers will remember so well … the plates.

  

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Here’s another great shot that I’ve just scanned. It was taken in Malta.

 

The following photos were taken by Pat Marshall in 1971 during Dry Dock. Here’s a magic shot of the Cockerel above the bridge. Pat believes it was for the fastest daily run time between Soton and Sydney and that it had been an Orient Line tradition. Despite becoming P&O some time before, many of the senior officers had been Orient Line men and carried on the tradition.

 

Courtesy of Pat Marshall

  

Courtesy of Pat Marshall

 

Courtesy of Pat Marshall

 

Courtesy of Pat Marshall

The guy in the Boilersuit pointing at the prop I’m told is Jim Burt.

 

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Courtesy of Archie Anderson

This photo was taken in Hong Kong around 1984

 

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Courtesy of Archie Anderson

This was also taken in Hong Kong at the same time. What an amazing eerie shot of  her. Thanks Archie.

 

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Courtesy of Archie Anderson

Another amazing shot from Archie.

 

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Courtesy of Paul Ridley

This is the identical photo. It must have been taken at the same time from the same place. This, and the next two, have been sent by a new Dog Paul Ridley who was a Plumber on the O between 1978 and 1982. I’ll add him in his own section when he sends a photo of himself. 

 

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Courtesy of Paul Ridley

 

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Courtesy of Paul Ridley

 

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Courtesy of Dave Traynor

This was taken by Dave from the Canberra as they passed at sea.

 

Courtesy of Dave Traynor

Taken at Sembawang Dry Dock Singapore. 

 

Notice in the above photo that the crest is missing revealing a large hole in the bow under the crown, click here to find out why that is.

 

Courtesy of Paul Robinson

The O in PNG

 

Courtesy of Paul Robinson

This one and the one below I believe is in San Francisco. 

 

Courtesy of Paul Robinson

 

I just love these next three night shots.

Courtesy of Paul Robinson

 

Courtesy of Paul Robinson

 

Courtesy of Paul Robinson

 

The story goes by Kevin Timms:-

When I first moved to Brisbane I was working at IBM. One lunchtime I was walking down Edward St when I passed one of those cheesy tourist shops where they sell stuffed Koalas and desiccated Toads in weird poses. In the window was a laminated plastic placemat with the attached picture.

 

Courtesy of Kevin Timms

A bit of background:- The picture was probably taken early to mid 1985  as the Gateway Bridge was finished late 1985 and opened Jan 1986.  So in the one picture we have a special place that I worked, a bridge that I now cross every day to get to work and just off screen to the right is where I now work.

 

Hope you enjoy this "rarity"

 

PS. The photo is credited on the back as "Supplied by the Surveyor- General, Queensland and reproduced by arrangement with the Queensland Government" 

Publisher: Sydney G. Hughes Tel. (07) 3268 4711.

 

I’ve taken the liberty of extracting a brilliant picture from this fantastic and priceless souvenir.

 

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Courtesy of Kevin Timms

 

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Courtesy of Stewart Aitchison

This and the next two were taken in Malaga in 1973.

 

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Courtesy of Stewart Aitchison

 

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Courtesy of Stewart Aitchison

Behind the Badge

Ian Smith writes;

I was chatting to my old sea mate, Bob Jenkins, about the Oriana, 'the old girl'. We both sailed as electrical officers on her in the mid 60's. As anyone who has sailed on her would know, high up on the bow was a crest, (seen above) or a badge, an icon symbolising the double E monogram. The badge was the logo, if you wish, of P&O's ss Oriana. In fact that logo was a bloody great big round door with a crown above it. All painted in gold, red etc. Very ornate. It was a heavy door that opened inwards to reveal a massive adjustable double beam spot light. The light was used to light the Suez Canal as a pathfinder at night, so the Deckies knew where to go. The giant light contained two lamps, one in use, the other as a spare that rotated into place in case of failure. The whole set-up had it's own power supply and was in constant contact with the bridge whilst in use. For some reason we always 'did' the canal at night. The Suez Canal was due to close because of the war and we were the last liner to traverse the canal. On that night Bob and I had the searchlight watch, along with Tim the Greaser, a great bloke. Each of us were given a bottle of rum to ward off the cold, although we weren't allowed to sip on in it until after the watch. So it was cocoa and sandwiches for six hours. It was a boring time. Bob got a telling off from the Bridge because he kept aiming the spotlight on the canal thus throwing us off course, and the banks were pretty close. I got a telling off also, it was so boring I was picking out the camels wandering around the desert at 2 am. Jack Cheetham the 2/Elect/O strolled up to see what all the fuss was about. As far as I know that was the last time the old spotlight was used. I don't think many Officers or crew knew about what was 'Behind the Badge' except for a few sparkies and deckies. Definitely none of the hierarchy. It was as if it were a secret.

 

I've just noticed that there's a photo taken in dry dock where the door is open, I've never noticed it before until after reading this information.

 

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Here's another great shot of the beloved Oriana being Berthed in Vancouver.

 

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Dave's not sure where or when this photo was taken. Don Cole confirms it was taken in 1959 at Vickers Shipbuilders, Buccleuch Dock, outfit berth in Barrow-in-Furness with the 250 tonne high lift crane in the background.

 

Courtesy of Dave Betts

Above is a young Dave Betts in front of the Great Lady. 

Dave recalls;

In 1969 while transiting the Panama Canal (Pacific to Atlantic). If I remember we had cleared Mira Flores Locks and were proceeding at about 15 knots across the entrance to Gatun Lake when an approaching vessel appeared and we moved a little too close to the stbd bank. The stbd propeller caught the bank and the shaft was pulled aft with one of the shaft couplings wrenched apart as the taper bolts pulled out of the flange. The tailshaft had an unusual feature - a "muff coupling" that connected the tailshaft to the aft length of intermediate shaft. This enabled the tailshaft to be removed through the stern tube instead of the more usual method of shipping it inboard. Anyway the muff coupling ended up hard against the aft peak bulkhead and the inner flange of the stern gland shattered. Several shaft "plummer blocks" were destroyed. I was on "standby" manoeuvring watch at the time. All of a sudden there was a loud "crunching" noise and the RPM of the stbd shaft rose swiftly - the guy on the wheel shut the steam off and managed to prevent an overspeed. We received a call from the Bridge requesting if we had experienced any vibration on the stbd shaft! 3/E Tim Hancock was sent to investigate down the tunnel. He returned, went to the stbd telegraph and said "forget this engine" and set it to FWE! We proceeded on one engine to Colon where the aft end of the tunnel was filled with concrete and the shaft was locked. Attempts were made to cut the propeller off with thermic lances underwater but this proved impossible. The voyage continued across the Atlantic to Madeira I think and then eventually Southampton where repairs were carried out in the Drydock. Several original Vickers guys came down to assist Thornycrofts. 

 

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Courtesy of Dave Betts

I remember that there was an awful problem getting the tailshaft out as it was bent. Extensive use of huge hydraulic jacks. The attached pictures show some of the damage.  

 

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Courtesy of Dave Betts

I wonder if anybody else has memories of this event. Toni Mazonowicz was Chief.

 

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Courtesy of Malcolm Orr

 

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Courtesy of Alan MacKenzie

Oriana photographed in unknown port, circa 1965

 

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Courtesy of Alan MacKenzie

Ditto

 

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Courtesy of Alan MacKenzie

Local postcard showing Oriana at Circular Quay

 

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Courtesy of Alan MacKenzie

Local postcard showing Oriana manoeuvring in Vigo Harbour

 

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Courtesy of Alan MacKenzie

Local postcard showing Oriana in the Panama Canal

 

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Courtesy of Alan MacKenzie

Oriana gala dinner menu card from early 1980s. Blank inside.

 

Here's another treat sent in by Alan MacKenzie that brought back some great memories. The old bugle calls used to broadcast on the Tannoy at appropriate times on Oriana and Canberra. They're taken from the old reel-to-reel tape used in Oriana when Alan was there in 1981/82 which, in turn, was recorded from a scratchy old 78 rpm record at some time in the distant past, so they have all the authentic pops, crackles, wow & flutter that inevitably accompanied these broadcasts. So turn on your speakers and click on the links below;

Reveille (Sunrise)

?? (Sunset) 

Roast Beef of Old England (Dinner Call)

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana at Circular Quay circa 1969-70

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana passing through the famous Culebra Cut, Panama canal, Feb 8th 1980.

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana passing through the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal, Dec 30th 1971

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana at Beppu, Kyushu, Japan.

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

ss Oriana leaving Sydney, as shown on the cover of the Christmas dinner menu, Tuesday 25th Dec 1984.

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana in Pago Pago 

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana coming into Southampton

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

This is a great shot of Oriana coming home with a Band member in the foreground waiting to welcome her in the traditional way.

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

A brilliant photo of the O in her Buff colours going under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

 

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Courtesy of Tony Simpson

A great shot of the O in Acapulco Bay.

 

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Courtesy of Tony Simpson

Oriana in Bali.

 

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Courtesy of Tony Simpson

Here's something completely different. It looks like the great lady is sailing through a field! It was taken in 1976 at Apia, Western Samoa.

 

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Courtesy of Tony Simpson

Here is a picture of Oriana at Olden, Norway taken about 1977.

 

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Courtesy of Tony Simpson

The obligatory shot of Oriana at Pago Pago 1976.

 

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

Oriana Norwegian Fjords Cruise 1978

  

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

 

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer 

This was taken in Dubrovnik

 

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

Magnificent!

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Barrow in Furness

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Brilliant shot of her arriving at Sydney. The next 5 are also of her coming and going from Sydney in 1983.

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Fair winds and fine weather old girl!

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

A couple of photos of the Tavern Pool, the one above was as originally made in 1960, later on they took away the paddling pools to make more room... 

   

...one can see into the Plough Tavern as it was named!

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

The Bureau

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Dusk

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Melbourne

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Orient colours in Sydney

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Pyrmont

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Sydney

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Sydney again

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Tourist class pool

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Now that's what a ship's rear should look like :)

     

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana getting a nudge and a kiss :)

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana at Canada Place 1968.

Greg ? writes;

The beautiful collection of photos for P&O is wonderful. Unfortunately the ships are mistakenly identified in Vancouver BC as being at Canada Place, when in-fact Canada Place did not exist until 1986 during the Worlds Fair. It was however constructed at the exact same place as Canadian Pacific's Pier B -C where these ships are shown. I worked there in my youth in the mid 70's at CP Rails Customer Service Centre in the mail room and was occasionally tasked to deliver mail to many of the liners tied up there. Greg  

   

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana at Canada Place 1975

  

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana at Canada Place again, not sure when.

   

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Canada Place, early days!

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

More recently.

  

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana, the best loved Lady.

  

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

What can you say?

  

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China

 

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Courtesy of Steve Foster

Our beautiful old girl in a familiar place taken in 1960.

 

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

Here she is 'on here way' to Sydney to take up on her final deployment ...
12.11.1981:

Sailed from the UK for cruises based in Sydney, unlike previous
years not returning to Europe for the Northern summer but
remaining permanently based in Australia.

 

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

Oriana in Norway 1975. 

  

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Courtesy of Simon Lockyer

This great, but very sad, shot is Oriana laid up prior to being sold at Pyrmont 19 (April 1986). From there she was moved to White Bay pending finalization of the sale. She then sailed back into Sydney for the last time on March 27th and the sale was finalized on May 21. She said farewell to Sydney for the last time on May 28th 1986 making her final stay a little under 9 weeks.

 

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Courtesy of Paul Robinson

The Big O in Hong Kong circa 1985.

Notice the alleyway window around midships on D Deck which is the only one which is yellow with a single port hole just to it's right, that was John Speed's cabin in my day and I was next door (DC 149).

 

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Courtesy of Paul Robinson

Same place but different time as there's no lights slung above decks.

 

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Courtesy of Paul Robinson

Ditto

 

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Courtesy of Paul Robinson

Ditto

  

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Courtesy of Paul Robinson

This a simply brilliant shot of the old girl, love it!

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

The following series of 9 photos speak for themselves as Oriana slips away from Circular Quay in 1967.

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of Ron Sheldon

 

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Courtesy of John Rockell

Rocky writes,

This is a cracking picture of the Big "O" from an original painting by Robert Lloyd. It's on the July page of "Trimlines" 2009 calendar and takes pride of place overlooking my desk.

 

Courtesy of Steve Borrill

Ditto Rocky, my calendar is E. T. Marine & Industrial Engineering Pty Ltd 2009 in Essex and it is also the July page and it was kindly posted to me by Brian Richardson and it too takes pride of place overlooking my desk.

   

Courtesy of Ian Smith and Alan Williams

Oriana going through the Suez Canal. This is a very similar shot to the one on the calendar above. Ian suggests it must have been pre 1966 as she's still in Orient livery. 

  

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Mike writes;

This is Oriana in Southampton circa 1968 when I joined her.

    

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Courtesy of Paul Carney

Oriana in Acapulco 1981
  

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Courtesy of Steve Borrill

This is an original water colour painting of our beloved Oriana painted by "Primrose". 

Paul Robinson writes;
My sister gave me this painting 20 years ago, she knows the artist, who gave it to her when she mentioned that I sailed on the Oriana. I was having a re-organization of stored stuff and realised that the painting had been stored for over 10 years and that you could put it to better use. 
 

Oh, how right you are Blee!

    

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Courtesy of Nigel Curry

Departing Southampton.   

  

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Courtesy of Andy Patterson

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Sold to Japanese interests for use as an hotel, museum and restaurant ship she was moored at Beppu Bay in Japan (shown above). The hotel venture failed and in 1995 she was again sold, this time to Chinese interests and then towed to Chinwangtao, China where she served as a Government owned accommodation center and hotel. The liner was purchased once more for $6 million in November 1998 by Qinhuangdao in North China's Hebei Province. Under tow again, ORIANA arrived in Shanghai October 1998, and was refitted in ZingHua Harbour as a floating tourist attraction funded by Hangzhou West Lake International Tourism Culture Development Co Ltd. After a US$3.5 million renovation, ORIANA opened to the public in the Pudong business district of Shanghai, February of 1999.

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Above and below are photos of Oriana moored at the quay on the Huang Pu River at Shanghai in 2002 before going to Dalian. She's looks pretty sad.

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

Hangzhou West Lake International (which held a 85% stake in the ship), announced on the 15th August, 2000 that it would auction its stake in the liner. The remaining 15% was held by Hangzhou Jiebai Group Co Ltd, a major department store operator. During ORIANA's 18 months of operation and despite more than 500,000 visitors, the attraction did not procure the desired profits. The auction took place on the 28th September, 2000. Since that time she was closed and remained moored on Shanghai's water front.

 

 

On the 30th June, 2002 ORIANA was seen arriving under tow at the Chinese port of Dalian. Looking freshly painted and dressed over all the event was covered on local television. She will undergo a refit before opening to the public in her new static role at the resort area.

 

Before you start looking at what follows I urge you to turn your speakers on and listen to the News Broadcast telling Australians about the sinking of our beloved Oriana including a special insight from P&O Historian, Rob Henderson. 

Click here

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

Oriana at Dalian before the Cyclone hit.

  

 

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Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

Courtesy of Steve Wedd

Steve writes;

Look what I found whilst Google–Earthing around Dalian !!

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/3877967

 

Unfortunately during a storm in June 2004 her hull was holed and she began taking in water. 

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

a very sad sight.

 

click to enlarge

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

She looks a battered and sad mess doesn't she!

 

click to enlarge

Courtesy of Mike Williams

  

I received this information (27/08/05) from Neil R Whitmore (Bob) who was the Maitre d'Hotel on S.S. Oriana. He has a friend who lives in Dalian and is responsible for taking most of the Dalian photos of her that are now floating around the Web. The story goes that after the hole was repaired there was still a problem removing all the water from inside the hull. This however was achieved before she was towed to the  Zhangjiagang shipyard in Eastern China's Jiangsu Province and she was well out the water when she left Dalian.

 

Courtesy of Mike Williams

 

This is a horrible shot of her leaving.

 

Courtesy of Bill McCandless

 

Courtesy of Bill McCandless

These above two shots were taken on a very eerie misty morning on the Yangtze River by a friend of Bill McCandless’.

 

To put an end to all the past uncertainty of her fate Neil Whitmore (aka Bob) Ex Maitre d'Hotel SS Oriana has sent in this link.

  

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