New Accession: Cunard Associated Deposits

Earlier this month SC&A received a donation of material commemorating the Queen Mary and her launch in 1934 and memorabilia from a Sylvania Mediterranean cruise in 1965. These items were donated by Kit Syder in memory of her Grandparents, Tom and Hilda Roby who collected the items through their connection with the John Roby Ltd Company (later Roby & Utley) and as passengers on a Cunard cruise. This accession is particularly timely as today marks 50 years since the Queen Mary made her final voyage from Southampton to her new home in Long Beach, California.

D1169/1/1 – The Journal of Commerce and Shipping, Telegraph (1 Oct 1934)

It is perhaps difficult today to appreciate how significant the Queen Mary was when she entered service, for not only was she the largest and fastest ship the world had ever known but she was also the most expensive. Items within this new accession help to demonstrate the impact the Queen Mary had on the country and her wide-ranging appeal.

They include a supplement from The Journal of Commerce and Shipping, (as the first ship to be launched by the newly formed Cunard White Star Line Ltd. the Queen Mary dominated news headlines); a scale model by Bassett-Lowke Ltd, complete with printed instructions and a fold-out scale drawing; a hand-held Queen Mary puzzle from the ‘R. J. Series of Popular Puzzles’ and collectable confectionery and cigarette cards that used illustrations to demonstrate the scale and features of the Queen Mary to the public and potential passengers.

D1169/1/2 – The Queen Mary puzzle

The new accession also includes items relating to Thomas Utley (Rainhill) Ltd (a brass foundry which made fittings for the shipping industry) in the form of a promotional booklet and catalogue, staff photograph and news clipping. The promotional booklet as shown was produced by Thomas Utley (Rainhill) Ltd. Rainhill Liverpool to highlight a selection of the sidelights and windows supplied to the Queen Mary.These items will be of particular interest to those who are researching suppliers to the Queen Mary and will complement Sir Percy Bates’ correspondence that can be found within the Cunard Archive’s ‘Chairmen’s Papers’.

D1169/2/2

 

Pictured below is just one of the menu cards collected by Tom and Hilda Roby on their Mediterranean cruise on the Sylvania in 1965. Further items from this cruise include copies of the Cunard Ocean Bulletin and even Cunard-themed cocktail stirrers, matches and a bar of soap!

D1169/3/1 – Dinner menu card from a Sylvania Mediterranean Cruise (15 Feb 1965)

The full catalogue for this new accession (D1169) will be available online via the Cunard webpage.

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October 1917
Goods Received                                  Goods Distributed
12 Doz. Face Cloths                             10 Doz to Casualty Clearing stn. B.E.F
” ” Tooth Brushes                                   6 ” ” ” ”
4 ” Hair Combs                                      To Comrades Assn.
2 ” Packages Calox                               ” ”
2 ” Hot Water Bottles                             Casualty Clearing stn. B.E.F
1 1/2 Bath Gowns                                  ” ”

Items donated by the wives of active servicemen aboard Cunard ships to be distributed to the indicated areas. From the Cunard Archive [Cunard Women’s War Service Association Report for 1917, D42/C1/1/22/2].

QE2 Launch 50th Anniversary

This week marked 50 years since the launch of the Queen Elizabeth 2 (or QE2) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Often described as one of Cunard’s greatest ships, the QE2 travelled over 5,800,000 miles and carried almost 2.5 million passengers during a career that spanned 40 years.

QE2. The Architectural Press Ltd © (D387/1/4/3)

By the end of the 1950s, discussion over the replacement of the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth was taking place. The decision to replace the ‘Queens’ was deemed to be of national importance and as such a special committee, known as the Chandos Committee was created to advise the Government and to determine whether such a project was economically viable. Originally Cunard had wanted to build two new liners with the help of a Government subsidy, however the committee’s report proposed that the Government loan Cunard £18 million towards the construction of one vessel. The project became known as ‘Q3’ and six British shipyards were asked to tender – this prestigious project was a huge opportunity for British shipbuilders to construct a transatlantic liner.

QE2 interior design. The Architectural Press Ltd © (D387/3/1/1/4)

 

QE2 Clydebank workers – The Architecture Press Ltd © (D387/1/4/5)

Increased opposition to the building of Q3; in part due to the decline in British
shipbuilding coupled with the growing competition from air travel resulted in Cunard’s Chairman, Sir John Brocklebank announcing in October 1961 that the plan was to be postponed. By 1963 the scheme had been altered in response to the growing popularity of transatlantic air travel. The new proposal was to build one slightly smaller liner which could traverse the Panama and Suez canals and would primarily be used for cruising (dual-purpose).

The new ship, code-named ‘Q4’ was built by John Brown & Company Ltd, Clydebank (later Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd) and scheduled for May 1968. On 20th September 1967 the keel was launched by Queen Elizabeth II and the ship was named Queen Elizabeth 2.

One of the shipyards asked to tender for Q3 was The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited, Glasgow. While updating catalogue descriptions for the Cunard Archive we recently came across two folders which contains Fairfield’s specification for the ‘Geared Turbines’ and ‘Machinery Installation’ for a ‘Proposed Cunard Express Liner’. However a lack of contextual information such as date and name of the ship means that it is unclear whether this is for project ‘Q3’ – if anyone has any information about this record please feel free to contact us. Below is a section from one of the illustrations accompanying the specification.

The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited, Glasgow – Q3? (D42)

Alongside the business papers within the Cunard Archive, researchers may also be interested in some of the collections within the Cunard Associated Deposits that relate specifically to the QE2; namely D387 images relating to the QE2 (The Architectural Press Ltd) and D922 Papers of Mr. T. Kameen, Technical Director for Cunard.

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September 1917
Goods Received                                  Goods Distributed
From Boston per Mr Stewart
Playing Cards                                        To No. 57 General Hospital B
Books                                                     To Comrades Association
Games                                                    ” Y.M.C.A Camp B.E.F

Items donated by the wives of active servicemen aboard Cunard ships to be distributed to the indicated areas. From the Cunard Archive [Cunard Women’s War Service Association Report for 1917, D42/C1/1/22/2].

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August 1917
Goods Received                                  Goods Distributed
From Boston
2 C/s [cases] from Franklin Relief        To Bureau
Assn.
1 ” Magazines                                        Recreation Camps in France, books,                                                                                      magazines, playing cards, dominoes, draughts and                                                                boards. To 2 Casualty clearing stations – Playing                                                                  cards, Cigarettes.

Items donated by the wives of active servicemen aboard Cunard ships to be distributed to the indicated areas. From the Cunard Archive [Cunard Women’s War Service Association Report for 1917, D42/C1/1/22/2].

International Cat Day

Today we are feline very good in Special Collections and Archives – August 8th 2017 is International Cat Day. As we are cat-loving librarians and archivists, we have selected a taster of our best cat themed items from the Children’s books, Science Fiction Foundation Collections, Cunard Archive, and University Archive fur you to enjoy.

Children’s Literature

SC&A houses more than 7000 pre-First World War children’s books, of which the tale of mischievous cats throughout is a common feature. In The Tale of Tom Kitten, Tom and his siblings Mittens and Moppet play outside in their best clothes, only for them to be stolen by ducks (Oldham 173). Tit, Tiny, and Tittens: The Three White Kittens are a handful, too – they get themselves in all sorts of predicaments (JUV 308:60).

Oldham 173

JUV.308:60

The History of Whittington and His Cat is the feline rags to riches story we are all familiar with. The copy held here in Special Collections is in the form of a chapbook, a small paperback for children which would sell for a cheap price and provide a story with a moral message. This copy also includes the alphabet, allowing children to practice their reading skills from the most basic stage (Oldham 43).

Oldham 43

Science Fiction Foundation Collections

Continuing the theme of children’s literature, the below novel from the Science Fiction collections is written for the young adults audience in the Bantam Action series. In this short novel, robot cats are created to clean-up the city, but are hijacked and used for evil deeds (PR6061.I39.C99 1996). Cats also crop-up regularly in Science Fiction as representation of earth-like normality and domesticity on space ships (for presumably a similar purpose as a ships cat; see below). A personal favorite is Jonesy, Ripley’s ginger tom, from the Alien franchise.

PR6061.I39.C99 1996

Cunard

Cats were commonplace aboard ships for many reasons – they caught vermin, provided comfort to crew, and even predicted storms through their enhanced sensitivity to low pressure environments. Some ships cats have become famous; ‘Unsinkable Sam’, a German cat, survived the sinking of three ships during World War II! From the Cunard archive here, we see below Captain Rostron’s cat and her adorable kittens aboard the Mauretania, from the Cunard Magazine during the mid 1920s (D42/PR5/12).

D42/PR5/12. Cunard Magazine, Vol. 16.

University Archive 

A prominent deposit within the staff papers of the University Archive are the papers of Professor (and Sir) Charles Reilly. One of the most important figures in the history of twentieth-century architecture in Britain, Sir Reilly dominated architectural education and had a profound influence on architectural practice. The below photograph shows Sir Charles Reilly holding a rather uninterested Timoshenko the cat, in the garden of his home in Twickenham during the the World War II era (D938/2/15).

D938/2/15. Photograph by Louise Sedgwick ©

The Special Collections and Archives Cats

From the top left to the bottom right: Audrey and Lilly (Jo Klett, University Archivist), Clara (Katy Hooper, Special Collections Librarian), Chester (Robyn Orr, Library Assistant), Yan, Barry, and Hamilton (Jenny Higham, Special Collections and Archives Manager), and Reginald Ecclefechan (Lucy Evans, Assistant Librarian – Special Collections).

All of these items are available to view right meow in the Special Collections and Archives reading room (except our pet cats – we wish, though…). Please do see our website for more information on visiting us.

New Accession – Cunard Memorabilia

A few months ago Special Collections and Archives received a surprise donation of Cunard cruise memorabilia from the 1930s that has now been added to the Cunard Associated Deposits – this makes a total of 100 series that is now searchable online.

Lancastria passenger list

Ausonia passenger list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cunard memorabilia was collected by the Abbotts family during their travels on the Ausonia cruise sailing from London to France, Devon and the Channel Islands in 1932, and the Lancastria cruise sailing from Liverpool to Spain, North Africa, Canary Isles and Madeira in 1934. Comprising passenger lists, newsletters, programmes, menu cards, poems and photographs, these items give an insight into the daily activities onboard cruises at this time.

Of particular interest is the travel album which contains photographs and postcards showing scenes on board the Lancastria, deck games, some of the places visited and local residents. The album also contains autographs of passengers and crew and diary entries made by the Abbotts.

Travel album

The Ausonia and Lancastria memorabilia has been given the deposit number of D1158 and is searchable via the Cunard Associated Deposits: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/library/sca/colldescs/cunard.html

 

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July 1917
Goods Received                                  Goods Distributed
7 C/s Dressings                                    To Bureau
2 ” Relief Supplies from British War       ” Red Cross Society, Liverpool
Relief Society containing woolens,        Cunard staff on active service
socks etc.

From New York
2 C/s supplies containing Hot water     To Bureau & distributed to
bag, shoes, dressing gowns. tooth       Hospitals at home and abroad.
brushes & powder, razors, soap etc

Items donated by the wives of active servicemen aboard Cunard ships to be distributed to the indicated areas. From the Cunard Archive [Cunard Women’s War Service Association Report for 1917, D42/C1/1/22/2].

This Week’s War: 145

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Liverpool Port Trade Committee 

Notice to Dock Labourers of Military Age

The Board of Trade have given instructions to the Port Labour Committee to the effect that after May 18, 1917, men of Military Age working at the Docks in the undermentioned capacities can only hold Board of Trade Certificates of Exemption from Military Service on condition that they are employed as regular Weekly Servants:-

Dock Labourers                                  TimeKeepers

Receivers                                            Crane Drivers

Weight Takers                                     Checkers

Coal Heavers                                     Foremen Stevedores

Wharfingers                                       Foremen Dock Labourers 

Cunard Archive [D42/C1/1/18]

‘New’ online catalogue – Cunard Chairman’s Correspondence

As part of the on-going process to make the Cunard archive catalogues available electronically, the first three chairman’s papers are now available online. These records provide a unique insight into the working and sometimes personal lives of very influential men within the Cunard Company.

Lord Inverclyde (D42/PR2/5/11/3) Barclay Bros.

The earliest chairman’s papers within the archive is that of the second Lord Inverclyde who was the third Chairman of the Cunard Company from 1902-1905. His papers include official and semi-official letters, and many draft copies of the 1903 shipbuilding agreement between Cunard and the British Government.

The next chairman’s papers within the Cunard archive is that of Sir Alfred Booth which covers his chairmanship of Cunard from 1909-1922. These are significantly more extensive, consisting of letters on official or semi-official company business regarding subjects such as the building, repair, refitting and wrecking of vessels, agreements with other shipping lines, individual staff matters such as resignations as well as negotiations with unions and various matters connected with the requisition of vessels during the First World War. As well as correspondence many of the files also contain reports, memoranda, copy agreements and minutes of a variety of bodies and committees.

Sir Alfred Booth arriving on the ‘Mauretania’ at Plymouth (D42/PR2/5/4/1) London News Agency.

Lord Thomas Royden (D42/PR2/5/15/1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly we have the papers of Sir Thomas Royden created during his chairmanship of the Cunard Company from 1922-1930. Some letters relate to his involvement in other companies, particularly the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.

Over the coming months we hope to have the remaining Chairman’s catalogues available online. These include the papers of Sir Percy Bates, Mr Frederick A. Bates, Col. Denis H. Bates and Sir John Brocklebank. The final series in this section relates to Mr A.H. Hume who was Deputy Chairman. In the meantime all catalogues can be consulted in printed form in our reading room.