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SS Oriana - Voyage 6 (Out) 1962 - info request?


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Attention: All Ocean Liner experts / modellers.    

As an avid aircraft modeler, Ships and all things Maritime are truly foreign beasts to me, however I have a family connection with the SS Oriana and am trying to source some specific information.  

 

Back in 1962, my Father, Mother and eldest sister all emigrated from Malta to Melbourne, Australia on board the SS Oriana and I've just found a great online resource which lists their names within a detailed passenger list. From what I can read, the Oriana sailed from Southampton to Sydney as Voyage 6 (out) and this document shows an arrival date of 6 June 1962 (I assume that's into Sydney). What I am trying to find out is what were the dates of the entire journey including the ports of call on the way (including Malta and Melbourne) which was their portion of the journey travelled. 

 

I also believe that Revell came out with a kit of the Oriana to approx 1/500 scale which was recently re-released as some anniversary boxed item. Is this model a faithful representation of the Oriana for this early 1960's time period? Any tips on what may be required to improve it?

 

Anyway - any information, website links etc. that anyone can suggest would be most helpful.

 

Many Thanks... Dave

   

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Hi Dave, your post brought back memories, Oriana was my first ship back in 1982!

Can't help with the actual dates, but the maiden voyage left Southampton 3/12/60 via Naples, Suez, Aden, Colombo, Fremantle and Melbourne, arriving Sydney 30/12/60. She then did a 10 day cruise Sydney/Hobart/Auckland/Sydney, then trans pacific via Auckland, Fiji, Honolulu Vancouver and San Francisco (5/2/61) returning via the same route to Southampton 24/3/61 111 days and 45000 miles.

Voyage 2 was to Sydney via Suez and back via Panama and the West Indies.

Voyage 3 was an out and back run to Sydney via Suez in 51 days.(6/8/61-26/9/61)

Voyage 4 was out to Sydney via Suez, then trans pacific to the US West coast and back to Southampton 23/1/62

2/12/62 after another voyage out via Suez and trans pacific via Vancouver and San Fransico, arriving at Los Angeles (Long Beach) she was in collision with USS Kearsarge in dense fog. No casualties but damage to Oriana's bow (which was plated over and visible if you looked carefully for the rest of her life) and a hole in Kearsarge's starboard bow.

Your parents and sisters voyage was somewhere midway between V4 and this incident. I'd say the outward voyage would have been similar to the outward leg of the maiden voyage, departure would have been early to mid May 62.

If you want the exact dates and ports I'd suggest local newspapers for Southampton would give sailing dates and destinations either online or a friendly local Britmodeller might be able to check Southampton Archives for sailings for you.

 

Model wise, the Revell kit is as far as I'm aware the only game in town for a plastic kit (i've seen waterline 1/1200 finished models, and I know of at least one very large scale model which the builder sat inside, put the superstructure on over his head and sailed in Sydney Harbour, not for the faint hearted! The Revell kit has been reissued by Modelcraft (which I have) and others, the build linked on this page by Jim Baumann gives the wrong scale, it's the same kit (this is the colour scheme you'll need for 1962, she was built for Orient line and wore their colours until she changed to P&O (who owned Orient line) house colours in 1964.

The kit is of it's time, full hull with a motorised option (and loads of portholes for the water to get in!) Outline looks generally good, fine detail is lacking (aztec stairs etc). There's a few details that could do with modifying for ultra accuracy, and it's missing 6 of the 8 electric cranes she had. Built out of the box with some 5 bar railings and etched ladders of a suitable size would give a model that would satisfy most people.

Reference wise the best single reference I know of is Neil McCart's SS "Oriana": The Last Great Orient Liner here and here. Twenty bucks is a reasonable price second hand if in good condition, the new prices quoted are ridiculous! Above info came from my copy, there's quite a few good modeller friendly photos including some useful overhead shots. She had very few minor changes made during her life, and no major ones.

British Superliners of the 60's is another useful reference, not as extensive coverage of Oriana as it also covers Canberra and QE2, but it does have deck plans for all 3.

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Just been doing a bit more browsing from the scalemates link, I wasn't aware until just now that there appears to be 2 different versions of the Revell kit.

The ones with code no's starting H-376 (and presumably the 1770's unnumbered re-issue have a two part hull split vertically.

The one with code H-401 and "motorised"  on the front have a single part hull.

From the photo's and instructions the Lee, Modelcraft and presumably Modelist issues are the Revell H-401 motorised kit.

From the sprue shots some details of the H-376 kit are more defined (deck details, crane locations - all 8 are present on this kit) whereas H-401 seems to have other details better (port holes, deck house details, stern galleries)

If money is no object and you can source both mouldings you may be able to cross kit the best details of each - May, I'm only speculating here!

On balance though I think the motorised kit looks the better bet to detail. The instructions leave a lot to be desired though, identification, orientation and location of some of the parts will take a bit of working out, photo's will help here. No decals as such, just "stickers" for the nameboards below the funnel and for some green decking and blue "swimming pools"

Also had a quick search for etch, can't spot anything from the usual suspects White Ensign, Gold Medal and Atlantic Models.

The Jim Baumann model appears to be a much modified H-376 kit, the non existent windows he's talking about opening up are mostly all there on the H-401 kit. The last issue of the H-376 kit does have a reasonable decal sheet by the looks of it.

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Hi Dave,

 

I have the following books on the Orient Line and I'll have a look through them to see if there is anything relevant to you query in them. 

It might take a little while but I'll get back to you, if I find anything significant.

Orient%20books%202.jpg

 

There is also a decent image here

 

Mike

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Well, that was an afternoon wasted :rofl:

There used to be a load of shipyard photo's of Oriana on the Barrow Dockyard Museum's website, unfortunately they don't appear to be there any longer (but I do have small copies of them...) Presumably they still have the photos in their archives. They have the original builders model, don't know if they have any plans though. I should go and visit some time, Barrow isn't far as the crow flies but there's lots of hills you have to go round to get there, and as it's out on a peninsular, it's not somewhere you stop off in passing.

 

http://www.seadogs-reunited.com/

Click on P&O, P&O Steam, Oriana. Dalian Days, Drydock 1980 and Other Stuff have loads of useful photos. Deck Plans are useful, but only show passenger cabins and public rooms. Unfortunately Itinerarys doesn't have the data for the time period you want (but I did find out I've been to Rabaul and Kotakinabalu!) Someone on the forum may know though.

Sadly, I also learned of the early death after a switchboard explosion of the electrician who took me under his wing whilst on the Oriana. Top bloke, RIP Peam

 

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@Dave Swindell & @bootneck

Firstly apologies for the late reply, let's just put it down to time zone differences and my shiftwork hours!

I truly appreciate your detailed responses and numerous web links and modelling suggestions. There's a lot to take in so I'll need to re-read these a few times for it all to sink in. (Pardon the pun! - just noticed this gaff after proof reading).

 

I agree that cross-kitting the two 'relatively' available kits appears to be the most accurate way to achieve a good result, however this project is really designed to impress and educate newer family members rather than be a contender for any model contest. In this regard the newly re-boxed Revell kit with good decals would probably be the wise way to go. Looking at some distant sprue shots, this kit does look very basic and there's something about that back end that cries out for improvements - it will be hard to build this kit OOB but I don't want to get too bogged down either.

 

I'll keep searching and may try to source some of the suggested references as they come to hand.

Dave - great to hear that this post bought back many great Oriana memories, however equally sad that this research also uncovered some sad news - apologies for that.

 

Kindest regards from oceans afar.....Dave.

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I’ve also spotted this Dave and from what I can see it looks quite impressive. There’s three things that don’t quite tick all the boxes however - the price (naturally), the small-ish size and the white hull which I believe was a Corn Yellow colour back when my parents sailed on her back in ‘62. I could contact the seller and see if he can build another, but at that price it might all end end up nowhere. 

 

Cheers and thanks once again.. Dave 

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  • 5 years later...

Hi Dave

 

I connected to this thread while I was looking for information on the SS Oriana. I was a “ten pound pom” who sailed from Southampton to Australia in January 1962. It sounds as though I was on the same voyage as your parents. Interesting also is the fact that I selected Brisbane as my final destination. I  am now spending more time and energy reflecting on the past than contemplating the future and will be writing a memoir about the three crucial years of my life that I spent   “ Downunder” including the amazing voyage on the good ship Oriana. Let me know if you want to chat about my voyage and post voyage experiences including the brief time that I spent at the reception camp on Kangaroo Point …maybe your parents spent some time there as well.

.

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice to hear from you Tom @Bongabill and I've forgotten about this thread that you've now just resurrected after five long years! My parents ended up staying in Melbourne, however I was the only one to move to Brisbane once I hit the dizzy heights of 21 years of age. I'd be interested to know anything about this particular voyage, especially ports of call and associated dates thereof. That would help me slowly piece together a small part of their immigration story. You've also just reminded me that I still haven't added an SS Oriana model to my stash since I was looking into this topic back then. 

 

Cheers and kind regards.. Dave 

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I had a cruise on the second iteration of the Oriana on its maiden voyage.

One of the features aboard the ship was a large sculpted Oriana crest that was on the original vessel.

Shortly after the new Oriana went into service the old Canberra of Ten Pound Pom and Falklands fame was retired and scrapped.

I saw the old Canberra in port just once whilst I was on holiday in Madeira a few years before.

Don't know if the Revell kit of the old Oriana and the Airfix Canberra are to the same scale or not.

Edited by Noel Smith
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Jim Baumann does a lot of scratch built ship models, so maybe his Oriana is a scratch build in 1/600th scale and not from the Revell kit at all?   Or maybe he simply quoted the wrong scale of he did use the kit

Edited by Noel Smith
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1 hour ago, Noel Smith said:

Jim Baumann does a lot of scratch built ship models, so maybe his Oriana is a scratch build in 1/600th scale and not from the Revell kit at all?   Or maybe he simply quoted the wrong scale of he did use the kit

Quote from Jim Baumann:

"I bought the Revell model in 1996 for a whopping €145.00...!! bought because I was convinced that Revell would never produce something so rare and extraordinary again.... I then built the model in 1997 (to the dismay of the model dealer from whom I purchased the kit!).".

 

€145.00 ?  :tired:   I'm just going to the loft and dust off my kit! :rofl:

 

Mike

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Thanks for the feedback about Jim Baumann's Oriana Mike.

His ship models are exquisite. I had a close look at his  Mary Rose model at Telford a couple of years back. He used the Scale Warship photo etched sets on the little Airfix kit as well as many scratch built improvements and finely scaled rigging. It was set in a sea base to demonstrate both standing and running rigging with the ship under sail. Absolutely incredible model.

I think Jim has a website where the Oriana, Mary Rose and many other models of his van be viewed also.

Edited by Noel Smith
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I'm interested in this thread as I 'enjoyed' a voyage on the Oriana in 1969, when I was a few months old, which my parents always spoke about very fondly.

My father sailed on quite a few large ships and he always had a high regard for the Oriana's seagoing abilities in comparison to all the rest.

Later I met by chance a captain who delivered the ship to Melbourne towards the end of her life as a cruise ship, and later yet and again completely by chance I saw her under tow on the way to Japan.

Even in such reduced circumstances she was a very impressive sight.

 

The book mentioned above, "Famous British Liners 1: SS Oriana" is a good general reference and I picked up a used copy earlier this year for a very reasonable price.

There are a number of P&O advertisements showing Oriana in colour and from various angles at different times.

I'll see what I can find- my late Dad loved the ship and kept any reference that he came across.

 

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On 27/11/2023 at 09:58, bootneck said:

Quote from Jim Baumann:

"I bought the Revell model in 1996 for a whopping €145.00...!! bought because I was convinced that Revell would never produce something so rare and extraordinary again.... I then built the model in 1997 (to the dismay of the model dealer from whom I purchased the kit!).".

 

€145.00 ?  :tired:   I'm just going to the loft and dust off my kit! :rofl:

 

Mike

Reminiscent of an example of the Airfix 1/600 HMS TIGER in a near perfect Type 3 box that I saw at a local model show some years back.  The dealer was asking £100 for it 🤯 and when I said I only wanted the two hull halves for a conversion to a Colony class cruiser he was utterly horrified that I might actually want to make the kit!

 

This thread though does prompt me to ask the question as to why don't the manufacturers recognise the market in current cruise liners.  Mrs Chewbacca and I regularly holiday with P&O these days and the number of modellers that I have met on board their various ships suggest to me that there is a market for them.

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8 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

he was utterly horrified that I might actually want to make the kit!

Shock, horror!  😲   And at that price, add a couple of "aghasts" too.  🙂 Regards, Jeff.

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