February 2019

Thursday, February 28 2019

February 2019

This is a text only version of the newsletter. To view the newsletter online, click here.

February 2019


This month we had visits from a U3A group and Max Communications and have exciting updates from our exhibition Waterproof: Safety at Sea at the Rotterdam Maritime Museum.

Waterproof: Safety at Sea

In June 2018, the Lloyd's Register Foundation funded exhibition Waterproof: Safety at Sea opened at the Rotterdam Maritime Museum. The exhibition marks 150 years of Lloyd's Register service in the Netherlands and explores the issues surrounding safety at sea. 

  • Since opening, the exhibition has welcomed over 118,00 visitors
  • Visitors have given the exhibition an average of 8.5/10 since the opening.
  • The exhibition has attracted interest from national magazines and newspapers and has been shared numerous times on social media.
There is still plenty of time to visit the exhibition at the Rotterdam Maritime Museum. For more information, visit their website

Visits to 71 Fenchurch Street 

This month the HEC team have been busy welcoming groups to 71 Fenchurch Street. 

We had two visits from a U3A group from Upminster. For these visits we delivered a tour of the historic building, spoke about the history of Lloyd's Register and the work we do today and showed off some of our favourite things from our archive. The group said that they had a thoroughly enjoyable and educational visit to 71 Fenchurch Street and would be back!

We also welcomed the team from Max Communications who are working on digitising and cataloguing our collection. Our Curator of Maritime History, Barbara Jones, was able to contextualise the collection they are working on and tell them more about the history of Lloyd's Register. 

We have more visits planned for March including MA Naval History students from the University of Portsmouth.

If you would like to organise an educational visit for your group, follow the link.

Trip Advisor 

In addition to holding frequent tours and visits at 71 Fenchurch Street, we also answer enquiries from the public on a daily basis and welcome a host of researchers to our library.

We have been delighted to see some lovely reviews of our visits and services on Trip Advisor! 

From the University of Ghent

'We visit Lloyd’s Register each year with the students of the Master of Science in Maritime Science at the Law Faculty of the University of Ghent.
The trip to London is an integral part of their course and includes visits to various maritime institutions and organisations. Lloyd’s Register stands high on that list, if only because being welcomed in the historical setting of their building adds an extra dimension to our visit. Classification societies play a vital role in the shipping business. Our students would be missing a vital piece of information if we left this out of the picture. That is where Lloyd’s Register steps in. The presentations we are given by their people give us the touch and feel of what a modern classification society is all about and what the issues are in their field of activity. They always do a perfect job at bringing our group at the core of the classification business in all its diversity.'

From a researcher 

'I got help swiftly and precisely from LRF, and will not hesitate to use their knowledge and service again. All good.'

If you have visited us or used our research service, please feel free to leave a review on Trip Advisor

If you have an enquiry you would like help with, you can contact us through our website.

New website  

You may have heard that last month we launched our new website. You can access a growing collection of digitised documents and find out about events, read blogs and use our fully searchable library catalogue.

  • Since the launch we have seen an increase of 107% in people accessing the website. 
  • We have had a 200% increase in the mobile share of access, bringing it up to nearly 50%. 
  • Our website has reached users in 94 different countries.

To visit our website, click here

Interesting finds from our archive

As Project Undaunted progresses, and the full extent of our maritime archive comes to light, we are making new and exciting finds every day! Occasionally, however, we come across bizarre items that we cannot explain.
One such item, was this, an illustrated sales pamphlet for a ‘Manfield’s Patent “Transverse” Cycling Shoe’! Tucked amidst plans for an 1890 Hartlepool built steamer, we can only assume that a surveyor or a clerk, either at Hartlepool or London, had been browsing for a new pair of shoes, before inadvertently folding it up with the ship plan. The pamphlet proudly boasts that Manfield & Sons were awarded a gold medal at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. Advertising a new patented type of transverse cycling shoe, the pamphlet writes that it is the ‘only invention dealing with the insertion of rubber in leather that has stood the test of time and been of any practical value.’ Along with the pricings for their wide range of shoes for men and women (as high as 15 shillings in some cases), the booklet includes a list of all their branches, and a picture of their newly constructed Northampton works, ‘covering about four acres’. This would date the pamphlet to the early 1890s, meaning that it is very likely it has remained untouched for nearly 130 years!
As we continue to digitise the archive, we look forward to what other odd and unusual finds will follow! 

Ship of the month

On the 16 February 1941, the SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat resulting in 85 fatalities.  

The Gairsoppa was built to Lloyd’s Register Class +100A1 by Palmer Shipbuilding and Iron Company at Jarrow and launched in 1919. Her registered owner was the British-India Steam Navigation Company and she originally operated as a civilian vessel. 

During the Second World War Gairsoppa was used in convoys to transport cargo from around the world to Britain. In February 1941 she joined the convoy SL-64, returning from India to Britain, at Sierra Leone. Just off the coast of Ireland, the Gairsoppa was running low on coal so split from the convoy to head to Galway harbour. It was here that she was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat. Details of the wreck of the Gairsoppa can be found in our Wreck Returns.

Her wreck was discovered in 2011. In the wreck, divers found and recovered 1,218 silver ingots as well as several documents, letters, envelopes, Christmas cards, stamps, cheques and photographs. These are displayed at the Postal Museum’s Voices from the Deep exhibition until June 2019.

Enhancing public understanding in marine and engineering science and history.