January 2019

Thursday, January 31 2019

January 2019

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


Happy New Year from all of us at the Lloyd's Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre! We have an exciting year planned including new exhibitions, digital resources and events. 

New year, new website 

The Lloyd's Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre are excited to announce that our new website is now live!

The website includes fresh content that can be accessed, viewed and downloaded all for free: 

  • Digitised documents form the Ship Plan and Survey Report collection covering 10% of our collection of 1.25 million documents
  • Online access to the Casualty Returns (1890-2000) and World Fleet Statistics (1878-2000) 
  • An updated, fully-searchable library catalogue with over 59,000 books
  • New blog posts 
  • Overhauled enquiry forms, FAQs and contact us pages
  • New events page so you can stay up-to-date with everything that's happening at the Heritage and Education Centre 


On the 15th January, members of the HEC team were delighted to attend the Vasilopita event being held at 71 Fenchurch Street.

Every year, Lloyd's Register gathers members of the UK Greek shipping community for the traditional Vasilopita cutting. Vasilopita is a New Year's Day cake in Greece. The cake contains a hidden coin and, whomever finds it gets good luck!

Lloyd's Register has had a long history with Greece and Greek clients, working with them for over 180 years. 


To coincide with the launch of the new website, the Heritage and Education Centre team have also released two new blogs!

Research Specialist and Digital Content Manager Sean Clemenson has picked his favourite First and Famous ship, the Aquitania. The Cunard passenger liner had an impressive career spanning almost four decades in which she survived two World Wars, a global depression and heavy competition from more competitive, modern liners. To learn more about the Aquitania, click here

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018, Researcher and Website Content Editor Charlotte Ward has written about the role Lloyd's Register played in the Great War. To learn more about this, visit our website

Project Undaunted 

After shaking off the effects of the mince pies and mulled wine, we have had no time to rest on our laurels. Project Undaunted is on target to have captured images of 60,000 documents by the end of this month. Out of these, 40,000 have been catalogued, and will be ready for sampling by the Project Undaunted team within days. At this rate, the total number of images by the end of our three year timeline could exceed 2.5 million!
This month, has also seen the launch of our website and CMS. The public can now access digitised copies of all reports, correspondence, plans and archive material from our pilot First & Famous project. In addition our Dutch and early North East English records are now ready, with digitised copies of these documents expected for upload very soon. 

Interesting Enquiries 

In December 2018, the HEC team dealt with an enquiry from the Chilean Instituto de Arqueología Náutica y Subacuática (IANS) with a request for documents relating to the 1869 composite tea clipper Ambassador. One of the few remaining examples of this type of construction, her skeletal frame is a familiar sight on the beach of San Gregorio in southern Chile, where she has rested between 1918-1924.
Built in 1869 at Lavender Dock, Rotherhithe, by William Walker, Ambassador was a composite ship of 692 gross register tons. She had been constructed with wooden planking over an iron frame and was the first ship of the newly formed Blue Anchor Line, serving in the tea trade. On her first passage to London from Foochow (Fuzhou), during the Tea Race of 1870, she completed the journey in 115 days, though her fastest journey between the UK and China was 108 days in 1872. Ambassador was to change hands several times, finally condemned at Port Stanley in 1895, following a hurricane round Cape Horn. Eventually she was purchased by a Chilean company, as a storage hulk, until she was finally towed to Punta Arenas where she was beached, and has since remained. In 1973 she was officially recognised as a national historic monument by the government of Chile.
In 2013, the IANS conducted the first planimetric survey of Ambassador, using laser scans of her frame, to ascertain her condition and begin plans for her preservation. Receiving new funds from the Chilean Council for Culture and Arts, the IANS will take material samples later this year. Together with the planimetric scans and the historic first entry survey report, provided by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the IANS will make comparisons between her original and current state, which will in turn help to measure the scale of corrosion, and assist the formulation of a rigorous conservation plan. Crucially, documents from the Foundation are actively involved in the preservation of a nationally historic monument, and a distinct piece of maritime engineering history, to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Book of the month

To mark Vasilopita, Researcher Charlotte Ward has delved into our library to find out more about the history of Greece and shipbuilding. The Greeks and the Sea by Andreas G Lemos, published in 1976, gives a fantastic overview of the seafaring achievements of the Greeks from ancient times to the present day. 

Due to the geography of Greece with a long coastline and scattered islands, the Greeks have had to rely heavily on the sea for transportation, trade, communication and defence - 

"The Greeks, like the British, are an island people and the sea is in their blood"

The author, Andreas Lemos, was born in Oinoussai into a seafaring family. His father had been one of the first Greeks to own a steamship in 1906. Lemos became the Mayor of Chios in 1939 but resigned during the German occupation of Greece. He was interned in 1941 for helping British and Greek officers to escape but was awarded an OBE in 1944 for his efforts. 

You can now browse our library catalogue online by visiting our website