October 2019

Thursday, October 31 2019

October 2019

This is a text only version of the newsletter. 


If you would like something to keep you preoccupied over the weekend, then our website is the place to visit. We have uploaded an extraordinary amount of new content and for November we are aiming to publish so much more.

New Milestone Reached for Project Undaunted

Project Undaunted was established to make the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s historic ship plan and survey report collection freely searchable and available to the public online. Totalling roughly 1.25 million documents consisting of survey reports, plans, certificates, drawings and the occasional unexplained object the challenge of Project Undaunted has always been inescapably daunting. As of today, we are proud to announce a tremendous leap forwards with the upload and release of 150,000 documents; the largest bulk upload ever undertaken. This brings the total number of digtised documents in our online Collections Management System to an impressive 167,000.   Our upload also sees the release of documents for over 30 British and Irish ports, from the giants of industry at Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, and London, to rural ports at Bideford, Cowes, Weymouth, Limerick, Llanelly, Jersey and Montrose, to name but a few. Covering dates from 1834 to the end of the Second World War, this new upload sees the emergence of unique records for over 40,000 ships.   What has also emerged is a huge range of fascinating, unique and often amusing stories. Among the thousands of documents to be uploaded are records of the Glasgow built iron ship Sea King, later the Confederate State Ship Shenandoah, the last surrender of the US Civil War- 6 months after it had ended. One interesting story that has emerged is the case of the City of Vienna, built in Glasgow in 1866. Her owners wished to sell the vessel for ‘$35,000 in gold coin’ (over £500,000 today) after she had been damaged just off San Francisco in heavy gales. One of her lifeboats had been washed away with its entire contents which are included in an itemised list by the captain and first mate and included the sad loss of ‘3 frying pans, 2 ladles and 1 coffee pot.’ This upload also sees the appearance of records for Dublin’s fleet of Guinness barges, as well as a letter from the Bristol Surveyor complaining of ‘being detained in my office 6 or 7 o’clock’, and a Bideford shipowner who had not been aware that his vessel was on fire.   As we unearth new material the exceptional insight and research potential that these documents offer is staggering. What fascinating stories and treasures wait in the next 1.1 million documents is still a mystery, but not for long… At this stage we are still at the tip of the iceberg.

Maritime Science and Technology Book Published Online

If our massive document upload was not enough to keep you busy, we have also uploaded a text only version of Maritime Science and Technology: Changing our World. Originally launched in 2015 to mark the opening of the Lloyd’s Register Global Technology Centre at the University of Southampton, this book is accessible via our website and It is also fully OCR searchable with an extended index. A useful reference tool for those interested in the development of maritime science and technology, the book also provides great insight into other subjects like the diffusion of new technologies and knowledge transfer. This exciting book addresses some key questions - Did the marine sector drive the developing technologies? Or did it just adopt them? It would appear that the former is the case - as the industry has moved from sail to steam, from steam to internal combustion engines, from wood to steel and to increasing sizes and types of specialist vessels - the pioneers of naval architects and marine engineers have applied the latest technologies, and our global society has benefited. 

Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) International Conference

HEC were proud to support our parent company LRF at their 2019 International Conference in Central London. LRF is a global charity that announced a brand-new strategy aiming to understand the complex factors that most affect safety. Their interventions will be driven by evidence of what works – in fact, they plan to build the world’s best center for safety evidence and insight which others can use. They want to have a big impact, so are coalescing around just a few big challenges with big goals – making the sea safer, making food safer and improving society’s understanding of risk. HEC’s role was to champion how these aims are anchored by historical precedents. Though in our typically innovative style we demonstrated this with our much-loved virtual reality surveyor experience. Safety has always been at the heart of LR and our game was a fun way to put this message across. To be sure, we also used more conventional mediums. One of our Thomas Chapman Scholars gave a fascinating presentation on his PhD thesis. Peter Phillipson, from the University of Hull, discussed the role LR surveyors had in enhancing the safety of 19th century vessels. The presentation was so great it was even nominated for a student prize.  

Proctor Lecture Sold Out

Our annual Proctor Lecture is now sold out. Thank you to everyone who booked a ticket and we cannot wait to see you on the 12th of December. For those that did not obtain a ticket, don’t worry, we shall post a recording of it on our YouTube channel.

Did You Know

LR was the certifying authority for the world’s first iceberg-resistant oil platform; the Hibernia. Located at the Jeanne D’Arc basin, the gravity base concrete structure is 364 feet (111 metres) high and has a storage capacity of 1.3 million barrels of oil. The entire structure weighs 1.2 million tons. The giant offshore platform was installed on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland in mid-1997 and the first barrel of oil was pumped into the platform on November 17 that year.

Featured Blog 

Our Education and Outreach Coordinator Charlotte has written a wonderful account of LR’s sporting endeavours. Below is just a snippet, to read more click this link: Sport played a significant part in the lives of Lloyd’s Register staff. The Cricket Club was arguably the biggest and most successful. Formed in the year of the first Ashes in 1882 by Andrew Scott, who would later become one of Lloyd's Register's most successful secretaries, and his colleagues. Their first official match took place against the Alleyn’s School on Clapham Common which, unfortunately, Lloyd’s Register lost. In 1883, the team applied for, and was granted, a grant from the General Committee. This meant that they were able to rent grounds to play matches and train. The performance of the Cricket Club steadily improved, hitting their first golden era, the second one happening in the inter-war years. Matches were arranged against teams from shipping firms, railway companies, insurance brokers, banks and other clubs.  During the 1890s the first annual match against the Corporation of Lloyd’s had taken place as well as the first tour against the outports along the north-east coast. Hooliganism is not new – taking the train up north for the first tour in 1892, the party decided to play cricket in the carriage, causing damage for which they were forced to pay up when the train reached Newcastle.