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Menu - 'At The Equator', RMS Otranto, Orient Line, 1954 Document Reg. No: HT 65

Menu 'At The Equator' published by the Orient Line for passengers travelling on the SS Otranto in 1954 and used for a child's birthday party. It was used by Geoffrey and Hazel Tirchett who immigrated from London to Victoria, as '10 Pound Tourists' leaving London on 3 June 1954.

Geoffrey already had three brothers living in Australia. When they arrived they lived with one of Geoffrey's brothers in Brunswick, until they bought their own home in Pascoe Vale. Hazel and Geoffrey have fond memories of the journey - especially the food, which they particuarly enjoyed after rationing in England during and following the war. Their embarkation material was posted to them before they departed from Australia House in London.
Printed menu used on the ship RMS Oranto in 1954 for a child's birthday party. The front cover has a drawing of a face on a blue and white background.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr & Mrs Geoffrey & Hazel Tirchett, 2001
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 19.50 cm (Height), 0.10 cm (Width), 13.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: food drink consumption, immigration, shipping lines, ten pound tourists, english immigration, shipping industry, ports of departure
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Migration Collection, Transport Collection, Geoffrey & Hazel Tirchett, British Migrants, 1954, Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited (Orient Line), 1879-1909
Primary Classification: MIGRATION
Secondary Classification: Travel - Shipboard Life
Tertiary Classification: menus
Inscriptions: Printed: Orient Line / at the Equator / Lynton Lamb
Publisher: Orient Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (Orient Line), London, England, Great Britain, 1954
User: Mrs Hazel Tirchett, 1954
User: Mr Geoffrey Tirchett, 1954
Place & Date Used: Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited (Orient Line), 1954


Deirdre Brown Posted on 30 Apr 2011 5:43 PM
I also emigrated on the SS Otranto. The same drawing was used on a menu on a 1953 voyage. The drawing delighted the children because if it is turned upside down, it shows a turbaned man.
Eve Clarkson Posted on 24 May 2011 3:01 AM
I went to Melbourne in June 1953, with my 2 sisters and baby brother, on SS Otranto. I was nearly 4. We children were looked after - at least some of the time, in the nursery. My mother probably lolled around on a steamer chair, while she had the chance. I remember being absolutely terrified of King Neptune suddenly appearing over the rail of the ship as we crossed the equator. The sailor doll I received, with my certificate and Rowntrees fruit gums, was absolutely treasured until it eventually disappeared.I still miss it now - at 61! Reminder of a huge, diverse and thrilling world and an experience which has shaped my life.
Bernard Nicholson Posted on 10 Apr 2012 8:38 AM
I was on the same trip I remember it was my younger brothers birthday on the 3rd of June I remember the Tilbury Departure and all the streamers I was 6 years old I remember Going to visit Mt vesuvius ,and Port Said ,the Suez Canal and Aden and Columbo, and sailing past the Cocos Is. in daylight , The trip eventuall inspired me in 1969 to become a Merchant navy officer ,Our cabin was on E deck ,I remember the big swell crossing the Indian Ocean ,And my mother still has this menu also , Cheers Bernie N
Hugh Ballantyne Posted on 26 Jul 2013 8:40 AM
I am looking for a passenger list of the September 1954 Otranto Voyage from London to Australia. Can anyone please assist?
Discovery Centre Posted on 26 Jul 2013 11:09 AM
Ronald Medlicott Posted on 26 Aug 2013 2:02 PM
I was just 5 in March 1954 when we disembarked in Adelaide instead of Melbourne. Apparently the ship had some "problems" that made it necessary to disembark passengers who berthed on lower decks. Going through Suez with armed soldiers watching everyone on the ship was a novelty to me although my mother made a point of not going on deck. My most memorable moment was standing at a window on C deck watching waves sweep across the deck. That must been a ripper of a storm. I have often wondered where in the voyage it occurred. Finally, I saw a huge model of the ship in London be for embarking. I wonder who has it or was it trashed?
Andrew Dale Posted on 10 Nov 2013 7:22 PM
At seven years of age I arrived in Sydney with my parents and 3 brothers on the 5th June 1954. Leaving Tilbury Docks some 6 weeks before. I have never gone back and love this country. I have accommodation plans of the ship to this day and we were on G deck portside. I clearly remember the whole trip including the people baring their nether regions as tha ship passed through the Suez Canal. We stopped at Gibraltar, Sicily, Aden, Columbo, Perth. A magic journey to a magic place now my home for 59 years. Would love to make contact with anyone else on that same trip.
Colin Price Posted on 14 Feb 2014 11:06 AM
I sailed on the Otranto. Left Tilbury 31st January 1953. We sailed earlier than expected to avoid being in port when the storm that flooded all of Holland hit. We took the full force in the bay of Biscay. I was the only passenger in the dining room for breakfast. I love sailing.
I loved that trip. I still have detail memories.We arrived Melbourne 6th March 1953. Ive been back to the UK many times but flying is just something to endure.
Richard Malcolm Posted on 15 Jul 2014 9:16 AM
Hello Colin - I was also on the RMS Otranto from Tilbury on 31st January 1953. I still have the booklet of the Passenger List and General Information. (I see your name there). I remember looking back as we left England (I was eight years old), rough seas in the Bay of Biscay, calm waters of the Indian Ocean and flying fish, and the early morning tea the stewards would bring in to the cabin. My cousin was 1 year older than me and we had a wonderful time on that ship. The ports visited were: Gibraltar; Naples; Egypt (Port Said); Aden; Colombo; Fremantle (1st sighting of Aust - WOW); Adelaide; Melbourne; Sydney where we disembarked for our destination of Canberra. We finally settled in Melbourne.
Sheila Freeman (nee Smith) Posted on 13 Sep 2014 10:47 PM
I and my family migrated to Australia in 1955 on the SS Otranto, I was 7 years old. I still remember the trip and places we stopped. Our first nights in Australia were spent at the Exhibition Buildings, then onto Brooklyn hostel and those Nissan huts!! My parents kept many of the menus from the trip, plus our Document of Identity and a book with a list of all on the trip.
Bill Murray Posted on 06 Oct 2014 6:34 PM
I arrived on the Otranto at Outer Harbour , South Australia, on 8 October 1954. Sixteen at the time and on my own (looked after by The Big Brothers as my parents had already left for Adelaide on the Orcades the previous February) I share some of the memories mentioned above: Gibraltar at night; Naples and the smell of sulphuric acid; Port Said (or Aden and the wee boys diving for coins (and only baring their bums when people threw in halfpennies wrapped in silver foil; the long sail across the Indian Ocean; nearly missing the boat at Ceylon (one couple did as the ship would not stop for the speed boat they had hired to catch up with the boat; Fremantle and the beginning of a new life. Cabin shared with the (male members of the) Bignell family and there was the fellow emigrant from Paisley, the late Jimmie McCabe who would go on to become the best ever goalkeeper in South Australia - I went on eventually to write histories of the association game
Hans Faber Posted on 22 Oct 2014 9:09 PM
Who can inform me about a shipment with troops sailing in August 1944 in convoy from England to Bombay?
Helen Batten Posted on 10 Nov 2014 10:42 PM
My mother and her family travelled to New Zealand on the Otranto in 1952 from Tilbury. (They may have changed boats in Perth.) I'm writing a book about the family history which is being published in July next year, and ends with their emigration. I'm trying to find out how much their fare cost - two adults, three children. I wondered whether anyone might know where I could find this information?
Graham Reeves Posted on 08 May 2015 10:34 AM
I note the posts from Colin Price and Richard Malcolm. I too was on the same voyage being the youngest of five children along with our parents. Our final destination was New Zealand and we settled in Christchurch. My parents have since passed on, as have two of my brothers, leaving my sister Gillian and brother Colin. I,m interested in finding some information about the voyage. I would love to get a copy of the passenger list if anyone is able to help, I don,t seem to be able to find one on line.
Have been back once a few years age and actually called at the house of my birth, a wonderful experience.
Immigration Discovery Centre Posted on 10 May 2015 11:12 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Graham, the National Archives of Australia have an online digitised passenger list for the Otranto arriving into Fremantle on 28th February, 1953. Just click on the icon that says view digital copy at the link below.

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