Category Archives: Rangitane

Rangitane first voyage – partial listing

I have just added a partial listing for the maiden voyage of the Rangitane which took place on 26th January 1950. One notable passenger on the list was The Countess of Orford (who I believe may have been visiting her daughter, or travelling with her daughter, Lady Anne Berry, although this is just a guess).

I have also found The Countess Orford on the Rangitiki in May 1949 on the voyage from Auckland, New Zealand to Southampton, UK, where her occupation is listed as “Peeress”!

The Rangitane called at Pitcairn Island on this maiden voyage but not many of the Pitcairners visited the ship. According to the book Pitcairn Island as a Port of Call, by Herbert Ford, Pitcairn postmaster Roy Clark wrote:

Yesterday a large passenger ship called here, but because it was Sabbath, not many went off to the ship, for on this day [the Sabbath] we do no trading. I think a good few of the passengers were disappointed. On these Sabbath-calling ships we do missionary work by giving away our [religious] papers.

NEW: Rangitane, 27th October, 1956

Rangitane-1956-OctAnother complete passenger list has just been added here.

You may also be interested to see a selection of menus from this voyage which have been included here.

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NEW: Rangitata, 13th October 1938

HowToAccessI’m pleased to announce that another complete passenger list has been added to this blog. Passengers listed on the voyage of the Rangitata in October 1938 may be found by clicking on the “Passenger Lists” drop down menu at the top of this page. You can then click on the appropriate group of dates, in this case 1920-1949, or look for the pop out menu on the right and select the actual page required.

It takes a long time to type in all the names from the passenger list, and then check them, and there is no charge for access to this website. If you think it is useful and you would like to encourage me to continue this work, please give a small donation to Cancer Research by clicking THIS LINK. Thank you. At the time of writing £226.50 has been raised. The minimum donation is £2 if donating in Sterling.

Also just added is the crew listing for the Rangitane‘s voyage which left Wellington on 14th April, 1955. I do not have the passenger list for this voyage.

Rangitane calls at Pitcairn Island

Looking aft of Rangitane

Looking aft of Rangitane

The photographs on this blog page are from the collection of Ian Wilkinson. Ian writes, “I bought a collection of photos on eBay of a trip by the Rangitane from England to New Zealand via the Panama Canal and Pitcairn. The seller seems to think they were taken during the 1950s, but they look much earlier to me. Have you any idea of when you think these photos were taken?”

They look like 1930s to me, based on fashion and cars in some, and Ian guesses at 1937. Can you help to date them, or perhaps you may even recognise some of the names from the captions? Mouse over the pictures below to see the captions from the original photographs, or click to see the full image larger.

There are 40 photographs in the collection and Ian has found that the vessels photographed were in service before the second world war. A photograph of HMAS Australia, taken in Auckland harbour, is also included (not shown here). Ian has found out that HMAS Australia was in Auckland during April 1937.

Rangitane & Rangitiki passenger lists added

Two new passenger lists have just been added as new pages on this site.

(1) Rangitane, from Wellington on 20th February, 1954

(2) Rangitiki, from London on 16th March, 1962

More to come, please check back again, and please help by supporting my fund raising for Cancer Research. Any donation will help, from £2 upwards. Donations can be made anonymously if you wish. Just click on the NZSC flag on the right.

Near disaster for the Rangitane in 1961

Postcard view of the Rangitane

Postcard view of the RMMV ‘Rangitane’. Built 1949 by John Brown & Co. Weight 21,868 tons. Service speed, 17 knots. Length 609ft, breadth 81ft. Passengers, 399 in one class.

Passenger Aileen Mckay described part of her eventful journey on the Rangitane in October 1961 on our Facebook page.

“Nearly sank in terrible force 11 gale in Bay of Biscay. The ship rocked side to side and fore to aft all night and few went to breakfast. While there there was an almighty lurch and the ship didn’t aright itself – lots of heavy bolted down furniture broke loose and fractured legs a couple of skulls, arms etc then after what seemed many minutes and groans of agony from the ship it came back. We had no plates or anything as lots had smashed in the night. Only enamel mugs to serve porridge – that was all on the menu. The ship’s doc was so busy. The purser was sitting on the floor surrounded by money when I looked in. Most aboard were very seasick but not me.”

The gallery below shows a set of black and white postcard views of various parts of the Rangitane. The decor is very much of the period, and by today’s standards, looks rather dated and, in the case of the cinema, rather cheap and cheerful. One can well imagine the chaos in some of these rooms after the stormy sea described by Aileen.