1956 Cruise Album with over 170 photos, menus, etc
[MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE / BREAKING THE SOUND BARRIER.] - Dennis BANCROFT (1918-2015, aerodynamiscist and amateur photographer/cine-film-maker).
[Photo album recording the August 1956 Mediterranean cruise of S.S. Orsova of the Orient Line, compiled by Dennis Bancroft, a passenger along with Elizabeth, his wife on board]. [Various: 11 Aug. – 1 Sept. 1956]. Oblong folio (10 x 11 ½ inches; 254 x 293mm). 36 leaves (including 13 full-page photographs, 170 smaller mounted photographs, 37 pieces of printed ephemera [menus, maps, guides, tickets, etc.], 5 original pencil sketches). Original limp light brown leather, upper cover with a stylized ‘porthole’ displaying a colored portrait of the ship.
Dennis Bancroft is now best known as the chief aerodynamiscist at Miles Aviation. Between 1943 and 1946 he was part of the team that came up with the experimental supersonic aircraft. The project was cancelled before a British manned supersonic flight ever took place, but important aspects of the design were ‘borrowed’ and incorporated into the successful American design.
Denis was also a keen amateur photographer, as the present album demonstrates. Included are some excellent images from the places the cruise visited: Corunna, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Algiers, Palermo, Beirut, Malta, Naples, Elba, Genoa, and home again.
“SS Orsova, was a British ocean liner, built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness, England for the Orient Steam Navigation Company (Orient Line) for their Great Britain-to-Australia services via the Suez Canal. She was the final development of the 28,000 ton class which began with the SS Orcades of 1948 and continued with the SS Oronsay of 1951. In 1960, in conjunction with the introduction of the new larger and faster Oriana and Canberra, the fleets of Orient (which was majority owned by P&O) and P&O were combined as P&O-Orient Lines, although the Orient ships retained their corn-coloured hulls and sailed under their own house flag. In 1966, P&O acquired the balance of the Orient shares and the Orient Line was discontinued, with Orsova and her fleet mates being transferred to the ownership of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), painted white and under the P&O houseflag.” (wikipedia).