View Full Version : Golden cockrell

paul smith
11th August 2010, 03:16 PM
Does anyone remember the Golden Cockrell on Oriana.The fastest ship in the fleet.
As luck would have it i spent my 30th wedding anniversary on the new Oriana on a three week cruise around the Caribbean.At the Captains cocktail party i mentioned it to the Captain and he told me it was stuck in a cupboard up by the bridge.After telling him that the crew used to be proud of it mounted on the funnel he had it moved to the gang plank every time we went ashore so all the passengers could see it.I have a couple of photos with it and will try to attach it to this thread.

Paul Smith.

Neville Roberts
11th August 2010, 03:42 PM
never heard of that but remember beating all the records on the maiden voyage , we did 31 or 2 knots some days across the pacific to long beach. WOW I think these modern ships would fall apart at that speed for days on end:cool::cool:

paul smith
11th August 2010, 05:59 PM
Hi Neville,

You suprise me of not knowing about it,but we were very fond of it especially when we used to meet up with the Canberra they wern't happy campers lol.


Neil Morton
12th August 2010, 07:50 AM
Is this the eqivalant of the Blue Riband for the fastest ship across the Atlantic? Never heard of it before.The only golden cockerell I know is the Courage Brewery logo!!:p

paul smith
12th August 2010, 08:29 AM
Hi Mortnj,

Yes i have heard of the Blue Riband before about crossing the Atlantic.I dont know for sure but it must just be a P&O thing.

Neville Roberts
12th August 2010, 01:28 PM
I guess it was,nt given until the end of the maiden voyage , thats when I left her, and it was my only trip with PO .the oriana was merged with the Po as it was built as an Orient liner I think the other orient boat I did was the orontes and she did,nt even come close too being fast :eek::eek:

happy daze john in oz
13th August 2010, 06:17 AM
Always under the impression that absolute top speed was never published. Ships at that time could still be taken over in the event of war so top speed was top secret!

Pat Marshall
14th August 2010, 12:15 PM
Got a picture of it somewhere stuck up on its perch above the Monkey Island. Designed especialy to annoy the Canberra so I was told since even in the late 60s the Orient Line ethos still existed aboard her.

paul smith
14th August 2010, 07:14 PM
Hi paedrig,

Its nice to know someone else remembers the Cockrell sat upon its perch,I thought i was the only one left.


Pat Marshall
15th August 2010, 10:47 AM
Hi Paul,

Whoever had the task of polishing it sure did a fine job! One thing I don't know...do they play the Oriana fanfare on the new vessel? Once heard never forgotten!

paul smith
15th August 2010, 02:51 PM
Hi Paedrig,

I never heard it they must have moved on with the times.


Don Rafferty
15th August 2010, 02:54 PM
Hi Paul,

Whoever had the task of polishing it sure did a fine job! !

I was gonna say just the opposite - I was an EDH on the Oriana in '69 and can't remember it, or polishing it, but if I'd left that amount of Brasso around the edges and rivets, Id've got a well deserved bollocking!!

Pat Marshall
15th August 2010, 03:33 PM
It looks shiny in the photo I've got.....but then it was in port somewhere and maybe Captain Vickers wanted to impress a visitor. :D Though it has to be said I very very rarely went near the Bridge anyway.

Don Rafferty
15th August 2010, 05:54 PM
"It looks shiny in the photo I've got....."

Sorry, I was meaning the photo in the first post of this thread.

Pat Marshall
16th August 2010, 08:09 AM
"It looks shiny in the photo I've got....."

Sorry, I was meaning the photo in the first post of this thread.

Hi Don

My mistake....just looked at the photo and you are absolutely right.....cleaning brasswork must be a dying art.


dave smith
15th December 2010, 09:09 PM
it sinified the fastest ship in the p&o fleet it lived in the stbd lamp locker on the old oriana if you look the tail feathers are a bit bent when i dropped it when i was the 8-12 bridge seaman

stephen flaherty
16th December 2010, 11:18 AM
I was a wine steward on the oriana 65-66 and remember that if a steward was going to the bridge to meet woof woof for a logging they would want to loan my oriant buttons as they would not get fined as mutch as he was a orient line captain.

I also rember the tannoy message to clear visitors from the ship:

dave smith
17th December 2010, 07:39 PM
this is the bridge oriana willbe sailing for~~~~~~~ in twenty minutes time all those not sailing with the ship should leave by the gangway at d deck aft

steve piper
18th December 2010, 06:22 PM
i was a deck boy on the old oriana in 1971and i most definately do remember the golden cockerel.my station for entering or leaving port was on the monkey island and apart from hoisting and lowering the relevent flags,it was also my job to clean the cockerel! i think that it was made of brass and it took ages to clean but it was an honour and a privelidge that i have never forgetten. it was mounted on a wooden pole that had a metal thread on the end and was fitted either on or near the reflector binnacle.

Terry La Posta
26th December 2010, 06:30 PM
the golden cockeral was awarded to the oriana for being the fastast passenger ship in the Pacific ocean.later.the title went to a ship of the american president line which i think carried 6 passengers but oriana was allowed to keep it due to the period of time she had held it i did 8 voyages as quartermaster in the 1960s mainly with commodores edgecombe and dunkley

Bill Dobson
1st August 2011, 06:16 PM
I was a Junior Lecky on the Oriana 1969/70 and remember the Golden Cockerel, but I don't remember actually seeing it. When the opportunity arises in conversation I still mention it. It was something to be proud of - sailing on the fastest ship in the fleet.

Terry La Posta
5th August 2011, 09:25 PM
threre is a hard back book on the history of the oriana. does anyone have a copy

Bill Dobson
5th August 2011, 10:43 PM
Terry, the book you will be referring to is ORIANA: FROM DREAM TO REALITY (ISBN 0951432818) published about 1995. I have a number of books on P&O, the Oriana and the Canberra, but not got round to getting that one yet. Comes up fairly regular on Ebay and several copies currently available on Abe Books:
oriana dream - AbeBooks (http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?kn=oriana+dream&sts=t&x=0&y=0)

Bob Sendall
13th August 2011, 04:28 PM
I worked on both ships in the early 60's

Until now had never heard of the said Cockerel

Tommy the T
25th September 2011, 10:46 PM
I remember the Golden Cockeral,

I was a passenger( along with my wife & kids , ) on the Canberra for her final cruise Sept 97,

The Golden Cockeral was transferred to the New Oriana in great ceremony via launches between Canberra & Oriana off the coast of Cannes, I have a video of it ,

That final voyage on the Canberra was quite emotional for all onboard, for us moreso, as that is the ship that I met my wife on in 1984 whilst we both were serving onboard as PRS,s in the Meridean Lounge.

Tommy the T

4th January 2012, 11:58 AM
The Golden Cockrell (http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/attachments/f30/3221d1281539620-golden-cockrell-oriana-cruise-161.jpg)

I remember that Golden Cockrell well, from my time on Oriana in 1968. :(

It was made from two sheets of heavy duty brass, about one inch apart. It was heavy.

Myself and another Bridge Deck Boy had to do battle with that damn thing, every time that we had to locate it on its stand on the Monkey Island above the Bridge. We were always still steaming along at 30 mph whenever we were asked to lift it aloft and it often caught the wind, just to make it an even bigger struggle. :(

I seem to recall that it was awarded to the fastest passenger ship to Australia and I only remember ever having to hoist it as we approached Australian ports. That would have been Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney in March 1968 and the same ports again when we returned on the next voyage in June 1968.

Commodore Clifford Edgecombe was the old man.