Come on board!16/10/2020 16:54:35
Maritime careers past, present and future
Our heritage collection allows us to access P&O’s history, but it also gives us a privileged porthole-shaped window into thousands of life stories, lent to us by employees who have made, and are still making, P&O their maritime career.
And it’s these glimpses into the human story of P&O, that breathe life into our collections and help make our past, present and future.
‘I joined the P&O company when I was a lad of eighteen in 1905. In those days considerable influence was required before one could enter its portals as an employee. The influence I had was my father, who was superintendent engineer of the branch line ex Lund Line. I was not particularly anxious to join, as I was quite happy with a firm of tea brokers, but to my father there was no better place next to heaven, than in the fold of the P&O Co.’
A.W. Randall, reminiscing in August 1973
It goes without saying that we think maritime really matters and, if our archives are anything to go by, a maritime career has everything to recommend it. But don’t just take our word for it…
“Responsible for enabling 95% of the UK’s global trade, maritime touches every part of our lives. Quite simply, without maritime, half the world would freeze, and half the world would starve.
From working at sea or in a port, to working in the City of London, to cleaning the oceans of plastics or designing a superyacht, maritime is big business. We add more to the economy than both rail and aviation combined. Working in maritime is exciting, rewarding and unlike any other industry.”
Captain D. G. Baillie certainly had no regrets about his maritime career, which lasted 40 years and took him from cadet to Commodore of the P&O Fleet.
It’s nearly 70 years since Captain Baillie stepped ashore and a great deal has changed in that time. One of the welcome improvements has been the growth in numbers of women making waves in the maritime industry.
You can find out all about P&O’s pioneering female seafarers past, present and future in our online exhibition: WOW - Women On the Waves.
If you are considering a maritime career, reminiscing on your working life with us or researching the careers of your relatives, we hope you will find some interest and inspiration in our collections (and the links below).
Reel back the years with our P&O and BI career films of the 1950s now showing on our You Tube page. (Did you know: P&O also gave a career talk entitled “How to go to Sea” every second Saturday in London during the 1960s.)
Family history: Find out what your ancestors did at P&O and explore our vast archive at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Our research guides are a great place to start your search.
Help others learn the ropes: If you have enjoyed a long and rewarding maritime career, why not join an ambassador programme and help inspire the next generation to set sail on their maritime career. Find out more at www.maritimeuk.org and www.careersatsea.org.
There are lots of different routes into a career in maritime, including a university qualification or an apprenticeship. You can take a closer look at what life in maritime is like in 2021 by searching #MaritimeCareers.
@MUKcareers @mntbuk #MaritimeUKWeek #MaritimeCareers