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Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Recently I was in the Aldgate area of London and thought I would retrace my youth trying to find Beaufort House, St Botolph Street where l had my first interview with P&O.
Beaufort house was the headquarters of the passenger division. Of course it was long gone and in its place is a massive skyscraper also called Beaufort House.

Beaufort House in the 70’s was a low white building , built in the style of a cruise liner. But what I remember most about it was the paternoster lift system, continually on the go so that you could hop in and hop out at the required floor.
The construction of new paternosters is no longer allowed in many countries because of the high risk of accidents.

The cruise booking office was also in this building. It consisted of a very large carousel on which traveled manuel ledgers for each ship and cruise. Telephone operators were sat at work stations around the carousel. When they answered a call you would wait for the carousel to come around with the require cruise ledger. And then search for cabin availability for the passenger. After the initial cabin was offered and passenger details taken, the paperwork would be passed to the back office to be completed and fares collected. I worked on the carousel as a purser cadet for a few days and loved every moment. It was great for learning the layout of the ships and various cabin types.

No computers in those days.

Does anyone have photographs of the old Beaufort house, l have searched the internet without any joy.

Where are you from: Wilmington, East Sussex

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/122_Leadenhall_Street#Previous_building

I found this.

Cheers

Where are you from: South Wales

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

I was interviewed in Leadenhall street in 1965, but then it was a very imposing building with columns at the front. It must have been the one that was demolished in the late 60's to make way for the one pictured. Although I was interviewed there, I was never required to go back during my nearly 5 years service so did not see the new building. Sadly, I have no photos.
I was just turned 20 at the time and being about to complete my apprenticeship in Pompey dockyard, they said they wanted me to start with P & O asap as I "new one end of a ship from the other"! So I did.

Where are you from: Fareham UK

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Hi David. During my Long Service 1974/75 I worked from the Beaufort Street Office with the Passenger Division and Marketing. On my first day visit I duly arrived at 9am and the doorkeeper advised me that no one came in before 10am and offered me his little office and cup of coffee till someone appropriate arrived about 9.30am. (Incidentally I was Passenger Manager Melbourne at the time).
I was officially taken round and to be introduced to the relevant people. I asked how I should address, being in London and more formal than Australia.

I was told "if I introduce you to Jack Smith call him Jack: If I introduce him as Mr Jack Smith and you can call him Mr Smith or Jack because you are senior enough and if I introduce him as Mr Smith use that name accordingly unless he tells you other wise!). Off we went and eventually we caught the Paternoster, an experience! As we got into the lift a voice said who have you got there Jones and he replied Mr David Dickinson Passenger Manager Melbourne. He replied welcome to London Mr Dickinson and whilst I wasn't told who he was fortunately I recognised him and said "Thank you my Lord!" It was of course Lord Inchcape. I was invited to join him and his fellow Directors in the Board Room for Luncheon that day. After he got off and of course we missed our relevant floor and had to round again. My host said he had worked in the London Office for nearly 30 years and had never seen the Board room.
If I remember correctly there were 3 Luncheon areas. One in the basement as a sort of "working mans" pub and social room. Another upstairs for middle and senior management and of course the Board Room. I must say I was very impressed with the Board Room Luncheon as they did themselves rather proudly!
I enjoyed my 10 days working at Beaufort House and the hospitality shown to me. Many of my hosts had been on exchange to Australia over the years so knew quite a few. Cheers, David.

Where are you from: Woodford Green Essex now Lorne Victoria Australia

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

there are some really good photos/sketches on pandoscno.co.uk/buildings - don't think it is the newer building you are referring to, but very interesting

Where are you from: Sydney Australia originally Devon

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Hi Kevin.
Beaufort House was in St.Botolphs Street, this was where The Passenger division was located. I cannot remember what departments were in the Leadenhall Building.

Where are you from: Wilmington, East Sussex

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Hi David.
It was good to hear your memories of Beaufort House. As a lowly cadet I never even saw the door to the Board Room. We were allowed to use the basement bar/lunch area. I seem to think it was called the POSH Club. It was here that I was first introduced to Stella Artois which was on sale at a little over cost price. We were also given Luncheon Vouchers. My memory is a little vague but I think they were valued at 30p per day. Occassionaly we would venue out to a pub for a slap up roast dinner.

Where are you from: Wilmington, East Sussex

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Hi David! At least our "aged" memories are still going well. I remember Luncheon Vouchers well and they were also given to us in Australia for those working with Orient Line but not P&O! So when we merged in 1960 P&O staff were introduced to Vouchers and told only one a day, (When we had "feasts" we made sure they were put in as individual ones and not a row of 5. At integration the new ex P&O Passenger Manager used 5 in one day and he got a
"bollo..ing! A good laugh all round by his staff!!!
Luncheon vouchers were a post war idea to ensure that we starving and rationed Brits at least once a day got something to eat.

Cheers, David.

Where are you from: Woodford Green Essex now Lorne Victoria Australia

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Returning to UK for an extended visit, I was researching Beaufort House & found this thread.

I recall 2 visits to Beaufort House. First time was the day I joined the cadet ship MV Otaio as a cadet in August 1975. After the intro meetings we made our own way to the ship at Royal Albert Docks.

Next time was November 1978 when I signed my Passenger Division contract as 3rd Officer.

Where are you from: Vancouver, Canada

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Went there in my sea school uniform in 1969, prior to joining Chusan, a visit to remember. Oh not to forget the medical, such as it was!

Where are you from: Margate

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Hi, By way of introduction, I found this thread while surfing the net and trying to find info about my time from 1968 to 1973 while working for the New Zealand Shipping Company then P&O General Cargo Division and lastly for Bishopsgate Insurance (a P&O company). After that I decided to have a working holiday in Oz with all intensions of returning. However, I met my (now) wife and the rest, as they say, is history. I realise this thread is titled P&O Passenger Division - 1970s but I too started in Beaufort House and later moved to the (new) P&O building (the cheesegrater) in Leadenhall Street. I was intrigued to see David Dickinson is originally from Woodford Green and now resides in Lorne (same State but not quite next door!). Not sure if there was any interaction between the Companys/Divisions.

Where are you from: Woodford, Essex. Now living in Rosebud, Victoria, Australia

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Hi, I too have been looking for pictures of Beaufort House, I joined P&O passenger division in the typing pool in 1969 and left from Head Office in Pall Mall in 2000 to move to Cumbria. I have lots of great memories and I remember the paternoster lift but I was too afraid to get in it! Although the main building was Beaufort House I have been trying to recall what the side entrance in Middlesex Street was called. Can anyone help please.

Where are you from: Carlisle

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Can anybody tell me if the telephone number was AVENUE 8000

Where are you from: Gibraltar

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

I’m pretty sure it was.

Where are you from: Carlisle

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

I recalled to someone the other day who asked me when I joined P&O. It was in 1968 and for some bizarre reason I recited the the phone number 01 283 8000. I used it to talk with RF Pittam who was our Personnel Chap for Deck and Radio. 283 is AVE so it was Avenue 8000.

What weird things sit in our memories

All the best for the New Year

Where are you from: Mersea, Essex

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

I’m sure I remember R. F Pittam I think his first name was Richard.

Where are you from: Carlisle

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

Lyn
I could be right (or wrong) was the building in Middlesex Street called C&I Building or long version Commerce and Industry

Where are you from: Hayes, Kent UK

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

When I joined P&O in early July 1970, I wondered what would happen in those lifts if you went past the top or bottom floors.

I was there again a few days later and was looking at some papers I'd been given while going down in the lift when everything went dark. To my relief the lift went down below Ground level, across and returned up the other shaft.

Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

David Stott
Recently I was in the Aldgate area of London and thought I would retrace my youth trying to find Beaufort House, St Botolph Street where l had my first interview with P&O.
Beaufort house was the headquarters of the passenger division. Of course it was long gone and in its place is a massive skyscraper also called Beaufort House.

Beaufort House in the 70’s was a low white building , built in the style of a cruise liner. But what I remember most about it was the paternoster lift system, continually on the go so that you could hop in and hop out at the required floor.
The construction of new paternosters is no longer allowed in many countries because of the high risk of accidents.

The cruise booking office was also in this building. It consisted of a very large carousel on which traveled manuel ledgers for each ship and cruise. Telephone operators were sat at work stations around the carousel. When they answered a call you would wait for the carousel to come around with the require cruise ledger. And then search for cabin availability for the passenger. After the initial cabin was offered and passenger details taken, the paperwork would be passed to the back office to be completed and fares collected. I worked on the carousel as a purser cadet for a few days and loved every moment. It was great for learning the layout of the ships and various cabin types.

No computers in those days.

Does anyone have photographs of the old Beaufort house, l have searched the internet without any joy.
Went to Beaufort house in 1968 at the age of 18. As long as you were warm and breathing then you were fit! Had a good reference from Simpsons Restaurant, part of the Savoy, so no problem with that. A couple of weeks later got a telegram to join the Chusan.

Where are you from: South Coast England

Re: Beaufort House - Passenger Division - 1970's

I was in Simpsons last year...still a fantastic tradition...beef carved off the trolley ...followed by spotted dick...awesome!!
If only those panelled walls could speak!!

Saving up hard for the next trip!!

Where are you from: Somerset