PITCAIRN

     (All photographs courtesy of J.T. Beardow)

A small dot on the Atlas of the world, not many folk who have not been there, including the writer, can imagine just  how remote and rugged a Pacific Island can be.  The following photographs were printed from negatives belonging to  Mr. Will Clode  whose long association as Head baker with RMS Rangitki ended in 1950, his having sailed with her  from her Maiden Voyage.  Unfortunately, these photographs are undated, and no notes were found relating to them.   

We had believed that these shots  must have been taken from the deck of the Rangitiki more than fifty years ago,  but the second photograph of The Landing (on the right below) could not possibly have been so made.  We are left to wonder just how the negatives found their way onto the Rangitiki.  Perhaps a Pitcairn Islander took them and  handed off his film or sold it to a crew member.
 



 

This is the only picture I have ever seen of Pitcairn Island taken at sunrise.  The location from which the photograph was taken is approximately the position from which nearly every other such photo that I have seen was taken, probably as the ship approached the island.  One can imaging the excitement of passengers and, maybe, crew as well as landfall approached ~ cameras would be aimed and - click! click! - another hundred similar mementos were captured on film.

It behooves the viewer to compare this shot with that on the First Class Waiters page.
 

From a former member of the Rangitiki's
Engineering Staff:-


"On both trips I did on the 'Tiki, we called at Pitcairn. 

"I think NZSCo started to give passengers more value for money and included a couple of "tourist" stops on the route, Pitcairn being one and Tahiti the other. 
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"I don't recall the passengers going ashore at Pitcairn.  In fact the Islanders rowed out to the ship in two or three old ship's lifeboats. They climbed aboard the ship using cargo nets hung over the side. The Islanders brought souvenirs to sell to the passengers, mainly ornamental fish and jewellery carved from driftwood plus they scrounged whatever they could from the ship.
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"The stop was only about two hours long then the Islanders would climb down into their boats and sing hymns as they rowed back ashore.

"As Engineers, we regarded the stop as a nuisance. A lot of hard work is involved in stopping and starting ships.  Of course, in retrospect a visit to see Pitcairn Island was a unique experience."

     Len Chapman

   
3rd Engineer

The Landing

At least, that's what we believe it to be ~ the place where the Islanders launched and beached the longboats. The state of disrepair of these buildings is indicative of the ruggedness of the island climate, and one is left to conjecture that  these could date back to the time of the adoption of Pitcairn as the home of the surviving participants from the mutiny on HMS Bounty.
 


Neither the photographs' contributor nor I have any real knowledge of the Rangitiki's stopovers at Pitcairn - nor any other ship  come to that.  At least my previous erroneous information has been corrected, thanks to a sharp-eyed visitor.  But we hope that someone, passenger or crew member, may be able to dig back into memory and advise us of the date (or approximate  date) these photographs were taken, and the accuracy of the information included in the caption to The Landing picture.