A recent newspaper article (Daily Dispatch 26th August 2016 – see below) referred to the visible remains of a shipwreck at the Orient Beach, East London. Pictures taken recently showed embedded steel protrusions at the site where the Orient was wrecked in 1907 carrying 2 600 tons of wheat.
A number of East London folk responded to the article commenting that they remember their parents pointing out the wreck when they were children. The museum has also received input from Major Anthony Step who showed us a copy of a painting depicting the Orient under sail. See below.
The original painting is a watercolour done by a ship’s artist, A. V. Gregory in 1902. It shows the vessel under full sail off Port Phillip heads, Melbourne (Australia). The original painting hung in the saloon of the Orient and was presented by the Captain to the late G. E. Thewlis. He brought it ashore when he and the Captain left the ship for the last time. Mr Thewlis was a member of staff of Dreyfus & Co. Ltd. – the ship’s agents (reference East London Museum).
Major Step’s visit to the museum encouraged us to reveal the original water colour painting in our collection and the associated notes pasted to the back of the frame. See illustrations below: