19 Feb 65 : A dodgy offer and future plans : New York, USA

This continues the letter dated 17th February 1965, which began…

Dear Family,

Friday 19th February

Received a letter from Mum today, and in answer to your request the mail is coming through quite well. Today’s letter took 5 days which is pretty good considering it is posted twice.

I seem to be lucky. None of Colin’s has taken less than 8 days which is very strange. He had a letter this week which has taken a month to get here! I still haven’t seen my socks yet – maybe I will get them in time for my birthday!!

Today we went into Manhattan – we took the afternoon off and went in to book our passages to New Zealand. This has proved to be very tricky to arrange due to the limited amount of boats that go on this route. However, we have finally got some sort of arrangement at last.

Oriana postcard 2
Promotional postcard showing the P&O SS Oriana in 1965


Oriana postcard - first class Princess Lounge
Oriana postcard – first class Princess Lounge
Oriana postcard entitled “The View Astern’!!

We are flying to Honolulu and staying there for a few days, and then catching the P&O boat Oriana to Fiji. This is a very beautiful new ship (1960, 42,000 tons) very modern and sleek and luxurious.

We go on this to Fiji. This takes 6 days and then we stay in Fiji for 9 days, and then catch the next boat to Auckland, New Zealand. This will be the Himalaya, another beautiful ship, and will take 3 days to get to Auckland from Fiji.

This is the plan at the moment, but if we can get a cheaper boat from Fiji to New Zealand we will cancel the last part with P&O. I have written to a shipping line in New Zealand, but as yet haven’t had a reply. The whole trip should cost about $400 and will be add a total of about another 7,000 miles to our travels.

We have asked for the cheapest rate which is a four-berth cabin, but as it will be warm, and there are open-air pools, this shouldn’t matter too much. Also it should be quite calm, I am told, in the Pacific. I certainly hope so anyway.

P&O SS Himalaya postcard
P&O SS Himalaya postcard

By the way Dad, are you interested in me getting you a car radio for your car? Over here a car radio means nothing, and every car has one as standard, and they junk the cars with them still in.

J— junked a car only this week, a 1961 car, with a perfect radio in it. He said he would save me the next good one that comes along. So if you want one let me know, and I can send it over, or possibly the H’s might bring it back for you. It will be 12 volt so it should be ok in your car. The dial will be wrong but if it’s a push button radio you could have it set for various stations, and the dial or scale wouldn’t matter. Anyway let me know if you are interested.

(NOTE: J—- is the Mafia mobster Tony had befriended and described in his previous letter. The H’s were Colin’s parents who were due to visit New York. And rather unsurprisingly Tony’s father, a British Police Inspector, did not take up this offer! He did however join the somewhat secretive Freemasons, one presumes…) 

I suppose by now Dad is a full member of ‘you know what,’ so congratulations Dad, write and tell me all about the initiation ceremony.

To be continued… 

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And finally… We now have a Facebook page! Please come and join us 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/Tones1960stravels/

8 thoughts on “19 Feb 65 : A dodgy offer and future plans : New York, USA

  1. Love the detail about the radio, it reminded me that they were almost a luxury item in UK at that time. I had forgotten that.
    This sounds like a wonderful leg of the tour and those postcards are superb.
    My son and his wife are currently working his way around the World, in Auckland right now so this post I found especially interesting!


    1. Ooh, I didn’t realise that at all – I did wonder why he’d go to all the bother of sending a radio across the Atlantic! I do love the little historical details which comes out of these letters. Thanks for your comment, it’s absolutely appreciated to hear from someone who’s enjoying the letters! And I imagine it’s very different for you, being able to follow your son and his wife on their travels so easily with modern technology. A very different world! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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