27th August 2007, 23:53
I am not quite sure in to which forum I should place this thread, I hope I have the correct one.
Since joining the "forum" in July 07 I have made contact with a few people I haven't heard from for 30 or 40 years or more. However there must be more out there, I hope, so I will list my voyages.
Laurelbank: Mar. 65 to May/Jun 66 - Apprentice
Nairnbank: Jul. 66 to Jul. 67 - Apprentice
Sprucebank: Nov. 67 to Jun. 68 - Apprentice
Teviotbank: Feb. 69 to Dec. 69 - 3rd Mate
Sprucebank: Jan. 70 to Aug. 70 - 3rd Mate/2nd Mate
Ashbank: Feb. 71 to Dec. 71 - 2nd Mate
Oakbank: Mar. 72 to Dec. 72 - 2nd Mate
Hazelbank: Aug. 73 to Mar/Apr. 74 - 2nd Mate
Meadowbank: Mar/Apr. 74 to Oct. 74 - 2nd Mate
Laurelbank: Aug. 75 to Sept. 75 - Mate
Meadowbank: Oct. 75 to Mar. 76 - Mate
These are the voyages of John Singleton whose 11 year mission was to see the world and enjoy himself. He found out you don't know what freedom and happiness is until you get married, then it's too late!!. I would dearly like to hear from any S/N members who were on these vessels at these times (the months are from memory so may be slightly out). I am aware of the where abouts of some of the people, they know who. I look forward to future contacts.
28th August 2007, 00:08
I'm envious, mate. You're in about the right place
I also spent 11 years at sea but only managed two and a half of those with Bankline.
Put me down for your first Sprucebank.
There must be others out there we both knew.
Still can't beat seeing the senior apprentice shoot the 2nd mate.[=P]
Happy times, eh?
28th August 2007, 21:42
Still can't beat seeing the senior apprentice shoot the 2nd mate.[=P]
Sounds good even by Bank Line standards, come on Fubar, lets have the story!!
28th August 2007, 22:22
While on the Sprucebank with John aka "The Captain" we had loaded VWs, Opels and Mercedes in Hamburg and discharged them in Houston.
Houston being "deep in the heart of Texas" we'd turned ourselves into cowboys, as one does, and we all had Daisy BB guns, holsters etc. Sparkie being as he was had also got the boots and the stetson and some had purchased starter/blank pistols. It's a pity you had to prove residence to buy the real thing or we could've had some real fun.(Hippy)
This madness was shared equally between deck and engine departments. We had some prolonged, totally mad, gun battles as various factions tried to storm the accommodation while the defenders shot them down from cabin windows, bridge wings, etc.
I must explain that the Daisy type of BB gun is spring loaded and couldn't knock over a fag (cigarette) packet at 5 paces. We considered the 2nd engineer to have an unfair advantage in that he had also got a CO2 powered Smith & Wesson that could shoot through a Tennants can at 20 paces. This weapon was banned from the general gun battles and only used for target practice.
The British Merchant Navy officer at his best.[=P]
I don't know exactly how it came about but my version of events is that at a party in either Sydney or Melbourne it had been arranged that the senior apprentice, guess who, would go into the officer's smoke room (no bars on Bankboats in 1967) and shoot the 2nd mate thereby causing a bit of a stir and maybe getting the 2nd mate a bit of attention from the nurses. I believe the weapon actually belonged to the 2nd mate.
Said senior apprentice appeared and duly shot the 2nd mate from close range. Unfortunately the 2nd mate was wearing a nylon shirt and the range was so close that it burned a great hole in the shirt. The shirt was also, if I remember correctly, a particularly loud Hawaiian job and a favourite of the owner. This resulted in considerable mirth on our part and 2nd mate chasing senior apprentice round the boat deck.
Senior apprentice is noted in my little book as having the nickname "Gunshot" from that day forward.
John probably remembers the events differently but it was 40 years ago and the grey cells, in my case, have been scrambled by another 10 years at sea and 30 ashore.
It may even have been Geelong and to celebrate the mate, John Farringdon's, promotion to Captain of the Pinebank and the consequent bumping upwards of 2nd mate Robbie Whitehead to mate, 3rd mate Colin (Findochty) Smith to 2nd mate and senior apprentice John (Gunshot) Singleton to acting 3rd mate.
These are the facts as I remember them.(K)
28th August 2007, 23:07
Not bad "Fubar" and I thought my childish stupidity was forgotton forever. A couple of points, since my grey cells are slightly younder than yours. The said shot officer was the Mate (one John Farringdon), part of the reason for the shooting was that the junior apprentice was under 18 and not allow to attend the party in Newcastle (Nurses from the Stockton Mental Hospital, I think). The apprentices having been ashore for a few beers returned and decided to have some fun. Dressed in shore gear the senior idiot (appy) storms the "smoke room" claiming to be a "copper" and wanting to arrest one rather large and rather drunk John Farringdon. One seeing who it was the Mate started to make a protest and "Gunshot" drew his .38 calibre starting pistol from his belt holster and shot causing said powder burns to one very nice nylon shirt. I was very glad when he got promoted shortly after as that let me off the hook 'cos we got some very nasty and dirty jobs during the following couple of weeks.
As said in the previous message, these are the facts as I remember then, so some where between the two is the actual truth unless someone else wishes to straighten us out, like Mick Shann or maybe one of the other officers who attended that party (if of course they can remember through the drunken haze), we, the apprentices, were fine upstanding young men of the Bank Line and as such we didnt drink alcoholic beverages, guzzled yes, drank, no.
28th August 2007, 23:08
Having spilled the beans to you Duncan I expect this to go no further.
28th August 2007, 23:23
That sounds about right.
Having stirred the grey cells I remember the recipient of your attentions to be bigger than Robbie. Both the mate and 2nd mate were "large" but the mental image fits better to the mate. They can both be seen here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/33015/si/sprucebank/what/allfields) some 5 weeks before.
I'm surprised I can remember any of it at all what with a case of Victoria Bitter costing 18/- (90p).
28th August 2007, 23:38
Great story guys,glad to see you all lved through the gunfights to tell the tales.
4th November 2007, 00:28
When I read the first rendition I thought, I bet Marconi Sahib has got it wrong! That 2/O sounds more like Fatty Farringdon! I can remember having Tuition from him on the Northbank. All we got were tests on our knowledge of the Hit Parade! The shirt gave it away! BFN Howard
4th November 2007, 04:35
Hi There, Yes I served on the "HAZEL BANK" out of Auckland New Zealand, joined her as fireman as a ship well the food shocking the cooks were good at making booze and thats about all they were good for, great crew , two boilers eight fires with no mans land in the middle not a bad steamer, ran out of coal and had to bunker in Lyttelton New Zealand, I came from Christchurch got home for a day to my parents horror I could go on and on about this voyage but i won't bore you all. Kenneth(Cloud)
4th November 2007, 11:34
I don't think tales from a Bankboat that was a steamer and ran on coal with a British crew would bore us, Kenneth.
Well before my time. Sounds fascinating.
4th November 2007, 21:15
Hi Ken from another Bank Line member. One thing you could never do is bore me with tales of these ships as my Father sailed with the Company during the pre-war years but of course had to go on the "Pool" during Hostilities. It was He who basically talked me into going to sea and by God I had a Bl**dy good time.
Bring on the tales I say as after all this site is all about Nostalgia...........cheers..........pete