Banana Boats

C Whitehouse
6th November 2007, 18:20
My father served with Elders & Fyffes from 47 (I think) to 86, I wonder how many people remember him, his name was Tony. Also I have a few photos of ships, places and people, which I will try and scan and load onto this site when I have some time.

Jim S
16th November 2007, 18:24
I believe I sailed with your father on Camito in May 1969.
He was Master - I was 2nd Engineer.
I think it was a releaving trip for your father - the normal masters during my time on Camito were Capt Thomson and Capt Morris.
The only slight doubt I have is that there were Captains Whitehouse and Whitehead in Fyffes around my time although the latter was Marine Superintendent.
I would certainly like to see some of your photos.

Regards

Jim S

Bill Lewis
21st December 2007, 20:50
I too sailed with Captain Whitehouse for one trip (of my four) on the Sinaloa August/September 1960. It was my first trip as 4th Engineer; a quick trip to Jamaica and back to Southampton.

nobby s
23rd December 2007, 17:31
If your father is Captain Whitehouse (also known as "Casa Blanca") then I met him again in the early 80's in Cadiz, Spain. I was international truck driving and was given a consignment of ships stores.They consisted of paint,ropes,steel hawsers, variable pitch propeller blades etc. These were addressed to M.v Manzanares & M.v Manistee at Cadiz. When I arrived the two ships were tied up side by side next to the dry dock. I reported to the officer on watch who directed me to the skippers cabin. You can imagine my surprise to be confronted by old "Casa Blanca". We had a couple of glasses of scotch and chatted about the early days.(mind you I was only a steward).
He told me that he'd been pulled out of retirement to look after these two ships until the decision had been made of what to do with them. It was quite windy and they could not use the dry dock crane to unload me for 3 days.
I had my young son with me who was 15 years old and we were given accomodation on one of the ships and well fed. Capt. Whitehouse gave me a bottle of scotch for the cabin and told me he had one topside for when I visited his office. Before leaving he gave me his business card and said because I lived quite close to visit him anytime. The address I won't give fully but was Chandlersford, Southampton. My only regret was because of my job I never got round to the visit and I bet I'm too late now. I must add though the fact that he was always a "gentleman" right from the first time of meeting him in the 1960's.

Roger Davies
14th January 2008, 14:50
I believe I sailed with your father on Camito in May 1969.
He was Master - I was 2nd Engineer.
I think it was a releaving trip for your father - the normal masters during my time on Camito were Capt Thomson and Capt Morris.
The only slight doubt I have is that there were Captains Whitehouse and Whitehead in Fyffes around my time although the latter was Marine Superintendent.
I would certainly like to see some of your photos.

Regards

Jim S
Jim
Do you (or anyone else) recall a voyage on MANISTEE when the ship suffered a boilee tube failure off The Azores in the 1950s. The weather was bad and a Dutch tug, ZUIDERZEE attended and held the ship head to sea until another tug ROHODOZEE (or similar) arrived when the ship was towed into Ponta Del Garda. Here repairs were made and thenceforth she continued to Bermuda. I have a friend FRANK RADDON who was on her at the time and he would like to know if there is anyone who recalls the incident and perhaps himself - was 2nd engineer. He has a number of photographs of MANISTEE.

Jim S
15th January 2008, 22:01
The Manistee referred to was long before my time in Fyffes so I have knowledge of the incident referred to or Frank Raddon 2nd Eng.
However I will send an e-mail to "Sam" Greedy who might know something.
Sam and your father will know each other from their time in Fyffes. Sam became Operations Manager at Queensway.

Jim S

Jim S
22nd January 2008, 21:47
Re - Manistee with boiler trouble. Have just received an e-mail from Sam Greedy - He cannot remember the incident. I agree with Sam that a likely need to require tugs and repairs at the Azores is that Manistee was short of water. I believe Manistee had five Scotch boilers so complete boiler failure was unlikely. Shortage of boiler feed water seems the most likely although there seems to have been a reluctance to use sea water which would under carefully controlled conditions would have been feasible if undesirable uder such emergency conditions.
What does Frank Raddon say about the incident?

eric's ruth
6th April 2008, 15:54
Hello
Just found this site and have read several of the threads and would just like to say how nice it was to bring back memories of the old day when my dad Eric Taylor was sailing on these ships. I remember some of the names of the crew but as I was only a little girl it's hard to think back that long. Dad passed away in 1977 if any one remembers him would love to hear from you. Someone mentioned Marcus Bowden he called several times to see dad before he passed away think his mother in law in Netley Abbey not far from where we lived.

A.J.McMahon
20th April 2008, 21:48
Hi. Ruth,
I sailed with your dad 1958-1960 about 14 voyages I was his 2nd elec. we got on great. He married I believe after I left to join the Matina
Best wishes A.J.McMahon

Leslie Richmond
21st May 2008, 00:10
I sailed with a Capt Whitehouse. Was it E A Whitehouse? I was 1st trip cadet on the M.V. Motagua. Joined 03.05.72 and changed articles 16.07.72 in Barry drydock (S Wales). I Like the guy, I was very green and he "showed me the ropes" - so to speak !

Les Richmond

Tony Breach
22nd May 2008, 10:39
Hi Les,

Was MOTAGUA in Bailey's Dry Dock when in Barry in 1972? I seem to remember one of Fyffes there at about that time.

Do any of you Old Fyffers know the whereabouts of the late Capt. K. Leslie's collection of fleet records. I beleive he had a relative in the Shirehampton area of Bristol where they may have ended up. It was a significant dossier that was too important to have been destroyed.

Any info welcomed.

Tony

John Rogers
22nd May 2008, 14:06
Tony, the Bristol Branch of the MN has a small museum that has a lot of memorabilia that has been donated to the branch, maybe somebody there could help you.

John.

A.J.McMahon
22nd May 2008, 19:06
Tony, Just to add to what J.R.has already indicated, there is a Bristol Industrial Museum, there is,or was, shipping in there,that is situated in the centre of Bristol at Wapping Road, also not very far from there is the Maritime Heritage Centre, of which I have no knowledge.I happen to have a map of Bristol with a web address for Bristol City Council. If nothing else the site is worth a look for the map alone! So here is the site. www.bristol-city.gov.uk I do not remember the Capt. you spoke about, the man I do recall was Reggie Raines, Supt. A real gent, It is some long time ago when I lived in Bristol so I'm somewhat out touch, with the area, I do know the docks, that is City and Avonmouth are a shadow of their former selves. That is in keeping with most of the major ports we knew, I believe Portbury is doing well. AJMc.

Bill Park
31st May 2008, 01:12
Capt. Leslie, my godfather (friend of my father's when they were both apprentices with Fyffes in the 50s) wrote to me in 1988 about the Fyffes book that he had helped to compile (although he was not happy that it had been written by university prof). He lived in Taunton and had a sister who was close but I have no address. As my father and grandfather were both with Fyffes, I have some b&w pictures of banana boats that might be of interest.

John Rogers
31st May 2008, 01:45
Hi Bill,
Would like to see some of the pictures you have.

John.

Tony Breach
31st May 2008, 11:22
Thanks all for your guidance towards the Leslie collection - I will be chasing various information.

As regards the Princes Wharf Museum it was closed last time I was over there for modernisation. I think that means that most of the wonderful exhibits will disappear & it will become an interactive information technology haven for kiddies. A great shame as Bristol was probably Britain's most influential city of transport development: Brunel, GWR, Bristol Aircraft, Bristol Commercial Vehicles, Bristol Cars, Shipbuilding, Paddle Steamers etc. etc.
The museum also had the very nice models of the Bristol City Line of the 50s & 60s ships made by Mr. Braine who was a chief steward & who I sailed with while an apprentice.

Bill, The book you talk about is Fyffes & The Banana 1888-1988 by Peter Davies. I have a copy. It is the story of the Company of which shipping was only a component part. It is very interesting generally & there is an 11 page appendix which lists all of the vessels & is credited to Capt. Leslie. I would imagine that most of the other information regarding the fleet also came from him & the author praises him in his preface. Like John I would very much like to see your pics.

Does anyone have an original of that wonderful Fyffes poster that has a picture of all of the vessels ever owned?

Tony

Bill Park
31st May 2008, 13:36
Will scan but how do I send them?

Leslie Richmond
13th June 2008, 19:02
Yes, Bailey's dry dock, It then became part of Bristol Channel ship repairers - so I believe. We used to use the consevative club at the top of the hill for a beer!

Cheesr

Les

michaelbeale
12th November 2008, 11:55
i sailed with your father on m.v manistee aprox 1978,it was his first trip back to sea as captain after a few yrs in the office

i also sailed with his son on m.v matina aprox 1982 a 4th engineer

manx1952
4th December 2008, 14:38
I worked for Fyffes back in the 1990's, not in the shipping group Elders and Fyffes but in the bannana division in Warrington (all gone now) My great grandmother ran and owned a small private hotel for the bridge officers from the fyffes boats during discharge in Garston Liverpool. Also one of the Fyffe workers on the dock who ended up as depot manager at the Wakefield depot (bannana division) was Dougie Threlfall,

You have to be a certain age to remember the Coffin Boxes!!

bloomdido
1st February 2009, 19:02
My father served with Elders & Fyffes from 47 (I think) to 86, I wonder how many people remember him, his name was Tony. Also I have a few photos of ships, places and people, which I will try and scan and load onto this site when I have some time.

hi my dad bob grieves was chief with fyffes and i sailed with your dad on the manistee in the 70s when i was a kid,really nice bloke always had a lot of time for me and as i remember made me a rather nice model aeroplane

Iane
20th February 2009, 11:52
I sailed with Fyffes from 1961 to 1963 as 3rd,2nd & 1st Mates.
I did 8 voyages on the Camito as 2nd Mate under Captain Lundy,and Tony Whitehouse did the occasional relief as Master.
Although I did not sail with Tony, I new him socially when he lived at Portishead with his Wife Vicky.My Wife and Vicky were in the Watch Ashore Association at the time and we used to have wonderful get togethers when I was home on leave.
You must be a son,Christopher, and I remeber your brother Robin and sister Barbara.Your Mother had a shop in Portishead called "Vicky May"
We lost touch when the family moved to Chandlers Ford.
I understand that both Mum and Dad have now passed on, sadly,but I will never forget the friendship that developed between us.

Iane(A)

R58484956
20th February 2009, 13:53
Greetings Iane and a warm welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and all that goes with it. Bon voyage.

Nigel Hibberd
5th March 2010, 07:35
My father served with Elders & Fyffes from 47 (I think) to 86, I wonder how many people remember him, his name was Tony. Also I have a few photos of ships, places and people, which I will try and scan and load onto this site when I have some time.

Hi, I was a navigation cadet from April 1973 (at the end of the year I changed over to Engine Cadet) and Capt. Tony Whithouse was in the Southampton office in charge of all of the cadets at the time - he was not too excited about my decision at the time, but he let me change. (Thumb)

Billieboy
5th March 2010, 09:41
Yes, Bailey's dry dock, It then became part of Bristol Channel ship repairers - so I believe. We used to use the consevative club at the top of the hill for a beer!

Cheesr

Les

That would be Barry Island Conservative club, one of the best Brains cellars in Barry, at the time.

Splinter
5th March 2010, 13:46
I too sailed with Captain Whitehouse for one trip (of my four) on the Sinaloa August/September 1960. It was my first trip as 4th Engineer; a quick trip to Jamaica and back to Southampton.

Bill.

I joined Sinaloa in early August '61 at Southampton, we returned to Gourock, next trip we returned to Avonmouth, I've still have my pay slips but can't make out his signature, I the master would occasionally, relax on the starboard side of the bridge, I remember him as a very pleasent man, the C.E was shortish dark haired and wore specs.

The watering hole for the C.E and others was the Deliville hotel ( may be the wrong spelling ) does this ring a bell.

Ray.

Nigel Hibberd
10th March 2010, 12:23
Anyone remember a Chief Engineer called "Whispering" Jack Russel of Elders & Fyffes? I sailed with him once on the "M-Class" motor ships (can't remember which one). His hobby was building model railway steam engines. Even had rails round his garden. Really nice guy - didn't even get cross with me when I "blew the tubes" over him and his wife on the boat deck one afternoon (sometime in the late 70's). Tall guy with dark curly hair and a beard (looked like a real "Chief") and always spoke quietly because he was hard of hearing and was scared of talking too loud.

Jim S
10th March 2010, 20:19
Jack Russell relieved me as C/E on Motagua at Naples in June 1974.
I don't remember him having a beard then. - As you say in the brief time I met him he seemed a fine guy - he possibly did not thing so highly of me during his time on Motagua.
She was not one of the better M-Class ships.

davsed
14th April 2010, 04:14
I remember him as the Marine Superintendant. He interviewed me for my Cadetship and was very supportive of all the cadets in the company.

cj54
5th October 2011, 23:17
I too remember Capt Whithouse, as he interviewed me at the Boulevard School For Nautical Training in Hull in 1972 when he and representatives from other shipping companies ascended on the school for recruits.
I changed from navigation to engineering and it was Capt Whithouse who gave me the opportunity for an engineering career with Fyffes. Met him several times during my cadetship. Great fellow.
The name of Nigel Hibberd rings a bell did you go to Hull?

Chris Gundry
27th December 2011, 15:39
Hi Every one I sailed aboard TES Samala in September 1960 payed off in Southampton two days after my 16th birthday . I am looking for some photo's if anyone has any please get in touch.
Thanks Chris Gundry.

Howard Dean
1st March 2012, 10:29
If Michael Beale ever reads this please do leave contact details, we sailed together I believe in the early 60's.

Howard Dean.

CHRIS CHAMBERS
21st March 2012, 14:31
Hi,
Will always remember " Captain Whitehouse" as he gave me my interview at Queensway when I joined as a deck cadet in 1976.
Had some great times with Fyffes, always a happy company to work for.

Kind regards
Chris Chambers

Essjay
7th April 2012, 01:49
I sailed in first the Tilapa to the West Indies and a few years later on the Manistee to the West coast. My uncle was a chippie, John Smart, and my aunt a stewardess in the company. I think on the Camito?

Terence H
28th April 2012, 17:12
I was am engineering cadet form 1964 to 1969 and I left the company as 4th Engineer in 1971.
My first trip was on the Camito in Aug'66 and the Golfito was my last ship in 1971. I sailed on the Tilapa, Turialba, and Chang. I have fond memories.

vangooler
3rd May 2012, 00:52
Did one trip on the Tetela as QM May-June 1957. along with a fellow member Peter (peggy 747). The memory like the trip was too short to recall much about it.

Essjay
21st August 2012, 16:27
I sailed in the Manistee, in the late '50's. The skipper was Cpt Whitehouse. My middle right finger became infected, I think because of that white s**t, mixed with white lead, used for painting by hand of all metal hand rails. My finger became so inflamed, the skipper radioed a warship, that was close by, on how to treat the infection. He took their advice, and proceeded to cut and drain the infected digit. If he had not done so, I would most probably lost my right hand. I was put ashore in Port Victoria down the west coast, into a hospital. When the ship was ready to leave, he insisted that I should be discharged and leave with the ship. It's a long short story but>>>>>

Steve

Essjay
21st August 2012, 16:33
Which of the Banana boats, hoisted a sail, on the way back to the UK? Would like a photo of her with the sail rigged please.

Howard Dean
21st February 2013, 11:46
Hello
Just found this site and have read several of the threads and would just like to say how nice it was to bring back memories of the old day when my dad Eric Taylor was sailing on these ships. I remember some of the names of the crew but as I was only a little girl it's hard to think back that long. Dad passed away in 1977 if any one remembers him would love to hear from you. Someone mentioned Marcus Bowden he called several times to see dad before he passed away think his mother in law in Netley Abbey not far from where we lived.

Hello Ruth,
I sailed with your father on the Camito for four trips, he was very helpful in assisting me with a radio I had purchased, it was 120 volts and I bought it as 250 volts, consequently it was useless until your dad twidled it for me. I recall Jock Burns was the chief and Bill Rankin was the third. I regret I am unable to recall any other names.

Howard.

John.meredith
17th April 2013, 22:06
I remember your dad, although I didn't work for fyffes, my dad worked with him his name was Frank Meredith, he was a chief engineer and later the technical director, we lived in chandlers ford and I recall being taken to your fathers house with my dad, I recall your father talk about his sons interest in motor bikes and an old rover car was kept in the garage.
I think our dads were friends and had sailed or worked together for a long time, my dad worked on the Golfetto, when the ship went to scrap he got the engine room ships clock which I still have. As a boy I was taken to the ships whilst in Southampton port to see my dad, I recall the Darren which we have painting of and meeting some of the men my dad worked for, Hugh King was also a good friend of my dads, he was uncle Hugh to me and taught me to swim, the men were much closer than a normal work colleague I guess because they spent so much time together. I would be interested in any pictures you may have or to hear from anyone that worked with my dad.

Brinic
13th May 2013, 22:12
I sailed with your dad although I didn`t have much to do with him as I was a GP.1 I remember your mum was onboard as well as your brother who was sailing as junior engineer.

Colin Ralston
11th September 2013, 22:19
Hi John.
I joined Fyffes as an Engineering cadet in 1971. I remember your father very well. He was my first Chief Engineer on the mv Morant which I joined in Tokyo. Your dad had a big influence on my life, he was very strict with us cadets. I learned a lot from him and have fond memories of those days.

Reading through this forum, there are many names I remember, hello to everyone who remembers me.

Rgds Colin

Basil
12th September 2013, 00:02
John.meredith,
Just read your post, reached into my filing cabinet and pulled out a reference signed by your Chief Engineer father in the SS Tilapa on 25th Nov 1963 in Bremen.
IIRC we were flown back to the UK from there, my first flight, and I recollect thinking that it seemed rather more comfortable than the North Sea storm we'd ploughed through to get to our discharge port.
Bally heck! A lifetime ago - literally (and, on this occasion, literally actually means literally - well, if I was discussing when I was five it would be more literally :p )

Just edited to say my avatar is on the Tilapa.

Galley Allen
12th September 2013, 19:04
My father served with Elders & Fyffes from 47 (I think) to 86, I wonder how many people remember him, his name was Tony. Also I have a few photos of ships, places and people, which I will try and scan and load onto this site when I have some time.

Hi I sailed with your father on my first trip to sea in 1964 as a Galley Boy in the Tucurinca. I remember him as a very kind quietly spoken gentleman who I only really saw him on inspection day which had been every Tuesday at sea, when he would tour the ship in in his immaculate white tropical uniform. At that time I used to draw pictures of ships in my off duty hours and if I had left a drawing on the table in our cabin he would send for me from the Galley and congratulate me on my efforts, on occassion he had also pointed out any detail I may have missed. Happy days. I read your father has now passed away, the world is surely missing such a fine gentleman. God bless you and your family.

Howard Dean
25th August 2014, 19:38
On leaving the Camito I drank the top from too many bottles and was a little incapable. Captain Whitehouse was traveling on the same train from Avonmouth and then on to Liverpool. He looked after me and saw me onto the correct train, sitting me on my suitcase in the corridor as there were no seats. the best journey I have ever made as I didn't wake up until Lime Street Liverpool. The captain was a VERY decent person. Does anybody remember Bill Rankin who was third engineer on the Camito at the time. He too was one of the nicest people I have ever met.

Howard Dean.

R396040
25th August 2014, 21:55
I sailed on the old steamship CAVINA in the mid fifties. Carried quite a few passengers. Kingston maik port picked up bananas round Jamaica coast ,no passengers aboard. Also called Port of spain Trinidad
Stuart

John Rogers
25th August 2014, 22:19
I sailed on the old steamship CAVINA in the mid fifties. Carried quite a few passengers. Kingston maik port picked up bananas round Jamaica coast ,no passengers aboard. Also called Port of spain Trinidad
Stuart

I did four voyages on the Cavina 1 in Jan 1950 , 1 in Mar of 1950, and another one in October 1950, and the last one in Nov 1950.

George McCaffery
25th August 2014, 23:59
i believe your father was mate on my first trip on the Chicanoa in 1968. The Captain was Capt Morris.

R396040
27th August 2014, 13:20
I did four voyages on the Cavina 1 in Jan 1950 , 1 in Mar of 1950, and another one in October 1950, and the last one in Nov 1950.

Hi John,
Thanks for your entry. On reading it checked my first discharge book and see it was one trip on Cavina as Engineers steward and much earlier April to may 1949 sailing in and out of Avonmouth. I was at sea thirty years and like you did variety of ships & companies to see the World literally. Settled down later with Cunard freighters.
My memories of Cavina apart from Jamaica,, no mops allowed in those days.



(Jester) were wooden decks internally and as steward scrubbing them on hands & knees in those long ago days