7th December 2007, 21:34
Hi to all you Ben Line (past or present) crew members.
Back in 1965 my family and I came back from Singapore on the Benvannoch.
I have just started scanning my fathers old slides of the journey and will be posting them in my photo gallery, so please keep looking.
I cant seem to find a photo of the whole boat yet but will keep sifting through them.
First photo is of the Benarmin


26th December 2007, 18:41
I have finally found a photo of the Benvannoch that I came home from Singapore on and it is attached to this post. Also one of cargo being off loaded at Port Swettenham.
My parents have added a few recollections of the journey home from Singapore in 1965.
Although they cannot remember the Captains name he was apparently Jewish(apologies if I sound non PC but I have no other info)
At Port Swettenham one of the Army trucks being unloaded was nearly lost when a chain broke.
There was also a fire in one of the holds when in the Red Sea. This prevented the boat going into port, but because we were not in port the fire tenders would not assist.
Any help or info would be appreciated.


john fraser
28th December 2007, 01:22
Was Willie Kinnaird not the Captain at that time

Tom S
28th December 2007, 10:56
I think your photo is the Benattow go tp this lonk to see the 1965 Benvannoch she was broken up in 1969 I sailed on her at the end of 1965 but not on the voyage you were there

ian keyl
3rd January 2008, 22:38
Happy New year to all the Ben crew, I think Tom the tennants was not cool enough for you over New year, I feel the v/l in the photo is the Bencruachan 2.
The Vannoch had solid bulwarks ford and aft on the main deck,whereas the Cruachan,Lawers with the two sampson posts at no;1/2 hatches had railings all the way on the main deck. I could be wrong.
Bye the way i will be speaking to Archie next week and get the latest on the promo film and the vessel on which the cadet killed at sea by a crow bar or (tangee jack handle more likely). I lost a 2nd cousin he was from Inverness who was killed in HK by a macgregor hatch and was buried at Happy Valley cemetry he was on the Gloe if i remember when he was killed.

Rgds Ian.

Tom S
4th January 2008, 10:15
Hi Ian
Happy New Year to you. The Vannoch I have directed him on the Ben Line Link is definitely the 1965 one I sailed on her that year Adam Yuil was the Master the ship he shows in his thumbprint I am not sure of I thought it was the Attow.
By the way what was your cousins name I remember that tragic incident

wully farquhar
4th January 2008, 19:50
Ian,yes i remember something about the lad that was killed on the Bengloe,think it was No 1 hatch,from what i heard he was on the top of the hatch getting it prepared for opening when the wire that was used to lower the hatch back into the recess that it was stowed in parted,with the ship being light the hatch rolled back taking the lad with it.That is what i heard at the time Ian,as you know it was a long time ago,i'm sure the company would have had the correct findings about that terrible accident.

Bill Davies
4th January 2008, 20:27
A question from a 'non Ben liner' ( never stole any of your Hose flags).
Understand that you carried dedicated painters for the intricate paintwork on the prom deck. True or false?

john fraser
4th January 2008, 20:37
True Bill.they did round the accommodation,and, the grey hull.

Bill Davies
4th January 2008, 22:04
Thanks John.

ian keyl
4th January 2008, 22:26
Yes Bill ,
You are correct always chinese and usually two ,they were special in that on some ships we had the mock timber graining around the accomodation which was done in panels with black thistles in each corner of the panel, they were artists doing the graining with bird feathers and then varnishing over it to stop the salt from destroying it. They worked with the deck crew in cleaning hatches and tiding up besides painting They also painted passengers cabins. The graining on the accomdation went towards the ben boats being called Leith yachts,they did keep the bow sprit for some years in the early days ,which also made them look like yachts.

I can admit i stole a blue flu house flag in Bangkok.

Rgds Ian.

Bill Davies
4th January 2008, 22:39
Always enjoyed the good hearted rivalry/banter amongst ' the crowd' when ashore around the Far East. Recall many a time when it was mid morning before we realised we were flying a 'Ben' house flag. Some of your boys must have trained with the SAS.

Tom S
5th January 2008, 10:41
I was Mate on the Benrinnes it was 1970 if I remember we sailed from Grangemouth for Hull on a really cold and wintery morning, Dropped the pilot just off Inchkeith after he disembarked the Cadet and the Chinese QM were taking the Pilot Ladder back onboard when the Cadet slipped and fell overboard and was drowned His name was Houliston(his Uncle played for Celtic) we searched for ages but couldnt find him his body was picked up off the Fife Coast a few days later he was a really nice lad and it was very tragic

Tom S
6th January 2008, 17:20
I have blown that thumbprint up and I agree with you it is the Bencruachan 2. How could I forget her

8th January 2008, 18:30
Thanks to all of you who have replied to my post and picture of the Benvannoch.
I have only posted pictures and recollections of my trip back from Singapore in 1965 and most have been from my parents recollections of the trip. After all I was only 7 or 8 when we came back.
I have checked with my father about what I thought was a photo of the 'Vannoch that we travelled home on and he says that this was taken at Port Swettenham. We were going back onboard after taking a day or two ashore.
Apparentley we were following the Benvallah who was doing the quick run. The 'Vannoch, with us on board, was following behind picking up everything that was not ready for the 'Vallah.
if anybody does remember the trip who was the guy in the photo attached?

18th October 2008, 12:44
Spent two very happy years on the Benvannoch leaving it in June 65 with Kinnaird as Master .Should know the Chinese QM in your photo but the senior moments have caught up!!

21st December 2008, 15:30
i was on ben vannoch19 jun 1953 to 11 nov 1953. i seem to remember she was a sam or ocean boat, master. jc allan. anyone any photos of her.or are any of the old crew still kicking around.
on ben lomond 28 22 jan 1954. coasting. master a. sinclair.i don't have photos of any of those ships
ian jack

Bryan North
23rd October 2011, 14:41
Was Willie Kinnaird not the Captain at that time

Hi.......I was on the Ben Vannoch May to September '65 and the captain was Willie Kinnaird so you are correct.

Ex Ben Line electrician. (Thumb)

Regards Bryan

12th November 2011, 17:32
I was cadet on Benvannoch from July 1966 to March 1968, obviously with leave in between trips. Other cadets in that time were Jimmy Angang and Paul Yuill. The first Master was Willie Kinnaird who was a gent where cadets were concerned; others were Brown and a tall guy with silver hair who became a super. Ch Off was Eddie Gibb, 1st Mate was Ian Donaldson, 2nd Mate was Otto Othman and the 3rd Mate a real oddball, I think his name was Hawker, ex Clan Line and a good artist (pictures that is, not booze!) who specialised in picking his toe nails when talking to passengers! Jimmy and I just about convinced him that Ben Line loaded bulk cornflakes for the far east as a regular cargo!

Jon Sparks
12th May 2012, 16:34
I served on the Benvannoch 1961/62. It was Captain Montgomery then.
We arrived back from Malaya (as it was then) in July 1962 with our first European port Hanburg, where some careless German docker couldn't wait until he was out of the hold to light his cigarette, and managed to start a fire in the cargo of jute and bales of rubber. This took a lot of extinguishing, and caused the deck plates to expand so that the winch mountings were sitting on top of waves of steel several inches high. Also, fumes began inside the accomodation as the floor material became hot, and we had to use hoses to cool them, so there was about 3 inches of water in the dining saloon and the smoke room. We got sent back to the UK, to rejoin the ship in London after repairs.

12th May 2012, 17:44
In 1963 I did a coasting trip as 2nd Mate in the Benvannoch. There appeared to be a comfortable margin between my getting back to the UK and the day of my marriage until we received orders to load an additional one thousand tons of bagged fertilizer in Hamburg.

In the event, I arrived home on the night before my wedding day to a stressed bride-to-be. The only shipmate I can recall right now is the late Jimmy Milne. A fine officer, he was First Mate in the Benvannoch and my Best Man.


1st June 2014, 18:12
Further to the same trip as in above Post 21:

In April 1963, when coasting in the Benvannoch under Captain Oswald Tucker, we were shown a colour film featuring a typical voyage to the Far East by the Benloyal. Intended as a business advertisement, it was said at the time to have cost Ben Line 30,000 to produce.

On board, going around the coast with us, was Mr (later Sir) Hugh Roderick McLeod, who was made a Joint Managing Director of the Company the following year. He attended Shippers’ parties and so on with the aim of drumming up trade. On that trip, the Benvannoch called at London, Hull, Hamburg, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Hamburg and London.