Built at Newcastle and launched in 1962. Served Bank Line from 1962 to 1978, when she was sold to a Greek firm and renamed Good Transporter. I was R/O aboard her from Oct 1966 until Mar 1967, and in that period her captain was Commodore Holbrook. Five passengers aboard, I seem to recall. On arrival in Australia we first visited Darwin (the city that was destroyed by a cyclone a year or two later and had to be rebuilt), and then delivered a Phillips-manufactured satellite tracking station to Gove - an extremely remote spot on the western coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Then it was the usual series of port calls in that part of the world - Port Moresby, etc, etc. All unforgettable experiences for me as my sea career would soon be cut short.
3rd May 2008, 23:35
The Speybank was one of a pair but I can't recall which was her sister, was it the Mara? There weren't many "pairs" in the Bank Line fleet of the 60"s. The "Spay/Mara, Spruce/Holly, Shirra/Teviot, does anyone know of any others, most classes had at least 3 ships but mainly 4 or more.
You are right the sister to the Spey was the Marabank, they had bipod masts as I recall. Other pairs from the same period where as you say Teviot and Shirra also Maple and Gowan. Not sure about the Holly and Spruce, but I should know as I sailed on th Hollybank in 1975.
8th May 2008, 12:17
PJW I'm afraid the Gowan was the same as the Nairn and I'm not sure if the Maple was in the same class. If I remember correctly there were 4 in the Nairnbank class starting in '66 and going through to '68 or '69.
From what I remember the Spey and the Mara were not originally built for B/L but were picked up at the "right price" when the original sale went pear - shaped.
The Teviot was a great ship, I had one of happiest trips on her from Feb '69 to Dec '69 with Harry Barber as Master. She was by far the fastest ship in B/L at that time if not for all time 17 and 18 knots were not unusual but normal speed was around 16.
there were two others in the sAme class as the nairn,gowan, and maple,these being the iris and the hazel.the holly and spruce were the culmination of seven years development of the D2 type which began with the firbank.the mara and spey were two products of swan hunters "efficiency" design for a standard ship design,and as such were offered at very attractive prices which bank line snapped up.the design didn't appear to be very succesful.
Interestin reading this thread as I had the honour af being Ch. Off. on both the Mara and the Spey and generally speaking we found they damn good working vessels. the biggest problem was that when at sea that cut-away funnel allowed all the fumes into the Bridge and being as the A/C unit was there as well the whole accomodation block would stink as well. So being a resourceful bunch of Sea Gypsies we welded a couple of 40 gallon oil drums together (end-to end-that is) and bolted them over the ME uptake. That stopped it........................pete
Oh one thing I forgot to mention was that b***dy No 2 hatch was Huuuuuge............pete
I guess I should have looked at my discharge book, as I sailed on both Gowanbank and Irisbank and they are vitually the same GRT etc. Gowanbank had slightly more BHP . I had always thought the Gowan to be slightly bigger, although the accomodation & cargo gear was the same layout.
I can confirm that the Maplebank was a sister to Gowanbank. Ofcourse the Gowanbank was Bank Lines last Harland & Wolf built ship. I think the Gowanbank was probably the nicest ship I sailed on in Bank Line, despite sailing on some of the newer ones.
18th April 2009, 23:34
what was the full name of the captain of the Speybank around 66/67? undertaking a bit of family research!