Bank Line

China hand
26th September 2008, 19:35
Just finaly retired after nearly 50 years bumming around what used to be a nice world. It is AMAZING how many ex Bank Line twits I have come across. EVERYWHERE!!

Anyone remember?

Blue is the sea we sail on, Red is the blood we sweat, white is the line of starvation
to make you all forget:
The joys of past and present, the whoes are yet to come;
You think you're a Merchant Seaman, NO: you're just a Bank Line Bum!!

Usually sung in various chords accompanied by NZ nurses or Aussie trainie teachers or more professional senoritas in various parts of Monte, Bs As, or Valpo.

Ah, memories, memories!!

Strath101
26th September 2008, 20:27
The version I have is
Blue is the sea we sail on
Red is the blood we sweat
White is the line of starvation
that makes us all forget
the memories past and present
the heartaches yet to come
you think your a Merchant Seaman
but your only a Bankline bum

K urgess
26th September 2008, 21:11
Must've lived a sheltered life.
Four trips with Bankline and the first time I ever hear that is 35 years later. [=P]

pete
26th September 2008, 22:02
I know what you mean Kris, these things go out of ones mind after a while. Did you ever play Doxford's???

K urgess
26th September 2008, 22:07
I would imagine it happened after a good night of "Sing, sing or show your.....", Pete.
Along with "An engineer told me before he died....", "Sweet Chariot.....", etc. [=P]
Therefore not readily remembered the day after let alone 30 to 40 years later. (Whaaa)
Cheers
Kris

China hand
26th September 2008, 22:30
Must've lived a sheltered life.
Four trips with Bankline and the first time I ever hear that is 35 years later. [=P]

You only did it cos your dada did it.
REAL Bank Line Sparkies were as mad as the rest of us AND Sung the Songs!

In less PC times we sang about Lassies from Ma******y .

AR

K urgess
26th September 2008, 22:41
You only did it cos your dada did it.
REAL Bank Line Sparkies were as mad as the rest of us AND Sung the Songs!

In less PC times we sang about Lassies from Ma******y .

AR

We obviously never sailed together, CH. (Smoke)

China hand
26th September 2008, 22:54
You werent the mad trumpet playing Sparkie on Testbank on maiden voyage ? Wonderous times!

Did 15 years with the mob in two stints - Appy (balls to this Officer Trainee stuff) to Master. Westbank to Moraybank. When I tell the tales I am told I am full of B******t. But Bank line men have done it!

K urgess
26th September 2008, 23:01
Sorry no, I was normally quite Spruce but mostly considered very Weird. [=P]

China hand
26th September 2008, 23:27
Did you know that you can (could) walk around Samarai in 45 minutes singing Bali Hai ? Leave the bow, last chorus as you touch the sternlines. Happy days.

K urgess
26th September 2008, 23:52
Would never think of rushing a walk around Samarai.
One of the most peaceful places in the world in those days.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33410
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33411
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=33412

pete
27th September 2008, 11:05
You werent the mad trumpet playing Sparkie on Testbank on maiden voyage ? Wonderous times!

Did 15 years with the mob in two stints - Appy (balls to this Officer Trainee stuff) to Master. Westbank to Moraybank. When I tell the tales I am told I am full of B******t. But Bank line men have done it!

You are right CH, we suffered a bit,learned a lot and just did our jobs as best we could. We my not have been the soberest of Seafarers but we could do our Job, how do you find a tiny Atoll in the middle of the Pacific with a sextant and a set of "Nories"Tables. Who needs Sat Nav???................pete (Hippy)

Charlie Stitt
23rd March 2009, 17:51
(Thumb) Yes Pete, "we did our jobs the best we could". Remember cleaning the mercury rings of the big giro compass, topping up with mercury, start up with fingers crossed she will settle down OK. Had to keep that baby running otherwise there would be no iron mike. Poor old Sparks had to take some flak at times, the early radars left much to be desired, just when this luxury was really needed it did'nt work of course, SPARKY !!! the radar's on the blink. He would do his best, head stuck in around all those big valves magnatrons and other massive components which were the guts of early radars, there was a track worn in the deck between the radio shack and the radar display,and it did'nt help to have the Old Man breathing down his neck, got it going yet Sparks?? When I joined the Inverbank as 2nd Mate in 1962 and saw the Armour Brown giro ( no maintenance required) sitting on the chart table I remember thinking, now this is a real modern ship, however, after a few months I realised it was just another Bankboat, but a happy one.

Alistair Macnab
23rd March 2009, 21:37
Oh you poor fellows! How about navigating WITHOUT gyro, auto steering or radar. How about relying on a noon sight based on a dodgy sextant reading on the equator at the equinox? Chasing the sun all around the bridge to find its true measurement above the horizon, but what horizon? Or finding the slot through the Maldives from Mombasa to Colombo on a dark moonless night? And all the time remembering the fate of the "Laganbank" on Huddumatti Atoll in 1938.
Seriously, though, happy retirement to China Hand! You made it and only your fundamental orifice knows of your anxious moments.

jimthehat
23rd March 2009, 23:33
Why worry about finding the slot thru the maldives,how about trying to find Gan on a rainy day.

JIM

Charlie Stitt
24th March 2009, 11:42
A dodgy sextant reading? I don't remember working with one of those, mine were always perfect(Thumb) Is'nt that right Andy Lavies ?

Alistair Macnab
24th March 2009, 16:33
Jinthehat.....
Actually the glow from Gan Island was a welcome sight when truly "lost"
Charlie.....
Not knowing whether we were a few minutes north of the equator or a few minutes south of the equator at the time of the equinox was a big problem only solved by the Mate's star fixes that evening. Mate had us north and the 2/0 (Alan Macgregor) and I had us south. 34 miles wrong! Old Man (Harry Allan) did his nut!I am confessing this bad navigational error 50 years later!

K urgess
24th March 2009, 18:41
Is that the Allan from Ballymena, Alistair?
Having experienced him doing his nut a few times your words brought back a some memories. (EEK)

China hand
24th March 2009, 20:24
The memories of Captain Allen, on his knees, counting boiler suits: "To think, Mr Mate, a Bank Line Master reduced to being a cassab"
Memories indeed.

Hamish, thank you kindly, good sir.

Andy Lavies
24th March 2009, 20:53
Everything Alastair says is true - I was with him in the Inchanga with no mod cons. And Charlie Stitt claimed his sights were more accurate than mine in Laganbank - he'd had more practise but I soon caught up!
Andy

John Campbell
24th March 2009, 21:18
Is that the Allan from Ballymena, Alistair?
Having experienced him doing his nut a few times your words brought back a some memories. (EEK)

I met Capt Allen on his first trip as Master joining us in Freemantle on the Eskbank relieving Capt Eadie who was sent home to London as super. If I remember right he was out for two years then and had to do another nine months before he got home. We went to Tristan da Cuhna on that trip and had to take cargo and three passengers to that Island , from Capetown, as we sailed from Calcutta to B.A.

The passengers were a nurse and a doctor and his wife. I had to sleep in the spare bunk in the other apprentice's cabin and the Dr.used the pilot's cabin.

The Dr was terribly seasick but his wife was fine and fell in love with Capt Allen to our great amusement. Poor Harry he was sorely tempted but he had a wife and young son whom he had yet to see in Ballymena. He was a splendid seaman and Master.

He was very good to me as senior apprentice insisting that I did a great deal of time on the bridge to learn navigation which was a great change for me as Tom Scott who was Mate liked to get the apprentices to do a good days work.

JC

K urgess
24th March 2009, 21:30
If you've read the "Shouts from the Bridge" thread the shout I described of "Sparkie get your a**e up here and fix this radar" was from Captain Allen. I wasn't his sparkie and I just happened to be on the wharf at Pyrmont waiting for them to arrive. I'd done the UK coast with him before joining the ship I was on at the time.
I sailed with him twice. Once for a full trip on the Spruce and then coasting the same ship a few years later.
Leaving the receiver on loudspeaker on an afternoon watch while he was having his siesta was a definite no-no. (EEK)
As was complaining about the Irish stew. [=P]

jimthehat
25th March 2009, 00:26
John.
I was an apprentice with Bank line,52-56 on Maple,Etive and Clydebank,dont know hao many ships we had then ,tho I did hear about 50 so with maybe 4 apps on each ship there were about 200of us wandering around the world and i cant remember the name of anyony i sailed with in those early days.masters yes.

JIM

Charlie Stitt
25th March 2009, 10:51
Yes Andy, indeed you did soon catch up, we made a good team. I believe on your second trip on Laganbank you were thrown in at the deep end looking after the giro and those mercury rings as the ancient mariner who relieved me as 2nd Mate was unable to do the job. Bank Line crew department ??
And hurricane Carla in Galvaston, thats another story.
Jim I can remember the names of most of the guys I sailed with when I first joined Weir's and yet can hardly remember any on my last trip.Why ?
Mod Cons? I remember the Big Hearted Bank Line put on board copra boats, a Decca, at their first port of call in UK but took if back off before they departed their final port in UK, even if that ship was proceeding to Hamburg. The first time one was put on board the Laganbank, I was 3rd Mate ,Douggie Christie was 2nd, we had some fun in the chartroom trying to understand how it worked and, what were these different chains mentioned in the instruction book? Thank you Bank Line for the little bit of experience you did give as when I joined my first ASN Ferry she had all the mod cons and a Nav Officer joining was expected to be competent in its use.(Flowers)

jimthehat
25th March 2009, 13:03
Charlie,
when I joined my first ASN ferry ,it was the Cerdic sailing from Tilbury as soon as we had cleared the locks the old man(charlie Tanner said go and look up the bouys as you will be taking over at sea reach no6,so a quick 10mins peering over the chart and out t the wheelhouse shaking all over.Found out later that the old man did this to all new mates to check their confidence.
JIM

Alistair Macnab
25th March 2009, 16:02
All....

Yes, the Harry Allan I referred to was from Ballymena in Northern Ireland. He was shanghai-ed onto the "Inchanga" after Captain Jackson had his heart attack in Colombo. As I've indicared in another thread, Jacko was an inveterate trader and Harry - a straight-as-an-arrow fellow, would not accept the responsibility of converting Jacko's loot into rupees when the ship arrived in Calcutta. Jacko had to come back on board, sick as he was, to sort his illicit ventures out.

The Mate on "Inchanga" was Wilkie Rutherford who, to be charitable, did not get along with Jacko. When Jacko was carried down the gangway in Colombo, Wilkie wore a black band around his arm and hoped out loud that Jacko would shortly meet his maker. Those who know Wilkie can imagine his actual words.

Wilkie and Harry got along famously and this was probably the best months out of a two + year trip that I enjoyed. Jacko was crafty; Harry was a calm, steady leader; and his successor Captain Jim Williams from Durban (with whom I had sailed on "Ettrickbank" along with Apprentice Andy Lavies), was careful. In few words, that describes these three Masters as I saw them.

We all remember the ships we sailed on and have reported them in our various threads. Perhaps a recitation of Masters would be something of a novelty?

Mine were: Palmer, Kemp, Niblock, Williams, Jackson, Allan, Williams, Peter Stewart, Feint, Mitchell and Donald Campbell - as fine a bunch of seafarers as ever one could hope to meet, anywhere.

K urgess
25th March 2009, 18:38
Allan (deep sea), Holbrook (coast), Newton (deepsea 15 months), McCaffery (deep sea), Allan (coast).

There seems to have been something special about Bankline masters.
I also sailed with some that I know became masters later such as Robbie Whitehead, Harry (Matt) Dillon, Charlie Read and John Farringdon. All of whom I can well imagine became good Masters.

Kris

Charlie Stitt
25th March 2009, 21:55
I sailed with Capt HENRY Allan on the Ericbank in 1957, his home was in Market Road Ballymena. It was only a 9 month trip which was unusual for a Bank Line Liberty Ship at that time and half way through the trip I was promoted to Acting 3rd Mate. Capt Allan took me under his wing and soon had me taking sights and keeping a watch with confidence, a proper gentleman, I will never forget him saying to me " young man, this is a golden opportunity for you, dont mess it up ", I did'nt.
Other masters I sailed with.Capt's Thorne, J Allen, Owen, Leach, Porteous, Feint, Kemp, Brant, Reed and McCoy. I had no problem with any of these Masters but Capt's Allan, Leach, Porteous, Kemp, Brant and McCoy were super and a real pleasure to sail under and a very happy atmosphere existed on board their ships. I most certainly enjoyed my time with Weir's. Pity we could'nt rewind time and shoot the person who was about to intoduce the idea of Boxboats.(Sad)

jimthehat
26th March 2009, 00:00
my list;; mountain(lost at see oct1952) Thorne9twice)Warne,Holland,mendus,TS Robertson,lynch,Angle,and finally TS robertson again. The best three were Holland ,Thorne and Lynch.
JIM

David E
26th March 2009, 00:17
Alistair
Looking back, I can remember most of the Masters but very few of the Ch.Officers.
The Masters were Hale,Owen,Stafford-Watts,Greig (twice),Beavis,Morris,Williams,King,Reid and Palmer.
The only COs I recall were Logan,Lewis,Wise and Rigby.

A spectrum of standards, with Stafford-Watts and King easily the best.

David E

ROBERT HENDERSON
26th March 2009, 00:58
I have noticed several Bankline Masters mentioned on this thread, but Capt Frank Parsons is never mentioned, I wondered if any of you gys sailed with him.

Regards Robert

John Campbell
26th March 2009, 09:58
My list is
Smith,Stafford Watts,Hale,Eadie, Allen,TS Robertson, Beavis, Thorne
Bank Line was certainly one of the best companies to learn your trade with.
JC

ernhelenbarrett
26th March 2009, 11:44
Sailed with Capt Owen Owens on the Tweedbank in the late fifties, met him again when he was Super in Sydney NSW when I was with Vis when he visited the Station in approx 63, liked the photos of Samaria from Marconi Sahib as visited the place many times on Burns Philp's Montoro/GVKG and reckon I was at MoresbyRadio/VIG when Marconi Sahib was on Sprucebank in 68. Small world!!
Ern Barrett

dick burrow
26th March 2009, 11:59
jack donald, john sturgess (twice) louis wigham, davies, harry allen, angus mc bain, all brilliant bar number one.

Charlie Stitt
30th April 2009, 10:56
I believe, if The Great Shipping Mastermind, Andrew Weir, or even Morton Weir had been at the helm in the 1980's, Bank Line would still be trading to-day and their ships flying the Red Duster.What type of ship Tankers? Bulkers? Container? Super or Feeder I don't know, but there would be a fleet of sorts ,I'm sure.(Sad)

pete
30th April 2009, 17:28
Charlie, you are right and more British Seafarers would have a job............pete

John Campbell
30th April 2009, 18:15
I believe, if The Great Shipping Mastermind, Andrew Weir, or even Morton Weir had been at the helm in the 1980's, Bank Line would still be trading to-day and their ships flying the Red Duster.What type of ship Tankers? Bulkers? Container? Super or Feeder I don't know, but there would be a fleet of sorts ,I'm sure.(Sad)

Charlie this article in today's Safety at Sea will cheer you up maybe:-

THE CREW of the box ship Boularibank found a novel way to repel Somali pirates, the vessel’s owner said today: tossing large planks of wood at them. “The skiffs came up alongside the vessel, which then zigzagged and turned its fire hoses on the pirates, finally launching large blocks of wood used to hold the cargo over the side of the vessel,” John Wickham, spokesman for owner Andrew Weir, told Fairplay. “The skiffs veered off in the opposite direction. It was an original form of deterrent,” he observed. The pirates in two skiffs had fired shots at the ship in the Gulf of Aden before the quick-thinking lumber operation. The 22,000dwt Boularibank, which had set off from Port Klang, Malaysia, continued its voyage to Hull in the UK. Meanwhile, the 33,000dwt ro-ro Jolly Smeraldo reportedly fended off a pirate attack this morning in the gulf – after escaping another seizure attempt yesterday afternoon, just hours before. Security sources have told Fairplay that those periods are prime time for pirates, who are difficult to spot approaching out of the Sun rising or setting.
Lloyd's Register - Fairplay Web Links

johnmilne
1st May 2009, 00:39
Alastair,
A question for you.Were Bank Line up with the times fitting vessele out with gyro and Radars? Or with regards to radar did they drag their heels like Blue Star and Union Steam Ship Company Of New Zealand to name a couple.
Thanks,
John Milne

jimthehat
1st May 2009, 22:51
Now then John have to put the thinking cap on for this one.
First three ships from sept52 to sept 56 no radar or gyro ,the sent to eastbank as acting 3/0 so as to get home for ticket,she had both,--then sent out to the ISIPINGO in 57 as 3/0 for a two year spell, no radar or gyro,so dont know if the Eastbank class were the first to be fitted with modern cons.

JIM

Alistair Macnab
1st May 2009, 23:14
John and Jim....
I believe Jim is probably correct that the "Eastbank" as the first "Compass Point" ship, was one of the first to be retrofitted with radar but I don't think she was built that way. I do question that she had gyro at that early date because I was on "Fleetbank" on her maiden voyage in 1953 and she had radar and but no gyro straight from the builders

My first experience was with the R2D2 monster gyro on the stores flat on "Carronbank" in 1960. I was 2/O then and had the delicate job of filling the rings with mercury!

Later on when I was again on "Fleetbank" and "Laganbank" they had that nice little "Arma Brown" gyro on the chart table.

But... there were some other confirmed retrofits although not the "Isipingo" or "Inchanga". The "Ettrickbank" of 1937 when I joined her in 1956 had a Marconi Radiolocator 4 in the wheelhouse and the cheese slice scanner at the top of a new mast on the monkey island that was about 30 feet tall. We had to go around the ship switching off lights in order to give sufficient power to the radar to fill the screen!

jimthehat
1st May 2009, 23:36
Alastair,
I remember the Arma brown ,we had them on the Forresbank and the taybank.On the Forressbank the gyro was acting up in freemantle and the brown flew in from Sydney to sort it out.
i see that we sailed on the same ship ,but not at the same time,I was 2/0 on the Ettrick bank for two years 59-61 with bert lynch in command,good times.

JIM

K urgess
1st May 2009, 23:40
A second mate (Mike Stephens), a Bankline cup of tea and an Arma-Brown gyro. (Thumb)
Sprucebank 1972

pete
2nd May 2009, 12:00
On the Dartbank we had a Brown "B" or "Bouncing Betty" as I called it. Looked after it for 23 Months and was fascinated how it worked...................pete

johnmilne
3rd May 2009, 09:28
Thanks Alister and Jim for your information.With regards to the Eastbank I visited her in New Plymouth in 1963 just before joining my first ship Ashbank.Spent a couple of happy days on her playing around with deep tanks preparing for and doing pressure testing on the lids.The master was Capt Maclean,she had just finished a Port Line charter and next port was in Fiji.With regards to her compass it was magnetic. For a lot of years I wondered when Bank Line started fitting steel hatches after the Birch and Stream Trial? Thanks to "Soapy"aka Keith I got that sorted out
It was a great Company and my regret was leaving after my apprenticeship was served
John Milne

John Campbell
3rd May 2009, 10:22
The Southbank was my first ship in 1953 and the radar was retro fitted and the set was placed in the wheelhouse looking aft - the first and only ship which I have seen one so placed. The "works"was in a cupboard next door to the radio room one deck down and was hell for the Marconi man to tune as he had to dash up and down to the wheelhouse. As far as I remember the radar seldom worked as Captain Bob Smith only was allowed to use it and he and the Marconi man had an unhappy relationship and Smith had no Radar Observer Course to teach him how to use it - facing aft made things quite complicated. We had no gyro .
My first gyro was on the "Fleetbank" and I too remember that infernal Brown gyro and the mercury rings - in 1960 I joined my first T2 tanker and encountered my first Sperry - what a change - you could attack these machines with a spanner!
JC

Alistair Macnab
3rd May 2009, 20:14
Looking at the messages then, it looks like the first ship to come out from the builders with radar was the "Beaverbank" of 1953 with all the older ships being retrofitted from that year on, except the White Ships! I wonder why?

As for gyro compasses, there still seems to be some conflicting memories including mine. Cartainly the "Beaverbank" (1953) six did not have gyro as part of their initial outfitting. These ships eventually had the Arma-Brown in the chartroom. My first gyro compass was "Carronbank" (1957) and that one was the monster on the stores flat. "Carronbank" was the third unit of the Harland's "Cloverbank" Class (also 1957) so I am guessing the the "Cloverbank" or perhaps the "Firbank" (also 1957 but from Doxford's) was the first gyro compass fitted as part of the original equipment.

Charlie Stitt
4th May 2009, 12:40
Alistair, I sailed on the Laganbank 1961 and on Foylebank 1964 both as 2nd Mate and I can say without a doubt that the gyro on both these ships were not Arma Brown but the older type with the mercury rings to service. Why are you surprised the white ships did not get radar?, they ran on railway tracks and did'nt need it.(Jester)

David E
4th May 2009, 12:44
Alistair, I sailed on the Laganbank 1961 and on Foylebank 1964 both as 2nd Mate and I can say without a doubt that the gyro on both these ships were not Arma Brown but the older type with the mercury rings to service. Why are you surprised the white ships did not get radar?, they ran on railway tracks and did'nt need it.(Jester)

Pure libel-they were lovely

Alistair Macnab
4th May 2009, 15:01
Come to think about it, Charlie, we were rarely out of the sight of land on the Indian African Line. Only between Colombo and Mombasa were we likely to get lost!

jimthehat
4th May 2009, 22:54
Alister &Charlie,
Isipingo ,great ship ,master Thorne ,mate Lynch,did we not also lose sight of land for a couple of days between Dar-es salaam and beira,and was it 5 days Mombassa to Columbo?
JIM

oldmarconiman
7th May 2009, 09:20
Sailed on Corabank (Sam) and Eskbank under Captain Sam Withers - first class guy. Ist Mate Mac McClaughlin, 3rd Ian Elder. Chief Engineer on Eskbank was Morgan - real character and 4th Engineer was NZ lad, Vernon Wilson. Two year articles served in full between these two ships and I enjoyed every minute!

The Captain
11th May 2009, 00:16
The only "Browns Pump" action gyro I sailed with was on the Ashbank, my first voyage 2nd Mate in 1971. There was a fantastic "tech" in Newcastle, NSW who spent hours teaching me all about them while fixing it. He had it repaired in a day, a Friday, but returned to the ship on the Saturday and Sunday to educate me in the repair of the machine, when we finished on the Sunday evening he told me that I probably had more knowledge of the compass than most technicians had at the time. Sadly I only got to use it on that ship, didn't see another one after that - maybe that was just as well as they were a cow of a thing to work on and it used to get bloody hot in that stores flat. All the knowledge has gone the way of many other bits of "lore", in to the breeze of history, now I can just remember what they looked like and the distinctive smell.

With regard to Masters I can remember most of them - W. Creber - Laurel bank '65/66 - ??? and Whiston - Nairnbank '66/'67 maiden voyage (??? died of heart attack in Madras about Oct '66 and was replaced by Whiston. Moral was very low and Capt. Whiston had a hard job on that ship and was not too popular at the time. - "Harry' Allen - Sprucebank '67/'68 (Marconi Sahib as R/O). - Harry Barber - Teviotbank - '69 - Francis (Frankie) Parsons - Sprucebank - '69/70 and Ashbank '71 - Alfie Banach - Oakbank '72 - Carl Johnson & Wife - Hazelbank '73/74 - John Lowans - Meadowbank '74 - Whiston - Laurelbank '75 (UK coastal) - Townsley - Meadowbank '75/76.

Of these the best were Harry Barber, Harry Allen and John Lowans although I had a good trip with Carl Johnson and on the coast with Whiston. Francis Parsons was a sanctimonious little man with a big chip on his shoulder. Being a first trip Appy I didn't have much experience with Capt. Creber to pass an opinion on him and for some reason I was his blue eyed boy and could do very little wrong. Pete was 3rd Mate on that trip - his first of many with B/L, he may be able throw more light on W. Creber. Capt. Whiston always treated me well and I have no complaints about him but the only memories are from a very nice day spent with him and his wife in Belfast when on a ship there in the early 70's. As for the rest as far as I am are concerned compared with Allen, Barber, Lowans and Johnson are also rans who didn't rate really remembering - no doubt there are many ex shipmates of mine who feel the same way about me. Of course my days with Bank Line came to an end some 33 years ago and the memory does play tricks with the passage of time. I learned a great deal from being uncert 3rd Mate with Harry Allen for a period of 2 months about being a watchkeeping officer and just as much maybe more from Harry Barber on the Teviotbank as 1st trip 3rd Mate. John Lowans became a friend in later years post Bank Line for both of us and Carl will be remembered for his calmness when things don't go quite the way they were expected to go - the man seemed incapable of panic. The Mates will have to be tackled in a later post.
John S

Andy Lavies
14th May 2009, 19:36
Charlie's right about the Laganbanks gyro - it was a Browns A type. Same in Cedarbank. I can still smeel the carbon tet fluid used for cleaning the mercury rings, etc..
Andy

Charlie Stitt
25th May 2009, 11:57
Ah, the smell of carbon tet Andy, one could become addicted to that. Another smell I remember well, when Mate on the Teakbank and Forresbank in Calcutta, my cabin was taken over for about an hour each day by Mr Bannerjee ? and his merry men to discuss cargo stow/plans. As soon as their backsides hit the seats the biddies would be lit up and the smoke belched out continious for the duration.That smell clung to everything in the cabin and was not got rid off until the ship was at least one day clear of Sandheads. A couple of times I thought about changing jobs with the 2nd Mate to get away from it. The ships office at that time was a one seater, did that ever change?(Cloud)

Alistair Macnab
25th May 2009, 17:55
I have a general arrangement plan of the "Fish" Class and it shows two kneehole desks in the ship's office. After 20 years, your suggestions were heard and followed, Charlie!

Yes, the operations head of our stevedores in Calcutta (Santos Bannerjee & Co.) was indeed Mr. Bannerjee, one of the younger family members. I think it was his three-day wedding we attended in shifts! His grandmother was a pistol. She insisted that the British sailor guests were to be poured an endless supply of Johnny Walker Black Label. I think there were Brocklebank officers at the wedding as well. It was 50 years ago!

Bill Aitken
15th June 2009, 23:45
The version I have is
Blue is the sea we sail on
Red is the blood we sweat
White is the line of starvation
that makes us all forget
the memories past and present
the heartaches yet to come
you think your a Merchant Seaman
but your only a Bankline bum
This is how I remember this one.
Blue is the sea we sail on
Red is the blood we sweat
White is the line of starvation
Least you should forget
The joys past and present
Of sorrows yet to come
You think your a Merchant Seaman
You are just a Bankline bum

Donald McGhee
10th July 2009, 00:40
The only "Browns Pump" action gyro I sailed with was on the Ashbank, my first voyage 2nd Mate in 1971. There was a fantastic "tech" in Newcastle, NSW who spent hours teaching me all about them while fixing it. He had it repaired in a day, a Friday, but returned to the ship on the Saturday and Sunday to educate me in the repair of the machine, when we finished on the Sunday evening he told me that I probably had more knowledge of the compass than most technicians had at the time. Sadly I only got to use it on that ship, didn't see another one after that - maybe that was just as well as they were a cow of a thing to work on and it used to get bloody hot in that stores flat. All the knowledge has gone the way of many other bits of "lore", in to the breeze of history, now I can just remember what they looked like and the distinctive smell.

With regard to Masters I can remember most of them - W. Creber - Laurel bank '65/66 - ??? and Whiston - Nairnbank '66/'67 maiden voyage (??? died of heart attack in Madras about Oct '66 and was replaced by Whiston. Moral was very low and Capt. Whiston had a hard job on that ship and was not too popular at the time. - "Harry' Allen - Sprucebank '67/'68 (Marconi Sahib as R/O). - Harry Barber - Teviotbank - '69 - Francis (Frankie) Parsons - Sprucebank - '69/70 and Ashbank '71 - Alfie Banach - Oakbank '72 - Carl Johnson & Wife - Hazelbank '73/74 - John Lowans - Meadowbank '74 - Whiston - Laurelbank '75 (UK coastal) - Townsley - Meadowbank '75/76.

Of these the best were Harry Barber, Harry Allen and John Lowans although I had a good trip with Carl Johnson and on the coast with Whiston. Francis Parsons was a sanctimonious little man with a big chip on his shoulder. Being a first trip Appy I didn't have much experience with Capt. Creber to pass an opinion on him and for some reason I was his blue eyed boy and could do very little wrong. Pete was 3rd Mate on that trip - his first of many with B/L, he may be able throw more light on W. Creber. Capt. Whiston always treated me well and I have no complaints about him but the only memories are from a very nice day spent with him and his wife in Belfast when on a ship there in the early 70's. As for the rest as far as I am are concerned compared with Allen, Barber, Lowans and Johnson are also rans who didn't rate really remembering - no doubt there are many ex shipmates of mine who feel the same way about me. Of course my days with Bank Line came to an end some 33 years ago and the memory does play tricks with the passage of time. I learned a great deal from being uncert 3rd Mate with Harry Allen for a period of 2 months about being a watchkeeping officer and just as much maybe more from Harry Barber on the Teviotbank as 1st trip 3rd Mate. John Lowans became a friend in later years post Bank Line for both of us and Carl will be remembered for his calmness when things don't go quite the way they were expected to go - the man seemed incapable of panic. The Mates will have to be tackled in a later post.
John S

John Lowans was 2nd mate on Marabank for a spell when I sailed on her, what a great guy, I would have been priveleged to have him as master. A.J.Whiston was master of Teviotbank on her maiden voyage and I was apprentice, a remote sort of guy. Lennie Thorne was my last skipper, I have nothing to say about him lest I be had up for libel. Otherwise great skippers and mates on bank boats.

Charlie Stitt
21st September 2009, 11:27
Reference Capt Broadley in the 50's thread. Having done a few Copra Runs, the name Capt Broadley was quite familiar with me, however I never ever had the pleasure of meeting him in person. I did however have the privilage of speaking to him on the phone at the Airport in New York, having paid off the Teakbank, I was entrusted with the task of making sure everyone arrived back in the UK. I was hailed to reception, where I was surprised to find Capt Broadley on the other end of the telephone to enquire if all was going well and I remember how genuinely concerned he was that I had no problems with some in my charge going on the tare. He wished me the best of luck in getting them all safely onto the plane and having a pleasant trip home. That brief telephone conversation left me with a much different impression of Capt Broadley, he was not the roaring tiger I was led to believe he was, but a real gentleman with compassion.

Johnnietwocoats
21st September 2009, 16:22
John Lowans was 2nd mate on Marabank for a spell when I sailed on her, what a great guy, I would have been priveleged to have him as master. A.J.Whiston was master of Teviotbank on her maiden voyage and I was apprentice, a remote sort of guy. Lennie Thorne was my last skipper, I have nothing to say about him lest I be had up for libel. Otherwise great skippers and mates on bank boats.

Johnny was my neighbour and Friend in belfast. I have a few photos of him somewhere. I would imagine that he would have been a great Master. Might even have returned to bank Line had I been able to sail with him........

I understand he is in Australia now...

TC(Smoke)

Ben Masey
21st September 2009, 20:47
Hi Bankliners,
As second mate of the Isipingo I enjoyed posting all company Radar circulars on a hook by the wheelhopuse windows and watching pilots surreptitiously looking around for the radar set!! Remember "Miss your Target"
Ben Masey

jimthehat
21st September 2009, 22:57
Ben,
I nearly jumped in with both feet when I read your posting re radar on the isipingo.
I was 3/0 on her 57/59 and often wondered how we managed to find our way around,I think we had the same radar as the vital Spark.
you must have been on her just before she was withdrawn from service 1964,did she still have a stewardess,ours was miss macdonald.
regards
JIM

Alistair Macnab
22nd September 2009, 00:24
For the record, the "Inchanga" had Mrs. "Ma" Boness as the stewardess. She was originally from Lancashire but had emigrated to Durban in the 1930s when she was employed by BI on the "T" Class passenger ships. She came to the "Inchanga" sometime in the 1950s and stayed pretty well until the end. We were all very fond of her. She was a small woman in stature but her girth was probably more than her height! When in her "Number One corset" she was as stiff as a board and couldn't manage outside companionways especially on Sunday after a gin or three. She used to cause amusement by sliding down the steps on her ****! It was her 'party piece'!

David E
22nd September 2009, 22:53
For the record, the "Inchanga" had Mrs. "Ma" Boness as the stewardess. She was originally from Lancashire but had emigrated to Durban in the 1930s when she was employed by BI on the "T" Class passenger ships. She came to the "Inchanga" sometime in the 1950s and stayed pretty well until the end. We were all very fond of her. She was a small woman in stature but her girth was probably more than her height! When in her "Number One corset" she was as stiff as a board and couldn't manage outside companionways especially on Sunday after a gin or three. She used to cause amusement by sliding down the steps on her ****! It was her 'party piece'!

"Ma" was already there when I joined in 1950-she seemed to have been aboard for ever.Lovely lady, all life was a joke.Her work load must have been very heavy at that time as we were normally fully booked.She learned that I had bought a radio in Durban-come down,measured it up and knitted a remarkable,multicoloured,"tea cosy" cover to keep the dust off.

guthfrith
13th November 2009, 00:55
I have noticed several Bankline Masters mentioned on this thread, but Capt Frank Parsons is never mentioned, I wondered if any of you gys sailed with him.

Regards Robert

Sailed with Capt Parsons on the Rosebank and Teakbank between Feb 64 and Mar 65. Good skipper, excellent seaman.

ianian
6th February 2010, 13:59
Johnny was my neighbour and Friend in belfast. I have a few photos of him somewhere. I would imagine that he would have been a great Master. Might even have returned to bank Line had I been able to sail with him........

I understand he is in Australia now...

TC(Smoke)

Hi Johnnie, I see you have mentioned John Lowans, only I have a close friend who is the widow of John Browning, who would like to get in touch with John Lowans, who you say now resides in Australia, can you help?? or any of the guys on SN.

Regards ianian

McMorine
12th February 2010, 13:31
Seeing in the press recently about the right to build funeral pyres in this country, reminded me of when we were in Kuwait. The engine room Serang died of a brain haemorrhage and was to be cremated on a funeral pyre. The Captain asked for volunteers to attend, so a few of us went in full uniform. We were transported out into the desert along with the crew in mni-buses, also a wagon loaded with timber and of course the corpse in an enclosed van. When we got to the site the crew commenced building a bonfire, using all the timber that was on the wagon. The body that was only wrapped in cloth, was then put on the top. The crew then started chanting something and the fire was lit, I think they used kerrosene to get it going. Apparently the head has to be made bare, this was done and more chanting took place. If you have been to Kuwait, you will appreciate how bloody hot it was and I don't mean the fire. After a while it was obvious that there wasn't going to be enough timber to complete the job, so the crew had to go off with the wagon and find some more. Timber is quite scarce in the desert. After a while we the officers and cadets decided it was going to take sometime to complete the job, so we proceeded back to the ship. I don't think any of us would volunteer for another one. The following day, the 2nd Officer had to go and collect the ashes, how he new what was what I don't know, he never really talked about it. The ashes had to be sent back to India, so his wife could scatter them on the Ganges. Certainly lead a very varied life in The Bank Line.

Alistair Macnab
13th February 2010, 18:34
In "Inchanga" we had a Third Class passenger died of old age. He was coming back to India to die from Durban with his family but didn't make it between Mombasa and Colombo.
We had him sewn up in the customary manner in canvas with Chippy putting the last pass of the needle through his nose, stopped the ship and lowered him down to the water's edge on a stage and let him float off and sink (with the benefit of some heavy junk). The Indian crew and the other passengers did all the religious things. I think it was the Deck Cassab who was a hajji so he was in charge. Quite a solemn occasion.