Maplebank (ex Samwash) Liberty

Alan Rawlinson
14th December 2008, 14:53
One of the Bank Lines so called '' white crew ships '' when I served aboard for 19 months in 1953/4 as senior apprentice.

Just wondering and hoping there may be a shipmate or two out there from this memorable voyage? Please get in touch.

We had 4 apprentices - myself; J White ( jumped ship in New Plymouth - N.Z.) ; John Beale ( later in the FORRESBANK when she was lost) ; and, Jim Haig ( last seen in 1973 or thereabouts, as a senior manager in Seatrain)

Most of the deck crew deserted in Australia, to be replaced by various bodies who had fallen foul of the authorities. The original crew were from Liverpool, and had a fantastic sort of black humour. Made working clothes, including caps from bolts of duck canvas, and the Bos'n carved ship models from chicken breast bones, which came out rather nice when varnished and sold for beer money in the Spencer Gulf ports. We spent quite a while on the phosphate run from Ocean Island and Nauru to Australia and New Zealand - (one or two of the lucky crew had female stowaways for comfort). Outward bound via Panama, the deck crowd disappeared ashore at Cristobal and we transitted without them. A police boat brought them back in Balboa in handcuffs. - Oh, happy days!!


23rd January 2009, 00:19
Hi Alan ,you say you were on the maplebank 53-54,I joined the maplebank in aug 1952 as first trip app and payed off in Bromborough in feb 1954.
we were white crew and like you we had most of jump ship round the oz coast ,The first master was capt mountain ,but he disappeared at sea whilst crossing the pacific and capt thorne joined in brisbane,it was ahard working but happy ship.
jim ferrier

Alan Rawlinson
23rd January 2009, 07:15
Hallo Jim,

Welcome to the Forum, and many thanks for the posting re the '' Maplebank ''.
Looks like I got my dates slightly wrong, and the voyage I was on started in February in Bromborough after you paid off in 1954. It was my last voyage before taking my second mates ticket in 1955. Looks like you had a similar voyage, and I had heard about Capt. Mountain on the grapevine. I believe the voyage we were on was the last so called '' white crew '' bankline ship in those days, but the memory does play tricks!

I do remember we had an AB called Smith who was a decent sort. he stuck it out, and was the sole survivor of the original crew when we paid off in Hamburg. He got a DR in his discharge book for his efforts which we apprentices thought was a bit 'off ''!

Looks like we also crossed tracks in Felixstowe when I had a spell as Sales and Marketing Manager ( after Derrick Peters) 88/89, and when Robert Guille was i/c.

All the Best / Alan