Calcutta Garden Reach

sidsal
28th December 2008, 21:16
Mooring in the river with anchors hung off and chain taken aft etc has always stayed in my memory. The great big multi-sheaved blocks roved with coir ropes etc - and the bore coming upriver like an express train. Great stuff.
The last time I sailed from Calcutta was in 1947 - the day India got its independence. The river had bloated bodies floating down it from the riots which took place all over India.
On a more cheeful note - I recall an Indian who used to come aboard in Kiddapore Dock selling something and when he got no joy said - " You Brocklebank fellows very mean - I go to the Shitty boat instead" - his way of saying the City boats - Ellermans.
Happy days

Ian6
28th December 2008, 22:01
Sidsal
Brings back memories. Seven years after you I was there in a tanker, same regime as the bore came past. Added attractions included still seeing bodies floating downstream on the ebb (presumably not left over from independence from the evil colonials but genuine home grown jobs, and then seeing most of them go past again on the flood) plus an Indian oiltank inspector who had a Rahdood's explosiometer to test for gas-free status. We had a slightly more sophisticated meter incorporating a wheatstone bridge that could detect gas, but "not invented here" applied. His gubbins drew off a sample of air from the tanks and then a spark endeavoured to explode it. If you were still around afterwards you had passed.
Again in 1961 in P&O's Pinjarra loading red dust called iron ore whilst waiting for the monsoon to break - i.e. very hot & sweaty, plus a local cholera outbreak meant water rationing.
Oh, happy days.
Ian

Derek Roger
29th December 2008, 02:51
Mooring in the river with anchors hung off and chain taken aft etc has always stayed in my memory. The great big multi-sheaved blocks roved with coir ropes etc - and the bore coming upriver like an express train. Great stuff.
The last time I sailed from Calcutta was in 1947 - the day India got its independence. The river had bloated bodies floating down it from the riots which took place all over India.
On a more cheeful note - I recall an Indian who used to come aboard in Kiddapore Dock selling something and when he got no joy said - " You Brocklebank fellows very mean - I go to the Shitty boat instead" - his way of saying the City boats - Ellermans.
Happy days

Remakable that you were there for Independence Sid Well Done !! Derek

Derek Roger
29th December 2008, 02:52
PS I was only 2 years old at the time . I feel very humbled . Derek

sidsal
29th December 2008, 18:19
On that voyage to Calcutta we had brought out as passenger a Scot who worked in the jute mills. He had been on leave and when he returned to the mill we were told he had been shoved into the Scotch boiler fire which powered the factory, alive !!
I had abrother-in-law who was a sparks pre-war and was shanghied back into the MN as Sparks on WW2. After the war he left to run the family laundry in Yorkshire. He wrote to me saying he had bought and paid for a carpet in Calcutta but never received it. He aksed if I could call at the shop to see about it. Being young and ignorant I went ashore and got a taxi which took me so far and the driver said he could'nt take me any further as it was a Moslem area and he was Hindu. I then walked a little way and got another taxi which took me again so far - same again - Hondu area - copuldn;t take me further. I eventually got to the place where the shop used to be and, of course there it was - GONE ! I called at a nearby police station which had cells like tiger cages - all full of prisoners. Suprisingly they were not particularly interested in my brother-in- law's missing carpet. They had other things on their minds.
When I got back on board I received a rollocking from the old man for being so daft as to go shore into the riots.

Hugh Ferguson
29th December 2008, 21:26
www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/52131/ppuser/8509During the last 10 months of the war I was in a ship (M.O.W.T. Glen Line managed, Empire Capulet). We were up and down the Hooghly twelve times, transporting supplies to places between Chittagong and Rangoon. We spent many weary days on the Garden Reach buoys, experiencing two strong bores. The nightime ones were the most dramatic, (our ship was standard wartime construction and evidently the scantlings of our fairleads were not up the standards necessary). My station was aft, and moored between two other ships the sheering about as the bore arrived was most dramatic. We really thought we would carry away our moorings as the chain surged through the fairleads, sending showers of sparks flying about and lumps of broken cast iron fairlead whizzing through the air. It was always the same: next day, unmoor, and back into the Kidderpore docks again for repair to the broken fairleads.

sidsal
29th December 2008, 22:59
Hugh:
Brocklebank ships were built with hawsepipes in the stern and the drill was as follows ( sorry if I appear to teach my grandmother to suck eggs).
Heading up stream we tied to buoys. Then both anchors were hung off and two shackles of chain were put into barges and taken aft. They were heaved up though the hawspipes (crossed) and made fast around bitts at the fore end of the poop.The outboard ends were made fast to buoys.
The forward chains were crossed - one to a buoy and the other ashore ( if I remember rightly - may have been to a buoy also).
At the poop there were 2 nine sheaved bloody big tackles with coir ropes rove in them. When the bore was due one block was made fast to the bitts at the fore end of the poop and the other end to the chain just where it appeared on deck. The purchase was then put on the winch and heaved away bringing a big bight of chain onto the poop. This went on until it was "two blocks).
When the bore struck , the ship was pushed ahead and the chains became taught as the weight went on them and it pulled the blocks apart and allowed the strain to be taken gradually by the chain. Otherwise the bitts would have been pulled out of the deck, I'm sure.
I do believe this carry on was sometimes a question in BOT orals years ago !!

Hugh Ferguson
30th December 2008, 09:57
Yes, sidsal, exactly the same, but I do not recall the forward chains being crossed. The whole palaver took about 4 hours.

MikeK
30th December 2008, 10:02
We used to go through that rigmarolle with Jardines as well, right up next to Howrah Bridge. Old China hands told stories about bodies dropping off the bridge when rioting factions met in the middle ! In my time we used to watch the crowds on the far bank, which was paved in a curve to take the force out of the bore, this caused an enormous breaking bore wave and the crowd loved to play chicken with it !! Never saw anyone caught out, but there must have been some.

Mike

R396040
30th December 2008, 11:55
Mooring in the river with anchors hung off and chain taken aft etc has always stayed in my memory. The great big multi-sheaved blocks roved with coir ropes etc - and the bore coming upriver like an express train. Great stuff.
The last time I sailed from Calcutta was in 1947 - the day India got its independence. The river had bloated bodies floating down it from the riots which took place all over India.
On a more cheeful note - I recall an Indian who used to come aboard in Kiddapore Dock selling something and when he got no joy said - " You Brocklebank fellows very mean - I go to the Shitty boat instead" - his way of saying the City boats - Ellermans.
Happy days

Yes brings back memories for me on my first trip on the MATRA as P/CSin the late sixties. I had previously sailed on Cunard cargo ships so it was a complete change of scenery for me and I was watching the world go by as we steamed up river. I spotted a body floating by so rushed up to the bridge and reported same to the Master Captain Clifford-Hicks who was most amused and more or less said see how many more you can count...
On a similar vein in NYC whilst entertaining the crew of the NYPD police boat I happened to query their numbers of "floaters/jumpers", the very next morning they woke me up (with hangover) escorted me to the police boat along the dock to show me their latest bloated corpse tied up alongside their boat. Just what you wanted to start the day..... Great guys though.
Stuart (aka George) Henderson

sidsal
30th December 2008, 15:12
Stuart
Not heard the name Clifford Hicks for 64years !! He was mate on the Fort Camosun when she was being repaired at Greythorpe on the Tees after being torpedoed for the second time. Funny why you remember names by some daft thing about them. The thing I remember about him is that his wife was a small woman and he used to boast that in bed he would fart and cover the bedclothes over her so she could not escape it !!
Charming !

skymaster
30th December 2008, 18:27
First Mate on my first voyage ,Mathura Oct 1955!Seemed to remember he used a cigarette holder ,very elegant,in those days.
skymaster

roy quirk
30th December 2008, 19:11
Sid There is a good photo of my old ship, Markhor, chained up as you describe,in the gallery. Enter in the "search" - Markhor Brocklebanks.
Cheers,
Roy

China hand
30th December 2008, 20:46
Yes, sidsal, exactly the same, but I do not recall the forward chains being crossed. The whole palaver took about 4 hours.

Yup, can confirm the forward chains were crossed. Hang off port anchor, cable to stbd buoy, hang off stbd anchor,2 shckles into boat, break, 2 shackles into other boat, cable to port buoy.

Then the fun and games aft.

We used to spend a few days (weeks) at Sandheads before we went up, and as there were always a few Bank boats in Cal together, we had a bit of a bet as to who could split shackles fastest.

On Firbank in 1961, a brand new SCI ship came in behind us, was still trying to get sorted at bore time, swung across and clouted the old Taybank. Nice chipping job for free on her, nice wiggly plates on the poor new fresh out of Visag SCI job.

I was explaining the moorings to my mates on a recent ship; they were then convinced I was totally in cloud cuckoo land. Ah well, tempus etc...

R396040
30th December 2008, 21:25
First Mate on my first voyage ,Mathura Oct 1955!Seemed to remember he used a cigarette holder ,very elegant,in those days.
skymaster

Sisdal/Skymaster
Hi, Yes sounds like him. He was very good to me inasmuch as it was my first ship with Indian crew and he put me right about a few things,sick parades being one, only a teaspoon full of cough linctus for example not a bottle as you would with British crews and to watch out for crew members quoting symptons of pregnancy !!

Johnnietwocoats
30th December 2008, 22:33
Yes, sidsal, exactly the same, but I do not recall the forward chains being crossed. The whole palaver took about 4 hours.

Seems to me it took a lot longer than four hours if you take the time preparing as you sailed up the Hoogly.

Remember the port anchor was tied back and the cable was flaked on the F'csle head. Couldn't do anything with the Starboard anchor until we got to the berth as it may have been required on the passage up the river.

Then the fun began when you arrived at the buoys.

I believe the forward cables were crossed.

Memories of a Bank Line Apprentice on numerous trips to Calcutta.

Never sailed as a Bank Line Officer.

R798780
30th December 2008, 23:12
Sisdal/Skymaster
Hi, Yes sounds like him. He was very good to me inasmuch as it was my first ship with Indian crew and he put me right about a few things,sick parades being one, only a teaspoon full of cough linctus for example not a bottle as you would with British crews and to watch out for crew members quoting symptons of pregnancy !!

I remember William Henry Clifford Hicks, but that was in '67 when he was master on Maskeliya. Don't recall a cigarette holder but he had a reputation as a cleptomaniac. Showed me to his sextant though and insisted as sprog that I took sights with it.

Moored up for the bore on Mawana as described, crossed cables and everything, fourfold coir tackle on each cable, parted the coir ropes just heaving it up on the winch - and the harbour authorities charged us for that even though the spliced rope was then in better nick. The bore when it came was a none event, thankfully, the real thing sounds awful hairy.

Derek Roger
31st December 2008, 00:56
I remember William Henry Clifford-Hicks, but that was in '67 when he was master on Maskeliya. Don't recall a cigarette holder but he had a reputation as a cleptomaniac. Showed me to his sextant though and insisted as sprog that I took sights with it.

Moored up for the bore on Mawana as described, crossed cables and everything, fourfold coir tackle on each cable, parted the coir ropes just heaving it up on the winch - and the harbour authorities charged us for that even though the spliced rope was then in better nick. The bore when it came was a none event, thankfully, the real thing sounds awful hairy.

About once a month the mate was reputed to have gone to his cabin and "retrieved " all the lost articles and retured them to their owners .
This was repeated over the voyage and at the end all was well.


Derek

sidsal
31st December 2008, 18:12
Roy
Tried to retrieve Markhor photo but no joy.
Possibly because I am a donker as far as computers are concerend !
Sid

roy quirk
4th January 2009, 14:15
Sid, O.K.Here's how to get photo;-
First press GALLERY at the top by picture of Queen Mary. Then press SEARCH (top right hand),then under KEYWORDS enter Markhor Brocklebanks.
Then under SELECT CATAGORIES enter cargo vessels then press EXECUTE SEARCH and double click on photo.
Hope you are successful,
Cheers,
Roy

sidsal
5th January 2009, 15:13
Roy:
Success - great pics !
I am a duffer on computers I'm afraid
Sid

Supergoods
7th January 2009, 20:01
I just posted a photo of the Marwarri on Buj Buj Moorings which shows the bow chain arrangements and one of the hand powered chain boats

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/156551

As far as I remember the bow chains were not crossed, but the stern chains were.

The coir springs were only rigged if a bore tide was predicted.

Tony Sprigings
8th January 2009, 12:11
Have any of you had a look at Google Earth with reference to Calcutta as it is nowadays. Worth a look!

teb
13th January 2009, 07:07
[quote=MikeK;277413]We used to go through that rigmarolle with Jardines as well, right up next to Howrah Bridge. Old China hands told stories about bodies dropping off the bridge when rioting factions met in the middle ! In my time we used to watch the crowds on the far bank, which was paved in a curve to take the force out of the bore, this caused an enormous breaking bore wave and the crowd loved to play chicken with it !! Never saw anyone caught out, but there must have been some.

Mike[/QUthat

Mike the name Jardines caught my eye and that the Eeastern Ranger was one of your old ships!! I have the shipbuilders model of her but under the colours of her last owners Hong Kong Islands Shipping co. they renamed her Tsing Yi Island. I actually sold it to them and Jardines handed over the model to HKIS who in turn presented it to me when I later sold her for Razor Blades!! I would have liked to attached a photo of the model -But regret my computor skills fairly limited!!! I too was an Old Jardine hand running their shipbroking susidiary at the time, when did you leave them? regards Teb.

MikeK
13th January 2009, 08:52
Mike the name Jardines caught my eye and that the Eeastern Ranger was one of your old ships!! I have the shipbuilders model of her but under the colours of her last owners Hong Kong Islands Shipping co. they renamed her Tsing Yi Island. I actually sold it to them and Jardines handed over the model to HKIS who in turn presented it to me when I later sold her for Razor Blades!! I would have liked to attached a photo of the model -But regret my computor skills fairly limited!!! I too was an Old Jardine hand running their shipbroking susidiary at the time, when did you leave them? regards Teb.

Hello Teb, small world as they say !
The Ranger was a nice little ship and kept immaculate, as was the rest of the fleet. Well - with the exception of the H Boats that is !, But they had a hard life lugging logs from Borneo.
Being a boat modeller myself I'm envious of your model. Somebody must have had a steady hand to convert it to HKIS colours !
I left the Company in 1971, my last ship being the Eastern Moon (I think !)
Happy days a world away now
Just realized, we are trespassing on the Brocklebanks thread - my apologies gentlemen !

best regards

Mike

sidsal
13th January 2009, 20:28
Most interesting messages from you chaps from Jardines. It's great how these threads expand into all sorts of memories.

sidsal
13th January 2009, 21:56
Tony - just looked at Google Earth -= Calcutta as you suggest.
Amazing ! I see that there is still only the one bridge - Howrah. I understood there was another bridge now across the Hooghly.
When I was in Brocks just after ww2 I understood the bridge was closed for some hours each night in order to let it settle down form the synchronism caused by the heavy traffic - foot and vehicular. There is a website for the bridge and I e-maile them a while ago asking if they still closed the bridge but they didn't respond.

John Campbell
13th January 2009, 23:00
When serving as Chief Off with Caltex we were on the dreaded Vizag to Buj Buj run for about six months and it was in the midddle of the Indian -Pakistan war with no lights for navigation.
Whilst mooring at the Buj Buj oil terminal and rigging chains, similar to the Garden Reach performance. down came a great Brahminy Kite and raked its talons over the bald pate of the second mate as he was leaning over the stern rails.

I will never forget his screams as we poured liberal showers of raw dettol over his lacerated scalp. A trip never to be forgotten but a great adventute in a T2 tamker on its last legs.
JC

Tony Sprigings
14th January 2009, 12:37
Sidsal,
Thanks for yours. I think if you look at the site again you will see the second bridge called Vidyasagar Bridge just above the entrance to the Kidderpore Dock. It was certainly nor there in our day. Cheers, Tony

sidsal
14th January 2009, 17:14
Tony.
Must get a new pair of glasses ! If I remember rightly where Kiddapore dock lies, then the new bridge is somewhre in the Garden Reach area !
Sid

MikeK
15th January 2009, 08:45
Tony.
Must get a new pair of glasses ! If I remember rightly where Kiddapore dock lies, then the new bridge is somewhre in the Garden Reach area !
Sid

Never knew there was one until reading on here. Just Google Earthed it and Vidyasagar Bridge is just upriver from Kiddapore Locks. If my memory is right , somewhere around the Sports Club area

Mike

sidsal
15th January 2009, 23:26
John Campbell
Wot a hellish run in a T2tanker.
It never ceases to amaze me ahy I dodn't go into NZS or Prt Line who had nice runs to nice places !!

China hand
16th January 2009, 20:09
Never knew there was one until reading on here. Just Google Earthed it and Vidyasagar Bridge is just upriver from Kiddapore Locks. If my memory is right , somewhere around the Sports Club area

Mike

Yeah, but some "connections"could be made in the swimming club, at least, in the '60s.

MikeK
17th January 2009, 09:14
'Nuff said !! (*)) (*))

China hand
27th January 2009, 20:45
Just when it got "good"in that little tree spot behind the chota pool, some officious "bearer"with a pop-gun would let off at the shite'awks n spoil all he fun - frantic bikini top doing ups (A) !

dick palmer
23rd October 2011, 06:29
We used to go through that rigmarolle with Jardines as well, right up next to Howrah Bridge. Old China hands told stories about bodies dropping off the bridge when rioting factions met in the middle ! In my time we used to watch the crowds on the far bank, which was paved in a curve to take the force out of the bore, this caused an enormous breaking bore wave and the crowd loved to play chicken with it !! Never saw anyone caught out, but there must have been some.

Mike

Ok, you got me ! I tried to squash the insect on my screen !! LOL !

MikeK
24th October 2011, 09:51
Ok, you got me ! I tried to squash the insect on my screen !! LOL !

Can't for the life of me remember where I 'borrowed' it from, but it has caused quite a few people to also attempt to splat it, Dick ! Certainly brings a little silliness into this not so silly world (==D)

Mike

japottinger
26th October 2011, 23:40
Re mooring the SS Maihar had outboard accommodation amidships for engineer officers and a wide working alleyway, so all chains had to be dragged aft outside our cabins.Can relate to bodies being impaled on the anchor chains when the tide was going out and we used to lay bets on seeing same on inbound tide!

Oz.
27th October 2011, 00:51
Some fairly recent photos of Calcutta in my Gallery. (Even the locals still call it Calcutta not Kolkatta!)