Inverbank class,-Twin screw

Charlie Stitt
12th January 2009, 19:53
Weir had 18 0f these ships built in 1925. one of these was the Myrtlebank,on which I served as first trip Apprentice 1955/1956. It never fails to amaze me how the crew survived getting to their accommodation when heading into a big sea and swell. These ships were flush deckers, straigt bar stem,no flare to the bow no bulwarks,just open railings, the crew's accommodation was up forward but their toilets and wash rooms were outboard between No1 and No2 hatches.When down to her marks with a big sea on the nose she was like a submarine, with heavy green water crashing down the decks. I still remember standing wide eyed and open mouthed watching crew members hanging on to lifelines waiting for a chance to make a dash from toilets forward etc, if they mis-timed the ships pitch they were in trouble.I think the railings were forever on the repair list. Don't make em like that any more.(A)

Johnnietwocoats
13th January 2009, 07:40
Weir had 18 0f these ships built in 1925. one of these was the Myrtlebank,on which I served as first trip Apprentice 1955/1956. It never fails to amaze me how the crew survived getting to their accommodation when heading into a big sea and swell. These ships were flush deckers, straigt bar stem,no flare to the bow no bulwarks,just open railings, the crew's accommodation was up forward but their toilets and wash rooms were outboard between No1 and No2 hatches.When down to her marks with a big sea on the nose she was like a submarine, with heavy green water crashing down the decks. I still remember standing wide eyed and open mouthed watching crew members hanging on to lifelines waiting for a chance to make a dash from toilets forward etc, if they mis-timed the ships pitch they were in trouble.I think the railings were forever on the repair list. Don't make em like that any more.(A)


Bit like a Kelly's Coalboat in the Irish sea between Magheramourne and Ayr.

Charlie Stitt
13th January 2009, 12:28
Yes John, the Kelly men must have had many a hairy experience but, unlike the Myrtlebank,the sailors at least had the shelter of a Forecastle to head for. What took the ship designers so long to realise that crew could actually be accommadated aft. I sailed on the Ernebank built 1937, also a flush decker with railings but at least the crew were aft and the thunderboxes sited outboard between No4 and 5. Can't remember ever seeing the Old Man on the Myrtlebank going forward on his inspection trip in adverse weather conditions.(Thumb)

jimthehat
8th February 2009, 00:49
Clydebank was another of the 1924/5 jobs,sailed on her as senior apprentice 55/56(16 months) Berti Holland was master and wilkie rutherford was c/o,a very happy ship and they were two of the finest men i ever sailed with.
Regards
pelorus

Alistair Macnab
8th February 2009, 19:21
Jimmythehat.....
You are correct that Bertie Holland and Wilkie Rutherford were top-notch shipmates. I sailed for two years with Wilkie on the "Inchanga" and he was quite a one-man entertainer! This was in addition to the hard work he put in running the ship, of course. His trips and friends ashore were legendary.
During one of the voyages on the Indian-African Line we were waiting for some passengers to arrive from Oz on a "Strath" boat and when they eventually boarded there was one young lady who stood out from the cast of dowagers we usually carried. It was every man for himself, but Wilkie very quickly won her over and before we reached Mombasa they were engaged!
Next trip back southbound, they were married in Durban and had the wedding reception back aboard "Inchanga".
Wilkie subsequently went ashore with Rennie's in Durban. I think he was the M-D of their stevedoring department. Unfortunately Wilkie and his bride eventually separated and I heard Wilkie died some years ago. A fine man; a fine sailor; a good friend.

Charlie Stitt
11th February 2009, 17:06
Jimthehat, I hope you did your fair share of trimming the galley coal bunkers, and did'nt make the poor junior apprentice do it all like I had to do. No justice on those ships.(Cloud)

Charlie Stitt
2nd March 2009, 11:58
This class of ship had very unusual type derricks, not tubular but fabricated square profile, more like a crane jib, a pain in the neck to chip and paint. I wonder why these derricks were built this way and was it only these particular ships that had them?

Alistair Macnab
2nd March 2009, 17:22
Charlie...
We had latice or girder derricks on the "Ettrickbank" built by Doxfords in 1937. Seemingly it was something Weir's wanted! By the time I was sailing with these derricks (1955-1957) they were getting pretty weak and it was not unusual to see them folding over at mid-length (in a shower of rust and paint particles!) when lifting something heavier than about 30 cwt. In the end, they were replaced by regular tubular derricks in Japan (1957) except for the jumbo which was reduced to 15 tons SWL and used regularly for loading heavy "sinker" logs in the Philippines and North Borneo on the Oriental African Line. The Doxford instructions for rigging the jumbo assumed that it would be worked when alongside a quay because the outrigger guys and tackle were described as "Attach to a suitable strong point on the wharf" which was not much use when working the rig at anchor!
This meant that we could either attach the outrigger tackle inside the fixed deck rails or outside the fixed deck rails and flatten the rails when swinging the logs into the ship or when trying to get the boom to plumb over the side.
Did I say that the jumbo boom was also ridiculously short and was near horizontal when picking up a mere 10 feet from the ship's side?
Happy days! But I hope you can tell from the tone of this message that even shortcomings such as this bring back the nostalgia of good times and good runs!

jimthehat
2nd March 2009, 23:54
Alistair,
Thanks for reminding me of the Ettrickbank .I was 2ndmate on her for two years,59/61,cant remember if the jumbo was still girder then ,but do remember all the fun and games loading the logs in borneo.Did sail with girder derricks on the Clydebank.
The old man on the ettrickbank was JR Lynch(a Durban man)
JIM

jimthehat
3rd March 2009, 00:01
Alistair,
saw you were 3rd mate on the Inchanga 58/60, I was 3rd mate on the Isipingo for 2 years 57/59 so we must have passed quite a few times.
JIM

Alistair Macnab
3rd March 2009, 16:14
Jim....
Sounds like you were a shanghai-ed man too, Oriental African Line and Indian African Line! You know, the "Inchanga" and "Isipingo" were never in port together during my time although the possibilities were endless in Mombasa and Colombo where our respective schedules were expected to cross. So much for schedule keeping!
Captain J.R.Lynch eventually becames the marine superintendent in Durban. He took over from the retired Captain Banks. I have seen six Bank boats in Durban at one time. It was quite a crossroads for ships bound for the Far East, Bay of Bengal, East Africa, River Plate and the West Coast of South America. Do you remember the Officers' Club in Alliwal Street?
I see you are retired. So am I and enjoying every minute of it! Ships Nostalgia gives me the necessary mental stimulus whenever I feel nostalgic for the "old days" Here in Houston Texas, I married "one of the natives" and settled down. Raised three kids. Will live out the rest of my days here.
Kind regards,
Alistair.

jimthehat
3rd March 2009, 19:11
Alistair,
When I flew out to join the isipingo she was in DAKAR,and as soon as I got on board we sailed back round to the proper side of the continent,yes i remember the officers club,loved the dances and the girls,

jim

David E
4th March 2009, 00:35
[QUOTE=Alistair Macnab;297478]Jim....
Sounds like you were a shanghai-ed man too, Oriental African Line and Indian African Line! You know, the "Inchanga" and "Isipingo" were never in port together during my time although the possibilities were endless in Mombasa and Colombo where our respective schedules were expected to cross. So much for schedule keeping!
Captain J.R.Lynch eventually becames the marine superintendent in Durban. He took over from the retired Captain Banks. I have seen six Bank boats in Durban at one time. It was quite a crossroads for ships bound for the Far East, Bay of Bengal, East Africa, River Plate and the West Coast of South America. Do you remember the Officers' Club in Alliwal Street?
I see you are retired. So am I and enjoying every minute of it! Ships Nostalgia gives me the necessary mental stimulus whenever I feel nostalgic for the "old days" Here in Houston Texas, I married "one of the natives" and settled down. Raised three kids. Will live out the rest of my days here.
Kind regards,


Alistair,

Looking back, I think I was lucky to be "shanghai-ed" into the India Africa Line in 1950. I avoided service in the rest of the then,ancient, fleet for almost two years. John Lynch was second mate in the Inchanga in 1952 while I was Uncertificated third.

Regards
David E

Alan Rawlinson
4th March 2009, 11:35
Like a jigsaw!

I followed David into the Inchanga in 1952, and was made acting 3/0 ( still 16 for a few weeks!) with Lynch as 2/0, Rigby was mate, and Beavis the Master. Ian Harvey from Walvis Bay was a first trip apprentice, and through S/N I have just learned that he is now retired in Capetown after heading the Ports service based in Capetown.

Lynch was a very pleasant shipmate, who amazed us all by sitting a ticket ( Master's probably) whilst we were in Durban without recourse to study ashore or the need to pay off.

I went home in the Westbank, after she had just been hauled off the '' Juan De Nova '' islet in the Mozambique Strait. ( Everyone's worst nightmare - steaming straight up the beach at full speed on the 4 to 8 watch, I believe) In Durban, the hull was strengthened on the outside with girders for the trip Durban/Immingham, but it couldn't have been that bad, for she was fully loaded for the homeward run with iron ore of all things!

Cheers/Alan Rawlinson

jimthehat
4th March 2009, 13:08
WESTBANK,
The story of the grounding (as I was told) was that the mate was working out his star sights and plotted a position that was about 20odd miles off course and in the vicinity of Juan De Nova,the mate thinking that he had made an error started to rework his sights midway through the ship ran straight on the beach, there was apparantly a lookout up fwd and when asked why he did not ring the bell "answered "No Bhati sahab.
For the life of me cannot remember the mate,but i did meet him in Durban later.
When i was up for masters in Uk I had passed orals and signals but dipped writtens and was then called to get on my bike and join the Taybank in Rotterdam which was ready to sail and did not have a 2/0 .I was told that the company would arrange for me to sit writtens somewhere,AND that turned out to be in calcutta about 4 months later,we were at the bore moorings ,so it was up early every day and off in the boat,it was an experience.

JIM

jimthehat
4th March 2009, 15:02
re my above ,I think that the mate on the Westbank at the grounding may have been Carney can any of the bankline elder statesmen confirm that.

JIM

BASHER
4th March 2009, 16:53
i AM NOT SURE WHO THE mATE WAS, BUT THE mASTER COULD HAVE BEEN
cAPT"N STEWART

BASHER

Alistair Macnab
4th March 2009, 17:00
Jim, David and Alan....
It looks like I am junior to you all as the incidents you recount were already into Bank Line lore when I joined the company in 1953. It was not as if I had a hard time as my first two ships were the maiden voyages of the "Fleetbank" and "Laganbank" but before either was placed on the Copra run. My third ship, however was the good old "Ettrickbank" on the Oriental African Line as I have described earlier, so when I went back to Glasgow to take my second mate's ticket, I decided that I would like to go back to the OAL and said as much to Captain Scobie who was Chief Marine Superintendent at the time.
All he heard was the "Africa" part because he immediately assigned me to the "Inchanga" and before I knew it, I was flying out to Mombasa to join her. Somehow they always seemed to have trouble in getting volunteers for the white ships! Something to do with guaranteed two-year trips I suppose.
Anyway as soon I joined "Inchanga" and met Wilkie Rutherford (C/O) Tom Scott Weir (R/O) and Alan Macgregor (2/O) my tap got stopped by the old man before it even got started (Jacko Jackson) because apparently we were making too much noise and having too much fun in the 2/Os cabin. As you know, we all lived on the bridge behind the wheelhouse and there was only a jalousie door separating the officers from the Old Man's accommodation.

These were the best ship and best shipmates I ever sailed with not forgetting "Ma" Bowness, the stewardess, and the Apprentices, Mellows, Baird and Lavies. As a matter of fact, this was the entire European staff if you don't count the Chief Engineer and her husband, Fred Gibbons. They were from Wales!

David E
5th March 2009, 01:06
Alistair,
I'd agree.There was something about "Inchanga" that made her a very happy ship. I don't know what it was, possibly the fact that we all knew that we were there for a long spell,were on a regular run and were separated from the main Bank Line fleet.
I had less than a year of my time to finish when I left her and had asked to stay put.Capt.Gale in Calcutta had agreed but was overruled by Scobie who was concerned that I had effectively been out of the UK for almost three years.
Reading the entries in the various forums it is evident that standards in the fleet improved very rapidly in the years after I'd moved on but at the end of the forties and early fifties they were poor. There was no interest in providing effective and systematic training for Apprentices-in "Myrtlebank" three of us spent an entire voyage from Birkenhead to Auckland,via the Gulf,chipping paintwork.The key skills,Navigation and Watchkeeping were completely ignored. I was lucky that as U3M in Inchanga I was taught those
essentials, so felt reasonably confident once I obtained my 2Ms ticket.
When away from the I/A we made some facinating voyages-the Copra run through the Islands back to the UK: India to Punta Arenas and the west coast of S.America:Gulf ports to Australia and New Zealand:the grain run from Australia to Calcutta and Cuba to Alexandria with sugar.

Regards
David E

Alan Rawlinson
5th March 2009, 16:02
The mate on the WESTBANK was Carney. I think it fair to say he was extremely shaken up by the grounding. I later sailed with him when I was mate and he was Master of the Southbank. Unsurprisingly, he had a strong aversion to islands - especially at night. I believe the sights he was working on at the time of the Westbank grounding were checked for results by someone in the London office, and he was completely cleared of any error - the grounding being put down to an unusual current.

Alan