Farewell to the Bank Line.

Abbeywood.
17th November 2009, 15:06
The following acquired fromThe New Zealand Ship & Marine Socirty website,
www.nzshipmarine.com/news/detail.aspx?id=132

On the 2nd November 2009, the Mahinabank,(ex-Speybank), was deliberately run ashore, at Chittagong, and into the hands of the shipbreakers.
Thus went the last ship of the Bank Line fleet stretching back into the days of sail and steam, before becoming a motor dominated fleet.

No more 'The red to the mast, the blue to the fly, and the white streak of hunger from the deck to the sky'

Farewell Bank Line, I for one, was damned glad I had the pleasure of sailing with you. I left in 1966 and still have fond memories, by the score..

Adieu, mon ami.

McMorine
17th November 2009, 16:10
Brought a lump to my throat when I read the report written by Captain Mulholand, a tragic end to a great company. I sailed on the Speybank 19.03.68 to 03.08.69 with Captain Patterson, wouldnt be the ship mentioned in the report though.

IMRCoSparks
17th November 2009, 17:04
As this thread concerns the last Bank Line ship, I thought I'd post my grandfathers 1888 discharge papers from the first Bank Line ship, Willowbank.

As he was the cook & steward, perhaps he helped to set the trend for the fine dining aboard in future years.

Has anyone got a photo of this Willowbank?

Ken

Johnnietwocoats
17th November 2009, 23:53
As this thread concerns the last Bank Line ship, I thought I'd post my grandfathers 1888 discharge papers from the first Bank Line ship, Willowbank.

As he was the cook & steward, perhaps he helped to set the trend for the fine dining aboard in future years.

Has anyone got a photo of this Willowbank?

Ken

An iron barque built by Wigham, Richardson & Co. at Newcastle, she was run down and sunk by the steamship City of Berlin off Portland on a voyage from Caleta Buena to Hamburg in December 1895.

McMorine
18th November 2009, 14:40
If you have access to "Bank Line 1885 -1985 by H.S.Appleyard, on page 17 is a photo of the Willowbank1885-1895 Iron barque, giving all its history. Best regards Mac.

Donald McGhee
18th November 2009, 23:42
No matter in what capacity you served, or for how long, or on how many ships of the Bank Line it is a sad day when the final ship goes to the breakers, ending a long line of fine ships and hammering yet another nail in the coffin lid of a once strong and vital Merchant Marine, whose ships went everywhere that could be accessed by sea.

I look forward to continuing posts about Bank Line from all who sailed with them, because even though the company and its ships are gone, as we once knew them, the memories are still very much alive and well worth sharing.

This has made me feel like a wee dram, so I will have one (a very large one) to the memory of Bank Line and all who sailed in their many and varied ships.(Pint)

simomatra
20th November 2009, 04:06
No matter in what capacity you served, or for how long, or on how many ships of the Bank Line it is a sad day when the final ship goes to the breakers, ending a long line of fine ships and hammering yet another nail in the coffin lid of a once strong and vital Merchant Marine, whose ships went everywhere that could be accessed by sea.

I look forward to continuing posts about Bank Line from all who sailed with them, because even though the company and its ships are gone, as we once knew them, the memories are still very much alive and well worth sharing.

This has made me feel like a wee dram, so I will have one (a very large one) to the memory of Bank Line and all who sailed in their many and varied ships.(Pint)

Hear hear (Pint) (Pint) (Pint)

John Dryden
30th November 2009, 21:51
Just been looking at the ship breaking yards in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on you tube,is a bit sad seeing big ships being run aground but I suppose they are worth a few quid as scrap,wish I had a few in the back yard!

slick
1st December 2009, 07:30
All you Bankies,
Although I am not a Banky I do remember going past a Bank line ship in Mombassa(?) and the Cadets were over the side and had painted in primer in foot high letters "DREAMBANK", well it was the 70's.

Yours aye,

Slick

bones140
2nd December 2009, 19:03
So that's it...The end.

Derek Roger
2nd December 2009, 20:42
Thanks for your posting Abbeywood .

Another era ends ; thank goodness for this site to keep the nostalgia alive and well .

Derek

John Dryden
2nd December 2009, 21:06
Well said Derek,is an amazing site for everyone interested in the sea but especially for us ex Bankliners who wouldn,t have known of the last ship of the lines demise but for Abbeywoods post.

Mark R
15th December 2009, 04:44
'Bank Line' replacement going well under SE Shipping


Singapore-based heavylift and multipurpose (MPP) vessel owner and operator SE Shipping Line is reporting success with the round-the-world liner service it launched in September that replicates the historic Bank Line service abandoned by Swire Shipping earlier this year.

SE Shipping's service, called the SE Three Oceans Line (3OL), runs from Northern Europe via the Panama Canal to the islands of the South Pacific and then on to New Zealand and Australia before returning to Europe by way of South Africa.

The company is currently offering monthly sailings using three 17,000-dwt MPPs, equipped with self-sustaining heavylift cranes, it has on time charter.

Mark Fielding, who heads the company's liner operations in Singapore, tells TradeWinds that although it is only the beginning of a long road to building up a viable trade, loadings have been very encouraging.

"We are loading the third ship at the moment and each has seen a progressive increase in cargo volumes," he explained.

Fielding says it is not possible to give average loading figures just yet as the ships have not completed their first voyages but he adds that at some legs of the service they have been running at full capacity.

SE Shipping, which has been in business for a mere 15 months, decided to get into the liner trade as part of its expansion plans and saw the service abandoned by Swire as a good opportunity that was waiting to be exploited.

"We were approached by people who were involved in the Bank Line service and determined that the trade had interesting potential, especially on the heavylift and projects sides," Fielding explained.

He points out that SE Shipping has not taken over the Bank Line service but has been talking to the same agents and is tapping their experience.

"We are utilising existing knowledge and using that as a base on which we will build our own service," he said.

Fielding also points out that there are significant differences to the way in which SE Shipping will run its service. Unlike Swire, SE Shipping is not interested in carrying copra and palm-oil cargoes. It will also use more modern, economical ships.

The three pioneer vessels now deployed on the route are unlikely to be operated on a long-term basis. "They are ideal for the time being but it is a service that will evolve. We need to see how the core idea will change. We will probably replace them with several of the 17,000-dwt multipurpose vessels we have on long-term charter from Beluga," Fielding said.

Despite being in operation for less than two years, SE Shipping controls a fleet of 13 heavylift MPP units. Some were acquired through bareboat hire-purchase deals, while others are on long-term time charter.

The company also has a series of four sophisticated 25,000-dwt heavylift vessels on order in China that are set for delivery in the beginning of the first quarter of 2011.

The bulk of privately owned SE Shipping's business to date has been in the project-cargo sector, where it has developed a strong niche in the shipment of wind-mill power plants and components.


By Jonathan Boonzaier Singapore



Published: 00:00 GMT, 11 Dec 2009 | last updated: 14:10 GMT, 10 Dec 2009

Alan Rawlinson
15th December 2009, 08:03
'Bank Line' replacement going well under SE Shipping


Singapore-based heavylift and multipurpose (MPP) vessel owner and operator SE Shipping Line is reporting success with the round-the-world liner service it launched in September that replicates the historic Bank Line service abandoned by Swire Shipping earlier this year.

SE Shipping's service, called the SE Three Oceans Line (3OL), runs from Northern Europe via the Panama Canal to the islands of the South Pacific and then on to New Zealand and Australia before returning to Europe by way of South Africa.

The company is currently offering monthly sailings using three 17,000-dwt MPPs, equipped with self-sustaining heavylift cranes, it has on time charter.

Mark Fielding, who heads the company's liner operations in Singapore, tells TradeWinds that although it is only the beginning of a long road to building up a viable trade, loadings have been very encouraging.

"We are loading the third ship at the moment and each has seen a progressive increase in cargo volumes," he explained.

Fielding says it is not possible to give average loading figures just yet as the ships have not completed their first voyages but he adds that at some legs of the service they have been running at full capacity.

SE Shipping, which has been in business for a mere 15 months, decided to get into the liner trade as part of its expansion plans and saw the service abandoned by Swire as a good opportunity that was waiting to be exploited.

"We were approached by people who were involved in the Bank Line service and determined that the trade had interesting potential, especially on the heavylift and projects sides," Fielding explained.

He points out that SE Shipping has not taken over the Bank Line service but has been talking to the same agents and is tapping their experience.

"We are utilising existing knowledge and using that as a base on which we will build our own service," he said.

Fielding also points out that there are significant differences to the way in which SE Shipping will run its service. Unlike Swire, SE Shipping is not interested in carrying copra and palm-oil cargoes. It will also use more modern, economical ships.

The three pioneer vessels now deployed on the route are unlikely to be operated on a long-term basis. "They are ideal for the time being but it is a service that will evolve. We need to see how the core idea will change. We will probably replace them with several of the 17,000-dwt multipurpose vessels we have on long-term charter from Beluga," Fielding said.

Despite being in operation for less than two years, SE Shipping controls a fleet of 13 heavylift MPP units. Some were acquired through bareboat hire-purchase deals, while others are on long-term time charter.

The company also has a series of four sophisticated 25,000-dwt heavylift vessels on order in China that are set for delivery in the beginning of the first quarter of 2011.

The bulk of privately owned SE Shipping's business to date has been in the project-cargo sector, where it has developed a strong niche in the shipment of wind-mill power plants and components.


By Jonathan Boonzaier Singapore



Published: 00:00 GMT, 11 Dec 2009 | last updated: 14:10 GMT, 10 Dec 2009

I wish them well, but wouldn't like to place any bets on long term viability. Stitching together such diverse cargoes and ports in a PROFITABLE long term way is a very long shot.

Charlie Stitt
15th December 2009, 11:11
The Brains behind S E Shipping, appear to know exactly what they are doing. To me, it sounds like a success story in the making.(Thumb)

Alan Rawlinson
15th December 2009, 15:45
The Brains behind S E Shipping, appear to know exactly what they are doing. To me, it sounds like a success story in the making.(Thumb)

The hstory of shipping is riddled with such start up lines, particularly from Far East bases. They do come and go, sadly. Quite different from a 120 year plus success story like the Bankline!

Alistair Macnab
15th December 2009, 16:23
I am pleased to see that there are still some entrepreneur shipping folks around although resident in Singapore which at the moment is the right place to be.
A liner service out to the islands on 17,000 MPPS with heavy and project lift capability is absolutely the right choice but may be too small for the return leg with generals and neo-bulks from New Zealand and Australia with calls at South Africa en route to Northern Europe.
Nevertheless it is good to see although I wouldn't call it exactly a Bank Line successor because the traditional Bank Line service was always homewards from the Islands with copra and coconut oils. But given the comlexity and duration of that service perhaps the veg oils are more than likely to be taken up by parcel tankers and the copra could always be a part cargo on the new service before NZ and Oz loading. The call at South Africa is a plus!
My new textbook: "The Fundamentals of Breakbulk Shipping" will cover exactly what our Singapore entrepreneurs are now doing. It now has the sponsorship of my university.
Good work and Best Wishes! I just wish I was young enough to participate instead of just writing about the resurgence of Breakbulk Liner Services.

Abbeywood.
16th December 2009, 14:45
While the fleet of ships bearing the suffix 'bank' are no more, there is, of course, still four ships operated by Andrew Weir Shipping, namely those that are chartered to the UK military and operating from Marchwood Maritime Base,on Southampton Water, opposite Southampton.
If memory serves they are Anvil Point, Hartland Point, Hurst Point, and Start Point and provide military supplies to the Falklands. and other overseas bases.
I am unsure whether they have ventured into the Gulf, but they quite possibly have.

James_C
16th December 2009, 17:26
Abbeywood,
There is in fact 6 - Anvil Point, Beachy Head, Eddystone, Hartland Point, Hurst Point and Longstone. All are British flag (London), with full British crews. Anvil/Hartland Point came from Harland & Wolff in Belfast (the last two ships they built) whilst the other four came from Flensburger in Germany.
All 6 are on long term charter to the MOD, however two (Beachy Head and Longstone) have been sub-chartered for commercial work in the Baltic Sea, firstly with Transfennica, and now with Finnlines. There is a call back clause in the contract, so they would be available in short order should something happen. Beachy Head has never made an MOD run, indeed has never been West of Antwerp, however Longstone has made two round trips to Iraq.
The other 4 operate wherever British personnel are to be found - Europe, Cyprus, Middle East, Pakistan, Diego Garcia, Kenya, Tanzania, Cape Verde, Ascension Island, Falkland Islands, Congo, Belize, Curacao, USA and Canada to name but a few.
The Gulf/Falkland Islands run is the bread and butter of the fleet, however the places mentioned above are visited on a regular basis.
Andrew Weirs don't own/operate them directly, although they do provide the technical management whilst Bibby Line provide crewing management (much the same as Bank line was in its latter years).
The 6 ships are owned by Foreland Shipping Limited, a 4 company consortium made up of Andrew Weirs, Bibby Line, Hadley Shipping Co and James Fishers, all of whom have an equal 25% stake. They are operated in the cargo/tasking sense directly by the MOD, although day to day running is carried out by Foreland subcontracted to Weirs.

Alistair Macnab
18th December 2009, 02:09
Have a look in SE Shipping Singapore's web site and take a look at the three ships they presently have under construction. They are quite splendidly radical and it would be interesting to read SE Bank Line members' opinions concerning their capabilities if they were to be put on SE.'s Round-the-World liner service. Do you think that ships like these would have 'saved' Bank Line's liner trades had they been available at the time and had there been Head Office enthusiasm to employ them?

saintfield
18th December 2009, 03:40
I think the SE Shipping liner service will struggle to survive, for the following reasons:
The pacific island economies are depressed with projects being deferred with reduced heavy lift/project cargo on offer from Europe.

Container liner services are fast and carry most general/reefer cargoes on regular liner services to and from the SPI. (Bank line could not compete.)

This service needs regular parcel cargoes, or project cargoes such as the windfarm equipment shown on website, the regular liner service to SPI would not provide these cargoes.

Finally the round the world service viability is very dependant on bunker price, a long way to sail and a lot of oil to burn.

I wish them luck.

Rgds
Saintfield

Charlie Stitt
18th December 2009, 15:07
Some you win, some you lose, I am well aware of that,however, being a born optimist I would consider a few dollars invested in S E Shipping worth the risk. Not a lot mind, but a few. :cool:

Alan Rawlinson
19th December 2009, 07:43
Some you win, some you lose, I am well aware of that,however, being a born optimist I would consider a few dollars invested in S E Shipping worth the risk. Not a lot mind, but a few. :cool:

Charlie,

It's those rose tinted glasses again!

Charlie Stitt
19th December 2009, 12:10
Yes Alan. I kid myself on, but it's good fun. I know there is no chance of me risking my money with S E Shipping as they are a private outfit, probabaly just something for top brass of A P Mollers to amuse themselves with. I am certainly no expert in to day's shipping requirments, but if I was a young man with ambitions of a sea career, then I would most certainly be excited with the new ship designs of this Company. Yes Bank Line, this is how you do it. I remember, when I was leaving Weirs in 1967, telling Capt Gale, the Company have many new ships, but no modern ones, that was not my reason for leaving, but thought it should be said, waste of breath, fell on deaf ears.

Alan Rawlinson
19th December 2009, 15:17
Yes Alan. I kid myself on, but it's good fun. I know there is no chance of me risking my money with S E Shipping as they are a private outfit, probabaly just something for top brass of A P Mollers to amuse themselves with. I am certainly no expert in to day's shipping requirments, but if I was a young man with ambitions of a sea career, then I would most certainly be excited with the new ship designs of this Company. Yes Bank Line, this is how you do it. I remember, when I was leaving Weirs in 1967, telling Capt Gale, the Company have many new ships, but no modern ones, that was not my reason for leaving, but thought it should be said, waste of breath, fell on deaf ears.

Hi Charlie,

I'm glad someone told him!

This has been an interesting thread for me. For one thing, none of us have a crystal ball, and anything can happen, but when you look at an established company there are some common strands. As I know from my own experience, the web or network that is built up between Owners, Managers,, Agents, Traders, etc is vastly important, and given a fair wind, this strengthens with time, and overcomes a lot of obstacles. Loyalty in shipping is a powerful force, and gives the edge to established operators. The Bankline '' big picture '' as amply shown by Alistair Macnab, probably carried the company forward longer than would have normally been the case, as the bonds were so strong.

The investors in start up ventures always have a fall back position of course, and often profit from the fluctuations in the second hand tonnage market. I can recall being involved in a Liner trade where the sale of one ship at an opportune time was vastly profitable compared to all the blood ,sweat, and tears, involved in loading general cargo up to the marks for several voyages for a modest profit with the same ship.

I do wish the new company well, especially as they have an innovative approach.

Cheers //

P.S. An expert is someone who has made all the mistakes.

RayL
17th January 2010, 11:30
Sadly I spent only five months sailing with Bank Line (Oct '66 to Mar '67) as I was a Sparks employed by Marconi, but the memory is indelible and I feel proud and grateful that I had that experience, long before modern impositions like Health & Safety arrived to spoil everything. The voyage somehow had a homespun 'history flashback' feel to it - I think in particular of the box of iron knives that Captain Holbrook (Commodore Stan Holbrook) had aboard for barter purposes when we reached the ports on the north coast of New Guinea. I recently learnt from this messageboard that his ancestry went back to the Royal Navy in the 18th century, so perhaps this partly explains it. In the nicest possible way he could almost have been Cap'n Bligh!

rcraig
17th January 2010, 14:59
Sadly I spent only five months sailing with Bank Line (Oct '66 to Mar '67) as I was a Sparks employed by Marconi, but the memory is indelible and I feel proud and grateful that I had that experience, long before modern impositions like Health & Safety arrived to spoil everything. The voyage somehow had a homespun 'history flashback' feel to it - I think in particular of the box of iron knives that Captain Holbrook (Commodore Stan Holbrook) had aboard for barter purposes when we reached the ports on the north coast of New Guinea. I recently learnt from this messageboard that his ancestry went back to the Royal Navy in the 18th century, so perhaps this partly explains it. In the nicest possible way he could almost have been Cap'n Bligh!

After only two years as apprentice with him, I didn't know he had a Christian name? Weren't his son by any chance?

RayL
17th January 2010, 23:00
Heavens, no! I got the name detail from one of the threads on this messageboard. See contributions by Tom Barley, johnmilne and Marconi Sahib.

His full name was Charles Stanley Swinnerton Holbrook, and he was married to Gertrude (remember her?).

RayL
19th January 2010, 10:25
EXTRAORDINARY INTEREST - (perhaps Marconi Sahib will know some way of making a wider announcement as the opportunity to use the Radio 4 'Listen Again' facility only lasts a week):

I just listened to the latest documentary in the 'Taking a Stand' series on Radio 4, and it was Captain Peter Stapleton of the 'Boularibank' describing how he and his crew successfully fought off Somali pirates last summer using suspended railway sleepers that they could allow to drop into the water at just the right moment. Gripping listening - even for my wife who is not usually bothered about such material.

He says they had 11 passengers aboard, and his crew was Russian.

Perhaps Radio 4 will repeat the programme later this evening, but if not then you have only about 6 days to listen to the programme on the 'Listen Again' facility.

K urgess
19th January 2010, 11:19
For those in the UK the listen again link is -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pxll6/Taking_a_Stand_19_01_2010/
Cheers
Kris

rcraig
19th January 2010, 12:00
Heavens, no! I got the name detail from one of the threads on this messageboard. See contributions by Tom Barley, johnmilne and Marconi Sahib.

His full name was Charles Stanley Swinnerton Holbrook, and he was married to Gertrude (remember her?).

Was joking! He did not have his wife with him on the 2 year trip I did with him.

RayL
19th January 2010, 12:09
True. I only saw her during the journey to Hamburg, where the crew change was to take place before our voyage started. An early destination was Gravesend so she may have accompanied us that far. Can no longer recall.

RayL
19th January 2010, 14:18
That radio prog is going to be repeated at 21.30 today.

Radio 4 is 93 FM.

bri445
19th January 2010, 19:14
Don't miss that programme. The real story on how to cope and well told!

Bri

Winebuff
5th February 2010, 17:37
Available on ebay 3 copies of the Bank Line Quarterly House magazine 1970s.

5.00 apiece - think mine are still in the loft somewhere.

Bought a post card of the Beaverbank for 60p.

The whole worlds gone crazy.

Alan Rawlinson
11th February 2010, 19:25
The Crestbank ( Tamimina/Berga) has gone for scrap, after trading bagged cement out of Pakistan. See attached news item in Falmouth this week

jimthehat
11th February 2010, 23:36
The Crestbank ( Tamimina/Berga) has gone for scrap, after trading bagged cement out of Pakistan. See attached news item in Falmouth this week
Alan never sailed on this class,what is the accomm across the aft end of the boat deck.
regards

jim

Alan Rawlinson
12th February 2010, 08:15
Alan never sailed on this class,what is the accomm across the aft end of the boat deck.
regards

jim

Hi Jim,

This Crestbank was well after my time too! I was 2/0 of her predecessor.

I'm sure someone who sailed in that class in the 70's can answer re the boat deck accom.

Cheers

McMorine
12th February 2010, 12:24
Alan never sailed on this class,what is the accomm across the aft end of the boat deck.
regards

jim

Sailed maiden voyage on the Crestbank, leaving Sunderland May'78, great ship. Aft of the funnel is the swimming pool, next deck down is the Officers Saloon, port of that is the engineers accomodation and starb'd is the Officers galley. Main deck is crews galley and accomodation.

kwg
12th February 2010, 12:57
Friend of mine was on one of the all aft accommodation boats, reckoned if you didn't like the constant smell of curry and ghee cooking from the crews galley you were in for a bad time...

Abbeywood.
12th February 2010, 13:59
That radio prog is going to be repeated at 21.30 today.

Radio 4 is 93 FM.

Radio prog' still available as of 1330/12 Feb'', on BBC iPlayer. See posting #30 for link
Anybody recall when this incident actually occurred. ?

Alan Rawlinson
23rd April 2010, 11:51
The following acquired fromThe New Zealand Ship & Marine Socirty website,
www.nzshipmarine.com/news/detail.aspx?id=132

On the 2nd November 2009, the Mahinabank,(ex-Speybank), was deliberately run ashore, at Chittagong, and into the hands of the shipbreakers.
Thus went the last ship of the Bank Line fleet stretching back into the days of sail and steam, before becoming a motor dominated fleet.

No more 'The red to the mast, the blue to the fly, and the white streak of hunger from the deck to the sky'

Farewell Bank Line, I for one, was damned glad I had the pleasure of sailing with you. I left in 1966 and still have fond memories, by the score..

Adieu, mon ami.


Abbeywood has already posted the link to this rather interesting article and picture, but here it is as an attachment, together with a pic of the Cederbank. I thought K.W. Mulholland chose rather apt and somewhat emotional words as a farewell. I sympathise with him, being charged with running his ship up the beach for scrapping. What a painful and heartrending experience.

jimthehat
23rd April 2010, 15:09
Friend of mine was on one of the all aft accommodation boats, reckoned if you didn't like the constant smell of curry and ghee cooking from the crews galley you were in for a bad time...

On the old Clydebank class the crew galleys were on the foredeck,port and stb of the masthouse and so from the bridge one had a grandstand view of the chickens having their throats cut on feast days and the constant smell of cooking bearing down on you 24-7.

jim