Masters We've Sailed With....

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Alistair Macnab
15th February 2010, 16:45
I know, I know, that certain Masters pop up from time to time when discussing other threads but I appeal to SN supporters to begin placing their comments about individuals they have sailed with in this one new thread. Even if you've made comments before, why not repeat them here where they will all be in the one place?
Some of the comments I've seen refer to Captains Beavis, Niblock, Palmer, Donald, Parsons, WW Davies, Sturgess, Stewart, Campbell and Simpson... I am sure there have been others over the years!
This would be a good time to collect all these observations and allow for follow-ups but in the one thread. In the beginning, I am asking you to repeat yourself but as time goes on some interesting comments, pro and con, and bound to appear. Please, however, no libel! But the truth can't be actionable!
If this thread gets going, I will suggest a separate site for Chief Engineers.

Hamish Mackintosh
15th February 2010, 17:08
Great thread Alistair.I put an Ahoy out for Captain "Freddy" Hale, whom I sailed with on the Ivybank circa 49/51, have only seen one mention of him in SN, he was a great guy, a very fatherly type to all us "young bucks"would love to know his history since that time but long gone now I should imagine

jimthehat
15th February 2010, 17:38
Masters i have sailed with,well here goes..
capt mountain,only with him 12 weeks before he was lost at sea,maplebank
,,,,,, thorne good ,left the apps alone.
...,,, Warne,bit of a nutter had a gun and once threatened a pilot.
,,,,,, Holland Clydebank best master I ever sailed with .
,,,,,mendus eastbank,cant rember much
,,,,, Frosdick ISipingo ,got on well with him
,,,,,TS robertson,Fleetbank,again no problem
,,,,,JR lynch,Ettrickbank excellent master,allowed one to do their job
,,,,,r Angle ,Forresbank,feeding not too good and tight with the pencils.

Not one among them with whom i would refused to sail with.

jim

dick burrow
15th February 2010, 18:55
here,s my list:
jack donald- nutter
john sturgess-salt of the earth
freddie feint-dsciplinarian
C B Davies-another gent
harry allen- ok
louis wigham- ok
angus mcbain- another good guy
don young- good guy
that,s my opinion,but they are all in their own way responsible for the good times i had, and will never forget,with bankline.

John Campbell
15th February 2010, 21:48
My List is as follows
Capt Smith - big gruff Geordie who called all his Apps "Army Dodgers". He was a panic merchant on the bridge and had all the mates in a panic too, He had a brother who was a Super in the fifties.

Capt Eaddy , a New Zealander, always accompanied by his Calcutta born wife who looked like Mrs Simpson. A kindly man who was a POW for most of the war having , I believe, been on the Speybank when she was taken as prize by German Raider ATLANTIS in 1941. Capt Eaddy was promoted Super after his ship the Eskbank was involved in a collision with the S.T. Davanger in Beira Roads in 1954.

Capt Hale was a good seaman and Navigator who did not suffer fools gladly. He treated all Apps kindly and was good to me. He could tell a good joke

Capt Henry Allan I sailed with on his first command. He relieved Capt Eaddy and he completed nearly three years before he got home. He had a son who was walking and talking before he saw him. A good Master and good to Apps.

Capt. T.S. Roberson - a fine chap and I sailed with him twice - he was married to an Australian Nurse. crossing the Pacific he had a heart attack and we landed him and his wife at Tahiti.

Capt. Thorne was a kindly soul always playing golf when he had a chance.

Capt Beavis - a huge man from Ventnor - always making good ship models - he made one of the Teakbank which must be on the I.O.W. somewhere. His wife would not go to sea with him and near wrecked the Teakbank going close to the cliffs under Ventnor showing off his ship to her - but that is another yarn. He was the first person to whom I gave an injection of penicillin - upper and outer quadrant .

Thats my lot
JC

K urgess
15th February 2010, 22:09
Henry Allan - Sprucebank twice. One complete copra run and one coastal. I had the feeling he was happy to see me again. After my second trip on the Spruce I did a trip on the Fremantle Star and happened to be on the wharf in Sydney when the Spruce arrived. He spotted me and and yelled down for me to get my ass on board ASAP and fix the radar cos his sparkie was bloody useless. Fair to us all but the feeding wasn't brilliant.

Alan (Dad) Newton - Weirbank. Two back-to-back copra runs. I would gladly have sailed into the gates of hell with him.

Doug (?) McCaffery - Sprucebank. Copra run. Another excellent and fair master.

Chas. Holbrook - Weirbank. Coastal. An interesting experience.

Maybe my viewpoint was different and maybe I was treated differently because I was a sparkie.

John Briggs
16th February 2010, 00:27
Thank God this thread is only about Bank Line masters!

GWB
16th February 2010, 00:31
Can;t remember any as they never came on the plates or in stoke hold

David E
16th February 2010, 01:09
Capt. Hale Echo John Campbell's comment.

Capt.R.J.Owen Pass. No printable comments.

Capt A.Stafford-Watts Starchy and a bit aloof.Fair.First class seaman.
Saw him at his best when we carried away
during a very violent Hooghli bore.Would always
defend the interests of his ship. Great man.

Capt J.W.Greig Twice. No printable comments.General and
unmitigated joy when he fell down No 3 Hatch
while screaming abuse at the elderly 1M,broke
a leg and was carried,groaning,ashore.

Capt Beavis Good Master.There have been earlier comments
on his bullying of Mates but as an Uncert 3M he
gave me a lot of help.

Capt.J Williams Difficult to comment.Only in the "Lochybank"
for a couple of months:the dirtiest ship I ever
sailed in.

Capt.King Quietly efficient and a good seaman and ship
handler.Took a detailed interest in the
training of Apprentices-had me doubling up
with the Mate on the AM 4-8 throughout so
that by the time I left I was able to handle
star-sights without a qualm.

Capt.J.Reed
Capt.C.S Palmer Few comments, as I was only a couple of
months with them on passage home.The
attitude of the latter towards his Mates
and Apprentices crystalised the view that
my future was not with Bank Line


David.E

Donald McGhee
16th February 2010, 03:39
B J Peterson Inverbank, good guy, didn't give us appies any grief.

Len Thorne.Marabank. Allowed the mate to persecute the appies (maybe he didn't know). Must have changed a bit from all the good things I hear about him. Loved to play golf, remember his whiskery nose.

A J Whiston. Teviotbank. A bit strange, I think he enjoyed a gin or two? Didn't give us any hassle, but then again I don't think he even noticed us!

Johnnietwocoats
16th February 2010, 05:36
Lidstone...His first trip as Master on the Eastbank. My fist trip so I didnt know anything from anything but in retrospect he did let the Mate Bully us...
McLean. On the Foylebank and later on the Cedarbank. Seemed to be a quiet man and he let the Mate from Stornaway as well look after the Appys..
Howe..The least said the better....14 miserable months on the Fleetbank...
Williamson...He had his wife with him and he could be cranky....Didn't seem to like anyone, least of all apprentices. 16 Months....

They all just added to my experiences in life.....(Smoke) (Smoke)

NZSCOTTY
16th February 2010, 07:26
Captain Lumsden - Ben Line - the biggest arshole in the past industry (my opinion obviously)!

Malcolm S
16th February 2010, 08:22
Captain Lumsden - Ben Line - the biggest arshole in the past industry (my opinion obviously)!

Hey Scotty - Didn't know you were with Ben Line! Did you ever meet up with John Phillips, not as captain.
Are you still with HAL?

jimthehat
16th February 2010, 09:03
[
Surprised To See That So Far Wilkie Rutherfords Name Has Not Surfaced,he Was Mate On The Clydebank When I Was Senior App ,best Mate Ever

Jim

Alan Rawlinson
16th February 2010, 09:08
Bankline Masters - frail human beings like us all... temporarily elevated to God's status.

The long term Masters - usually well meaning, misguided often, insensitive, dull, plodding, rarely inspired or creative. The worst of them drunks, tyrants, or simply social misfits hiding away from the real world, and taking refuge as a big fish in a little bowl. Often tortured souls, venting their frustration in weird ways with the weakest in the firing line, and some of the more bizarre antics providing moments of comedy and light relief for the rest of us bored participants.

There are always exceptions to a general rule, and these Masters were easily recognisable as benign, avuncular figures, great to sail with, and who had come to terms with all aspects of the job. Few and far between, unfortunately.

john fraser
16th February 2010, 09:12
Hey Scotty - Didn't know you were with Ben Line! Did you ever meet up with John Phillips, not as captain.
Are you still with HAL?

I sailed with John Phillips (Southampton area) quite a lot on Ben Line container ships where he was Chief Officer.After Ben Line he used to pay us a social visit in Southampton when he was on the Isle of Wight Ferries

iain48
16th February 2010, 10:34
Frank Abell, Elmbank 73/74 no problems and very approachable.

IBlenkinsopp
16th February 2010, 14:49
Springbank; Harry Barber
Forresbank JB Leslie
Beaverbank W Langworthy
Weybank Patrick Grist nil point
Moraybank JJ Reed
Larchbank E Browning
Ernebank PH Thomas, I finally worked out what P.H. stood for
Forresbank PD Howell
Sprucebank J Ball
Nessbank T Scott NJ Munro.
Roybank J(?) Paul
Cloverbank Harry Taylor and R J B Collinson

Are any of the above still on the go?

Eddie Bl.

ROBERT HENDERSON
16th February 2010, 15:11
I had an ex Bank Line Master as mate/relief Master on a coastal tanker.
I never hear him mentioned on any Bank Line threads, his name was Frank Parsons.

Regards Robert

bri445
16th February 2010, 17:11
Bankline Masters - frail human beings like us all... temporarily elevated to God's status.

The long term Masters - usually well meaning, misguided often, insensitive, dull, plodding, rarely inspired or creative. The worst of them drunks, tyrants, or simply social misfits hiding away from the real world, and taking refuge as a big fish in a little bowl. Often tortured souls, venting their frustration in weird ways with the weakest in the firing line, and some of the more bizarre antics providing moments of comedy and light relief for the rest of us bored participants.

There are always exceptions to a general rule, and these Masters were easily recognisable as benign, avuncular figures, great to sail with, and who had come to terms with all aspects of the job. Few and far between, unfortunately.

Obviously, they were a total cross-section of humanity. It must have been quite scary, being an app going on board for the first time, not knowing what to expect. Or, did the Masters' reputations go before them? Fore-warned was fore-armed!

Alistair Macnab
16th February 2010, 18:15
Here's my list and thoughtful appraisal after many years.....!
Fleetbank......Palmer Aloof, but gave the Apprentices the equivalent of 10/- in Buenos Aires to have a good time!);
Fleetbank........Kemp from St. Ives. (My job was to cart the box from bridge wing to bridge wing during stations for him to stand on so that he could see over the wind deflector);
Laganbank......Niblock (Big Northern Irishman; very impressive!)
Ettrickbank.....Williams (A Durban-based Irishman with a dark side who went to pieces every time he sailed and left his wife ashore. Mrs. Williams was most attractive and they had two daughters, Susan and Lila who often did the SA coast with us. His recreation at sea was boat building.)
Inchanga.......B.H. Jackson OBE (Bullshit Jackson or Jacko; what more can I say? His recreation was making money using the ships float as his personal piggy bank. Affected a monocle)
Inchanga.......Harry Allan (from Ballymena; Brought the Inchanga social life to a peak of enjoyment for all. Quiet disciplinarean; We would do anything not to offend or get on his wrong side)
Inchanga.......Williams (See Ettrickbank above. Mellowed a bit from my previous sailing with him.)
Carronbank.....Peter Stewart (From one of the Banff port towns. Very steady; very adjusted; Never saw him sweat.)
Laganbank......Commander Freddy Feint RN (retd) (Church parades every Sunday in Sydney; Supported his officers to get shore invitations; "It doesn't matter what you say as long as you have the correct accent!")
Laganbank".... Barry Mitchell (His cousin really was the Master of the QE2. Poor Barry. Gin was beginning to wear him down and ultimately it did. Had a lousy Mate who despised him and didn't do him any good)
Ernebank....... Donald Campbell (Skye-man. The prefect sailor -captain.)

After that, the Masters I sailed with are too personal to comment on!

Joe C
16th February 2010, 18:42
Capt.J.Townsley,Moraybank '54,'55.
Good trip,remembered him from an incident in Galveston when the big noisy pilot took the wheel and he threw him off and put secunny back on.I was on the movement book.
Capt.C.S.Palmer,Irisbank '55,'57.
Good Mates and Engineers but he was an aloof disciplinarian,tetchy atmosphere.
Capt.R.A.Leach,Levernbank'57
Far East run.He sat the three Apprentices down in his cabin and gave us a fatherly lecture on how to behave when we went ashore in Japan.Did we take any notice? Good trip
Capt.B. Beavis Fleetbank,Dec.'57
Great Christmas
Capt.J.Wilson,Ivybank Feb/Mar '58
Strange trip home as sort of acting 3rd Mate.I had finished my time but by then was wearing glasses so he had two of us on watch.One to see and the other one to know when to shout for help.Don't think he ever came out of his cabin.Crazy ship,recall we nearly missed the Straits
of Gibraltar

Johnnietwocoats
16th February 2010, 18:54
I have already submitted my list of Masters....

Am I the only living survivor of a long trip with Charlie Howe?....

Has anyone ever sailed with a Mate called Syd Mallory?

Would be interested to find out anything about him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Donald McGhee
17th February 2010, 00:10
Bankline Masters - frail human beings like us all... temporarily elevated to God's status.

The long term Masters - usually well meaning, misguided often, insensitive, dull, plodding, rarely inspired or creative. The worst of them drunks, tyrants, or simply social misfits hiding away from the real world, and taking refuge as a big fish in a little bowl. Often tortured souls, venting their frustration in weird ways with the weakest in the firing line, and some of the more bizarre antics providing moments of comedy and light relief for the rest of us bored participants.

There are always exceptions to a general rule, and these Masters were easily recognisable as benign, avuncular figures, great to sail with, and who had come to terms with all aspects of the job. Few and far between, unfortunately.

By jove Alan, that was beautifully put! Just goes to show that us ex Bank Line guys are capable of not only waxing lyrical, but with a philosophical bent as well.
Most acapevious.

jimthehat
17th February 2010, 00:15
One Master I Missed Out Was Capt Duncan Who Was On The Maplebank When I Joined Her,he Left Before We Sailed And I Never Heard Of Him Again.

Jim

NZSCOTTY
17th February 2010, 05:24
Hey Scotty - Didn't know you were with Ben Line! Did you ever meet up with John Phillips, not as captain.
Are you still with HAL?

Answer is no to both - Never been with HAL - I am on ferry from Wellington to Picton/Pilot at Picton/Pilot in Fiordland amongst other things!!!

Alan Rawlinson
17th February 2010, 08:25
By jove Alan, that was beautifully put! Just goes to show that us ex Bank Line guys are capable of not only waxing lyrical, but with a philosophical bent as well.
Most acapevious.

Thanks Donald - not sure about the last word though ????????

Looking at my list of Masters that I sailed with, I prefer to keep schtum about the grim ones, but there were some that I would gladly share a lifeboat with. Messrs J Stewert ( Orkney or Shetland?), Barry Mitchell, a real human being, Don McCaffery, who became a personal friend, and who visited me when I was mate of a shitty container boat ( Container Enterprise). A.E Newton, maybe.

On a side note - did you get involved with the Haiti disaster, I wonder?

Cheers

Donald McGhee
17th February 2010, 09:11
Thanks Donald - not sure about the last word though ????????

Looking at my list of Masters that I sailed with, I prefer to keep schtum about the grim ones, but there were some that I would gladly share a lifeboat with. Messrs J Stewert ( Orkney or Shetland?), Barry Mitchell, a real human being, Don McCaffery, who became a personal friend, and who visited me when I was mate of a shitty container boat ( Container Enterprise). A.E Newton, maybe.

On a side note - did you get involved with the Haiti disaster, I wonder?

Cheers

Fortunately no. We only deal with NZ natural events, but it would certainly be a life changing experience. Our Rotary Club, in common with many other service clubs here, and overseas, fund raise for the shelter boxes needed.

Acapevious is a McGheeism, means really good!

(Thumb)

K urgess
17th February 2010, 13:16
Don McCaffery was the one not Doug.
Obviously mere sparkies didn't really get on first name terms with masters.

There are a few I would have enjoyed testing out when they became master such as Harry (Matt) Dillon and Dave Barlow. Others are members so I will avoid embarrassing them.

Only one bad one and I never sailed with him. He felt I'd stolen the lass he was chatting up at a party in Hull and threatened that if I ever signed on a ship he was captain of he would make my life hell. I can't even remember his name.

Strath101
17th February 2010, 13:38
My little list and no problems with any of them
Sprucebank 1974 - Trevor Smith
Shirrabank 1975 Albert Scales
Avonbank 1976 F.C.Abell
Meadowbank 1976 W.W. Davies
Moraybank 1977 Geoff Tully
Moraybank (2) - 1977 Donald McPhail
Forthbank 1978 R.A. Brant

Charlie Stitt
17th February 2010, 16:53
Masters with whom I had the pleasure to sail with.
L.W.Thorne, as Appy on Myrtlebank, tramping
J. Allen, as Appy on Westbank.copra run.
I have no bad memories of these two trips, so must have been ok.

Henry Allan, as Appy/act3rd Mate on Ericbank.tramping
A true gentleman who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. Thank you Sir.

R.A.Leach, as 3rd Mate Laganbank. copra run.
J.Porteous as 3rd Mate, Laganbank, copra run.
F.F.Feint, as 2nd Mate Laganbank copra run.
J Kemp, as 2nd Mate Inverbank, tramping.
R.A.Brant, as 2nd Mate Foylebank, copra run.
J.J.Reed, as Mate Teakbank. East Africa, India, West Africa and US.
J.McCoy as Mate Forresbank, Us Gulf/Aussie, City Line Charter,copra run.
Each of these Masters were the type I would sail with anytime, they were well respected by all on board, each had their own little perculiarities of course, who has'nt ?
W Kelly, as Mate Cederbank, only 6 weeks Coastal. ok I suppose.

Not so pleasant to sail with.
R.J.Owen as Act 3rd Mate Ernebank, Tramping
Oh dear, this man had the most disgusting habits, got no respect whatever from anyone on board(including the Topas) This did not stop me from enjoying the trip however, as I had many good shipmates on board.

JoeQ
17th February 2010, 17:00
John Campbell - 3rd Mate Willowbank, 1977
Jack Appleby- 2nd Mate Laganbank, 1978
Peter Howell - 2nd Mate Hazlebank, 1978 - 1979

Enjoyed it all

Scoddie
17th February 2010, 19:58
I had an ex Bank Line Master as mate/relief Master on a coastal tanker.
I never hear him mentioned on any Bank Line threads, his name was Frank Parsons.

Regards Robert

I sailed with Capt Parsons on Sprucebank. No comment!!!
Regards,
Scoddie

John Dryden
18th February 2010, 02:13
Bankline Masters - frail human beings like us all... temporarily elevated to God's status.

The long term Masters - usually well meaning, misguided often, insensitive, dull, plodding, rarely inspired or creative. The worst of them drunks, tyrants, or simply social misfits hiding away from the real world, and taking refuge as a big fish in a little bowl. Often tortured souls, venting their frustration in weird ways with the weakest in the firing line, and some of the more bizarre antics providing moments of comedy and light relief for the rest of us bored participants.

There are always exceptions to a general rule, and these Masters were easily recognisable as benign, avuncular figures, great to sail with, and who had come to terms with all aspects of the job. Few and far between, unfortunately.
Never had the misfortune to sail with a tyrant,drunk or social misfit and I reckon Bank Line masters were big fishes in a big bowl as if i,m correct it was the largest private shipping company in the UK.I guess at some point on the long trips everyones soul was totured to some extent and bizarre antics comedy and light relief all played a part but never any boredom,no time for that!
Anyway,only did three long trips,first trip app. was with capt. Wigham,He was great,from North Shields I think,he was a good ship handler I know because on two occasions at least he took over from the pilot when things weren,t right.He used to knock on my cabin door and come in for a chat,sit himself down and talk for ages,then we,d go up to the saloon and play crib with his wife and ch.eng for hours and I always had a few beers.
Next trip capt. Thorne,can relate to your benign,avuncular description,never a bad word about him from anybody.We all thought he was the "commodore",senior master in Bank Line.Maybe he was then(1970)I don,t know but he was good and approachable.
Next trip I,d been made up to acting 3rd mate and capt.Townsley was in command.I thought he was the least approachable,never saw much of him and didn,t socialise at all much,sort of remained aloof.
In between the long trips I remember Capt.Holland when coasting,seem to remember he was fairly old and was his nickname "trader"?

jimthehat
18th February 2010, 09:43
John,
yes ,capt holland was called trader,but dont know the reason.he was master on the clydebank where i was senior app and Wilkie rutherford was mate,both two of the best blokes I ever sailed with.
Is anyone going to try and make a definitive list of masters from capt hale in 1949 and capt Duncan in 52 right up to the demise of the company,

jim

kwg
18th February 2010, 10:24
John,

Is anyone going to try and make a definitive list of masters from capt hale in 1949 and capt Duncan in 52 right up to the demise of the company,

jim

I do hope not, many (from my day) will have crossed the bar by now and should be left in peace. Sorry guys I don't think open forum is the right place to besmirch a man.

mil511mariner
18th February 2010, 12:00
Olivebank 75-76
Pat Grist - Aloof but a gent
PD Howell - 1st trip(?) remember the immortal words just call me when the pilots on the ladder........

Sprucebank 76
Harry Barber - Another gent had his wife and kids on around the coast - An embarrassing moment when he went into the back of the smoke room TV to change the aerial and someones stash of Dutch porn fell out......

Maplebank 77
Peter Ireland - Best captain I ever sailed with and his man management skills were excellent - once told me the story of his divorce when he got home the only thing left was the push mower parked in the middle of the garage with only 1 wheel.......Really looked after his Cadets well as the Mate was a total a**e h*le.

Meadowbank 78
Peter Simpson - Never saw much of him at all on the Meadowbanks first run around the Bank - Saville run.

Meadowbank 79
HJ Taylor - The captain who was never wrong... to this day I remember him pronouncing Venezuela as VEN - EZ - ZOO - LA. His wife was his biggest fan and thought the smoke room was part of his / her private kingdom - my last trip was my worst unfortunately

Charlie Stitt
18th February 2010, 12:34
KWG, I make no apologies for my comment on R.J.Owen. Me, besmirch him, no, he did a very good job of doing just that, all by himself.
It is good to note that the vast majority of Bank Line Masters were decent, well respected gentlemen ,who made life on board the way it should have been, pleasant and without unnecessary stress, to these fine Shipmasters, I raise my glass.(Pint)

Malcolm S
18th February 2010, 14:13
I sailed with John Phillips (Southampton area) quite a lot on Ben Line container ships where he was Chief Officer.After Ben Line he used to pay us a social visit in Southampton when he was on the Isle of Wight Ferries

John was a good drinking partner of mine. Our parents knew each other way before we met. He married a girl I introduced him to, it was years before his mother forgave me!
I regret we are no longer in touch.

Regarding Captains:
Royal Mail; Capt Charlie Chester - a real tyrant
SSL: Jimmy Richmond, brilliant seaman but lousy crew manager, called everybody "bloke"
SSL: Stobbs, forget his first name, never liked him, but the feeling was mutual!
I was very happy when I got one over him, which was easy and often.

Malcolm

Charlie Stitt
18th February 2010, 16:26
It must be said, some of the older Masters we sailed with in the 50's and 60's must have had a real tough life tramping in Weirs. It was either J Reed or J Kemp told me about how 4 year trips were quite common in his earlier days. R.J.Owen told me how, in the depression years, 1930's I think, how he, with a Masters ticket in his hip pocket, had to stand in a queue, looking for work, and considered himself lucky to get a deckies job at that time. The man who steered me towards Weirs in 1955 was a Capt Sam Currie,he retired in 1954 after serving all his sea years with Weirs, he must have joined his first ship around 1905, I hate to think what conditions on a tramp steamer were like then. Then of course he and all those other poor souls had 6 or 7 years dodging shells and torpeodes, while also having what nature threw at them in the way of weather. :sweat: Cor Blimey, I was lucky. Give me another one of those please(Pint) .

John Campbell
18th February 2010, 16:35
Thanks Donald - not sure about the last word though ????????

Looking at my list of Masters that I sailed with, I prefer to keep schtum about the grim ones, but there were some that I would gladly share a lifeboat with. Messrs J Stewert ( Orkney or Shetland?), Barry Mitchell, a real human being, Don McCaffery, who became a personal friend, and who visited me when I was mate of a shitty container boat ( Container Enterprise). A.E Newton, maybe.

On a side note - did you get involved with the Haiti disaster, I wonder?

Cheers

Ref Capt.J Stewart he was a native of Shetland and retired to Lerwick.
I ,by luck, managed to get a six weeks 2nd Mate's job on the Aberdeen - Lerwick ferry in 1960 between Bank line trips as I was getting married.
We sailed from Lerwick every Wednesday and Sat. and old Capt. Stewart would always come down on to the quay to see us away. He missed seagoing terribly.
One of my jobs, just before sailing was to go onto the quay and read the draught for the log book and Capt Stewert soon found out that I was a Bank Line man. He would more than once say in his broad Shetland twang
"Get thee back deep sea boy - this is no place for thee" "Get on for Master and get thine own bond there you can stash away cash that the Income Tax man will never know about"
He was a great stitcher of canvas and made countless holdalls and kit bags. Sadly he did not live long to enjoy his retirement - I heard he was a Master liked by all.
JC

jimthehat
18th February 2010, 16:47
charlie,
very true what you say about what all the masters went thru during the war.capt mountain who was only 42 when he was lost off the Maplebank used to come into our cabin of an evening and tell the two of us how he had lived on his nerves during the war.dont know if it was the same on other sam boats but our cabin was on the bridge deck aft port side so it was easy for the old man to pop in.
jim

Johnnietwocoats
18th February 2010, 17:30
I do hope not, many (from my day) will have crossed the bar by now and should be left in peace. Sorry guys I don't think open forum is the right place to besmirch a man.

Sorry KWG...

It must have been my fault that I spent 14 miserable months tramping around the World with an incompetant Tyrant.....

In later years I sailed in Caltex/Texaco with such wonderful men as Stokoe, Barnes, Curling, Oliver to name a few.....

Take care

TC(Smoke)

Alan Rawlinson
19th February 2010, 09:13
Ref Capt.J Stewart he was a native of Shetland and retired to Lerwick.
I ,by luck, managed to get a six weeks 2nd Mate's job on the Aberdeen - Lerwick ferry in 1960 between Bank line trips as I was getting married.
We sailed from Lerwick every Wednesday and Sat. and old Capt. Stewart would always come down on to the quay to see us away. He missed seagoing terribly.
One of my jobs, just before sailing was to go onto the quay and read the draught for the log book and Capt Stewert soon found out that I was a Bank Line man. He would more than once say in his broad Shetland twang
"Get thee back deep sea boy - this is no place for thee" "Get on for Master and get thine own bond there you can stash away cash that the Income Tax man will never know about"
He was a great stitcher of canvas and made countless holdalls and kit bags. Sadly he did not live long to enjoy his retirement - I heard he was a Master liked by all.
JC

Hallo JC

Great to get some news about Captain J Stewart from all those years ago on the old Ernebank. ( 1953) He was great to sail with, and I send my very best wishes to any relatives who may be reading these lines. A true seaman, and I well remember the canvas work, and his ability to snap sail thread and twine with his big hands. He took an interest in helping the apprentices, and as we loaded sugar in Cuba, ( Niquero, San Ramon) for Japan, ( Yokohama, Kobe) he took delight in making vast trays of fudge on the galley stove, just next to a convenient No 4 hatch with sacks of brown sugar right up to the top of the coamings. The recipe consisted of spreading the sugar over the tray, and pouring tins of condensed milk over it. Mix it up a bit and slowly heat through until it sets. The consistancy governed the result which could be white and milky or brittle and semi transparant. Delicious!

Binnacle
19th February 2010, 10:07
One Master I Missed Out Was Capt Duncan Who Was On The Maplebank When I Joined Her,he Left Before We Sailed And I Never Heard Of Him Again.

Jim

There was a Duncan, ex Andrew Weir who joined Salvesen's. He hailed from Aberdeen. Eventually sailed master. Never sailed with him.

oldmarconiman
19th February 2010, 10:29
Bank Line Masters I sailed with as a Marconi Radio Officer :-

Captain Sam Withers S.S. "Corabank" (Sam Boat) Sept 1958 - Dec 1958 Rotterdam to Hong Kong where ship sold to Chinese. Then onto M.V. "Eskbank" Dec 1958 - Sept 1960 running from Cape Town to Far East and back.

Good Captain, happy ships, good food and bond store.

Tony Breach
19th February 2010, 22:07
Capt. Alfie Banach from Poland, Ashbank 1964. Seaman & gentleman.

Capt. Donald Campbell from Skye, Beaverbank 1964/5. Serious, competent & understanding master. Loved the works of Robert W Service.

I was only a very green third mate when I sailed with these gentlemen. I was privileged to do so & attribute my successful later career to the standards that I observed when sailing with them. Both are gone but remain as icons from another, better age.

tom roberts
19th February 2010, 22:53
Seems most of the comments are refering to Bank Line skippers well I cant comment on them never having been in that company, but ive posted this skipper before as one of the best I had the good fortune to sail with ,Capt J Mc Gann on the little Torwood in 1959 until she was sold to new owners.

david harrod
20th February 2010, 02:00
My first was DJR Davies, tesbank 1964 (46 years agon Monday 22 feb); RN Angle, Dai Davies, Newton, McCaffrey, Wigham, BJ Peterson, PJ Elder (his first trip), Trevor Smith (his first trip), JFD Paul (his first trip), K J Wallace (his first trip) RA Brant, J Appleby, W Ellarby, Allan McGregor, A J Hall and a number of others while coasting...some were great blokes; some I will wait until they have signed on upstairs (or elsewhere) before I comment!

Johnnietwocoats
20th February 2010, 22:20
Is this John Sturgess?

This was the Mate on the Cedarbank on my way home in 1964....

He was a great Mate and cared about his Apprentices....TC

dick burrow
21st February 2010, 11:39
aye, johnny thats him, great master, and treated us all as equals, i did two trips ,22 months with him on rosebank, 1967-1969, good times.

Waighty
23rd February 2010, 15:07
As you say, John Sturgess - salt of the earth - best Master I ever sailed with.

JOHNKITTO
23rd February 2010, 15:51
Does any body remember Capt (Wild) Bill Ellerby, he was from Hull and Master of the Forresbank about 67-68. He bollocked me for cleaning his shower curtain rail with wire wool instead of a knife as he said it would scratch it.

McMorine
24th February 2010, 11:42
Does any body remember Capt (Wild) Bill Ellerby, he was from Hull and Master of the Forresbank about 67-68. He bollocked me for cleaning his shower curtain rail with wire wool instead of a knife as he said it would scratch it.
Sailed with Bill Ellerby on the Westbank 1959/60, my first trip to sea as 2nd Electrician. Can't remember any problems with him, he's no longer with us unfortunately, think he passed away last year.

Robinj
24th February 2010, 12:41
Anchor Lines Alf Colquhoun dour scot but fine.
Captain Hanson nicknamed DR(as in you know what) but OK by me.
One Houlders skipper can't remember his name, but always out of his skull.

ianian
24th February 2010, 12:50
Springbank; Harry Barber
Forresbank JB Leslie
Beaverbank W Langworthy
Weybank Patrick Grist nil point
Moraybank JJ Reed
Larchbank E Browning
Ernebank PH Thomas, I finally worked out what P.H. stood for
Forresbank PD Howell
Sprucebank J Ball
Nessbank T Scott NJ Munro.
Roybank J(?) Paul
Cloverbank Harry Taylor and R J B Collinson

Are any of the above still on the go?

Eddie Bl.

Hi Eddie,
I see you mentioned E Browning, a very good friend of mine who is now no longer with us, killed in the Indian Ocean (about 10 years ago), bad storm and cargo broke loose and went down to secure in one of the holds and fell to bottom between two containers, not far from Diego Garcia, He was always called John (his second name) do you by any chance have any photo's of him,he sometimes took his wife with him named Rosalind, would be much obliged if you have, if you would post them here. Kind Regards ianian (Ian)

david harrod
27th February 2010, 02:07
My little list and no problems with any of them
Sprucebank 1974 - Trevor Smith
Shirrabank 1975 Albert Scales
Avonbank 1976 F.C.Abell
Meadowbank 1976 W.W. Davies
Moraybank 1977 Geoff Tully
Moraybank (2) - 1977 Donald McPhail
Forthbank 1978 R.A. Brant

I was mate on Sprucebank with Trevor Smith in '74; joined in Durban as i recall and had a very interesting time up the west coast of south america and into new orleans...were you there then?

Duncan112
27th February 2010, 10:36
Harry Barber - still attends Bank Line reunions
Ellis Rees - still attends Bank Line reunions
Davy (D. L. ) Jones - sadly passed on
Donald Stewart - still attends reunions with his wife Cathy, brother Evander was also a Bank Line Master
Callum McInnes - made redundant 1988 ish? believe he is in insurance in the city but very second hand information
Wynne Davies (WW) sailed with him whilst he was Mate after being demoted, lot of rumours about that, but always found him to be a perfect gentleman, again sadly passed on a couple of years ago

ernhelenbarrett
27th February 2010, 11:48
Sailed on the Tweedbank/GBYC 1955-56? UK-Cuba.New Orleans-USA Coast-Mexico to Australia and back via the Copra Islands run to Birkenhead/Glasgow. The Captain was Owen Owens from Welsh Wales, cant spell the name but it started with a P. Mate and C/E had a 'blue" on way from Panama to Brisbane, blood all over the Saloon. On leaving Colombo after changing the Indian crew at 6am the new Butler came up to say all the stores had gone so we starved on the way home. I had a large tin of Justmans shag tobacco and the Mates/Engineers came to the Radio Room twice daily to roll a cigarette. The Coconut/palm oil froze in the deep tanks and had to be discharged by shovel in Birkenhead. The radio Room/my cabin was a combined affair abaft the funnel and was held down by two wire strops and bottlescrews which I had to tighten every couple of days or the whole works slid port to starboard with a thud (she was built in 1931) The Captain did ok as he had his own private store and as Bankline Skippers bought all stores in those days and were re-imbursed by Weirs he wouldnt put in to top up with food. I met up with him years later when he visited VIS when i was an R/O with OTC. Believe it or not he asked me to come back the next trip on the Tweedbank, needless to say I didnt and managed to land myself a permanent
job on the Alaric/GWRQ of Shaw Savill and eventually joined AWA in Sydney Australia
I did enjoy the 14 months on Tweedbank, it was a good experience.
Ern Barrett

Scoddie
27th February 2010, 12:10
B J Peterson Inverbank, good guy, didn't give us appies any grief.

Len Thorne.Marabank. Allowed the mate to persecute the appies (maybe he didn't know). Must have changed a bit from all the good things I hear about him. Loved to play golf, remember his whiskery nose.

A J Whiston. Teviotbank. A bit strange, I think he enjoyed a gin or two? Didn't give us any hassle, but then again I don't think he even noticed us!

I sailed with Capt Whiston and his Mrs on the Teviotbank, 1967/68. He made a fortune on his bond.
Scoddie

Alan Rawlinson
27th February 2010, 16:37
Harry Barber - still attends Bank Line reunions
Ellis Rees - still attends Bank Line reunions
Davy (D. L. ) Jones - sadly passed on
Donald Stewart - still attends reunions with his wife Cathy, brother Evander was also a Bank Line Master
Callum McInnes - made redundant 1988 ish? believe he is in insurance in the city but very second hand information
Wynne Davies (WW) sailed with him whilst he was Mate after being demoted, lot of rumours about that, but always found him to be a perfect gentleman, again sadly passed on a couple of years ago


Was/is Harry Barber a tall thin gent? Believe he was second mate of the Ernebank around 53, and was a very quiet participant. ( Compared to the rest of us that is!)

Doug Christy was senior apprentice, and I can show a pic of him and self standing on top of the volcano ( The Mother?) near the Rabaul wreck berth - harbour below. We were a bit knackered after the climb, and I remember we went through big fields of pineapple plants ...

simomatra
1st March 2010, 06:26
Hard to read some of the signatures

Pinebank D G Mcaffy 1965 (not sure on this one)
Pinebank Martin 1965 could be Withers
Forresbank Jim McCoy 1966
Forresbank W Johnson 1967
Narnbank Todd 1968
Cedarbank W Johnson 1968

All excellent to sail with

Steve Harper
1st March 2010, 09:50
J.J.Faringdon - Lindenbank - Didn't like appies.
J.D.Paul - Pinebank - Worse feeder out of all and thats saying something
R.Bridger - Willowbank
D.Rees - Rowanbank
F.B.Leslie - Forresbank
C.Howe - Maplebank - Difficult
J.Shrubsole - Maplebank - Good, easygoing Master
P.Stewart - Ernebank
B.P.Ross - Larchbank - *??/&*!!!
D.L.Jones - Olivebank
R.W.Gunn - Testbank
B.F.C.Bennett - Fleetbank
W.Ellerby - Hollybank
P.J.Elder - Ivybank - A gentleman

All from 1971 - 1980

Strath101
1st March 2010, 11:07
I was mate on Sprucebank with Trevor Smith in '74; joined in Durban as i recall and had a very interesting time up the west coast of south america and into new orleans...were you there then?

I joined in New Orleans after what you refer to as an interesting time.

david harrod
2nd March 2010, 04:42
I joined in New Orleans after what you refer to as an interesting time.

Somewhere I have some pictures of Christmas dinner that trip...in Bunbury as I recall, my folks came down and stayed on board...

johnb42
5th March 2010, 12:41
DJR Davies aka Dai Davies from Bridgend -
sailed with Dai twice, down to earth, no-nonsense sort of man and a good seaman. His standard response when asked could we have a party in Aussie ports was "I don't want to hear any f****** noise after midnight".

Willy Watson from Hull -
I got on well with him, although I have heard of others that didn't. Willy had his wife with him when we sailed together and I believe she was a mellowing influence - on him. Willy later became a Super.

Don McCaffery from Lytham St Annes (?) -
We had our differences.

Doug Scott - from Aberdeen (?) -
Not sure if he was D.G.Scott or G.D.Scott but he was the other one from Tom Scott. Again, I have seen some negative comments about Doug in forum, but my own experience was 100% positive. He was very relaxed about me having my wife and small son sail with me and made my wife feel welcome.

Alan Newton from Yorkshire -
top man and one of my all-time favourite Masters. He didn't call a spade a spade - he called it a f****** shovel.

Duncan McLean from Stornaway -
another top man who didn't suffer fools gladly.

Coasted with Bertie (Trader) Holland and Jim Townsley - two more excellent human beings.

John Hebblewhite
6th March 2010, 12:21
I have already submitted my list of Masters....

Am I the only living survivor of a long trip with Charlie Howe?....

Has anyone ever sailed with a Mate called Syd Mallory?

Would be interested to find out anything about him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

I sailed with Syd Mallory in the 60's when I was apprentice, known as mean mallory which explains it all.

John Hebblewhite

John Hebblewhite
6th March 2010, 12:43
Best Master I was with was Alan Newton , two trips on the Weirbank 1969 - 1971. Very competant pleasant man. There are photos of him in the gallery.

I recognise a lot of the others named but all the ones I sailed with were fine unlike some of the infamous ones I see named there and fortunately did not sail with. Is John Sturgess (big john) still with us.

John Hebblewhite

China hand
6th March 2010, 19:23
I have already submitted my list of Masters....

Am I the only living survivor of a long trip with Charlie Howe?....

Has anyone ever sailed with a Mate called Syd Mallory?

Would be interested to find out anything about him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Would that be a somewhat overweight gentleman from Ulster of the Orange persuasion (very), ex RFA? If so, a pleasant tale to tell when a pope died, and someone didn't want to agree with the Prefectura Maritima in Bs As that the ensign should be half-masted.(K)

Scoddie
7th March 2010, 16:23
This is my list :-

Capt J Greig
Capt L Mills.
Capt A J Whiston
Capt Thomas
Capt Sturges
Capt Parsons
Capt Creasey
Capt Abell
Capt Forsyth
Capt Dai Reese

Most of them fine Captains, one or two ?

Scoddie.

Scoddie
7th March 2010, 16:40
As you say, John Sturgess - salt of the earth - best Master I ever sailed with.

I sailed with Capt Sturgess on the Streambank, I tink it was his first command but could be wrong. I agree he was a great bloke

Scoddie.

Johnnietwocoats
8th March 2010, 04:07
I sailed with Syd Mallory in the 60's when I was apprentice, known as mean mallory which explains it all.

John Hebblewhite

Hi John. I guess you took over from me on the "Streambank".

I had Syd Mallory as the Mate on my First trip on the "Eastbank" July 60 to July 61...Exactly one year.

Then I had Charlie Howe as Master on my third ship the "Fleetbank". 14 months...

Went home and relaxed for a while and built up the courage to return to sea and joined the "Streambank" and guess who met me when I went see the Mate as Senior Apprentice.....Syd Mallory...18 Months...

My life got better after I finished my time....

TC(Smoke)(Smoke)

mackem
8th March 2010, 04:14
My first trip at sea was on the Hazlebank in 1978 with Capt. Don Stewart and then sailed again with him the following year on Birchbank.

A no nonsense type of guy who could easily go off the deep end. Thankfully, he also knew how to have some fun and occasionally proved to be a larger than lfe character.

Would love to hear from anyone who sailed on those ships 1978 and 1979.

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Frank Holden ? Please advise, thanks.

Also sailed on the Pikebank and Tenchbank, 1980 and 81 respectively.

rabaul
8th March 2010, 20:50
Sailed on the Birchbank around this time - joined in Hull paid off Cyprus after visiting aussie , new zealand , central america - great trip all round

bill

mackem
9th March 2010, 16:44
Hi Bill,

I joined the Birchbank Feb 1979 in Newport, Wales. At the there was a road haulage dispute and no way of moving the cargo away from the dockside, so we stayed far longer than originally planned.

We took on cargo in Amsterdam and Antwerp and went across to Maracaibo, Venezuala. I think we then went up to Houston and New Orleans and through Panama Canal and up west coast of Mexico.

We then enjoyed the benefits of a TMM (Transportation Maritima Mexicana) charter or as I prefer to call it, Tomorrow Maybe Move...(due to the incredible long time at anchor before berthing).

Almost sure we somehow went south to Bundaberg, Australia and loaded sugar, but by then we all paid off and flew a long flight back to Blighty.

Great times and so many happy memories.

Alan Rawlinson
16th March 2010, 09:51
Found the old discharge book ( R554932) and list the Masters I ' enjoyed '. (Some were coasting trips)


FORTHBANK - D.A. REID
HAZELBANK - A.E.NEWTON
EASTBANK - R.SMITH
INCHANGA - BEAVIS/JACKSON
WESTBANK - B.STEWART
ERNEBANK - J.STEWART
MAPLEBANK - W.FORD
IRISBANK - C.S.PALMER
EASTBANK - B MITCHELL
CRESTBANK -D.McCAFFERY
BEAVERBAK - P.D.MACFARLANE
SOUTHBANK - B.C.CARNIE

Some good, some bad.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
then pages and pages of....

Container(s) Enterprise and Venturer
Slieve(s) Bearnagh /Bawn/Donard
Duke(s) of Lancaster/Rothesay/Argyll

each entry averaging 2 weeks!

jimthehat
16th March 2010, 11:11
Amazing,
how many masters did bank line have in the 50s//compare with my large list and those of others and and hardly any name comes up twice,i suppose one for each ship and a few on leave.

jim

K urgess
16th March 2010, 13:31
When I joined the Spruce in 1967 I wrote out a list of Bankboats so that I could recognise their call signs for contacting them.
The list contains 54 Bankboats.
I contacted 17 of them in the course of 7 months and met 5 of them in various ports (Sydney, Singapore, Rabaul, Rotterdam & Houston).
Just found out I should correct my post at #6. Holbrook was coasting Master on the Spruce in '67 not the Weirbank. Old age don't ye know. (Sad)

boatlarnie
18th March 2010, 18:05
Sailed with a few Masters in my 14 years as follows:
1957-58 Irisbank - Captain W.Mendus, very quiet and distant
1958-59 Lossiebank -Capt R.J. Warn - bit of a boozer
1959-1960 Beaverbank - Capt M.McParlane - another quiet one
1960-61 Cloverbank - Capt. R.Brant - Gentleman Bob, he was known as.
1961-62 Avonbank - Capt Mendus again
1963-64 Oakbank - Capt C.Howe - a difficult man especially if you were taller than him.
1964-65 Cederbank - Capt MacLean - Cannot remember anyhting about him
1965 Marabank - Capt G.W.Patterson - easy to get on with.
1965-66 Northbank - Capt A.McGregor - wonderful man, got on well with him.
1966 Streambank - Capt J.R.Smith - do not rember anyhting about him.
1967-68 Irisbank - Capt Len Thorne - great guy.
1968 Weirbank - Capt J.McCoy -again, a distant memory
1969-70 Maplebank - Capt L.Mills - known as Granny Mills which says it all.
1970 Laganbank - Capt Les Steers - an experience to say the least although I got on well with him.
1971 Weybank - Capt R.Brant - not as nice as the Cloverbank time, probably my fault as much as his.

All in all I did learn an awful lot from the above guys and I would not change any of the above trips, apart from many a hangover, as I, like many other Apprentices and Officers, received a very thorough education in all that was good with the Merchant Navy of those days.

xrm
18th March 2010, 18:21
I sailed with Capt Whiston and his Mrs on the Teviotbank, 1967/68. He made a fortune on his bond.
Scoddie

My first trip as an apprentice was on the Teviotbank 1967 - Feb 1969. Paid off in Avonmouth?

What did you sail as?

Rob

RayL
23rd March 2010, 00:27
Capt Stan Holbrook, who was Commodore when I sailed with him on the Speybank, Oct 1966 - Mar 1967. As Marconi Sahib mentions a Chas Holbrook it seems likely that there were two Capt Holbrooks who served Bank Line.

K urgess
23rd March 2010, 00:40
Think he may have been Charles Stanley Holbrook, Ray.
As a mere sparkie I didn't get on first name terms although I was a drinking buddy a couple of times. [=P]

johnb42
23rd March 2010, 03:03
Sailed with a few Masters in my 14 years as follows:
all.
1970 Laganbank - Capt Les Steers - an experience to say the least although I got on well with him.

All in all I did learn an awful lot from the above guys and I would not change any of the above trips, apart from many a hangover, as I, like many other Apprentices and Officers, received a very thorough education in all that was good with the Merchant Navy of those days.

boatlanie,
was this Louis (Lewis?) Steers by any chance? Came up through the hawse pipe?

ianian
23rd March 2010, 14:21
boatlanie,
was this Louis (Lewis?) Steers by any chance? Came up through the hawse
pipe?

Hi John,
Alan (boatlarnie) was referring to Lesley Steers who was a cockney Londoner who lived in Chipping Sudbury, as to whether he came up from the deck (hawse pipe, your word) I do not know.
We all sailed together on the Laganbank way back when, he was certainly rough enough, but all the same a fairly good bloke , I liked him, there were a lot worse than that out there.

Kind Regards

ianian (Ian)

johnb42
23rd March 2010, 15:31
Cheers Ian, I never met him but I remember a Captain Steers (thought his Christian name was Lewis, but may be wrong) who lost the Levernbank off of Matarani in
about '73. Our 3rd Mate had sailed with him and your Les Steers seemed to fit the picture.
John

ianian
24th March 2010, 10:44
Cheers Ian, I never met him but I remember a Captain Steers (thought his Christian name was Lewis, but may be wrong) who lost the Levernbank off of Matarani in
about '73. Our 3rd Mate had sailed with him and your Les Steers seemed to fit the picture.
John

Hi John,

Yup! that's the one who lost the Levernbank, a bit of a character, I was on the Olivebank in Indonesia when that happened, and heard about it almost immediatly, still there you go.

Regards

Ian

436lp
26th March 2010, 18:27
Springbank; Harry Barber
Forresbank JB Leslie
Beaverbank W Langworthy
Weybank Patrick Grist nil point
Moraybank JJ Reed
Larchbank E Browning
Ernebank PH Thomas, I finally worked out what P.H. stood for
Forresbank PD Howell
Sprucebank J Ball
Nessbank T Scott NJ Munro.
Roybank J(?) Paul
Cloverbank Harry Taylor and R J B Collinson

Are any of the above still on the go?

Eddie Bl.

Captain Langworthy still works for Andrew weir shipping in London Office. Believe he runs the St Helena service. One of the best Masters I ever sailed with.

JOHNKITTO
28th March 2010, 22:57
Did my last trip as an appy on the Rowanbank in 69 Les Steers war the old man. He had come up from the deck. He lived in Chipping something or other near Bristol. Very socialble guy but lacked a bit of finesse. We were sailing round the Cape in a very heavy swell. We had two ships just off each bow and I was senior appy doing the mates watch. I wanted to alter couse but Les wouldn't let me. In the end he had to grab the wheel and zig zag between the ships. The off course alarm went off and due to the swell the ship heeled over like a destroyer in a war film, everybodies dinner rolled of the table and the mate came up to the bridge five steps at a time. Les was most apologetic but the mate told me to leave the bridge and he gave Les a good earholing.

m shann
23rd April 2010, 13:24
Capt Banach Firbank 1966
Capt FD Parsons Sprucbank/ Henry Allen 1967/68
Capt D Martin Inverbank 1969
Capt BJ Petersen Teviotbank 1971
All good men regardless of their idiosyncrasies
enjoyed the experience
mike shann

Waighty
26th August 2010, 00:10
Rowanbank: Les Steers
Avonbank: Austin Hall
Marabank: DJR Davies
Lossiebank: Les Thorne
Weirbank: John Sturgess (10 out of 10)
Willowbank: John Lowans
Gowanbank: George Scott (one flew over....No1) relieved by Don Carmichael
Corabank: MacDonald
Moraybank:Dominic Martin (enigmatic)
Meadowbank: Ellis Rees (8 out of 10)
Ivybank: George Scott (again)
Shirrabank: Geoff Thornhill (one flew over.....No 2)
Riverbank (1980): Pat Grist
Ruddbank: Elis Rees
Troutbank: Name escapes me - lived East Anglia, married a lot.
Riverbank (1983): Healy Martin (nice chap)
With exception of George Scott and Geoff Thornhill I'd sign on with them all again.

Scoddie
26th August 2010, 17:50
Harry Barber - still attends Bank Line reunions
Ellis Rees - still attends Bank Line reunions
Davy (D. L. ) Jones - sadly passed on
Donald Stewart - still attends reunions with his wife Cathy, brother Evander was also a Bank Line Master
Callum McInnes - made redundant 1988 ish? believe he is in insurance in the city but very second hand information
Wynne Davies (WW) sailed with him whilst he was Mate after being demoted, lot of rumours about that, but always found him to be a perfect gentleman, again sadly passed on a couple of years ago

last I heard of Callum Macinnes he was a marine surveyor living in Cruden Bay, Fife, Scotland

Scoddie
26th August 2010, 18:02
two Masters I sailed with who were excllent ship Masters and a pleasure to sail with, truly perfect gentlement, they were Capt J Sturgess on Streambank and Capt Dia Reese on the Marabank
Scoddie

pete
26th August 2010, 18:58
I hadn't heard about Davy Jones passing on. I know he had been diagnosed wth Diabetes...sad news, the passing of another Gent..........pete

Waighty
27th August 2010, 01:03
last I heard of Callum Macinnes he was a marine surveyor living in Cruden Bay, Fife, Scotland

Calum Macinnes left surveying and became Asst Hbr Master with Forth Ports at Grangemouth, as was I at the time (1996 to2004). Last I heard he had left FP and gone into business in clothing supply for various organisations.

Waighty
27th August 2010, 01:05
Rowanbank: Les Steers
Avonbank: Austin Hall
Marabank: DJR Davies
Lossiebank: Les Thorne
Weirbank: John Sturgess (10 out of 10)
Willowbank: John Lowans
Gowanbank: George Scott (one flew over....No1) relieved by Don Carmichael
Corabank: MacDonald
Moraybank:Dominic Martin (enigmatic)
Meadowbank: Ellis Rees (8 out of 10)
Ivybank: George Scott (again)
Shirrabank: Geoff Thornhill (one flew over.....No 2)
Riverbank (1980): Pat Grist
Ruddbank: Elis Rees
Troutbank: Name escapes me - lived East Anglia, married a lot.
Riverbank (1983): Healy Martin (nice chap)
With exception of George Scott and Geoff Thornhill I'd sign on with them all again.

Addendum: Troutbank was Peter Ireland and yes we had the lawn mower story as well!

Scoddie
27th August 2010, 14:39
My first trip as an apprentice was on the Teviotbank 1967 - Feb 1969. Paid off in Avonmouth?

What did you sail as?

Rob Hi Robert Munn, am I right?
Great getting in touch mate! Its been a few years but seems like yesterday! I was apprentice. John from Isle of Lewis. Maybe we can make contact sometime. Scoddie

Waighty
27th August 2010, 23:45
Cheers Ian, I never met him but I remember a Captain Steers (thought his Christian name was Lewis, but may be wrong) who lost the Levernbank off of Matarani in
about '73. Our 3rd Mate had sailed with him and your Les Steers seemed to fit the picture.
John

John, the 3rd Mate you referred to was Steve Hockley (if the ship was the Marabank circa 1971). I was 2nd Mate. I was on another vessel had letter from Steve which said "South America 1, Bank Line 0". Steve is a postman these days!

Les Steers was great fun to sail with. I remember his portage bills being sent back with red circles around the errors! He rarely if ever bothered to correct them. Happy days.

Donald McGhee
3rd September 2010, 02:58
I well remember Dom Martin when he was mate on Teviotbank. He was a wee bit enigmatic, as previously stated! One trick was to watch us slave away on deck overhauling shackles and restamping them, sweat pouring of us and drink a cold beer in front of us.
Then he brought out three beers for us later, but when we went to get them he had opened them (from the bottom), drank them and upended them! We appies thought this was real good of him until...!!

This was a great joke! Not at the time!!

A real stocky Western Isles man, pug nose, red hair. Not to be crossed.

I see he ended up in command, not surprising, always wondered what it would have been like to sail with him i/c.

Johnnietwocoats
3rd September 2010, 05:17
I well remember Dom Martin when he was mate on Teviotbank. He was a wee bit enigmatic, as previously stated! One trick was to watch us slave away on deck overhauling shackles and restamping them, sweat pouring of us and drink a cold beer in front of us.
Then he brought out three beers for us later, but when we went to get them he had opened them (from the bottom), drank them and upended them! We appies thought this was real good of him until...!!

This was a great joke! Not at the time!!

A real stocky Western Isles man, pug nose, red hair. Not to be crossed.

I see he ended up in command, not surprising, always wondered what it would have been like to sail with him i/c.


Jerks like that are not fit for command.........(Cloud)

Donald McGhee
3rd September 2010, 21:19
Jerks like that are not fit for command.........(Cloud)

It's a strange thing, promotion. It can have wierd effects on some and little effect on others.
I have seen it in many of the work types I have been involved with over the years. Some go power mad and turn out real swine, others mellow, as if the achievement of higher authority has been the goal and they can relax a bit.
I saw the lot when at sea, some used favouritism as a weapon, some were fair and impartial. Others just couldn't care about anyone but themselves, while some were just out and out misfits who behaved in such a way as to be considered certifiable today!
Do unto others, etc, etc...!

Macphail
3rd September 2010, 21:53
I sailed with Captain Freddy Feint on the Larchbank.
A real gent.
I was told he was ex RN, and was on the Exeter during the battle of the river Plate.
Can anybody confirm ?.

John.

Les Gibson
4th September 2010, 00:03
Well, I've been quiet about it for a long time. My views on my one and only trip with Bank line are well documented on this and other sites, but to recap.
Dartbank: joined Hamburg March 1963. Left Rotterdam August 1964. Food was virtually inedible. OM was Willy Watson (Hope he reads this) Fiddled a fortune from us with the bond and the food. The meat was green when it came aboard. Charged 25 shillings for a case of beer when other companies charged 15. Cigarettes twice what other outfits were charging. (yes I know we shouldn't have smoked!) The second engineer was a drunken bully from Liverpool. The mate was a first timer with Bank line, had been 4th mate on a passenger ship somewhere. Treated the 3 appies and the crew like dirt. The round the world runs were great, in every port the first place we headed for was a restaurant before we hit the bars. Never had fresh salad even in port. No fresh milk. 3 eggs a week. HP sauce on the table on Sundays only. The fact that everyone including the appies apart from Willy vowed never to set foot on a Bank boat again speaks for itself.
At the risk of opening myself up to a string of 'we loved Bank line posts' I can't help but notice that almost all of the posts about the company are from mates and the occasional RO. Can't help but wonder that mates had to make the best of a bad job because of the lack of opportunities ashore and resigned themselves to whatever fate awaited them at the mercy of the Willy Watsons of this world. It has even been commented on the fact that there have been very few posts from engineers and 'leckies. With close on 60 ships, each one carrying 7 seven ginger beers and 2 'leckies plus those on leave at any given time we are looking at several hundred bodies. I know they won't all be regular members of SN, but I wouldn't mind betting that a lot of them visit the site and have a good chuckle at the way Bank line is promoted/described. And I am not afraid of hard work or long trips just in case that is thrown at me again. I await with interest your comments!

Johnnietwocoats
4th September 2010, 01:24
Well, I've been quiet about it for a long time. My views on my one and only trip with Bank line are well documented on this and other sites, but to recap.
Dartbank: joined Hamburg March 1963. Left Rotterdam August 1964. Food was virtually inedible. OM was Willy Watson (Hope he reads this) Fiddled a fortune from us with the bond and the food. The meat was green when it came aboard. Charged 25 shillings for a case of beer when other companies charged 15. Cigarettes twice what other outfits were charging. (yes I know we shouldn't have smoked!) The second engineer was a drunken bully from Liverpool. The mate was a first timer with Bank line, had been 4th mate on a passenger ship somewhere. Treated the 3 appies and the crew like dirt. The round the world runs were great, in every port the first place we headed for was a restaurant before we hit the bars. Never had fresh salad even in port. No fresh milk. 3 eggs a week. HP sauce on the table on Sundays only. The fact that everyone including the appies apart from Willy vowed never to set foot on a Bank boat again speaks for itself.
At the risk of opening myself up to a string of 'we loved Bank line posts' I can't help but notice that almost all of the posts about the company are from mates and the occasional RO. Can't help but wonder that mates had to make the best of a bad job because of the lack of opportunities ashore and resigned themselves to whatever fate awaited them at the mercy of the Willy Watsons of this world. It has even been commented on the fact that there have been very few posts from engineers and 'leckies. With close on 60 ships, each one carrying 7 seven ginger beers and 2 'leckies plus those on leave at any given time we are looking at several hundred bodies. I know they won't all be regular members of SN, but I wouldn't mind betting that a lot of them visit the site and have a good chuckle at the way Bank line is promoted/described. And I am not afraid of hard work or long trips just in case that is thrown at me again. I await with interest your comments!

You didn't say what department you were in. I assume it was engineering.
I have posted what I thought of a certain Master and must agree with some of your post.
I was an Apprentice so I had to put in my 4 years wether I liked it or not.
When I finished my time I left and went to Caltex later Texaco. Like night and day.
I am sure most will not knock you for your post. I certainly won't.
Some were fortunate to get the 6 month Copra trip and some of us were not. Luck of the draw I guess.
I did have some good times in Bank Line though and I certainly did see the world in my 4 years there.
Take care....JTC.

Alan Rawlinson
4th September 2010, 09:00
Well, I've been quiet about it for a long time. My views on my one and only trip with Bank line are well documented on this and other sites, but to recap.
Dartbank: joined Hamburg March 1963. Left Rotterdam August 1964. Food was virtually inedible. OM was Willy Watson (Hope he reads this) Fiddled a fortune from us with the bond and the food. The meat was green when it came aboard. Charged 25 shillings for a case of beer when other companies charged 15. Cigarettes twice what other outfits were charging. (yes I know we shouldn't have smoked!) The second engineer was a drunken bully from Liverpool. The mate was a first timer with Bank line, had been 4th mate on a passenger ship somewhere. Treated the 3 appies and the crew like dirt. The round the world runs were great, in every port the first place we headed for was a restaurant before we hit the bars. Never had fresh salad even in port. No fresh milk. 3 eggs a week. HP sauce on the table on Sundays only. The fact that everyone including the appies apart from Willy vowed never to set foot on a Bank boat again speaks for itself.
At the risk of opening myself up to a string of 'we loved Bank line posts' I can't help but notice that almost all of the posts about the company are from mates and the occasional RO. Can't help but wonder that mates had to make the best of a bad job because of the lack of opportunities ashore and resigned themselves to whatever fate awaited them at the mercy of the Willy Watsons of this world. It has even been commented on the fact that there have been very few posts from engineers and 'leckies. With close on 60 ships, each one carrying 7 seven ginger beers and 2 'leckies plus those on leave at any given time we are looking at several hundred bodies. I know they won't all be regular members of SN, but I wouldn't mind betting that a lot of them visit the site and have a good chuckle at the way Bank line is promoted/described. And I am not afraid of hard work or long trips just in case that is thrown at me again. I await with interest your comments!

Thanks for a valuable contribution - quite refreshing, and strikes a better balance of the Bankline world. I had a brother-in law who I encouraged into the Bankline, and he only did one trip ( strangely enough on the Dartbank) .

However, it is '' swings and roundabouts '' and if you read through the contributions here, there are good and bad trips as well as good and bad Masters as we have all acknowledged.

I suppose '' time lends enchantment '' and you will have to watch out for our regular contributor who admits to wearing Rose Tinted Glasses!

kwg
4th September 2010, 10:11
[QUOTE=Macphail;452617]I sailed with Captain Freddy Feint on the Larchbank.
A real gent.
I was told he was ex RN, and was on the Exeter during the battle of the river Plate.
Can anybody confirm ?.

Les Gibson
4th September 2010, 12:25
In reply to Johnnietwocoats,
Apologies John, I should have said that I was chief electrician. Reminded myself of another bone of contention: The second 'lecky was on watch with the 4th engineer as his junior, and in port kept so-called generator watches with the other 2 juniors engineers. This left muggins to handle all the cargo work problems with the winches, cargo cluster lights etc. And of course because it was Bank line it was rare to see shore cranes used. Fortunately the Lawrence Scott winches performed beautifully and were a joy to work on and maintain. I should also have said that we tranferred to the new Taybank in Calcutta to eventually get us back to the UK, so paid off in Rotterdam from Taybank. We had brought a cargo of phosphate from Togo.

Charlie Stitt
4th September 2010, 16:01
Les Gibson, you poor sod, my heart bleeds for you, having all those winches and cargo clusters to look after, but wait a minute, was that not what you were paid to do?. No the Mates did not have to stay with the Bankline and make the most of a bad job as you say, back then the MN Journal was full of job vacancies, I could have had my pick of at least a dozen Companies. I CHOOSE to stay with Bankline because that type of Company suited me, and I suited the Company. We had to put up with some hard times, and yes sometimes the grub left much to be desired, BOT conditions were much the same as other tramp type ships, but that was no great problem for guys with the right character.Sorry Les, but to me, you sound like the kind of guy who would sour the atmosphere on any long tripper. How can anyone judge a whole Company, by doing just the one trip ? No further comment from me

Alistair Macnab
4th September 2010, 16:51
Two Masters have been mentioned by name in recent days. Freddy Feint and Willie Watson. I shall comment on both as I knew them quite well.
Freddie Feint was indeed a 'gent' with his monocle and double-breasted blazer which he wore as his shore-going outfit. I realized afterwards that it was to go some way to hiding his large belly when the same condition befell me and I re-discovered the effect of double-breasted jackets. He had a 'good' accent and maintained a dignified presence throughout the voyage. His "Carry on Number One" was his parting instructions on leaving the bridge and that's how the ship was run. He always came to our Sydney parties but only stayed for half-an-hour, leaving the 'lads' to get on with doing with what they were doing and in Kavieng at Christmas when the Agent invited him and the Chief Engineer to the Burns Philp party, Freddy said: "My officers will be delighted to accept your kind invitation" and we all went! When in port on a Sunday, he would always organize a Church Parade with the added attraction of a slap-up lunch at the best hotel to follow. He had a lot of volunteers! Can you just imagine ship's officers going to church on Sunday? Such was the power of the man and his offer!

Willie Watson eventually became the New-Building Superintendent at Pallion and was highly regarded by Doxford's people for not making undue waves but for getting along and getting what he wanted. He was a wee bit henpecked by his strong-willed wife and when he came to visit us in New York he stood at the front door and took his shoes off before entering the apartment as he had become accustomed to doing. I think he was from North Shields. Let's just say that Mrs. Watson had polished up her rough diamond very well!

Both characters in their individual ways are representatives of Bank Line's wide and varied officer ranks. Yes! Distance enhanceth the view and also the nostalgia, but the folks we sailed with have turned out to be an education in itself and contributed to who we are today as we follow the company into history.

jimthehat
4th September 2010, 19:18
Les Gibson, you poor sod, my heart bleeds for you, having all those winches and cargo clusters to look after, but wait a minute, was that not what you were paid to do?. No the Mates did not have to stay with the Bankline and make the most of a bad job as you say, back then the MN Journal was full of job vacancies, I could have had my pick of at least a dozen Companies. I CHOOSE to stay with Bankline because that type of Company suited me, and I suited the Company. We had to put up with some hard times, and yes sometimes the grub left much to be desired, BOT conditions were much the same as other tramp type ships, but that was no great problem for guys with the right character.Sorry Les, but to me, you sound like the kind of guy who would sour the atmosphere on any long tripper. How can anyone judge a whole Company, by doing just the one trip ? No further comment from me

I will say nothing more than what Charlie has stated,except that i agree 100%,I never left a ship feeling that I had been hard done by,

jim

Les Gibson
4th September 2010, 22:15
Yep,
That was just what I expected from mates.

iain48
4th September 2010, 22:36
While not entirely agreeing with Les on the "qualities of Bank Line" I did find it a bit of a strange setup with the 2nd Lecky doing watches.
Not only in the fact that I was on my own sorting out the winches, clusters etc. but due to the fact that the first trip 2nd Lecky never really had a chance to work along with me and pick up what the job was about , especially as he was not really interested, came from a totally different industry, and was not prepared to do overtime on the deck gear between his watches. I do not blame him for this as that was his choice. However it left a lot to be desired in the training area. I was very fortunate sailing on my first trip with Safmarine as a daywork 2nd Lecky and learned my way around the gear with a very experienced Chief Lecky to whom I will always be thankful, for making my introduction to the deep sea life a great experience. Thanks Neil you were a guiding light (bad pun).

Iain

Macphail
4th September 2010, 23:21
Thank you,

For that, kwg, post 105.

Captain Freddy Feint was a man who believed in old fashioned correct standards, but also having a good time.
On the Larchbank we had a sundowner’s party in Rabaul with all the local dignitaries in attendance.
What a spread the Captain put on, he even broke out his private stock of Tennants lager “Yellow Can”, and Gordon’s Gin “Yellow Label”.
Later on, we where invited to a “Sing Sing” in the village, what a night, Aluminium kettles of cava being passed round.
Sore heid, next day, working in the crankcase.

John..

Les Gibson
5th September 2010, 00:00
Just wanted to put the record straight, by answering a couple of posts in one go. Ian hit the nail on the head about the 2nd lecky not wanting to be involved, a pity because on the Dartbank and Taybank the young lad with me was a really nice kid, a first tripper from a factory which built control panels but he had no interest in learning about the job at sea. Jim, I never suggested that I felt hard done by, I was only reporting the conditions, and perhaps I was just unfortunate. Although during that time we met up with more than a dozen Bank boats and almost to a man the engineers and leckies said it would be their first and last trip with the company. As I stated, I loved the round world runs and the ports, and the time in ports! I was young and single and enjoyed it all. Apart from the 3 characters I first mentioned we had a great crowd and all got on very well.
Alistair, Willy was from Hull.
Charlie, I spent 10 great months on a real geordie tramp and the food was absolutely superb, BOT conditions were not the norm. And yes I was paid to look after the electrical quipment and by great fortune (and much against the wishes of super. who oversaw the signing on ) chose 'B' articles so was paid for the overtime I worked.
I felt for the second mate whose wife had a baby shortly after we left and was walking and talking by the time we got home. He had been told (we all had) that he would be back home within 6 months. I still believe that one trip (18 months) was quite enough to know that I didn't need Bankline any more than they needed me.
It was a great experience and will stay with me for the rest of my life, only marred by the poor feeding and the 3 aforementioned individuals.
Take care guys.

johnmilne
5th September 2010, 14:18
On the Ashbank I sailed with Captain Banach(12months)
When he paid off in Hamburg Captain Greig signed on.From Hamburg and Bremen we next loaded at Casablanca phosphate for India.On our way to India we bunkered at Aden.We appy's were waiting in our cabin listening for when the pilot boarded.A loud voice was heard the old man shouting where the '''''''''''''are you going.We rushed Out to see what was going on.It was about eleven oclock at night.The second lecky had boarded a launch with his suitcases.His reply being that he was jumping ship.The old man told him to get back on board. He did but after discharging in India we loaded for West Coast of South America,That second leckie jumped ship at Cape Town.I thinkA lot of second leckies got a big shock when they joined Bank Line and found themselves doing watches. I endured (8 months with Capt Greig).
John Milne

Alan Rawlinson
5th September 2010, 14:44
There must have been hundreds of people ( Deck and Engineroom) who only did one trip with Bankline, and couldn't wait to get off! It didn't suit them for a multitude of reasons...Let's have a bit of balance, please!

What we have here is an enthusiasts site, and a good one where those of us who enjoyed the time can reminisce to our hearts content. It doesn't reflect ( I hope) on possibly the majority of people who found it grim - sometimes in the extreme. By the nature of the beast, anyone who ' hated ' the Bankline is hardly likely to be viewing these threads on a daily basis - they can't get far enough away.

Scoddie
5th September 2010, 16:42
Rowanbank: Les Steers
Avonbank: Austin Hall
Marabank: DJR Davies
Lossiebank: Les Thorne
Weirbank: John Sturgess (10 out of 10)
Willowbank: John Lowans
Gowanbank: George Scott (one flew over....No1) relieved by Don Carmichael
Corabank: MacDonald
Moraybank:Dominic Martin (enigmatic)
Meadowbank: Ellis Rees (8 out of 10)
Ivybank: George Scott (again)
Shirrabank: Geoff Thornhill (one flew over.....No 2)
Riverbank (1980): Pat Grist
Ruddbank: Elis Rees
Troutbank: Name escapes me - lived East Anglia, married a lot.
Riverbank (1983): Healy Martin (nice chap)
With exception of George Scott and Geoff Thornhill I'd sign on with them all again.
sailed with Dominic Martin as mate on the Teviotbank, certainly was enigmatic, great bloke and I am sure he would make a good ships Master. I wonder if anyone knows his whereabouts. Scoddie.

Scoddie
5th September 2010, 16:50
Calum Macinnes left surveying and became Asst Hbr Master with Forth Ports at Grangemouth, as was I at the time (1996 to2004). Last I heard he had left FP and gone into business in clothing supply for various organisations. Thanks for that Waighty, I probably bump into him in the Isle of Lewis sometime. Scoddie

Waighty
6th September 2010, 11:32
[QUOTE=Macphail;452617]I sailed with Captain Freddy Feint on the Larchbank.
A real gent.
I was told he was ex RN, and was on the Exeter during the battle of the river Plate.
Can anybody confirm ?.

If it's of any help I was told he was a Captain in the Indian Army (during Raj days) then went to sea. Apparently his star turn on one formal occasion was when he was called to give a toast to the assembled great and the good in Singapore. Having been imbibing most of the day until that point he stood up, called for silence and said: "Freddie Feint, Captain Indian Army and Captain British Merchant Navy". Having got that far he keeled over on the table. I have no way of knowing how true this tale is, so E & OE!

Charlie Stitt
15th November 2010, 19:33
Captains, J McCoy, R A Leach. J Kemp, F F Feint,H Allan, R A Brant, to mention only a few of the BANKLINE TRAINED MASTERS who were top quality professionals with impeccable quality of command style.

James_C
15th November 2010, 22:10
Re Donald Carmichael,
If I'm thinking of the same bloke, did he not end up as a Pilot on the River Forth?

Hamish Mackintosh
16th November 2010, 04:31
My first was DJR Davies, tesbank 1964 (46 years agon Monday 22 feb); RN Angle, Dai Davies, Newton, McCaffrey, Wigham, BJ Peterson, PJ Elder (his first trip), Trevor Smith (his first trip), JFD Paul (his first trip), K J Wallace (his first trip) RA Brant, J Appleby, W Ellarby, Allan McGregor, A J Hall and a number of others while coasting...some were great blokes; some I will wait until they have signed on upstairs (or elsewhere) before I comment!

I see you sailed with a John Appleby, was his full name J appleby 'le Barber?

jimthehat
16th November 2010, 14:47
Just going slightly adrift from this thread,watching the bbc this morning and they were showing the very bad weather of 63/64 I had payed off the Forresbank in Bromborough on the 19/12/63(Capt.Angle) and then went up for masters,I cannot remember a thing about the bad weather,but must have been freezing.

jim

Ron Stringer
16th November 2010, 14:56
Just going slightly adrift from this thread,watching the bbc this morning and they were showing the very bad weather of 63/64 I had payed off the Forresbank in Bromborough on the 19/12/63(Capt.Angle) and then went up for masters,I cannot remember a thing about the bad weather,but must have been freezing.

jim

Think your memory is playing tricks Jim

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1962%E2%80%931963_in_the_United_Kingdom

jimthehat
16th November 2010, 17:07
Think your memory is playing tricks Jim

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1962%E2%80%931963_in_the_United_Kingdom

Ah well ,just missheard this mornings report I am a year out.same ship but was probably somewher between calcutta and west coast S. America.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
16th November 2010, 17:18
Just going slightly adrift from this thread,watching the bbc this morning and they were showing the very bad weather of 63/64 I had payed off the Forresbank in Bromborough on the 19/12/63(Capt.Angle) and then went up for masters,I cannot remember a thing about the bad weather,but must have been freezing.

jim

January 1963 - lovely deep snow in the UK with drifts... Drove from heysham harbour to London and buried the car in a deep pile of snow at the kerbside where it stayed buried for a while..

Billieboy
16th November 2010, 20:28
January 1963 - lovely deep snow in the UK with drifts... Drove from heysham harbour to London and buried the car in a deep pile of snow at the kerbside where it stayed buried for a while..

I was in the Pacific in a Typhoon on a tow rope after running out of fuel, food, and even toilet paper! emergency stores at sea c/o Japan Coast Guard, 4knots astern average for the first three days after starting the tow!

Weather? #3 lifeboat disintegrated in the chocks one smoko, my cabin was underneath it, one wave was all it took!

John Hebblewhite
21st November 2010, 16:47
Hi all... Can somebody tell me who was the master who joined the Dartbank after the fire with a full crew of officers in Lagos in December 1972 paying off in Cardiff February 1973.
I seem to think it was Davies a welshman but I am not sure, he was a first trip master,also there was another Davies who was a great master it certainly was not him.

Thanks John

pete
21st November 2010, 18:41
I had an ex Bank Line Master as mate/relief Master on a coastal tanker.
I never hear him mentioned on any Bank Line threads, his name was Frank Parsons.

Regards Robert

Robert, I sailed with Frankie Parsons when he was Master on the Rowanbank when we carried His Majesty the King of Tonga from Nuku'alofa to Southampton. What a trip. Will expand on this at a later date.......................pete

Alistair Macnab
22nd November 2010, 00:50
Pete....

There are several stories about the famous "Rowanbank" voyage with the Tongas on board. Perhaps its time that a participant told the story rather than those of us who could not stop laughing at the chapter of accidents that befell the individuals and who have embellished the tale with our own additions!
I shall add to your story with the tale of the Shanks appliance that became involved as my wife and I were directly involved on the land-side here in the USA and Panama.

david harrod
22nd November 2010, 21:36
I see you sailed with a John Appleby, was his full name J appleby 'le Barber?I don't know; I remember he had a Jag and used to have it deleivered to the ship in Liverpool...I believe he died in a car accident...perhaps someone will know more...

Alan Rawlinson
23rd November 2010, 07:57
I don't know; I remember he had a Jag and used to have it deleivered to the ship in Liverpool...I believe he died in a car accident...perhaps someone will know more...

John was C/0 and I was 2/0 on the Crestbank in 1959. He was a great shipmate, and I enjoyed his company thoroughly.. He had a passion for cars and would hire one when the opportunity came up, in OZ etc.. He also owned a butcher's shop in Hove, Sussex but preferred his seagoing career, and wandering around in the Bank Line.....

As mentioned elsewhere in these threads, he also did the humane thing and picked up some Vietnamese boat people when he was Master on one of the Bank Line ships.

I did hear later that he had died in a car accident, but never heard how or when.

DURANGO
23rd November 2010, 10:34
I was only an A.B. never served in Bank Line but I sailed in quite a few ships in my 12 years at sea in the golden days of our once great merchant navy I was there during the late 50,s throughout the 60,s some where not to good when it came to feeding but I was young and just got on with it of all the master,s that I sailed with one that has always stood out as a decent and caring man was captain Perkins of Royal MAIL I was with him in Durango and Eden I was told that he had been a prisoner of war that could very well have made him the man he was, to me a gentleman most of the others have long faded from my memory but I will never forget him and would never want to best wishes .

Ben Masey
23rd November 2010, 12:28
I don't know; I remember he had a Jag and used to have it deleivered to the ship in Liverpool...I believe he died in a car accident...perhaps someone will know more...

I was a friend of John Appleby for many years,but never heard of any other names.
We used to deliver each other to ships,airports,London Office etc if both were at home.
He always had fast cars and died driving his latest Daimler into a flint wall at Ringmer where he lived.
Regards,
Ben Masey

commander
23rd November 2010, 14:31
Does anyone remember Captain Freddie Squires of Blue Flue.

I was third mate on one of the old A boats entering Birkenhead docks on a stormy, cold winter's afternoon in around 1971.

He had his very pretty and somewhat younger Dutch wife with him.As we rounded the knuckles into the locks and dock he was storming up and down the bridge wings getting very worked up at the antics of the rope men and 'knuckle 'arries' shouting "well stitch my bum, stitch my f*****g bum".

He and his wife left the ship later that afternoon to go back to Hull where he had left his car.

Sadly he had a heart attack and died in the taxi in the Mersey tunnel en route to Lime Street station.

China hand
24th November 2010, 19:56
See my previous posts about John's funeral in Lewes. A very dear friend. August 1981. "Your **** is out of the window". Met up with one of our rescue-ees a few years later here in NL. She still had the little woollen doll my wife knitted when we picked her up as a tot. Ah John, sadly missed>(Pint)

Andrew Barnes
26th November 2010, 00:25
I served my apprenticeship with Bank Line commencing March 1973. My first ship was Meadowbank on maiden voyage. I joined at Wallsend where we took delivery. The old man was Henry Allan. I was 17 and captain Allan was brilliant helping me stay on the straight and narrow! I think he would have been approaching retirement by then(?) I seem to remember that the mate was Donald Carmichael. He was a good seamanfrom the Scttish Islands and had his wife on board. He was good with the appys. I stayed with Bank Line for 5 years. Talk about the university of life!! It taught me more than Oxford or Cambridge ever could!! I digrese..... i will dig my disharge book and have look for others. Munro, Booker ring a bell.

iain48
28th November 2010, 12:45
Booker rings a bell. Ian Booker was mate on Elmbank 1973-74.

Cheers Iain

Bernie Jones
28th November 2010, 17:34
Captain Betts was the Captain of the Springbank in 1964. He bought his wife with him. He was taken ill in B.A. and Captain Parsons took over for the last three months of the trip.

lafarge
6th January 2011, 17:53
I have already submitted my list of Masters....

Am I the only living survivor of a long trip with Charlie Howe?....

Has anyone ever sailed with a Mate called Syd Mallory?

Would be interested to find out anything about him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Sailed with Charlie Howe as 2nd Elect on the Gowanbank for 18months in 1968 Maiden voyage

lafarge
9th January 2011, 17:55
I have already submitted my list of Masters....

Am I the only living survivor of a long trip with Charlie Howe?....

Has anyone ever sailed with a Mate called Syd Mallory?

Would be interested to find out anything about him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

sailed with charlie howe in 1968 for 18monthson the gowanbank

John Campbell
7th February 2011, 21:16
I thought you ancient Bank Liners would like to know of the passing of Captain George Douglas Scott at the age of 79 . He lived in Aberdeen and Ellon and retired from Bank line in the 1980s with ill health - he then went on to become a Marine Surveyor with Swan & Co. I was on the Fleetbank with him when he did his first trip as Mate with a Mate,s cert. He served his entire career at sea with Andrew Weir and was always proud of having done that. I will be attending his funeral o Friday.

randcmackenzie
7th February 2011, 23:30
John,

Did you know Swannie himself?

He was lecturing in Magnetism and Ship Master's Business in RGIT when I took my Master's, in both of which areas he was both extremely practical and proficient.

B/R.

John Campbell
8th February 2011, 09:24
John,

Did you know Swannie himself?

He was lecturing in Magnetism and Ship Master's Business in RGIT when I took my Master's, in both of which areas he was both extremely practical and proficient.

B/R.

Yes, I knew Swannie quite well he was up for extras when I was at RGIT for 2nd Mates - I then had him for Masters and I was lucky to have him for Magnetism especially. I then met him many times when he had his Surveying business. I attended his funeral with a lot of other sea dogs who were at RG with him
JC

johnb42
9th February 2011, 20:57
I thought you ancient Bank Liners would like to know of the passing of Captain George Douglas Scott at the age of 79 . He lived in Aberdeen and Ellon and retired from Bank line in the 1980s with ill health - he then went on to become a Marine Surveyor with Swan & Co. I was on the Fleetbank with him when he did his first trip as Mate with a Mate,s cert. He served his entire career at sea with Andrew Weir and was always proud of having done that. I will be attending his funeral o Friday.

Very sad to hear that. I sailed as Mate with George on the Marabank, I always found George to be a gentleman who would do you a good turn before a bad one.
I have an ancient snap of him taken on Christmas day 1970, holding my little boy. Both my son and wife were very fond of him.
My condolences to the family.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/182546/title/marabank/cat/all

Quiney
10th February 2011, 13:52
I thought you ancient Bank Liners would like to know of the passing of Captain George Douglas Scott at the age of 79 . He lived in Aberdeen and Ellon and retired from Bank line in the 1980s with ill health - he then went on to become a Marine Surveyor with Swan & Co. I was on the Fleetbank with him when he did his first trip as Mate with a Mate,s cert. He served his entire career at sea with Andrew Weir and was always proud of having done that. I will be attending his funeral o Friday.

Sailed with Capt Scott on Ruddbank. I remember him having us 'trawl' for fish whilst at anchor in the Gulf. The trawl net was fashioned out of a cargo net lined with plastic pea netting (used for cargo seperation). We used a lot of diesel but never saw a fish. He did catch one on a hand line that he had over the side from his sun deck. It was served up with chips, but was unpalatable due to a layer of slime between the layers of flesh.
RIP

jimthehat
6th March 2011, 00:32
Here's my list and thoughtful appraisal after many years.....!
Fleetbank......Palmer Aloof, but gave the Apprentices the equivalent of 10/- in Buenos Aires to have a good time!);
Fleetbank........Kemp from St. Ives. (My job was to cart the box from bridge wing to bridge wing during stations for him to stand on so that he could see over the wind deflector);
Laganbank......Niblock (Big Northern Irishman; very impressive!)
Ettrickbank.....Williams (A Durban-based Irishman with a dark side who went to pieces every time he sailed and left his wife ashore. Mrs. Williams was most attractive and they had two daughters, Susan and Lila who often did the SA coast with us. His recreation at sea was boat building.)
Inchanga.......B.H. Jackson OBE (Bullshit Jackson or Jacko; what more can I say? His recreation was making money using the ships float as his personal piggy bank. Affected a monocle)
Inchanga.......Harry Allan (from Ballymena; Brought the Inchanga social life to a peak of enjoyment for all. Quiet disciplinarean; We would do anything not to offend or get on his wrong side)
Inchanga.......Williams (See Ettrickbank above. Mellowed a bit from my previous sailing with him.)
Carronbank.....Peter Stewart (From one of the Banff port towns. Very steady; very adjusted; Never saw him sweat.)
Laganbank......Commander Freddy Feint RN (retd) (Church parades every Sunday in Sydney; Supported his officers to get shore invitations; "It doesn't matter what you say as long as you have the correct accent!")
Laganbank".... Barry Mitchell (His cousin really was the Master of the QE2. Poor Barry. Gin was beginning to wear him down and ultimately it did. Had a lousy Mate who despised him and didn't do him any good)
Ernebank....... Donald Campbell (Skye-man. The prefect sailor -captain.)

After that, the Masters I sailed with are too personal to comment on!
The other day a friend sent me an article about Capt.kemp, it stated he was awarded the MBE for services during the evacuation of tamils from colombo.
I was 3/0 on the isipingo at the time and we did three trips with over a thousand blokes and taking them to the north of the island,and we worked our fingers to the bone,does anybody remember what sip kemp was on board at the time.

jim

ernhelenbarrett
7th March 2011, 06:47
Owen Owens from Welsh Wales on the Tweedbank
Next time I saw him he was a Marine Super in Sydney
came down to Sydneyradio/VIS once
Ern Barrett

avonbank
15th March 2011, 22:26
Captain Kemp was on the Crestbank in Colombo in June 1958. He was awarded the MBE in 1959.
His son Eric Kemp has written a book called Captain John Kemp, A master mariner of the 20th century.
An interesting read for anyone who sailed with Hains or Bank Line.

Alan Rawlinson
16th March 2011, 18:44
Just thought I would add my tuppence worth to Alistair's list of Masters...

We have no Bank Line anymore, but many of us have vivid memories of the personalities and characters that fate threw us together with. ( Well, the results of the Bank Line office lottery - I wonder how they decided who we should sail with?)

I know what he means about poor Barry Mitchell - this Master taught me a lot about life, and I remember him very fondly. The drink may have got him, but I give Barry my highest accolade - he was a ' human being '. with all that that means...

He was a proud man with many talents, including my present passion for art. Arriving in port, as second mate I would go up to his cabin to get the cash sub for all and sundry. Sometimes, when he was merry, ( but always in a pleasant mood) he would open a drawer and more or less throw a wadge of cash towards me - all on trust, saying " Here you are second mate, see to that, will you "

Such a man is sorely missed, and I raise my glass to his memory.

PS I believe he died at sea in the Caribbean, and another friend of mine, Healey Martin who was c/o took over on his first command. Don't recall the ship.

Alistair Macnab
16th March 2011, 20:16
A appreciate Alan's review of my remarks concerning Captain Barry Mitchell. I have another story to tell. I was going home from New York on the QE2 and was invited to the Master's cabin for cocktails. He said, "I believe your from Bank Line?. I have a cousin who is Master there." I replied, "It has to be Barry Mitchell because you are the very image of him!" and he was! I also said I had sailed with Captain Mitchell and that became my entry to all the top exclusive entertainments aboard the QE2! I wore my kilt on formal occasions.

By the way, when I said that Barry wasn't helped by having a particularly bloody Mate who disliked him very much, I was referring to myself. I wasn't very accommodating to him as he let himself down so often that I quickly lost my respect for him. Of course, I must have precipitated his decline. Looking back on it, I am ashamed of my actions. Nevertheless, I was very sorry to hear about his death in Caribbean waters. At least he had a much more sympatico Mate in Healey Martin by that time.

Alan Rawlinson
17th March 2011, 10:17
Alistair,

The mate with Barry Mitchell when we were on the Eastbank was John Hawkes, son of the Chartering Director at that time. ( Another unsung hero in my book - without his imput I doubt we would have all got to enjoy the odd places that Bank Line ships visited!) Anyway, John Hawkes also treated Barry with disdain and as something of a joke, ( the fate of jolly drinkers everywhere, maybe) so you were not alone.

I have told it before, but I have a vivid memory of a sunny morning with the pilot on board in the River Plate, proceeding up the channel towards Buenos Aires. Capt Mitchell on the bridge and in good form, florid complexion, open neck shirt and silk cravat that he liked to sport on special occasions. Slightly tanked up. Down the channel and passing very close at slow speed comes a Blue Star ship with the bridge entourage at the same level as us, and very po faced for some unknown reason, staring straight ahead. Barry gives them a big wave, and getting no response whatever, he repeats the action. Finally, when he realises they don't want to know, he blows a big raspberry accompanied with an arms length V sign. It was a bit of a cringing moment!

Alan Rawlinson
19th March 2011, 14:23
Somewhere in these threads, someone drew attention to a book about the life of John Kemp by his son Eric. I have just got hold of a copy and it looks a stunning read, with tons of pictures: Ships pictured, include: Teviotbank ( prewar, and as HMS Teviotbank;)Rowanbank (liberty);Meadowbank;Fleetbank;Glenbank;Crestbank ( 1957) Inverbank;Laganbank;Streambank;Weybank

Thanks for the recommendation....

Klaatu83
19th March 2011, 15:01
One thing I've always noticed is that the personality and disposition of the captain has a great effect on the entire ship. A good captain makes for a happy ship, and a bad captain makes for a miserable ship. I don't believe the same can be said for Chief Mates, Chief Stewards or Chief Engineers, at least not to anywhere near the same extent.

A phenomenon that I find landsmen don't seem to grasp about ship's captains is that ships invariably have TWO captains. They always seem to think that ships have a single captain, who is on board all the time. It never seems to occur to them that the captain might actually be a human being, with a life away from the ship, and they find it surprising that there are actually two captains who relieve each other at regular intervals.

Another phenomenon I've noticed over the years is that the two captains are almost invariably complete opposites in personality. One is always a guy who gets along with everybody, and with whom everyone gets along, while the other is an overbearing bas---d.

The most striking instance I can recall was on the American Marketer. Under the one captain she was a very happy and efficient ship, while under the other she was pure misery. The one captain used to hold cook-outs on deck for the crew, with a barbecue that he had bought with his own money. When the other captain relieved him and saw the barbecue, he declared it to be a fire hazard and had it thrown over the side! Those two captains actually disliked each other to such an extant that they scarcely spoke when they relieved each other of command!

jimthehat
19th March 2011, 17:13
One thing I've always noticed is that the personality and disposition of the captain has a great effect on the entire ship. A good captain makes for a happy ship, and a bad captain makes for a miserable ship. I don't believe the same can be said for Chief Mates, Chief Stewards or Chief Engineers, at least not to anywhere near the same extent.

A phenomenon that I find landsmen don't seem to grasp about ship's captains is that ships invariably have TWO captains. They always seem to think that ships have a single captain, who is on board all the time. It never seems to occur to them that the captain might actually be a human being, with a life away from the ship, and they find it surprising that there are actually two captains who relieve each other at regular intervals.

Another phenomenon I've noticed over the years is that the two captains are almost invariably complete opposites in personality. One is always a guy who gets along with everybody, and with whom everyone gets along, while the other is an overbearing bas---d.

The most striking instance I can recall was on the American Marketer. Under the one captain she was a very happy and efficient ship, while under the other she was pure misery. The one captain used to hold cook-outs on deck for the crew, with a barbecue that he had bought with his own money. When the other captain relieved him and saw the barbecue, he declared it to be a fire hazard and had it thrown over the side! Those two captains actually disliked each other to such an extant that they scarcely spoke when they relieved each other of command!
masters relieved at regular intervals/,not in bank line in the 50s/60s.
Three ships ,each two years and the same master for all of those two years, same with the three 18 month ships. my shortest trip was 13 months and again only one master,they had to work for a living in Bank line.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
20th March 2011, 09:31
Somewhere in these threads, someone drew attention to a book about the life of John Kemp by his son Eric. I have just got hold of a copy and it looks a stunning read, with tons of pictures: Ships pictured, include: Teviotbank ( prewar, and as HMS Teviotbank;)Rowanbank (liberty);Meadowbank;Fleetbank;Glenbank;Crestbank ( 1957) Inverbank;Laganbank;Streambank;Weybank

Thanks for the recommendation....



Have finished reading this interesting book ( hardback) and can offer it to anyone perhaps with a connection to John Kemp, or with memories of time spent together on the Bank Line ships. Price 8 including UK postage, or please email if outside of the UK.

Would need an address for posting, and payment to my email address on paypal.

Many thanks

lafarge
30th March 2011, 20:51
I have already submitted my list of Masters....

Am I the only living survivor of a long trip with Charlie Howe?....

Has anyone ever sailed with a Mate called Syd Mallory?

Would be interested to find out anything about him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

what do you call a long trip, spent 20 months on the Gowanbank with Charlie Howe as master 1968.

McMorine
31st March 2011, 11:30
Did a two year voyage on the Riverbank, February 1961 to February 1963. Joined in Singapore and payed off in Hongkong, enjoyed every minute, would do it all again in that era. Skipper was Captain Holden and he had just done the previous voyage along with the Chief Officer, can't remember his name.

jimthehat
31st March 2011, 17:40
Did a two year voyage on the Riverbank, February 1961 to February 1963. Joined in Singapore and payed off in Hongkong, enjoyed every minute, would do it all again in that era. Skipper was Captain Holden and he had just done the previous voyage along with the Chief Officer, can't remember his name.

Lots of trips 15/18 months.two two year trips..
Clydebank..master holland..mate rutherford
Ettrickbank..master lynch..

jim

Robert Hilton
31st March 2011, 18:47
Did a two year voyage on the Riverbank, February 1961 to February 1963. Joined in Singapore and payed off in Hongkong, enjoyed every minute, would do it all again in that era. Skipper was Captain Holden and he had just done the previous voyage along with the Chief Officer, can't remember his name.

Would that be Grahan Holden, originally from Liverpool? If so he's still around, retired.

pete
1st April 2011, 09:19
Did 22 Months on the Dart with Capt Paul Lyons and after his accident with W.W.Creber. Less said about him the better as far as I am concerned.......pete

jimthehat
1st April 2011, 15:48
Did 22 Months on the Dart with Capt Paul Lyons and after his accident with W.W.Creber. Less said about him the better as far as I am concerned.......pete

Went to school with a paul Lyons,but that was in the early 50s and he went to Shell,dont suppose that it is the same bloke

Alan Rawlinson
1st April 2011, 18:46
Did 22 Months on the Dart with Capt Paul Lyons and after his accident with W.W.Creber. Less said about him the better as far as I am concerned.......pete

Sailed with both a Lyons and a Creber, so quite curious?

Lyons was senior App on the Forthbank 1951, and Creber was senior App on the Westbank 1953 after she grounded. Could either of these shipmates be the same ones, I wonder?

Hamish Mackintosh
2nd April 2011, 00:46
Any of you guys sail with appys Wylie and Pope,circa1952-3, Harry Popes dad was master in Eagle oil.Our senior Appy wasa chap named John Appelby LeBarber, but he left us in 51 to sit his ticket in India

McMorine
2nd April 2011, 16:55
Would that be Grahan Holden, originally from Liverpool? If so he's still around, retired.

I think it was Len Holden and has "Crossed The Bar" many moons ago.

Didge
8th April 2011, 14:49
Interesting read and I was pleased to see an entry from Ben Masey, what a great old man he was!! (Hide yer fags) I sailed with Ben on the Nairnbank where he was studying to be a North Sea & English Channel Pilot. Even though he owned the bond he used to come on the bridge and play find the ciggies. It is amazing how many places there are to hid a packet of cigarettes. Or how persistent one man can be opening 40 odd packets had placed in the telesope box to find the one cigarette in all of those packets.
Hello Ben I hope you are keeping well and given up the smokes.

Willie Thorne was Commodore on the Hollybank in 1975, a real gent.

John Sturgess, yep 10 out of 10, we shared a few things that neither of us would care to mention from a pair of sisters in Samoa!

Pat Grist, ha ha ha, I sailed with that bugger 3 times, on one of the ships there was a serious plot to belt him with a piece of dunnage and chuck him over the side! He NEVER ate in the saloon and mostly never ate we did.

Robin Whitehead, sailed with him on his first trip as old man in 1973on the Wavebank. Not too shabby.

C. O. Johnson, the last guy to pass his masters square rigged in Sydney. had been Harbour master in Tonga for 10 years and was on a farewell tour of the islands , we were late arriving in Sydney on the Clydebank in 1977, due to the protracted passage over from Papeete. He never used the telephone and the first time someone blew the voice tube to his bedroom he got covered in cigarette ash!

P H Thomas - Streambank 1979 - 1980.

Last but not least Harry Barber, what a great guy, fantastic sense of humour, but a hell of a twitch! We sailed out of Bolnes dry dock in 1982 up the Maas on the Cloverbank and as we approached the Rotterdam ring road lifting bridge he told me the story of how they had piled into the very same bridge on his previous trip in thick fog. They had to turn around and go back in the dock for another month or so to repair the sampson posts and radar mast.

There were a few others who signatures are indistinct or my memrory cannot recall.
One was a Polish guy who had been in the free Polish navy during the war.
There was R S Lynch on the Hollybank in 1974 but I do not recall him.
One had been with Lord Louis on the Kelly during the evacuation of Crete, a bit further back than your usual Bank line old man. His wife was all jolly hockeysicks and wore the stripes.
I met Capt. English in Durban on a ship visit in 1973 and he was said to be in his cups all day except between 09:00 & 10:00 hrs.

Alistair Macnab
8th April 2011, 18:20
Well, Didge, you have certainly been a tad more forthcoming that most of us on this site! Why don't you tell us what you REALLY think of these Masters! Looking down the list of thumbnail sketches, I must admit that I have to agree with your assessments. Didn't sail with many of them as Masters but saw them in action in the Gulf.
One you only make reference to but don't describe is R.S. Lynch. He was an Apprentice on one of the ships I sailed on and was a thoroughly fine fellow. A Scouser, no less. He became a Master and then became an Assistant Marine Superintendent in the London office. A high flyer and an especially fine seaman. A credit to the profession and a friend to this day.

Didge
8th April 2011, 18:42
Alistair,

When writing the above the thought i had squarely fixed on my mind was... But the truth can't be actionable!

John Farrell
8th April 2011, 19:43
I wonder what these fine seafarers thought of you Didge?

Winebuff
10th April 2011, 21:54
There were a few others who signatures are indistinct or my memrory cannot recall.
One was a Polish guy who had been in the free Polish navy during the war.

Sailed with him coastal Moraybank 1977 last trip Eng. Cadet. My wife came up to join us in Jarrow and he had her spend time teaching his "niece" to speak English. Nice fellow, covered head to foot in a mat of grey hair, but as you said I can not read his signature.

Peter Smith

Alistair Macnab
11th April 2011, 17:42
The very experienced Master who had come over from Poland during WWII was Captain Banach. He was formal and courteous and I never heard an adverse word from his officers or former officers. I met him on several occasions and was impressed by him and the standards aboard his ships.

Andy Lavies
11th April 2011, 22:17
Does anybody know if John Sturgess is still about?
Andy

IBlenkinsopp
12th April 2011, 20:00
Pat Grist, ah yes, paid off in PNG to have my appendix out, hadn't earned enough that month to pay my bond, he wouldn't accept a cheque, but did take my watch, I wonder if he still has it?
I do remember him eating in the saloon, chiefly because he used to frequently launch plates of food at either the steward or the bulkhead. Old Inverforth's picture got more than it's fair share of poona, I suppose it was the food equivalent of Tourettes.
Halcyon days.... pass the dunnage.

Eddie B

P.S. I don't really care what he may of thought of me

Alistair Macnab
13th April 2011, 16:48
I always felt we did not measure up to the South American Saint Line which had recently folded throwing him and his pal Joe Germany towards Bank Line. Pat and Joe were my Mate and Second Mate respectively on "Laganbank". Pat was dilligent in his duties but comparatively humourless. He always gave me due defference as Master but sometimes I had the odd sensation that he was just acting the part and didn't really approve of me or 'Bank Line ways'. Never saw any signs of unruly temper tantrums.

Alan Rawlinson
13th April 2011, 17:36
Interesting read and I was pleased to see an entry from Ben Masey, what a great old man he was!! (Hide yer fags) I sailed with Ben on the Nairnbank where he was studying to be a North Sea & English Channel Pilot. Even though he owned the bond he used to come on the bridge and play find the ciggies. It is amazing how many places there are to hid a packet of cigarettes. Or how persistent one man can be opening 40 odd packets had placed in the telesope box to find the one cigarette in all of those packets.
Hello Ben I hope you are keeping well and given up the smokes.

Willie Thorne was Commodore on the Hollybank in 1975, a real gent.

John Sturgess, yep 10 out of 10, we shared a few things that neither of us would care to mention from a pair of sisters in Samoa!

Pat Grist, ha ha ha, I sailed with that bugger 3 times, on one of the ships there was a serious plot to belt him with a piece of dunnage and chuck him over the side! He NEVER ate in the saloon and mostly never ate we did.

Robin Whitehead, sailed with him on his first trip as old man in 1973on the Wavebank. Not too shabby.

C. O. Johnson, the last guy to pass his masters square rigged in Sydney. had been Harbour master in Tonga for 10 years and was on a farewell tour of the islands , we were late arriving in Sydney on the Clydebank in 1977, due to the protracted passage over from Papeete. He never used the telephone and the first time someone blew the voice tube to his bedroom he got covered in cigarette ash!

P H Thomas - Streambank 1979 - 1980.

Last but not least Harry Barber, what a great guy, fantastic sense of humour, but a hell of a twitch! We sailed out of Bolnes dry dock in 1982 up the Maas on the Cloverbank and as we approached the Rotterdam ring road lifting bridge he told me the story of how they had piled into the very same bridge on his previous trip in thick fog. They had to turn around and go back in the dock for another month or so to repair the sampson posts and radar mast.

There were a few others who signatures are indistinct or my memrory cannot recall.
One was a Polish guy who had been in the free Polish navy during the war.
There was R S Lynch on the Hollybank in 1974 but I do not recall him.
One had been with Lord Louis on the Kelly during the evacuation of Crete, a bit further back than your usual Bank line old man. His wife was all jolly hockeysicks and wore the stripes.
I met Capt. English in Durban on a ship visit in 1973 and he was said to be in his cups all day except between 09:00 & 10:00 hrs.

Great summing up!

By the way, re the last gentleman - what was special about 0900 to 10.00 hrs ? I can recall a Chief Engineer or two, ( and a Master ) who were well advanced , not to say sozzled by this time of the day! I always had a grudging admiration for someone who could polish off a bottle of Scotch by that time.

I only sailed with one Master who would appear on the bridge every noon without fail, resolute, but a little unsteady, and always with a glass in hand. I don't mean a telescope either.

John Farrell
14th April 2011, 22:35
Believe command came early in Bank Line. What age are we talking?

Didge
14th April 2011, 23:33
Most masters were promoted by the age of 30 but that was when there were 50 - 60 ships in the fleet. As the numbers dwindled then the jobs became dead mens shoes.

Alastair thank you for the name of Capt. Banach. I remember him telling me about his time on the destroyers the Free Polish Navy had been given. They were vessels that had been used mostly in the tropics and were rigged for hot weather, unfortunately he was on the North Atlantic convoy duty and the boats leaked like sieves on the top sides.

NoR
14th April 2011, 23:55
usually well meaning, misguided often, insensitive, dull, plodding, rarely inspired or creative

You mean your common or garden human being ?

Dodgy business commenting on other people's ability.

Alan Rawlinson
15th April 2011, 09:29
You mean your common or garden human being ?

Dodgy business commenting on other peoples ability.

Yes, agree, - we are all in the same boat, more or less!



P.S. Wish I could paint a masterpiece

HM Sinclair
23rd June 2011, 14:57
I sailed with Bank Line from 1963 to 1970 and served with five Masters during this time.

Wavebank (63/64) Capt Brian Peterson. A most enjoyable first trip.

Beechbank (65/66) Capt Townsley. This man barely spoke to the Apprentices except to grunt at us in the morning. His attitude made this one of my least enjoyable trips. 3rd Mate was Trevor Smith, a good guy.

Roybank (66/67) Capt A MacNab. I had a great time on Roybank and Alistair was like a breath of fresh air after Townsley. The Mate was Patrick Grist and I recall one occasion in the dining saloon when Pat admonished the Chief Engineer for not wearing a shirt and promptly received a plate of soup over his head. Perhaps this explains his later reluctance to eat in the saloon!

Irisbank (68/69) Capt Wilson? I'm not certain of this fellow's name but he was a perfect gentleman. Sadly he died suddenly when we arrived back in the UK in March.

Sprucebank (69) Capt Frank Parsons. My last trip with Bank Line.

These were great times, with Wavebank and Roybank being most memorable.

Waighty
27th June 2011, 16:40
Two Masters have been mentioned by name in recent days. Freddy Feint and Willie Watson. I shall comment on both as I knew them quite well.
Freddie Feint was indeed a 'gent' with his monocle and double-breasted blazer which he wore as his shore-going outfit. I realized afterwards that it was to go some way to hiding his large belly when the same condition befell me and I re-discovered the effect of double-breasted jackets. He had a 'good' accent and maintained a dignified presence throughout the voyage. His "Carry on Number One" was his parting instructions on leaving the bridge and that's how the ship was run. He always came to our Sydney parties but only stayed for half-an-hour, leaving the 'lads' to get on with doing with what they were doing and in Kavieng at Christmas when the Agent invited him and the Chief Engineer to the Burns Philp party, Freddy said: "My officers will be delighted to accept your kind invitation" and we all went! When in port on a Sunday, he would always organize a Church Parade with the added attraction of a slap-up lunch at the best hotel to follow. He had a lot of volunteers! Can you just imagine ship's officers going to church on Sunday? Such was the power of the man and his offer!

Willie Watson eventually became the New-Building Superintendent at Pallion and was highly regarded by Doxford's people for not making undue waves but for getting along and getting what he wanted. He was a wee bit henpecked by his strong-willed wife and when he came to visit us in New York he stood at the front door and took his shoes off before entering the apartment as he had become accustomed to doing. I think he was from North Shields. Let's just say that Mrs. Watson had polished up her rough diamond very well!

Both characters in their individual ways are representatives of Bank Line's wide and varied officer ranks. Yes! Distance enhanceth the view and also the nostalgia, but the folks we sailed with have turned out to be an education in itself and contributed to who we are today as we follow the company into history.

Willie Watson's son (Les?) was an Appy in Bank Line and I remember a story being told of one day on a Cora class when Willie in virgin white Super's overalls was inspecting an aft tank after repairs, could have been the aft peak. His son was also there, holding a cargo cluster, with the Mate whilst the inspection took place. On the way out apparently, Willie got stuck in the manhole and his son called out "come on you fat ba****d, get a move on". The Mate was horrified and proceeded to give Willie's son a bollocking, at which point Willie's son said "he's my Dad". It all ended in smiles.

Waighty
27th June 2011, 16:44
Re Donald Carmichael,
If I'm thinking of the same bloke, did he not end up as a Pilot on the River Forth?

Yes he did which is where I met him in 1996 having not seen him since 1974! We were both very grey. Has retired now.

Waighty
27th June 2011, 16:52
Did my last trip as an appy on the Rowanbank in 69 Les Steers war the old man. He had come up from the deck. He lived in Chipping something or other near Bristol. Very socialble guy but lacked a bit of finesse. We were sailing round the Cape in a very heavy swell. We had two ships just off each bow and I was senior appy doing the mates watch. I wanted to alter couse but Les wouldn't let me. In the end he had to grab the wheel and zig zag between the ships. The off course alarm went off and due to the swell the ship heeled over like a destroyer in a war film, everybodies dinner rolled of the table and the mate came up to the bridge five steps at a time. Les was most apologetic but the mate told me to leave the bridge and he gave Les a good earholing.

1969, Rowanbank, inbound on the Thames for New Guinea outward service. Passing Silvertown Les called out in a loud voice for all on the bridge to hear "that's where I was brung up". I was 3rd Mate. He was very proud of his origins and the fact he'd worked his way up through the hawse pipe. I've always maintained he had something on the Weir family because according to him he was always allowed to carry a small parcel of his own cargo when he wanted to. I can't certify the veracity of that by the way; he might have been spinning a yarn.

Waighty
27th June 2011, 16:56
I well remember Dom Martin when he was mate on Teviotbank. He was a wee bit enigmatic, as previously stated! One trick was to watch us slave away on deck overhauling shackles and restamping them, sweat pouring of us and drink a cold beer in front of us.
Then he brought out three beers for us later, but when we went to get them he had opened them (from the bottom), drank them and upended them! We appies thought this was real good of him until...!!

This was a great joke! Not at the time!!

A real stocky Western Isles man, pug nose, red hair. Not to be crossed.

I see he ended up in command, not surprising, always wondered what it would have been like to sail with him i/c.

I was Mate with him on the Moraybank and got on well with him. He was sociable and keen on barbecues; his party piece being to bring out bowls of ice cream as the sweet course and then drenching said ice cream in Drambuie.

Waighty
27th June 2011, 17:05
Is this John Sturgess?

This was the Mate on the Cedarbank on my way home in 1964....

He was a great Mate and cared about his Apprentices....TC

Yes, it certainly is John Sturgess. Great Master to sail with. He wouldn't get away with flip flops on deck these days!

China hand
28th June 2011, 19:34
A bit off-course maybe. Testbank, maiden voyage 1961 to 1963. Anybody know was the 1st mate Archibald MacMurtry or Sydney Malorey. Capt. John Betts was the Master, but I've lost the list. The mate was an ex RFA Ulsterman and not the nicest person to sail with,
but it's a long time ago.(Read)

IBlenkinsopp
28th June 2011, 20:30
Hi Mike,
Is Harry Taylor still this side of the bar?

EddieB

Johnnietwocoats
28th June 2011, 23:33
A bit off-course maybe. Testbank, maiden voyage 1961 to 1963. Anybody know was the 1st mate Archibald MacMurtry or Sydney Malorey. Capt. John Betts was the Master, but I've lost the list. The mate was an ex RFA Ulsterman and not the nicest person to sail with,
but it's a long time ago.(Read)

Hi China

It would depend on the dates...

My records show that Syd Mallory joined the Streambank in Hull in January 1963 and he was on her for over two years.

It is noted in the Streambanks Crew list for that period that his previous ship was the Southbank.

He was Mate on the Eastbank from July 60 until July 1961 when I was a junior apprentice.

All in all he was my Mate almost three years out of my apprenticeship.

Did you know the Man and what became of him....?

Johnny

Jerry wes
29th June 2011, 15:02
I sailed with Captain COOKE, Captian KIDD and Captain BLOOD all with P&O

China hand
29th June 2011, 19:31
Hi Mike,
Is Harry Taylor still this side of the bar?

EddieB

Eddie, really don't know. Never came across him again. At the reunions he was not much liked. As you know, I got along quite well with him, and had a pretty old set too with a couple of members in the Assoc. when I said so.

But I suppose everyone detests someone?

Taylor quote to late agent " No, Sir, there is only ONE ship in port, and that is Teviotbank, you are MY agent, kindly perform your duties, you said 0900, it is now 1015, NOT good enough".

Not too much of that these days, I think.

China hand
29th June 2011, 19:40
Hi China

It would depend on the dates...

My records show that Syd Mallory joined the Streambank in Hull in January 1963 and he was on her for over two years.

It is noted in the Streambanks Crew list for that period that his previous ship was the Southbank.

He was Mate on the Eastbank from July 60 until July 1961 when I was a junior apprentice.

All in all he was my Mate almost three years out of my apprenticeship.

Did you know the Man and what became of him....?

Johnny

It must have been McMurtry, because official sign on date for Testbank in Sunderland was 11:12:61 (of course most of us had been in Sunderland standing by building for a time) and sign off was 19:08:63 in Hong Kong.

But a shudder in my spine at the name does ring a bell, where?

China hand
29th June 2011, 20:01
Got it:

Roybank, 1965, Syd was Mate. I transferred to Forresbank in New Zealand, Ossie Brown was Master. I left Bank Line. 'Nuff sed.[=D]

Johnnietwocoats
29th June 2011, 22:11
It must have been McMurtry, because official sign on date for Testbank in Sunderland was 11:12:61 (of course most of us had been in Sunderland standing by building for a time) and sign off was 19:08:63 in Hong Kong.

But a shudder in my spine at the name does ring a bell, where?

Hi China...
It would seem you and I are the same age and joined Bank Line at the same time...
I am not sure if you are indicating that you sailed with Syd mallory or not....
Can you confirm?
Thanks...Johnnie

IBlenkinsopp
30th June 2011, 08:47
Eddie, really don't know. Never came across him again. At the reunions he was not much liked. As you know, I got along quite well with him, and had a pretty old set too with a couple of members in the Assoc. when I said so.

But I suppose everyone detests someone?

Taylor quote to late agent " No, Sir, there is only ONE ship in port, and that is Teviotbank, you are MY agent, kindly perform your duties, you said 0900, it is now 1015, NOT good enough".

Not too much of that these days, I think.

I found him strict but fair, one of the old school,
Hope you are well

Eddie Bl.

China hand
30th June 2011, 19:26
Hi China...
It would seem you and I are the same age and joined Bank Line at the same time...
I am not sure if you are indicating that you sailed with Syd mallory or not....
Can you confirm?
Thanks...Johnnie

Hey there J2c's:
Yup, can confirm that I sailed with Syd in Roybank. He was Mate, I was 3rd Mate. Joined in Dundee, left in Dunedin.
Master P. Stewart; Mate Syd; 2nd Mate W.Crawley; 3rd Mate China.
I then changed across with Bob Rivett, who was 3/0 in Forresbank.

FYI I joined Bank Line April 1960, left March 1966, rejoined March 1974, left May 1983.

Sucker for punishment, eh?(Hippy)

Johnnietwocoats
30th June 2011, 23:49
Hey there J2c's:
Yup, can confirm that I sailed with Syd in Roybank. He was Mate, I was 3rd Mate. Joined in Dundee, left in Dunedin.
Master P. Stewart; Mate Syd; 2nd Mate W.Crawley; 3rd Mate China.
I then changed across with Bob Rivett, who was 3/0 in Forresbank.

FYI I joined Bank Line April 1960, left March 1966, rejoined March 1974, left May 1983.

Sucker for punishment, eh?(Hippy)

Hi China...I was Junior apprentice on the Eastbank for a year with him...

He used to ride me about being Irish...He was a little Pompous at times....

Then I was Senior Apprentice on the Streambank with him for 18 months. He treated me resonably well but still had the Pompous attitude at times.

I don't think he ever made it to Master. I heard there was something in his background...?

Johnnie

Would be interested to know more about him

Alan Rawlinson
1st July 2011, 12:53
Never met the gent, but so would I.....

Simply because he was mate on the Eastbank, it seems, when I was mate on the sistership Southbank for almost exactly the same period from 1960 to 61. ( many moons ago, let's face it) I chucked my hand in after that, but not without huge pangs of something or other, as evidenced by my contribution to these threads...

Later in 1961 I suffered when approaching Belfast as a humble 3/0 on the little BR ship ' Container Enterprise' and a brand new shiny Bankline ship was leaving on her maiden voyage, and I slunk to the back of the ( tiny) wheelhouse with feelings of .... I don't know what... Anyone able to confirm the name of the Bankline ship - was it the Testbank, I wonder?




Hi China...I was Junior apprentice on the Eastbank for a year with him...

He used to ride me about being Irish...He was a little Pompous at times....

Then I was Senior Apprentice on the Streambank with him for 18 months. He treated me resonably well but still had the Pompous attitude at times.

I don't think he ever made it to Master. I heard there was something in his background...?

Johnnie

Would be interested to know more about him

Johnnietwocoats
1st July 2011, 18:25
Never met the gent, but so would I.....

Simply because he was mate on the Eastbank, it seems, when I was mate on the sistership Southbank for almost exactly the same period from 1960 to 61. ( many moons ago, let's face it) I chucked my hand in after that, but not without huge pangs of something or other, as evidenced by my contribution to these threads...

Later in 1961 I suffered when approaching Belfast as a humble 3/0 on the little BR ship ' Container Enterprise' and a brand new shiny Bankline ship was leaving on her maiden voyage, and I slunk to the back of the ( tiny) wheelhouse with feelings of .... I don't know what... Anyone able to confirm the name of the Bankline ship - was it the Testbank, I wonder?

Hi Alan.
He was 41 when he was the Mate of the Eastbank commencing July 1960. That was a little old. I think it was his first trip with Bank Line as his previous ship was the "Harpalion"
I know he stayed with Bankline for some time as I ran into him again in 63 when he was Mate on the Streambank. And I held the grand position of Senior Apprentice.
Lidstone was the Master on the Eastbank and he was only 32. He went on to become a Super in Calcutta.
I am fortunate enough to have copies of the Official Logs and Crew Lists for all my Apprenticeship with Bank Line.
I understand your pangs as you say. I regard myself as a Bank Line man even though I left after my apprenticeship.
Cheers
Johnny

Johnnietwocoats
1st July 2011, 18:45
Never met the gent, but so would I.....

Simply because he was mate on the Eastbank, it seems, when I was mate on the sistership Southbank for almost exactly the same period from 1960 to 61. ( many moons ago, let's face it) I chucked my hand in after that, but not without huge pangs of something or other, as evidenced by my contribution to these threads...

Later in 1961 I suffered when approaching Belfast as a humble 3/0 on the little BR ship ' Container Enterprise' and a brand new shiny Bankline ship was leaving on her maiden voyage, and I slunk to the back of the ( tiny) wheelhouse with feelings of .... I don't know what... Anyone able to confirm the name of the Bankline ship - was it the Testbank, I wonder?

Here's the information on the Testbank Alan...

TESTBANK (8,530/1961)
Year Built: 1961
Type: Cargo Ship
Owner: Bank Line Ltd. (London & Glasglow)
Builder: Wm. Doxford & Sons S.B. Ltd. Sunderland
8,530 Tons Gross, 12,030 Tons Deadweight
Length Overall: 487 Ft.
Extreme Breadth: 62 Ft
Summer Draught: 29 Ft.
Engine: Diesel Doxford 4 Cyl.; 6,640 bhp
Merchant Ships World Built 1962 Volume, Adlard Coles Limited

Seems she was built in Sunderland

JTC

China hand
1st July 2011, 19:27
Testbank was built in Sunderland. Doxford buffs in the Chug chug fraternity will confirm that she was the third Doxford P range, the first on a UK reg. dry cargo ship. 1) Montana. 2) British Something. 3) Testbank.
During the long maiden trip we changed, if my memory is right, 9 liners, and even had bits of engine flown out to Calcutta. Many years later, in Hong Kong, I met an engineering type who told me he would employ anyone who had worked in the E.R. of Testbank from build to 1965. He reckoned they had earned their spurs.

Alan Rawlinson
2nd July 2011, 07:49
Testbank was built in Sunderland. Doxford buffs in the Chug chug fraternity will confirm that she was the third Doxford P range, the first on a UK reg. dry cargo ship. 1) Montana. 2) British Something. 3) Testbank.
During the long maiden trip we changed, if my memory is right, 9 liners, and even had bits of engine flown out to Calcutta. Many years later, in Hong Kong, I met an engineering type who told me he would employ anyone who had worked in the E.R. of Testbank from build to 1965. He reckoned they had earned their spurs.

Thanks, Guys, - it wasn't the Testbank then that I referred to above, but another from H & W Belfast. I will look it up in the records...

Interesting how the deck and engine room wallahs viewed the engines. Purely as a deck man, I retain a fond memory of the Doxfords used by Bankline. The East, West, and Southbank all had that lovely clackety clack sound and accompanied with a muffled thumping noise like a frantic and massive sewing machine. That, coupled with the fact that anoraks like me could gaze through the glass panels thoughfully provided in the alleyways, and see the pistons bouncing up and down with the tough little springs on top! Then there was the slight blue heat haze juddering to to the beat. It all added up to a magnificent sight, especially when opened right up, and I used to imagine we were zipping through the water, as proved by a glance overside on the way out - Wern't they opposed piston engines?

Whatever, they definitely left me with a feeling that " All was right with the world " especially after leaving a lenghty stay in port somewhere on the planet...

jimthehat
2nd July 2011, 13:03
Testbank was built in Sunderland. Doxford buffs in the Chug chug fraternity will confirm that she was the third Doxford P range, the first on a UK reg. dry cargo ship. 1) Montana. 2) British Something. 3) Testbank.
During the long maiden trip we changed, if my memory is right, 9 liners, and even had bits of engine flown out to Calcutta. Many years later, in Hong Kong, I met an engineering type who told me he would employ anyone who had worked in the E.R. of Testbank from build to 1965. He reckoned they had earned their spurs.

Testbank must have been a sister ship to the FORRESBANK i was 2/0 on her out of Sunderland 8731grt ON 304132,capt Angle and an 18 month trip,nothing outstanding about the trip.

jim

Alistair Macnab
2nd July 2011, 19:12
Alan's reminiscence about looking through the windows situated in the interior alleyways that gave light to the alleyways from the engine room skylight and also provided the non-initiated with a view of the working of the opposed pistons, is shared by this romantic soul.

I think these windows were done away with on the Harland's ships somewhere between the "Fleetbank" (53) and the "Laganbank" (55). I don't know about the Doxford-built ships.

The question of windows between the engine casing and the accommodation is obviously one of safety if there is an explosion. I seem to recall wire mesh glass and even a portable steel cover plate adjacent to these windows but where I saw these, and on what ships, I cannot now recall. Anyone any better memory?

China hand
2nd July 2011, 19:27
Also, Hamish, didn't those alleyways also have brass-bound, prismatic "decklights" overhead? They were quite effective, and a real hangover from wooden-deck(pure) ships. I know the Fleetbank class were wooden sheathed throughout, but I was never in one. But I believe Firbank had them ( not entirely sure about this). Of course, Bank line were one of the last firms to put wooden sheathing on any decks, had many a comment from visitors to when they saw a bit of well kept wooden deck.

China hand
27th August 2011, 20:12
Hamish, did you know about Bill?
Moshe

Alistair Macnab
28th August 2011, 05:58
China Hand.....

I read about Bill in Brian Lucy's Bank Line Newssheet and I remember him well. In fact I always associate him with you on the "Anat" in New Orleans. Happy days, indeed!

Steven Lamb
7th September 2011, 02:54
Sailed With Harry Barber as Old Man on the "Ivybank back in 75 - "A true Gent"

"Good Old Men" few & far between !

Criffh
17th October 2011, 20:04
Joined Teviotbank in the UK, 1970, as R/O. Charlie Howe was the master, who took great pleasure in leading me a dog's life. The fact that the ship was almost new, had a/c and a swimming pool, a good crowd and was on a good run (Southern US, Aus coast, South Africa) made the trip bearable. After four months we docked in Durban. Soon after we arrived, Charlie asked me if I'd been making complaints about him, to which I replied that I hadn't. "Then why is a relief for you arriving here tomorrow?" Fact was I'd been asked to join the ship half way though my leave, and had said that I'd join, but not for a 2-year trip. Contrary to my expectations, Marconi's were keeping their word. Just as well I got off in Durban. I kept in touch with the 2nd Mate, and the quality of ports visited took a nosedive after Durban.

TOM ALEXANDER
17th October 2011, 22:10
Thank God this thread is only about Bank Line masters!

Isn't that just an assumption? Can't see anywhere where it was to be specifically about Bank Line, although there is a preponderance of posts about Bank Line skippers.
My most memorable wasn't perhaps about the skipper himself, Capt. Dyson on a Henry Abram of Glasgow delivery job, but what happened when we got to Port au Spain. The ship, the Bird of Paradise was one of two that were built to serve as car ferries between Trinidad and Tobago. Big political deal, and the officers were invited to lunch with the Minister of Transport, Leary Constantine of cricket fame. Tyson was captain of the English cricket side at the time, and Constantine kept referring to Capt Dyson, (very tongue in cheek) as Capt. Tyson during lunch.
Do remember Dyson as amiable, helpful, and non-interfering.

JoeQ
17th October 2011, 22:45
Isn't that just an assumption? Can't see anywhere where it was to be specifically about Bank Line, although there is a preponderance of posts about Bank Line skippers.


It is in the Bank Line forum, so maybe a reasonable assumption

Johnnietwocoats
18th October 2011, 07:07
Joined Teviotbank in the UK, 1970, as R/O. Charlie Howe was the master, who took great pleasure in leading me a dog's life. The fact that the ship was almost new, had a/c and a swimming pool, a good crowd and was on a good run (Southern US, Aus coast, South Africa) made the trip bearable. After four months we docked in Durban. Soon after we arrived, Charlie asked me if I'd been making complaints about him, to which I replied that I hadn't. "Then why is a relief for you arriving here tomorrow?" Fact was I'd been asked to join the ship half way though my leave, and had said that I'd join, but not for a 2-year trip. Contrary to my expectations, Marconi's were keeping their word. Just as well I got off in Durban. I kept in touch with the 2nd Mate, and the quality of ports visited took a nosedive after Durban.

Ahhhh...Good old Charlie Howe....

That man made everyone's life a complete misery..

I have written about him before. Why anyone in their right mind would give him an almost new ship baffles me...

I was the senior Apprentice with him...I have a complete crew list and the ships log of a miserable 14 months...

Ahhhhhhhh...Why bother getting myself upset again after almost 50 years......

I say Aaahhhhhh....Corona....(Pint)

McMorine
18th October 2011, 17:05
What about Captain Kent then?

TOM ALEXANDER
18th October 2011, 18:18
It is in the Bank Line forum, so maybe a reasonable assumption

Sorry - just picked this up from the thread starter "Masters we've sailed with" My commiserations to all ex. Bank Line members. No offense was intended.

Criffh
18th October 2011, 18:22
Johnnietwocoats, believe it or not, I had a far worse master than Cheerful Charlie on my next ship. An absolute headcase. But that wasn't Bank Line.

Johnnietwocoats
18th October 2011, 19:28
Johnnietwocoats, believe it or not, I had a far worse master than Cheerful Charlie on my next ship. An absolute headcase. But that wasn't Bank Line.

Wow....

Hard to believe...

Now I hope I don't get reprimanded for what I said...

You Marconi chaps got to sail with a lot of different companies.

Was it possible for you to request to stay with the same company...?

JTC

John Briggs
19th October 2011, 04:18
Sorry - just picked this up from the thread starter "Masters we've sailed with" My commiserations to all ex. Bank Line members. No offense was intended.

Relax Tom. No problems with your comment and no offence taken!

TOM ALEXANDER
19th October 2011, 07:22
Relax Tom. No problems with your comment and no offence taken!

It's OK John - I don't do stressed - will just withdraw some white gloss from the fo'c'stle and get totally relaxed.

Ron Stringer
19th October 2011, 09:38
You Marconi chaps got to sail with a lot of different companies.

Was it possible for you to request to stay with the same company...?

JTC

Yes it was and that is why the plum deals were so difficult to get on - the incumbent tended to hang on for dear life. So the ships that came back to the UK daily (ferries) or every fortnight/month (such as the reefers and the trans-Atlantic passenger ships) were in great demand by the married R/Os. That left a lot of tramps, tankers and ships running permanently overseas (as well as Weir's copra boats) for the rest of us.

Having exhausted my finances after 4 years on what today seem to be referred to as "break-bulk" general cargo ships, with their long stays in port, I asked for a tanker. There we received a (small) tanker bonus, with the possibility of a further "Eastern Bonus" when in the Persian Gulf and had far fewer opportunities to spend anything.

Alex Kerr, the staff clerk at Marconi's Liverpool depot, said he would sort it - and he did. On my next two tankers I saved enough to buy myself a new sports car, cash down. Mind you, co-operation worked both ways. While you were on leave, if you were unco-operative when a staff clerk had a panic demand for a replacement for a sick sparks, he would not be happy and your card might be 'marked'. When you did return from leave you might find youself flying out to join a 1920s-era ship trading permanently on the Indian Coast.

JoeQ
19th October 2011, 12:37
Sorry - just picked this up from the thread starter "Masters we've sailed with" My commiserations to all ex. Bank Line members. No offense was intended.

...and I'm sure none taken

(*))

Criffh
19th October 2011, 18:17
Wow....

You Marconi chaps got to sail with a lot of different companies.

Was it possible for you to request to stay with the same company...?

JTC

Seven or 8 years and a number of shipping companies after the Teviot Bank, I joined a T&J Harrison ship. Requested Lpool Depot to keep me with them, which they did, except for one trip, for my final 7 years at sea. Bulk carriers, and container ships small enough to get into the Caribbean and Central American ports. Good ships and generally good crowds on board. Telex on all of them too!

China hand
19th October 2011, 19:28
Walked into Bury St office. Heard John Appleby's airy tones: "I can smell his bloody pipe from here, here we go again". Great man.

Ian Harrod
20th October 2011, 06:52
What about Captain Kent then?
No response Alexander? It's probably the spelling with a KE instead of .....!

John Briggs
20th October 2011, 13:06
No response Alexander? It's probably the spelling with a KE instead of .....!

(Applause)(Applause)(Applause)

McMorine
20th October 2011, 17:00
Maybe I got the speling wrong as you say, I have commented on Norman Kent in the past, so will not dwell on the subject. Surely there are more Bankliners out there who could add some fine stories about him.

Alan Rawlinson
21st October 2011, 09:19
I gave my views on Bankline Masters earlier on ( drunks, tyrants, social misfits, or, if you were lucky, the kindly avuncular type) but I would be the first to say they all had good points. Just that you had to look harder for some!

The enigma for me is why and how the Head Office chose to keep re-appointing the problem ones. Was it sheer desperation?

pilot
21st October 2011, 10:02
The enigma for me is why and how the Head Office chose to keep re-appointing the problem ones. Was it sheer desperation?

Assume with an equal number of Departures and Arrivals a Master could have complied with Bank Line's basic requirements?

Till the day comes along, after many years Company service, when the Office's shocked response is along the lines off....we had no idea!!! no body ever mentioned these habits!!!!if we'd only known etc. etc. ?

alan ward
21st October 2011, 14:13
Bankline Masters - frail human beings like us all... temporarily elevated to God's status.

The long term Masters - usually well meaning, misguided often, insensitive, dull, plodding, rarely inspired or creative. The worst of them drunks, tyrants, or simply social misfits hiding away from the real world, and taking refuge as a big fish in a little bowl. Often tortured souls, venting their frustration in weird ways with the weakest in the firing line, and some of the more bizarre antics providing moments of comedy and light relief for the rest of us bored participants.

There are always exceptions to a general rule, and these Masters were easily recognisable as benign, avuncular figures, great to sail with, and who had come to terms with all aspects of the job. Few and far between, unfortunately.

Remove the Bank Line heading and this could apply to any shipping company forum

Johnnietwocoats
21st October 2011, 18:39
The enigma for me is why and how the Head Office chose to keep re-appointing the problem ones. Was it sheer desperation?

Assume with an equal number of Departures and Arrivals a Master could have complied with Bank Line's basic requirements?

Till the day comes along, after many years Company service, when the Office's shocked response is along the lines off....we had no idea!!! no body ever mentioned these habits!!!!if we'd only known etc. etc. ?

I have to say that someone did inform the Head office.

I have never spoken of this before but as the Senior Apprentice aboard the Fleetbank (Halfway through my time) I wrote to the London Office informing them of my perceived abuse by Captain Howe on the Apprentices and Officers in general. I also copied the MNOA.
Of course I was young and supposed that the HO would ignore my pleas.
My letter was sent from Tonga after loading for the UK.
I guess the mail came aboard in Panama and Howe was informed of my correspondence.
We had to indure the final few weeks of abuse before arriving in Liverpool. During that time he was observed in the Mates cabin bringing the poor man almost to tears.
On arrival in Liverpool a representative of the MNOA came on board almost immediately after we docked. As he headed to the Captains quarters he was intercepted by the Chief Engineer who strongly advised the rep that indeed the Apprentices had been bullied and something needed to be done....
The Rep proceeded upstairs had a chat, and a few drinks and possibly a bottle or two to take home and that was the end of that....
My first and only attempt at mutiny....(Pint)
Stangely I wasn't fired....I guess they still needed the cheap labour.
Now I know that there will be some on here who will say that I was wrong to inform..
And to say that I am wrong to write this, but after all these years I have finally got it off my chest..
I still got my Indentures signed at the end of my time declaring that I was now a "Good Seaman"....
Then I went to a fantastic Company called Caltex......
As I have said many times before...I have never regretted serving my time with Bankline. I certainly learned a lot about the good and bad in people....
All replies will be entertained......(Pint)

China hand
21st October 2011, 19:27
But in those days, the mantra was "all correspondence shall go through the master". I am quite surprised you weren't spoken to. I did more or less the same about a master many years after your thing, and was called into Bury Street to explain. I was heavily backed by dear old Jack Ried, and I was mate, not apprentice, so I suppose there was a difference. All came out well in the end, and I got a command a couple of years later, but the system was pretty Victorian, even then. Cheers.(Pint)

Alistair Macnab
21st October 2011, 20:54
Johnny....
Oddly enough my 'hell at sea' was also on "Fleetbank" as a first tripper on her maiden voyage. In my case, it was the First Mate, a particularly sadistic and twisted human being who was quite extraordinary in his behaviour to the Apprentices. He actually devised traps and 'gotchas' and then had us stand whist he berated us with foam flecked lips!
In our case, however, we didn't plan to write to Head Office but to do him in! Lots of exciting plans and plots to push him over the side at sea but, of course, we never did anything.
He was held back from promotion for a very long time but eventually ascended to Master. I met him again towards the end of his seagoing career but by that time I was Assistant Marine Superintendent in New Orleans. You should have seen how he was now an a$$-kisser! But I have never forgiven him for his despicable ways of handling boys assigned to his care and management. At the end of a two year trip I was ready to pack it in but then I fell out with my Mother over getting home late and tipsy(?) every night and asked Weir's to get me a berth as soon as possible. They did. "Laganbank". Again standing-by a new build in Belfast!
The rest, as they say, is history!






I have to say that someone did inform the Head office.

I have never spoken of this before but as the Senior Apprentice aboard the Fleetbank (Halfway through my time) I wrote to the London Office informing them of my perceived abuse by Captain Howe on the Apprentices and Officers in general. I also copied the MNOA.
Of course I was young and supposed that the HO would ignore my pleas.
My letter was sent from Tonga after loading for the UK.
I guess the mail came aboard in Panama and Howe was informed of my correspondence.
We had to indure the final few weeks of abuse before arriving in Liverpool. During that time he was observed in the Mates cabin bringing the poor man almost to tears.
On arrival in Liverpool a representative of the MNOA came on board almost immediately after we docked. As he headed to the Captains quarters he was intercepted by the Chief Engineer who strongly advised the rep that indeed the Apprentices had been bullied and something needed to be done....
The Rep proceeded upstairs had a chat, and a few drinks and possibly a bottle or two to take home and that was the end of that....
My first and only attempt at mutiny....(Pint)
Stangely I wasn't fired....I guess they still needed the cheap labour.
Now I know that there will be some on here who will say that I was wrong to inform..
And to say that I am wrong to write this, but after all these years I have finally got it off my chest..
I still got my Indentures signed at the end of my time declaring that I was now a "Good Seaman"....
Then I went to a fantastic Company called Caltex......
As I have said many times before...I have never regretted serving my time with Bankline. I certainly learned a lot about the good and bad in people....
All replies will be entertained......(Pint)

Johnnietwocoats
21st October 2011, 21:47
But in those days, the mantra was "all correspondence shall go through the master". I am quite surprised you weren't spoken to. I did more or less the same about a master many years after your thing, and was called into Bury Street to explain. I was heavily backed by dear old Jack Ried, and I was mate, not apprentice, so I suppose there was a difference. All came out well in the end, and I got a command a couple of years later, but the system was pretty Victorian, even then. Cheers.(Pint)


Hi China...
I was spoken to...By Charlie Howe himself.
It was after we left Panama. I was called to the Mates Cabin after he came off watch. The two first trip Apprentices were there as well.
He bullied the Mate into reprimanding me (Us) telling him to tell us that all correspondence had to go through the Master. What a agitated state he was in. That's the incident when the poor Mate was close to tears. (He was a decent man)
One of the final straws that broke me was as follows.
We were doing the usual Fiji, Samoa, Tonga ports loading Copra and Oil. I don't have to explain to anyone on here how much stress that puts on the Mate and Apprentices...
But we did our job well ensuring the Deeptanks were spotless and the Steam coils were secure.
Between ports the Junior apprentice was assigned a task to chip the angle between the Masters deck and the deck housing.
Now the wee fella wasn't very good at keeping himself or his workgear clean and proceeded to chip away with his ass against the white housing and chipping between his legs (Backwards)
He was a hard working wee fella and was well into completing his task when the boul Charlie went out on his deck.
Unfortunately the young guys dirty (real dirty) shorts left a lovely dirty, oily mark around the housing.
I was summoned to the Masters deck and royally reamed out for the misdemeanors of the young chap. I pointed out that the Mate and I were down the Deep Tanks and knew nothing of the event. Charlie never went through the Mate.
In the Masters mind I was responsible for every action of my two juniors...
He immediately stopped ALL my future shore leave....
Imagine being a virile 18 year old and not being allowed to go ashore in Tonga.....(Pint)(Pint)
Other officers tried to plead with him but to no avail....
I was a bad Irish boy and had to be punished.....
As you can see..I'm over it now....LOL(Read)

IBlenkinsopp
22nd October 2011, 16:24
But in those days, the mantra was "all correspondence shall go through the master". I am quite surprised you weren't spoken to. I did more or less the same about a master many years after your thing, and was called into Bury Street to explain. I was heavily backed by dear old Jack Ried, and I was mate, not apprentice, so I suppose there was a difference. All came out well in the end, and I got a command a couple of years later, but the system was pretty Victorian, even then. Cheers.(Pint)

Hi Mike,
I suppose J.J. Reed crossed the bar some time ago, my wife & I went to visit him in his retirement in North Shields some years ago. I have been trying to get in touch with his son John, who was also with Bank Line, long shot, but do you know anything?
Thanks
Eddie

Alan Rawlinson
22nd October 2011, 18:28
Remove the Bank Line heading and this could apply to any shipping company forum

I think this is true, but the long trips in Bankline made being banged up with some nutter for 2 years particularly grim. Especially when they wielded power like Mugabe.

Later, when sailing on ferries, and with the same sort of mix of characters, including odd Masters, it was possible to leave it all behind after 48 hours or so. We scampered up the road to a warm bed and something better if we were lucky!

( I know, I know, - some poor sods had ' Mugabe ' at home as well ! )

Johnnietwocoats
22nd October 2011, 18:54
I think this is true, but the long trips in Bankline made being banged up with some nutter for 2 years particularly grim. Especially when they wielded power like Mugabe.

Later, when sailing on ferries, and with the same sort of mix of characters, including odd Masters, it was possible to leave it all behind after 48 hours or so. We scampered up the road to a warm bed and something better if we were lucky!

( I know, I know, - some poor sods had ' Mugabe ' at home as well ! )

Isn't it strange Alan that when I moved to Caltex after 2nd Mates I never ran into a Tyrant.......

I sailed with 8 different Masters between Caltex and Texaco....

I am sure John Campbell could verify this....

Of course Bank Line had some super Masters as well...

Lowens and Sturgess come to mind....

One I know personally but never sailed with and the other was my Ch Officer at the end of my time...

China hand
22nd October 2011, 19:23
Hi Mike,
I suppose J.J. Reed crossed the bar some time ago, my wife & I went to visit him in his retirement in North Shields some years ago. I have been trying to get in touch with his son John, who was also with Bank Line, long shot, but do you know anything?
Thanks
Eddie

Hi Eddie,
Kept in touch with Mrs Reed for a while after JJ left us, but apart from a VHF talk in the Red Sea, never ever came across John again. Ships that pass in the night. But what a super man he was to sail with.
Ch Hd

Andy Lavies
23rd October 2011, 21:14
Des anybody know if John Sturgess is still with us?

Andy

Waighty
26th October 2011, 23:41
Des anybody know if John Sturgess is still with us?

Andy

Andy, as far as I know, yes and living in Gosport. I corresponded with him for a while a couple of years back and also met him at The Bank Line reunion about two or three years ago. Brian Lucy at the BL Association might know more.

John Campbell
27th October 2011, 21:36
Isn't it strange Alan that when I moved to Caltex after 2nd Mates I never ran into a Tyrant.......

I sailed with 8 different Masters between Caltex and Texaco....

I am sure John Campbell could verify this....

Of course Bank Line had some super Masters as well...

Lowens and Sturgess come to mind....

One I know personally but never sailed with and the other was my Ch Officer at the end of my time...

Yes Johnnie I had much the same experiece with a tyrant of a mate called Orford on the Southbank who loved to make the lives of Apprentices a misery. He had a whistle which he would blow one blast for the standby seacunny and two blasts for the senior apprentice. He would blast off at any time to turn the vents or furl the awnings and was generally an allround abusive tyrant.

The Master at the time was Bob Smith and the two of them would sit at the saloon table and when we Apps came in for second sitting would glare at us and say " look at these army dodgers." Inspections on Sunday were usually hell on earth and always remembered.

I well remember the tales of vile Bank line Masters such as Kemp and Howe and we all dreaded being sent on a voyage with them. Tales of their behaviour were always a subject as we sat on that famous hatch abaft the Engineer's accommodation.

I can not think of any Caltex Master whom I heard bad reports about - some of them may have been harder to get along with than others. There were more supers about and apart from some notable drinkers no one comes to mind.

Anyway such is life Johnnnie - I liked your post.
Cheers , JC

Johnnietwocoats
28th October 2011, 02:17
Yes Johnnie I had much the same experiece with a tyrant of a mate called Orford on the Southbank who loved to make the lives of Apprentices a misery. He had a whistle which he would blow one blast for the standby seacunny and two blasts for the senior apprentice. He would blast off at any time to turn the vents or furl the awnings and was generally an allround abusive tyrant.

The Master at the time was Bob Smith and the two of them would sit at the saloon table and when we Apps came in for second sitting would glare at us and say " look at these army dodgers." Inspections on Sunday were usually hell on earth and always remembered.

I well remember the tales of vile Bank line Masters such as Kemp and Howe and we all dreaded being sent on a voyage with them. Tales of their behaviour were always a subject as we sat on that famous hatch abaft the Engineer's accommodation.

I can not think of any Caltex Master whom I heard bad reports about - some of them may have been harder to get along with than others. There were more supers about and apart from some notable drinkers no one comes to mind.

Anyway such is life Johnnnie - I liked your post.
Cheers , JC

Hi John
I remember the Apprentices whistle very well...
Masters I had the pleasure of sailing with in Caltex/Texaco were:-

Tom Kennington twice..Both for short periods of time
George Barnes...Twice. Once on the Kenya and once on the Texaco Frankfurt..
A Captain Armstrong on the Texaco Norway for two months. I think he was a Regent Master.
Tom Stokoe. I liked that man...
Various trips with Tom Curliss and Paddy Oliver...Both liked a wee dram (or two) but very decent men. That would have been my 9 months on the Caltex Brisbane. Of course both of them being Irish helped us get along really well...LOL
Captain Cook on the Caltex Southampton. A little different..

Thank you for replying to my post John
I appreciate that
Take care
Johnny

pilot
28th October 2011, 07:03
JC.
George Barnes was a neighbour of mine in East Yorkshire for a number of years. I can only describe George as a gentelman and it was a pleasure to know have known him.
Rgds. P.

John Campbell
28th October 2011, 21:40
JC.
George Barnes was a neighbour of mine in East Yorkshire for a number of years. I can only describe George as a gentelman and it was a pleasure to know have known him.
Rgds. P.

Yes Pilot, I agree .George was a fine chap - I was Ch Off with him on the Texaco Saigon and the Texaco Westminster and never had a cross word with him. He always came up at 0630 to let me down for a shower and shave and was a good ship handler. He always kept a calmness about him as on the Texaco Westminster we had a cargo loading and discharge system that was hell to operate with technology that was prototype and did not work, Flume tanks and no bilge keels added to our problems.

I was glad to have George to work out our many poblems . I can still see him with his ginger hair and sucking on his favourite pipe.
JC

John Campbell
28th October 2011, 22:00
[QUOTE=Johnnietwocoats;547508]Hi John
I remember the Apprentices whistle very well...
Masters I had the pleasure of sailing with in Caltex/Texaco were:-

Tom Kennington twice..Both for short periods of time
George Barnes...Twice. Once on the Kenya and once on the Texaco Frankfurt..
A Captain Armstrong on the Texaco Norway for two months. I think he was a Regent Master.
Tom Stokoe. I liked that man...
Various trips with Tom Curliss and Paddy Oliver...Both liked a wee dram (or two) but very decent men. That would have been my 9 months on the Caltex Brisbane. Of course both of them being Irish helped us get along really well...LOL


Johnnie I knew all of those mentioned and sailed with most.

Robbie Armstrong was a real character and ex Regent. He was obsessed with getting the porterage bill correct to the last penny and used to spend days labouriosly adding up huge colums of figs and sweating that the ETA would be spot on and the gash overtime hours he gave the crew was not exceeded. He worried himself to death on this.
He certainly could handle european crews which we sometines had and I remember him beating up a drunken AB who went up to his cabin to get the beer allocation increased. He threw him down the stairs and I will never forget the entry in the official log book " I conducted Smith downstairs from my cabin where he fell some distance due to his inebriation"

Captain Tom Curling was a quite a trial to sail with as he could be quite intimidatung to a young Second Mate. He had a fiercesome temper and his famous expetive was " My wife's sister's big fat hairy ****" We had many,s a laugh with him.
Thanks for reminding us Johnnie.
All the best -JC

Captain Cook on the Caltex Southampton. A little different..

Thank you for replying to my post John
I appreciate that
Take care

Burntisland Ship Yard
28th October 2011, 22:57
Suppose I was just a boy in Regent days, however, I had the pleasure of sailing with "Big Robbie" on the Norway.

He was a sincere gentleman, Was an interesting "management team" Robbie and "Sez Les" a.k.a Les Hayton the chief on the Norway.

I know Robbie is now "over the bar", not sure about Les, however it was a pleasure and a privilidge to sail with them,,,

John Campbell
29th October 2011, 11:40
Suppose I was just a boy in Regent days, however, I had the pleasure of sailing with "Big Robbie" on the Norway.

He was a sincere gentleman, Was an interesting "management team" Robbie and "Sez Les" a.k.a Les Hayton the chief on the Norway.

I know Robbie is now "over the bar", not sure about Les, however it was a pleasure and a privilidge to sail with them,,,

I too was with both on the Norway sadly both of them are "over the bar". Les was an excellent engineer of the old school. He and all engineers who served in the Norway and her class had a hard life.

JC

bill mc guire
29th October 2011, 12:46
only sailed with one bank line captain cspt scott airishman and a gentleman fromthe top of his head to the tips of his fingers teviotbankmarc/sept1973 only good memories of the man

Johnnietwocoats
31st October 2011, 04:47
[QUOTE=Johnnietwocoats;547508]Hi John
I remember the Apprentices whistle very well...
Masters I had the pleasure of sailing with in Caltex/Texaco were:-

Tom Kennington twice..Both for short periods of time
George Barnes...Twice. Once on the Kenya and once on the Texaco Frankfurt..
A Captain Armstrong on the Texaco Norway for two months. I think he was a Regent Master.
Tom Stokoe. I liked that man...
Various trips with Tom Curliss and Paddy Oliver...Both liked a wee dram (or two) but very decent men. That would have been my 9 months on the Caltex Brisbane. Of course both of them being Irish helped us get along really well...LOL


Johnnie I knew all of those mentioned and sailed with most.

Robbie Armstrong was a real character and ex Regent. He was obsessed with getting the porterage bill correct to the last penny and used to spend days labouriosly adding up huge colums of figs and sweating that the ETA would be spot on and the gash overtime hours he gave the crew was not exceeded. He worried himself to death on this.
He certainly could handle european crews which we sometines had and I remember him beating up a drunken AB who went up to his cabin to get the beer allocation increased. He threw him down the stairs and I will never forget the entry in the official log book " I conducted Smith downstairs from my cabin where he fell some distance due to his inebriation"

Captain Tom Curling was a quite a trial to sail with as he could be quite intimidatung to a young Second Mate. He had a fiercesome temper and his famous expetive was " My wife's sister's big fat hairy ****" We had many,s a laugh with him.
Thanks for reminding us Johnnie.
All the best -JC

Captain Cook on the Caltex Southampton. A little different..

Thank you for replying to my post John
I appreciate that
Take care

I was with Tom Curling when he had his stroke off the East African Coast...

I was Third mate and he was on the bridge having a chat with me when the stroke occurred...

I would need to go into my log books to get the whole story...

Anyway he was shipped off to hospital and Paddy Oliver rejoined as Master.

Tom had relieved Paddy earlier..

Must say I enjoyed Tom and his Gruffness...and his stories about his wife's sister's big wet blouse etc....

He had the wee habit of curling (No pun intended) his white hair with his forefinger and thumb....

Ahhhh Happy days....

Johnnietwocoats
31st October 2011, 04:54
JC.
George Barnes was a neighbour of mine in East Yorkshire for a number of years. I can only describe George as a gentelman and it was a pleasure to know have known him.
Rgds. P.

George Barnes was probably the best Master I ever sailed with....

Almost 9 Months on the Caltex Kenya....

Then he and I sailed together in the Texaco Frankfurt...Now I was his Second Mate... and he still came up for Chats...He really mst have liked me...LOL

Both as Third mate and Second Mate I don't recall him ever bothering us with taking sights....

Is he still around...?

I think he liked me cos he was never off the Bridge in the evenings when I was 3rd mate..

Or maybe he didn't trust me....LOL

I think his son worked for Trinity Lights...

John Campbell
31st October 2011, 23:10
George Barnes was probably the best Master I ever sailed with....

Almost 9 Months on the Caltex Kenya....

Then he and I sailed together in the Texaco Frankfurt...Now I was his Second Mate... and he still came up for Chats...He really mst have liked me...LOL

Both as Third mate and Second Mate I don't recall him ever bothering us with taking sights....

Is he still around...?J

I think he liked me cos he was never off the Bridge in the evenings when I was 3rd mate..

Or maybe he didn't trust me....LOL

I think his son worked for Trinity Lights...
Johnnie - sadly George is gone over the bar a couple of years ago. I know his son in law was a Master with Mobil but not sure of where his son ended up.

When we were on the Texcao Saigon we had a third mate who had severe depression attack and we were afraid he might jump over the side and George and I spent a hell of a lot of time with this fine young lad by staying on watch with him and talking to him and got him turned round.
I never had experienced anything the like before but George saved that boy's career and maybe life.

I too remember Curling twisting his hair. He kiked his curry and rice for lunch after a couple of G and Ts. He graded curry as Hot, Bloody Hot or Bejasus.

Good fun looking back - wish I was nearer you as we could go all night swapping stories about these guys
Best regards
JC

pilot
1st November 2011, 05:18
George's son,Graham started his career as a Humber Pilot apprentice. Never became a Pilot and last heard of was a fireman in Goole. Son in law, Ken left Mobil and sailed with Sanko and MOL before retiring.

Johnnietwocoats
1st November 2011, 06:02
Johnnie - sadly George is gone over the bar a couple of years ago. I know his son in law was a Master with Mobil but not sure of where his son ended up.

When we were on the Texcao Saigon we had a third mate who had severe depression attack and we were afraid he might jump over the side and George and I spent a hell of a lot of time with this fine young lad by staying on watch with him and talking to him and got him turned round.
I never had experienced anything the like before but George saved that boy's career and maybe life.

I too remember Curling twisting his hair. He kiked his curry and rice for lunch after a couple of G and Ts. He graded curry as Hot, Bloody Hot or Bejasus.

Good fun looking back - wish I was nearer you as we could go all night swapping stories about these guys
Best regards
JC

Sad to hear about George....
I am attaching a photo of me taken on the Brisbane with Paddy Oliver.
I am on paddy's left shoulder and Joe Furriga 5th Engineer on the other shoulder.
We were going ashore in Sydney (I think)
The other chap is the second Mate Fred I think. Can't remember his second name. He was from Belfast and a great pal. Played a mean guitar.
I know he went on with Caltex maybe even making Master.
Did you know him John?
I also sailed as Third Mate with Wallace McCullagh as Mate...I know he went up the Ladder as well.
We became personal friends but I lost touch after I came to canada

Johnnietwocoats
1st November 2011, 06:08
George's son,Graham started his career as a Humber Pilot apprentice. Never became a Pilot and last heard of was a fireman in Goole. Son in law, Ken left Mobil and sailed with Sanko and MOL before retiring.

Hi Pilot...
Thanks for that information...
I think George's son did some time with Texaco..
Would that be the case..
I believe he was on the Texaco Durham with me when I was second Mate on her.
Maybe to get some seatime?