Magic Moments in the Bankline

Alan Rawlinson
6th March 2010, 09:00
How's this for a new thread - That time you have never forgotten and which is etched on your memory for ever.... I know, the comics out there will have a ball. To pre-empt them, I can suggest '' The moment I got my redundancy notice '' or '' The time my clap was finally cleared up ''

However, I have my mind on a higher level for this thread ( must be age) and I can honestly recall a couple of things - like being on the monkey island on the middle watch in mid Pacific, and with millions of stars above. Or, arriving at night from sea at a great City Port like Durban or Sydney with all the lights blazing, and picking out the sea buoy from the background... These things left a great feeling of well being which endures.

Anyone else had a whiff of pure nostalgia?

rcraig
6th March 2010, 10:04
Being called up to the bridge by Capt. Holbrooke to see the snow capped shimmering Mt. Fujiyama on a crisp, clear day.

Billieboy
6th March 2010, 10:21
Being called up to the bridge by Capt. Holbrooke to see the snow capped shimmering Mt. Fujiyama on a crisp, clear day.

Just at dawn with the top pink, in the morning sun.

jimthehat
6th March 2010, 11:59
sailing thru the Inland sea on a cold morning chasing after the pilot with a wooden box so that he could stand and look over the dodger.

jim

K urgess
6th March 2010, 14:14
There's not enough space here.....[=P]
Fortunately a lot of my memories are kept in a box with a lot of other slides and photographs. Just dial up Spruce or Weir in the gallery.
Others are Alan Newton's diversion to see Krakatoa at night, Rabaul in the early morning light, rainbows by moonlight approaching Panama eastbound.....
25% of my seatime spent with Bankline so the memories are legion.
I could well exceed the number of attachments to this post.

jimthehat
6th March 2010, 14:46
What are those engineers doing in the smokeroom with dirty boilersuits or they in the 2/es cabin.

jim

K urgess
6th March 2010, 15:24
The Mate's cabin.
Starboard side forrard corner.
Sprucebank in Antwerp for one of the engineer's birthdays.
Pre-shore party. [=P]

muldonaich
6th March 2010, 16:16
The Mate's cabin.
Starboard side forrard corner.
Sprucebank in Antwerp for one of the engineer's birthdays.
Pre-shore party. [=P]she must have been a real happy ship going by the foto brgds kev.

K urgess
6th March 2010, 17:36
She certainly was, Kev, but who couldn't be happy in Antwerp. [=P]
And that was before we left Europe.
My 2nd time around on her and my fourth/last trip with Bankline.
I suppose I was lucky getting 4 copra runs.

rcraig
6th March 2010, 22:56
A pellucid, calm, rippled sea in the doldrums with multi hues shimmering on the water and the sun setting with flying fish bursting out over the surface.

A clear sharp horizon, swinging the sextant gently to get the lower limb touching. then...01...02...till you got to the chronometer, and the satisfaction of a good position line.

Preferably confirmed by seeing the solid object you hoped to avoid, in exactly the right position and off to one side as was intended!

Alan Rawlinson
7th March 2010, 08:32
A pellucid, calm, rippled sea in the doldrums with multi hues shimmering on the water and the sun setting with flying fish bursting out over the surface.

A clear sharp horizon, swinging the sextant gently to get the lower limb touching. then...01...02...till you got to the chronometer, and the satisfaction of a good position line.

Preferably confirmed by seeing the solid object you hoped to avoid, in exactly the right position and off to one side as was intended!


Ray, You've got me going now....

Can recall a mixed horror/happy moment when we were all on the bridge just before noon and looking out for Fanning Island which should have been ' on the nose ' - Then spotting the tops of palm trees way out on the port beam, just about to disappear astern!! Relief, or what...

China hand
7th March 2010, 14:22
Thru the Magellans in the rain, brilliant sunbeam comes down and lights up a little island. Capt Betts :- "Almost makes you believe in the bible, don't it, son?". Onwards to the West coast.

Charlie Stitt
7th March 2010, 18:09
As 3rd Mate in a dark wheelhouse on the 8 to 12 watch, the Old Man's very attractive wife comes up behind me from the chartroom door, puts her arms around me and gives me a big tight sqeeze before realising I was not her Husband, who was standing at the next window. That Magic Moment remained in my thoughts all the way across the Pacific.[=P]

rcraig
7th March 2010, 19:08
Or was she very stout, very short but you happened to be half way across the Pacific?

Donald McGhee
7th March 2010, 22:19
Magic moment for me was when the Sparks (who was a loathsome toad and must remain nameless), fell down a ladder(accident) and split his head, blood everywhere.He survived and was a nicer person concussed!
I must add that I only ever sailed with one RO that was unpopular and this guy was disliked by all. So, magic moments all round for the crew.

Most other magic moments were sunsets that were like a pallette on acid, flying fish in droves, icebergs and the Northern Lights (not Bank Line for the last two, Donaldsons).

Johnnietwocoats
8th March 2010, 03:04
Magic moment for me was when the Sparks (who was a loathsome toad and must remain nameless), fell down a ladder(accident) and split his head, blood everywhere.He survived and was a nicer person concussed!
I must add that I only ever sailed with one RO that was unpopular and this guy was disliked by all. So, magic moments all round for the crew.

Most other magic moments were sunsets that were like a pallette on acid, flying fish in droves, icebergs and the Northern Lights (not Bank Line for the last two, Donaldsons).

How could anyone dislike a Sparks.......?

They were all weird and all worked hard at trying to be nice......(A)

Well to the Old man at least.....(==D)

TC(Smoke)(Smoke)

K urgess
8th March 2010, 11:29
They were all weird and all worked hard at trying to be nice......(A)
Found out at last (Sad)

bones140
8th March 2010, 16:42
My first ever Panama Canal Transit coincided with my first Bank Line trip as engineer Cadet. Left Houston bound straight for Panama and then waiting at the Caribean end for the transit. Wonderful.

Joe C
8th March 2010, 18:55
My first ever Panama Canal Transit coincided with my first Bank Line trip as engineer Cadet. Left Houston bound straight for Panama and then waiting at the Caribean end for the transit. Wonderful.

We were treated to an amazing electric storm while waiting over night to go through the canal.The noise of the thunder and the bolts of lightning crashing into the masts of the other anchored ships were breathtaking.There was no point trying to sleep so we just sat around with our hair literally standing on end being stunned by it all.
A magic moment courtesy of mother nature at her most dramatic!

chadburn
8th March 2010, 19:19
As above, a good storm (riding the white horses) and then a Dawn at Sea.

mackem
9th March 2010, 17:03
Magic Moment for all the wrong reasons.................

being on the last ship to sail out of Sunderland..............

seeing grown men, standing on the dockside and piers with their families, waving us off as we went for sea trials, with tears in their eyes, knowing their yard and it's great history was all but over. Very sad, sad moment.

As I live in the area (or did at that time) and knew what that meant to the people there..........it was heartbreaking.

The end of an era.

boatlarnie
9th March 2010, 19:23
Magic moments to me were standing the 4 - 8 morning watch, having worked out a perfect position from star sights (as usual) then watching the sunrise over a lovely calm sea, wondering what the day would bring; thinking what jobs to assign to the crew and which ones would be for the Appy's, the dirtier the better. Joking of course.

rcraig
20th March 2010, 22:39
A job and finish by late morning. Told to clear the dunnage and tidy up the cargo battens along the frames in one hold, by judicious use of heaving lines and winches, the lot were cleared by late morning. Mate nil, apprentices 1. A rare event.

Stopped in the Indian Ocean, looking overside at a hammerhead shark lazily circling alongside and instinctively leaning inboard just in case.

Watching albatrosses wheeling effortlessly around the waves in the endless grey of the South Atlantic, wing tips almost touching the surface as they loped day after day across the ocean with us.

Alan Rawlinson
21st March 2010, 17:58
A job and finish by late morning. Told to clear the dunnage and tidy up the cargo battens along the frames in one hold, by judicious use of heaving lines and winches, the lot were cleared by late morning. Mate nil, apprentices 1. A rare event.

Stopped in the Indian Ocean, looking overside at a hammerhead shark lazily circling alongside and instinctively leaning inboard just in case.

Watching albatrosses wheeling effortlessly around the waves in the endless grey of the South Atlantic, wing tips almost touching the surface as they loped day after day across the ocean with us.


Good ones, Ray...

How about the warm pungent smell of coconut oil and copra as you boarded the next ship at Bromboro or wherever. Unmistakable Bankline, and personally it always made me feel ' at home ', whatever the state of the decks.

rcraig
22nd March 2010, 18:35
Good ones, Ray...

How about the warm pungent smell of coconut oil and copra as you boarded the next ship at Bromboro or wherever. Unmistakable Bankline, and personally it always made me feel ' at home ', whatever the state of the decks.

You've brought the smells back and the atmosphere.

The strangely tingling excitement of the "Channels" (remarked on in previous threads) and genuine "homeward-bounders" stitched into canvas awnings---three (?) to the inch and hoping no-one noticed.

The freshness of the air as you ploughed up the Irish Sea, working out when we might get paid off...whether the tide was with us...ETA... and would the customs notice the duty free fags shoved up under the canvas cover on the Kelvin Hughes sounder?

Alan Rawlinson
22nd March 2010, 19:22
You've brought the smells back and the atmosphere.

The strangely tingling excitement of the "Channels" (remarked on in previous threads) and genuine "homeward-bounders" stitched into canvas awnings---three (?) to the inch and hoping no-one noticed.

The freshness of the air as you ploughed up the Irish Sea, working out when we might get paid off...whether the tide was with us...ETA... and would the customs notice the duty free fags shoved up under the canvas cover on the Kelvin Hughes sounder?

Nearing Ceylon ( Sri Lanka) - still nothing in sight, but smelling the lovely island spices.....

Hey, are we the only romantics left, or what?

Johnnietwocoats
22nd March 2010, 19:39
Sailing into the bay and anchoring in the Seychelles in 1960 on my first trip on the Eastbank....

Still remember my frst girlfriends mailing address after 50 years...

Miss D.... G......
PO Box 20
Victoria
Mahe
Seychelle Islands...

Was that love or what?

The most beautiful place in the World......JTC(Pint)

Alistair Macnab
22nd March 2010, 19:47
OK you incurable romantics, you've forced me into commenting on my 'magic moments'!

[1] Arriving at Harland's shipyard in Belfast on a taxi from the railway station and seeing what I thought was a huge black-hulled ship standing high against the fitting out pier. The taxi driver said "Oh that's a Weir ship" and I thought it doesn't look wee to me! But the magic moment was climbing the steep gangway to the after deck and setting foot on the wooden deck of my first ship, the "Fleetbank" . I entered the accommodation by the engineer's door adjacent to the after deeptank hatch and walked wonderingly passed cabins with rank designations over the doors. When I came to the windows that looked down into the engineroom, it was something that I shall always remember. Then climbing the companion way at the forward end of the alleyway and lo and behold! Apprentices Cabin and Apprentices Study! My home for two years!

[2] I've told this one before but it really was a magic moment. Arriving off Kavieng in the pre-dawn hour and navigating as new Copra Boat Master through the reefs and islets to the wharf as the sun was rising up over the eastern horizon.
Dropping the starboard anchor. Didn't need to shout to the forecastle; everything was so quiet and still and I just had to use my ordinary voice "Let her go, Mate" and the rattle of the chain running out was sure to attract some activity on the wharf. Turning the ship around to berth port side alongside using the engine and the anchor, I had the greatest feeling of accomplishment that I have ever felt. It was the good old "Fleetbank" again! My first and last ship at sea! I loved that ship!

PS There's another part of this second story which I shall not repeat as it takes away some of the romance of the situation!

Johnnietwocoats
22nd March 2010, 20:07
OK you incurable romantics, you've forced me into commenting on my 'magic moments'!

[1] Arriving at Harland's shipyard in Belfast on a taxi from the railway station and seeing what I thought was a huge black-hulled ship standing high against the fitting out pier. The taxi driver said "Oh that's a Weir ship" and I thought it doesn't look wee to me! But the magic moment was climbing the steep gangway to the after deck and setting foot on the wooden deck of my first ship, the "Fleetbank" . I entered the accommodation by the engineer's door adjacent to the after deeptank hatch and walked wonderingly passed cabins with rank designations over the doors. When I came to the windows that looked down into the engineroom, it was something that I shall always remember. Then climbing the companion way at the forward end of the alleyway and lo and behold! Apprentices Cabin and Apprentices Study! My home for two years!

[2] I've told this one before but it really was a magic moment. Arriving off Kavieng in the pre-dawn hour and navigating as new Copra Boat Master through the reefs and islets to the wharf as the sun was rising up over the eastern horizon.
Dropping the starboard anchor. Didn't need to shout to the forecastle; everything was so quiet and still and I just had to use my ordinary voice "Let her go, Mate" and the rattle of the chain running out was sure to attract some activity on the wharf. Turning the ship around to berth port side alongside using the engine and the anchor, I had the greatest feeling of accomplishment that I have ever felt. It was the good old "Fleetbank" again! My first and last ship at sea! I loved that ship!

PS There's another part of this second story which I shall not repeat as it takes away some of the romance of the situation!

Alistair.....As you were the first Apprentice on the Fleetbank and I spent 14 months on her in 61/62 can you describe the layout of the Officers deck to me. especially the Apprentices Cabins. I was Senior Apprentice on her......
JTC

kwg
22nd March 2010, 21:52
As I remember it

Joe C
22nd March 2010, 22:52
The Fleetbank is reviving some memories for some of us.I joined her in November/December,'57 on my way home via Colombo.
Having just spent the previous 6 months on the tired old Levernbank I thought I had died and gone to heaven.Not to say that I had many complaints about the Far East run and the Levern was certainly a "Happy Ship",but to arrive on this almost new " Cargo Liner" was quite a culture shock.
Separate cabins,studies and showers and all the engine exhaust coming out of the funnel, where on the Levern, more often than not, more smoke vented through the engineroom skylight.But at least on the Levern we had a spare engine, which was just as well!
I've attached a '57 Christmas "Officers,Staff and Engineers"list to ring a few bells.

Kenneth Morley
22nd March 2010, 23:53
Any one remember the HAZEL BANK around the 1947s I was fireman in those days. Kenneth(Pint)

jimthehat
23rd March 2010, 00:44
OK you incurable romantics, you've forced me into commenting on my 'magic moments'!

[1] Arriving at Harland's shipyard in Belfast on a taxi from the railway station and seeing what I thought was a huge black-hulled ship standing high against the fitting out pier. The taxi driver said "Oh that's a Weir ship" and I thought it doesn't look wee to me! But the magic moment was climbing the steep gangway to the after deck and setting foot on the wooden deck of my first ship, the "Fleetbank" . I entered the accommodation by the engineer's door adjacent to the after deeptank hatch and walked wonderingly passed cabins with rank designations over the doors. When I came to the windows that looked down into the engineroom, it was something that I shall always remember. Then climbing the companion way at the forward end of the alleyway and lo and behold! Apprentices Cabin and Apprentices Study! My home for two years!

[2] I've told this one before but it really was a magic moment. Arriving off Kavieng in the pre-dawn hour and navigating as new Copra Boat Master through the reefs and islets to the wharf as the sun was rising up over the eastern horizon.
Dropping the starboard anchor. Didn't need to shout to the forecastle; everything was so quiet and still and I just had to use my ordinary voice "Let her go, Mate" and the rattle of the chain running out was sure to attract some activity on the wharf. Turning the ship around to berth port side alongside using the engine and the anchor, I had the greatest feeling of accomplishment that I have ever felt. It was the good old "Fleetbank" again! My first and last ship at sea! I loved that ship!

PS There's another part of this second story which I shall not repeat as it takes away some of the romance of the situation!

Well Alistair,you were marked out for big things right from the start a brand new ship as a first tripper ,whilst i had the pleasure of a rusty old sam boat for my first 18 months at sea,but nevertheless would not have missed it for anything.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
23rd March 2010, 09:37
Any one remember the HAZEL BANK around the 1947s I was fireman in those days. Kenneth(Pint)

Hallo Kenneth, and greetings from Cornwall...

I had a brief spell on the Hazelbank in 1951, joining in Adelaide. I recall the coal dust and the ash, but she was a very happy ship under Capt. A E Newton. Not quite a magic moment , but the wood decks and the stately progress come to mind. There was less noise from the engine room compared to later diesels. Another memory - we removed the rail section by number 3 hatch whilst in Colombo harbour, and being fully loaded with grain, the freeboard was not much, allowing us to have a refreshing swim in the harbour. ( No one worried about pollution) There were altogether 3 Bankline ships moored in line ahead on the buoys, something which happened occasionally. We visited one ( Moraybank?) and I met up with the senior apprentice ' Mick ' Mann, who had been in my dormitory at LNS Woolverstone. ( Seaschool) . Anyone have news of him?

I also became good friends with the senior apprentice on the Hazelbank called Steve Cutlack. - Anyone out there have any news of him?

Cheers

Alistair Macnab
23rd March 2010, 18:01
Johnnietwocoats and kwg.....

The layout is as shown by kwg with the addition of the medical locker which was on the forward side of the companionways down and up. The apprentices' bathroom was inboard adjacent to the two apprentices cabin on the starboard side and the officers' bathroom was inboard of the radio officer's cabin on the port side. Both had a porthole overlooking the engineroom skylight.

Ian Harrod
24th March 2010, 03:38
The apprentice's bathroom on the Nessbank had an actual bath; a square one. I don't recall anyone actually having a bath; only showers.

Alistair Macnab
24th March 2010, 15:46
The square baths fitted in the "Beaverbank" Class were indeed somewhat of an eye-opener for those of us used to thinking of baths as these long coffin-shaped things. But we apprentices often used the bath for dhobi-ing and once in Buenos Aires we took on engineer's shirts as a paying job (payment in advance!) to eke out our meagre pocket money. Needless to say, the dirty shirts piled up and the servicing fell behind until the Old Man making an unscheduled inspection found the pile of reeking laundry and stopped our shore leave until we had fulfilled our obligations. That voyage we were berthed in the Darsena Norte right downtown. One night the Peronistas shot up Calle Lavalle when we were there and we barely survived by diving into a doorway! They were upset because there was talk about moving Evita's body from her mausoleum. I think we were in BA for close to two months with all the political dramas going on!

rcraig
24th March 2010, 20:23
Bueons Aires always seemed such a civilised port. Civilised hours of work. No work at weekends. Cool and clear air...well, that is the recollection. Weeks spent in port, then up the Plate and back down again to finish off.

The clean modern blue painted Argentinian ships alongside the quays, which never moved anywhere because they were too expensive to compete.

Apples on the table but only for Capt Holbrook's German friends! Iced water on the table, but only at his!

Charlie Stitt
24th March 2010, 20:34
Sailing into the bay and anchoring in the Seychelles in 1960 on my first trip on the Eastbank....

Still remember my frst girlfriends mailing address after 50 years...

Miss D.... G......
PO Box 20
Victoria
Mahe
Seychelle Islands...

Was that love or what?

The most beautiful place in the World......JTC(Pint)

Drop her a line John, you never know your luck, her DAUGHTER may be there.(==D)

rcraig
24th March 2010, 21:21
Sailing into the bay and anchoring in the Seychelles in 1960 on my first trip on the Eastbank....

Still remember my frst girlfriends mailing address after 50 years...

Miss D.... G......
PO Box 20
Victoria
Mahe
Seychelle Islands...

Was that love or what?

The most beautiful place in the World......JTC(Pint)

Alas, presumably in her '70's now. What is it about women? They always seem to age.

Johnnietwocoats
24th March 2010, 22:47
Alas, presumably in her '70's now. What is it about women? They always seem to age.

Well ...Not quite.....LOL

You are right though they always seem to age......

I was sixteen and she was 18. French and the Daughter of the Postmaster, I believe, in Victoria. We wrote for years but I never did get back to the Seychelles.

I believe she ended up in Australia......Maybe even married to one of the members on here...

The Eastbank was on a Brocklebank Charter at the time.

Boy would I have loved to have switched to Brocklebank as it appears they went there regularly....Pity

JTC(Pint)

Charlie Stitt
24th March 2010, 22:50
Yes Ray, and would,nt it be some Magic Moment if your old model was traded in for a 20 year old one. Must go, someone looking over my shoulder.

Ian Harrod
25th March 2010, 00:58
Bueons Aires always seemed such a civilised port. Civilised hours of work. No work at weekends. Cool and clear air...well, that is the recollection. Weeks spent in port, then up the Plate and back down again to finish off.

The clean modern blue painted Argentinian ships alongside the quays, which never moved anywhere because they were too expensive to compete.

Apples on the table but only for Capt Holbrook's German friends! Iced water on the table, but only at his!

Probably potential for a whole new thread: Bank Line adventures in BA! I know all the stories would be true but, unless you were there, who would believe us?

jimthehat
25th March 2010, 01:23
Probably potential for a whole new thread: Bank Line adventures in BA! I know all the stories would be true but, unless you were there, who would believe us?
I did enjoy Ba and remember going out late to see a film or two up corrienties and then having a late drink at may sullivans in "25 de mayo2,BUT I actually preferred montevideo.

jim

K urgess
25th March 2010, 01:45
Plenty of magic moments in BA and Monte.
Before I got a Bankboat though I'm afraid. (Sad)

Alan Rawlinson
25th March 2010, 08:59
Plenty of magic moments in BA and Monte.
Before I got a Bankboat though I'm afraid. (Sad)

I'll drink to that...

Have some very fond memories of BA - the bars - the music - the girls - the whole atmosphere where it was possible to turn in, in the evening and go ashore close to midnight for drinks and a steak meal. The restaurants all busy at this hour and beyond with families and the whole city seemed to come to life. Apart from the ladies, I remember chumming up with a bunch of young people full of life. They gave me a photo of us all together with the the inscription below which read something like '' May all Englishmen be as my new friend is '' A truly magic moment. Often thought about it later when the Falklands war was raging.

kwg
25th March 2010, 09:51
Aaaahhh yes the steak's, half a steer on a plate...hmmm

Johnnietwocoats
25th March 2010, 11:34
I have very very fond memories of BA and Monte.......Keeping them to myself(Eats)

Johnnietwocoats
25th March 2010, 11:37
The Fleetbank is reviving some memories for some of us.I joined her in November/December,'57 on my way home via Colombo.
Having just spent the previous 6 months on the tired old Levernbank I thought I had died and gone to heaven.Not to say that I had many complaints about the Far East run and the Levern was certainly a "Happy Ship",but to arrive on this almost new " Cargo Liner" was quite a culture shock.
Separate cabins,studies and showers and all the engine exhaust coming out of the funnel, where on the Levern, more often than not, more smoke vented through the engineroom skylight.But at least on the Levern we had a spare engine, which was just as well!
I've attached a '57 Christmas "Officers,Staff and Engineers"list to ring a few bells.

I see you had C/O Lidstone. How was he? He was first trip Master on the Eastbank July 60/July 61

JTC

Johnnietwocoats
25th March 2010, 11:41
As I remember it

Thanks KWG....Brings back memories.....

What a waste of space the Appys study was with CH as Master for i4 months.....More of a smoko room for us....LOL

JTC(Pint)

Alan Rawlinson
25th March 2010, 16:51
I have very very fond memories of BA and Monte.......Keeping them to myself(Eats)

Me too .....

Although can say that my language skills improved considerably on one visit thanks to a very nice and demanding '' long haired dictionary''...

Joe C
25th March 2010, 20:18
I see you had C/O Lidstone. How was he? He was first trip Master on the Eastbank July 60/July 61

JTC

No bad memories but I was only there for five weeks.Chipped and painted at every opportunity as apparently she had a bad attack of millscale,whatever that is.Good crowd,good atmosphere but I suppose the lasting memory,"millscale" must say something about the weird way the memory works.

China hand
25th March 2010, 20:27
Bs As. Within a km you could go from the Yukiest turn on to the best opera house in the world; with every stage of entertainment in between.
It got screwed up mightily by the Junta, but still one of the GOOD towns.

John Dryden
25th March 2010, 20:55
When I was in BA 1970 I remember inflation was rampant so we got loads of cash for sterling.Amazing place as already mentioned, 4 or 5 in the morning and the streets and shops packed out.Didn,t like the police and soldiers poking machine guns in my back though.Things didn,t improve in Monte we got arrested there by machine gun toting soldiers,they thought we were Tupamaros!Oh well,still managed to fall in love for a few days.

rcraig
26th March 2010, 02:29
Wandering a bit here...but when we were in BA on one trip an apprentice on a King Line ship was seen one evening when lowering the courtesy flag to stand on it in windy conditions to prevent it being blown away.

He was promptly arrested and jailed. We sailed up to Rosario and back to find that he had been released just before his ship sailed a week or so later. Did make us careful how we handled the flag after that.
Can anyone confirm the place where at least in the early '50's you tied up at the bottom of earth cliffs on the River Plate and the village/town on top had gauchos tie up their horses on sidewalk rails? Was that Rosarion or was there another place called San Martine? Or am I just havering?

Ian Harrod
26th March 2010, 04:52
Our regular river ports when loading grain were Rosario, San Lorenzo and the furthest inland was Santa Fe. Maybe San Lorenzo?

As they used to say; Load bulk grain up the river then down to BA to "bag off"!

Ian.

rcraig
26th March 2010, 10:05
Just testing your memory! I knew it was SanSomething! Thanks

jimthehat
26th March 2010, 10:43
Rosario,
our c/e died there and a very impressive funeral was laid on,the hearse was black and drawn by 4 magnificant black horses and the follow on carrages were also horse drawn.
Up river when we were berthing we struck the grain elevator,the old man must have thought he was to blame cos he called me up and told me to tear out the days page in the log book and then he would get everyone to re write their bit ,I refused point blank,never knew the outcome of that little saga.

jim

K urgess
26th March 2010, 13:58
Just before I joined the Spruce I did two trips on Lean & Hungry's Raphael.
Monte was for naughties (anyone else remember Ophelia in the Lighthouse bar?).
BA was for bars, beefie de lomo completo a dos huevas y patatas fritas and going to see the latest movie releases.
Then it was up to Brazil for a good time to be had by all. [=P]
Bankline copra run came as a well needed relief.

Alan Rawlinson
26th March 2010, 14:07
Our regular river ports when loading grain were Rosario, San Lorenzo and the furthest inland was Santa Fe. Maybe San Lorenzo?

As they used to say; Load bulk grain up the river then down to BA to "bag off"!

Ian.

Remember the grain port Ingeniero White, round the corner from the River Plate? Spent some idyllic weeks there loading grain on the Eastbank. It was brought down in trucks, and the bags laboriously heaved up on deck to be slit and drained through spaced out hatch boards.... A few trucks a day so it took weeks to load. Some football during the day, and heavy nights ashore in the local hostelries, singing, dancing, etc - especially etc.. .. There were some magic times...

Alan Rawlinson
27th March 2010, 10:40
Regret some of the more lurid and seedy (true) stories about BA shinnanigans have to be discreetly left out in the name of decency - especially when our Liverpool crew were involved as on the Maplebank circa early 1955. Always tons of fun though, and the humour always came to the fore, however dire the event. We all regularly took the bus from the quay to the Mission to get a cheap drink, and the byword from the boarding crew would be '' Dos to the Catholic Mish, La ''. This was a concession to the Spanish language! The Catholic Mission was a sure place to get a drink, as the Seaman's Club, or Flying Angel as it was, was dry. ( I think things changed in this respect, but not sure when?) I know the bar in our local Seaman's Club in Falmouth today is very popular with visiting crews.

Given the variety of attractions in BA, it was often dawn before returning to the ship, and I recall the staggering crew returning to the ship ahead of us apprentices one morning, being fired upon by the dock police. Can't recall, but think they were kicking bins over, singing, and making a racket ( like you do) When we got onboard, they were in their mess, breathless, and rapidly sobering up!

iain48
27th March 2010, 11:36
Some nights at sea in the tropics , too hot to sleep, lecky on days. Up at 0400 to have a couple of beers with the 12 to 4 and watching some great sunrises. Anyone ashore would never understand the attraction of getting out of your bunk to drink beer at that time.

jimthehat
27th March 2010, 11:49
Ah yes remember it well 2/0 on the Ettrickbank far east run,off watch 0400 down to the cabin and the 3/e and i used to polish off a large part of a bottle of Sa port then it was off to bed and up at 0830 to get my morning sight,great days.

jim

K urgess
27th March 2010, 13:43
Here's another one. Early morning in the Pacific.
Can't you just smell it?
Curry, oil, salt and deck paint. Yumm!

Alistair Macnab
27th March 2010, 18:41
Ah yes! The Catholic Mission to Seamen called Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) where the girls were on Friday nights and the beer was flowing! During a break in the dancing, the elderly padre from Brooklyn with a limp, regaled us all with warnings against sinful fornication and one bright spark (he turned out to be a Lecky from Blue Star) started to argue with him to the great entertainment of everyone present as Lecky was FOR it! I always thought the padre's lecture was somewhat out of place given the presence of the girls; nurses from the British hospital and English schoolteachers looking for a non-Argentinian husband!

When I think about it, we had the Seamen's Club in Kidderpore at one end and the B.A. Catholic Mission at the other end of the run as putative marriage bureaux! You know what they say: "All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor"!

China hand
27th March 2010, 20:51
Wandering a bit here...but when we were in BA on one trip an apprentice on a King Line ship was seen one evening when lowering the courtesy flag to stand on it in windy conditions to prevent it being blown away.

He was promptly arrested and jailed. We sailed up to Rosario and back to find that he had been released just before his ship sailed a week or so later. Did make us careful how we handled the flag after that.
Can anyone confirm the place where at least in the early '50's you tied up at the bottom of earth cliffs on the River Plate and the village/town on top had gauchos tie up their horses on sidewalk rails? Was that Rosarion or was there another place called San Martine? Or am I just havering?

I think you were on the "embarcaderos" at Villa Constitucion ( a few kms down from Rosario). You possibly had a steel plate hung over the side and were boomed off. Wonderful seamanship stuff which nobody believed you had done when you told them at ticket time.

Charlie Stitt
27th March 2010, 23:15
Magic Moment. My head hitting the pillow in the early hours of the morning, having just loaded the six deeptanks with bulk oil.(Night)

Johnnietwocoats
28th March 2010, 04:20
Magic Moment. My head hitting the pillow in the early hours of the morning, having just loaded the six deeptanks with bulk oil.(Night)

Charlie.....I'll second that....and 3rd that as well

There were times when Apprentices, and Chief Mates never hit their bunk for 36 hours...(Pint)

JTC

rcraig
28th March 2010, 09:30
Early in the still of a Calcutta morn, before the heat soaks in, up on the Eastbank's funnel, looking around over the river. Peaceful and quiet and detached from the noise below, finishing off the burnished whistle. Looking at the boats drifting past on the current in the brown oily water, oarsman at the back, sail hanging slack.

Everywhere, City boats, BI, P & O, the black hulled Indian ships, with European apprentices, all ending/starting (Jala...?) with the same name, Brocklebanks, mostly British flagged with the odd foreign usurper, wondering what was going on in them all.

rabaul
28th March 2010, 14:26
Have you ever tasted anything as welcoming as a spoonful of crew mutton curry wrapped in a chapati fresh from the deck bhandari at 0530 in the morning after a long night as a 'growing apprentice boy ' tallying cargo or bilge diving ...... I have- it was a second chapati filled with crew curry from the engineers bhandari 10 minutes later - a magic moment

John Dryden
28th March 2010, 16:22
Definitely a magic moment of the culunary kind rabaul,you described so well I could taste it again!

Charlie Stitt
28th March 2010, 18:42
Rabaul, it was those chapati's that got us 2nd Mates and Appys through many a long stand by aft. Yes John, I too would love to experience those delicious magic moments again. I had no complaints with the curry we got in the saloon, but that stuff aft was the real McCoy.

Joe C
28th March 2010, 20:34
Magic "Mish" Moment
I wasn't surprised to see the Flying Angels feature in this thread,they played quite a major part in an apprentices life, introducing us to ping-pong tea and tab-nabs,and organised outings to all sorts of local attractions.We went on a coach trip to the Dandenong Mountains from Melbourn to recall just one.
But their influence on some of us was greater than on others.One of my fellow apprentices on the Levernbank had been persuaded to be Confirmed and had a booklet which was signed by the Padre whenever he had another lesson.

So after we left Japan G****r had to report to the Second Mate with a worrying blemish on a certain appendage and incurred the wrath of Captain Leach who roared at him "G****r you idiot,you go ashore with a Bible in one hand and a French-letter in the other and you don't use either!"
Fortune (or some other Force) must have smiled on him as he was not in trouble but just suffering from the result of some over enthusiastic use of the said appendage.

Billieboy
28th March 2010, 21:03
They were called burn marks when I was at sea Joe!

Alan Rawlinson
19th April 2011, 16:55
Here's one...

Second Mate, mid afternoon, blue skies, balmy breeze, just the throbbing of the engine and occasional slurp of the bow wave - leaning over the dodger, quiet contented and happy - the noon sights all agreed - the lunch was OK - old man probably taking his siesta along with the others below. Maybe dolphins or flying fish to idly watch..... warm sun etc - The grey/green outline of a volcanic island on the horizon, - soon be time to write up the log ending with " fine and clear " All is well with the world.

Well - It IS a nostalgia site, after all!

China hand
19th April 2011, 19:25
Anyone remember the name of the supercargo who used to come with us from Punta Arenas up the West Coast back in the '60's?

pete
20th April 2011, 09:33
Hi China hand, I remember the Super Cargo well but his name sadly has vanished from the Grey Cells. I do remember a Grace Line ship lying on it's side in English Narrows and the Pilot casually remarking that he had something to do with the Casualty. Now this really inspired confidence.....NOT.....pete

Johnnietwocoats
20th April 2011, 17:45
First trip as Apprentice on the Eastbank....

Shortage of fresh water crossing the Pacific...

Second Mate alters course (On instrucrions from Master) to take the Ship through a large squall.

Collect fresh water in the Boat Deck awnings and all three Appys showering buck naked on the Boat Deck and rinsing off with pure fresh water....

What a treat...JTC...(Applause)

China hand
20th April 2011, 19:20
Hi China hand, I remember the Super Cargo well but his name sadly has vanished from the Grey Cells. I do remember a Grace Line ship lying on it's side in English Narrows and the Pilot casually remarking that he had something to do with the Casualty. Now this really inspired confidence.....NOT.....pete

He was a nice man, very smart with the local regs, took me in hand when I told him I wanted to learn South American Spanish. I remember he and self swinging from a cargo net in Pacasmayo, or was it Eten? One of those places we pre-slung the bits n pieces in cargo nets, did the papers next port. Loads of lightering, loads of fun. Health n Safety people today would Tut-Tut themselves to death. Nice times.

Alan Rawlinson
23rd April 2011, 17:26
Enjoyed Mardi Gras once in New Orleans - especially as we fell in with 2 college girls from UCLA...... ( Why not come on board, and see my cabin/etchings/etc)

This was pre Alistair time, (1961) but the US Gulf Super's must have cocked up to give us a couple of days off in New Orleans when the festivities were going on! Grateful thanks, whoever it was...

jimthehat
23rd April 2011, 20:45
Thru the Magellans in the rain, brilliant sunbeam comes down and lights up a little island. Capt Betts :- "Almost makes you believe in the bible, don't it, son?". Onwards to the West coast.

yes an exciting run with great views and the cold fresh air and looking forward to all those ports.

jim

Alex Salmond
23rd April 2011, 22:54
Sailing up the Aussie coast one time Act1? met up with a pod of Dolphins who were taking it in turns to "Surf"the bow wave there was about 30-40 of them they would come from astern swimming as fast as they could to catch the wave and then a few of their mates would peel off to let them in Magic! beautiful creatures and though I know we try and give animals human characteristics (whats that big long word?)but they would peer up at us looking at them and it was like they were laughing at us and saying "is that as fast as you guys can go watch this!"great stuff,
Alex.

Donald McGhee
25th April 2011, 00:33
Tutticorin was a place that will forever be etched in my memory. Large sailing dhows/barges came out to the ship anchored offshore to discharge the grain we had loaded in Norfolk Virginia and it was unloaded by hand.
All the labour in the hold used tin bowls shovelling it into gunny sacks held by another guy, who passed it when full to another one who sewed up the top then slung the bag onto a cargo net, then into the dhow.
The shore wallahs lived aboard, cooked on the deck and squatted along the rails chewing betel nut. the decks were a shambles.
Some things just stick in your mind, especially the smells and the hot sun, blue skies, the noise of winches and the chatter of the native labour, fresh breezes and sailing dhows! Won't see it now!
(Wave)

Alan Rawlinson
25th April 2011, 14:01
Tutticorin was a place that will forever be etched in my memory. Large sailing dhows/barges came out to the ship anchored offshore to discharge the grain we had loaded in Norfolk Virginia and it was unloaded by hand.
All the labour in the hold used tin bowls shovelling it into gunny sacks held by another guy, who passed it when full to another one who sewed up the top then slung the bag onto a cargo net, then into the dhow.
The shore wallahs lived aboard, cooked on the deck and squatted along the rails chewing betel nut. the decks were a shambles.
Some things just stick in your mind, especially the smells and the hot sun, blue skies, the noise of winches and the chatter of the native labour, fresh breezes and sailing dhows! Won't see it now!
(Wave)


Great description Donald - conjurs up the sights and sounds and the smells perfectly...

Can easily imagine wending my way along the deck, over hatchboards and beams, past the clattering winches.

On the old Ernebank we went to Cuba twice to load sugar, and anchored out in the northern islands, where the stevedores were the toughest I have ever seen. Bow legged, presumably from the massive sacks of damp sugar they shouldered in the holds, they took their lunch break on deck hauling up beer from a tender. Some of them popped the cap of the beer bottles with their teeth, and they fished for lunch, biting into the raw fish. Have never seen this before or since, (even on Clacton pier, Essex.)

bones140
26th April 2011, 18:08
Enjoyed Mardi Gras once in New Orleans - especially as we fell in with 2 college girls from UCLA...... ( Why not come on board, and see my cabin/etchings/etc)

This was pre Alistair time, (1961) but the US Gulf Super's must have cocked up to give us a couple of days off in New Orleans when the festivities were going on! Grateful thanks, whoever it was...

Alan,
there must be a thread starter there...."excuses for getting the ladies on-board". Mine was "have you seen a ship engine". It rarely failed

Alan Rawlinson
27th April 2011, 09:20
Alan,
there must be a thread starter there...."excuses for getting the ladies on-board". Mine was "have you seen a ship engine". It rarely failed

Yes, great idea....

One occasion that sticks in my head was when we had an impromtu party going on the Crestbank, with things looking very promising with the girls. drink flowing, - almost at the ' knickers off ' stage, - when the word came to shift ship along the quay. It was the fastest shift ever in the circumstances, but all was lost - the mood was broken, and they wanted to go home down the gangway.....

A case of ' down boy, down '

Ian Harrod
27th April 2011, 11:09
So now we return to the theme of Rosie's girls in Sydney. Can't seem to get too far away no matter what the theme!

johnb42
28th April 2011, 19:03
Anyone remember the name of the supercargo who used to come with us from Punta Arenas up the West Coast back in the '60's?


China hand, is this the guy you remember??
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=26991&highlight=Edouardo

China hand
28th April 2011, 19:15
John,
Creo que si, muchisimas gracias.(Thumb)

johnb42
5th May 2011, 00:13
John,
Creo que si, muchisimas gracias.(Thumb)

De nada, amigo.

Waighty
30th May 2011, 19:54
Leaving Bundaberg, Mourilyan, Mackay, Cairns, etc. with a full load of sugar knowing that cargo care would be a simple exercise. No ventilation, no lashings to check - just batten down and enjoy the passage whether it be Singapore, Penang or UK. Lovely stuff!

Then there was Weirbank 1972 leaving Sydney at 0800 just approaching the pilot disembarkation position when five representatives of Rosie's young ladies appeared asking for a lift from the pilot boat! Watching the stiletto heeled and mini-skirted souls descending the pilot ladder was great fun... happy days.

Julian Calvin
31st May 2011, 12:23
On the 12 to 4 one amazing starry night crossing the Indian Ocean. Sea then suddenly came alive with phosphorescence (yes, I did use spell check) which pulsated like a heart beat. Was bright enough to read the log-book by.

Hearing loud bangs on a peaceful afternoon in a flat calm. Incredible sight of a whale hurtling full length out of the water then crashing down. Understand this is done to rid itself of crustaceans.

Alan Rawlinson
2nd June 2011, 19:02
Oh, Nostalgia....from the 50's....

How about the telegram? - (the passport to 2 years in another world.)

"Report McAndrews, Liver Building, Liverpool, with kit readiness to join M.V. "Somethingbank" as .....................

Remember the old telegrams with the sticky tape stuck on a backing sheet? Anyone kept one handy which can be scanned, so I can wallow a bit more!

Better than the TARDIS

Joe C
3rd June 2011, 11:36
Oh, Nostalgia....from the 50's....

How about the telegram? - (the passport to 2 years in another world.)

"Report McAndrews, Liver Building, Liverpool, with kit readiness to join M.V. "Somethingbank" as .....................

Remember the old telegrams with the sticky tape stuck on a backing sheet? Anyone kept one handy which can be scanned, so I can wallow a bit more!

Better than the TARDIS

I posted one earlier,the one inviting me to join the Irisbank I think,it arrived with the Christmas cards. It's on "The nearest I got to Bury St." thread.

Alistair Macnab
4th June 2011, 16:58
I received two letters in my time in Bank Line that were magic moments indeed, but there were so many caveats that it rather took the shine off the moment!
Like your first command letter that warned you never to take risks and when given the choice of a small or large passage opening to take the larger, safer course; that you could be replaced, removed, discharged at any time etc. etc.
Also when appointed to that super-duper role of assistant marine superintendent and in New Orleans no less! that you could be dismissed at any time for contravention of company policy.
Ah! My friends! Magic moments indeed but at the bottom of the greasy pole and the prospects of climbing it requiring a big gulp and a resolution to accept all the difficult as well as all the good!
But magic moments are magic moments and my time in Bank Line was full of unforgettable moments!

On another topic, as a young man straight out from the UK do you remember the first visit to Calcutta? The chain gang mooring? the smoke from the cooking pots on the barges, the chink-chink of cymbals from the shoreside ghatts and the Bank Line karani calling for certain barges to come alongside to start loading; the splatter of red betelnut juice on the white paint and the Bank Line boatwallah connecting the ship with the river bank? What an experience!

Joe C
4th June 2011, 17:45
You havn't mentioned the Sh*te Hawks! They were everywhere and would take the food out of your hands if for example having smoko on deck.
There has been a campaign in the U K over the past few years to reintroduce them in the wild and to everyones surprise they are becoming a menace.
Why aren't we surprised I wonder.

jimthehat
4th June 2011, 18:03
I received two letters in my time in Bank Line that were magic moments indeed, but there were so many caveats that it rather took the shine off the moment!
Like your first command letter that warned you never to take risks and when given the choice of a small or large passage opening to take the larger, safer course; that you could be replaced, removed, discharged at any time etc. etc.
Also when appointed to that super-duper role of assistant marine superintendent and in New Orleans no less! that you could be dismissed at any time for contravention of company policy.
Ah! My friends! Magic moments indeed but at the bottom of the greasy pole and the prospects of climbing it requiring a big gulp and a resolution to accept all the difficult as well as all the good!
But magic moments are magic moments and my time in Bank Line was full of unforgettable moments!

On another topic, as a young man straight out from the UK do you remember the first visit to Calcutta? The chain gang mooring? the smoke from the cooking pots on the barges, the chink-chink of cymbals from the shoreside ghatts and the Bank Line karani calling for certain barges to come alongside to start loading; the splatter of red betelnut juice on the white paint and the Bank Line boatwallah connecting the ship with the river bank? What an experience!
I remember the boatwallah well,i sat masters in london and dipped writtens twice,the company said i would have to join a ship ,but as they knew the ship would be in calcutta within 3 months they would arrange for me to re sit writtens there.
well they were true to their word and when we got to calcutta there was a letter from the super saying arrangements had been made for me to sit the writtens in two weeks .
we were at the moorings ,so as the super came aboard first thing i would jump into the boat then the company car would take me to the exam room,so all i had to do was sit the exam as my orals and signals were still live,took about six weeks to get the results and my certificate was sent to london where I picked it up a few months later.
I forget what day it was but there i was writing away under large fans,when we all noticed some one come to the door and then speak with the examiner,after a couple of mins the examiner came up to me and said it was not something that approved of ,but my wife was outside with my lunch.
I was gobsmacked but went outside to see an English female there ,anyway it turned out that she had married an indian who was also sitting for masters and the officials had thought that as i was the only white person in the room it had to be me,we all had a bit of a laugh and they got the right guy out.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
5th June 2011, 08:42
Was it Kiddapore dock or King George Dock, or both, where you could walk up to the Officer's club with it's polished and pristine surroundings - a bit Cathedral like, with uniformed waiters, punkers, and silent atmosphere? Used to order an omelette or a snack and eat it in silence - unlike the mad house on board, with hammering, riveting, chipping, shouting, and general bedlam. First, get past the gang of kids with their hands out , chanting:

" One Anna, One Anna, One Anna
No Poppa, No Mama, No Khana....

Outside the gates, I can still recall the smoke from fires, and the lilting Indian music that would waft over the walls.

A trip up to Chowringhee was something else, with the open air courtyard , Scheherazade, in the big hotel (name?) and often with a band and singers. Cinema too.

Remember seeing " Singing in the rain " with Gene Kelly, and thinking it was terrific.

jimthehat
5th June 2011, 16:12
Was it Kiddapore dock or King George Dock, or both, where you could walk up to the Officer's club with it's polished and pristine surroundings - a bit Cathedral like, with uniformed waiters, punkers, and silent atmosphere? Used to order an omelette or a snack and eat it in silence - unlike the mad house on board, with hammering, riveting, chipping, shouting, and general bedlam. First, get past the gang of kids with their hands out , chanting:

" One Anna, One Anna, One Anna
No Poppa, No Mama, No Khana....

Outside the gates, I can still recall the smoke from fires, and the lilting Indian music that would waft over the walls.

A trip up to Chowringhee was something else, with the open air courtyard , Scheherazade, in the big hotel (name?) and often with a band and singers. Cinema too.

Remember seeing " Singing in the rain " with Gene Kelly, and thinking it was terrific.

I cant remember the officers club in Calcutta,but the "calcutta swimming club,Yes the tempory membership cards used to come on board as soon as the ship arrived.
The officers club that i remember was in Durban and a great dance on a saturday night.

jim

John Campbell
5th June 2011, 16:39
On another topic, as a young man straight out from the UK do you remember the first visit to Calcutta? The chain gang mooring? the smoke from the cooking pots on the barges, the chink-chink of cymbals from the shore side ghatts and the Bank Line karani calling for certain barges to come alongside to start loading; the splatter of red betelnut juice on the white paint and the Bank Line boatwallah connecting the ship with the river bank? What an experience!
Alistair those Babbus controlling the barges used to have a large tin megaphone whereby they would hale the barges with their cargoes of gunnies to come alongside a hatch specified according to the loading plan. When we were apprentices we would be rudely awakened on the unairconditioned Eskbank by one especially ugly individual who would bellow instructions adjacent to our porthole.
One night fellow apprentice Malcolm McLeod and I decided to get our own back on this Babbu and did so by carefully learning enough of the Hindi words to do a reasonable imitation of this man's patter. So about two in the morning in KG Dock we bellowed out "Teen number Fulka Arner Juldi"
(or something similar) and we were astonished to see the mayhem as the crew,s of the barges all were set in motion and anger at having to allow a particular barge to get out of the dozens of others and position itself alongside the ship. The uproar had not died down by the time Capt. Gale and the posse of clerks etc boarded after nine and everyone got a bolloking except us two lads as no one suspected that we had learnt enough Hindi to do such a trick.
I also remember the Beetle nut spittle and dreaded clusters and the Monsoon rain too.

Who can forget the Hydraulic Cranes in Kidderpore and getting splashed with dripping oil and water on your clean whites when having been sent by the mate to read the draught.


Happy days!!

Alan Rawlinson
5th June 2011, 19:11
I cant remember the officers club in Calcutta,but the "calcutta swimming club,Yes the tempory membership cards used to come on board as soon as the ship arrived.
The officers club that i remember was in Durban and a great dance on a saturday night.

jim

Jim,

Could be the swimming club - although don't recall ever swimming there or seeing the pool.

Ben Masey
5th June 2011, 20:23
Jim,

Could be the swimming club - although don't recall ever swimming there or seeing the pool.

The Officers Club was the upstairs of the Seamens Club which I remember as being near Kidderpore Dock Road.
regards,
Ben Masey

John Dryden
5th June 2011, 20:57
I remember playing billiards in a posh old building,seemed like nothing had changed since the days of the British Empire.I guess it hadn,t as this was 1969,not too long after independance.

Alistair Macnab
5th June 2011, 22:18
The Swimming Club was at Eden Gardens along the Esplanade adjacent to the Maidan and handy for ships moored at the river buoys known as Esplanade Moorings. The Swimming Club had a magnificent marble lined inside pool as well as a very large outside pool much patronised by the expat population and their families as well as Merchant Navy officers and Apprentices.

The Mariners Club was in the Kidderpore section of the town near the Kidderpore Docks. It was available to all ranks although there was an officer only section. There was also a swimming pool but it was inside and not very large. The Mariners Club was famous for its dances known to all by a very perjorative phrase denoting the colour of the skin of the Anglo-Indian and Goanese girls that used to attend. They were often the daughters of non-Indian minor officials still employed after the Partition. There were nevertheless some very nice girls who were genuinely interested in contributing to a seaman's pleasant stay in Calcutta as well as those who were looking for a ticket to "London near the station". Not to be confused with some of the mixed blood ladies who were habituees of Isiah's in Free School Street and who were much more business-like in their approach to visiting seamen.

Alan Rawlinson
6th June 2011, 18:13
Thanks Alistair for your usual lucid clarifiction!

I still have a vivid recollection of the mausoleum like atmosphere inside the building ( near Kiddapore Dock) It was a million miles removed from the frenetic activity in the dock, and the staff padded around silently - the only noise coming from the punkahs overhead. It was just like stepping into another world, and definitely a reminder of the Raj days.

The Swimming Club was at Eden Gardens along the Esplanade adjacent to the Maidan and handy for ships moored at the river buoys known as Esplanade Moorings. The Swimming Club had a magnificent marble lined inside pool as well as a very large outside pool much patronised by the expat population and their families as well as Merchant Navy officers and Apprentices.

The Mariners Club was in the Kidderpore section of the town near the Kidderpore Docks. It was available to all ranks although there was an officer only section. There was also a swimming pool but it was inside and not very large. The Mariners Club was famous for its dances known to all by a very perjorative phrase denoting the colour of the skin of the Anglo-Indian and Goanese girls that used to attend. They were often the daughters of non-Indian minor officials still employed after the Partition. There were nevertheless some very nice girls who were genuinely interested in contributing to a seaman's pleasant stay in Calcutta as well as those who were looking for a ticket to "London near the station". Not to be confused with some of the mixed blood ladies who were habituees of Isiah's in Free School Street and who were much more business-like in their approach to visiting seamen.

John Dryden
6th June 2011, 18:40
Talking about Calcutta!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/8557921/Calcutta-in-ambitious-plan-to-remodel-itself-on-London.html

Alan Rawlinson
7th June 2011, 09:16
Great picture, John. It conjured up the atmosphere exactly, even though there was no Bankboat on the buoys.

pete
7th June 2011, 10:01
Calcutta, Ahhhh! Hanging off the Anchor, Breaking the Chain, Sixhour standby's, Bore Standby's, The Club with all the Serving Staff resplendent in their Uniforms, and the joy of the swimming pool filled with with what was probably Hooghly Water.......pete

pete
7th June 2011, 10:22
And another memory was stooging across the South Atlantic with the Moon rising astern, the albertross's gliding silently over the surface, and one night with the moon rising over the stern a sudden squall appearing ahead when suddenly a Lunar Rainbow appeared, it was Pure White, then we passed right under it, Oh boy!. Another thing that we did see was a meteor passing slowly acrossthe sky and as it arrived on the Horizon it appeared to explode....pete

Joe C
7th June 2011, 16:13
Alan,do you remember you and I receiving a severe reprimand for queueing in the post office to buy stamps and send letters home.
As we stood and waited our turn a rather grand lady swanned past us to the front of the line, and you pointed out the error of her ways!
"We do not queue here young man"or something near to that was her reply which was not appreciated by us.Not that it made any difference.

Alan Rawlinson
7th June 2011, 20:12
Alan,do you remember you and I receiving a severe reprimand for queueing in the post office to buy stamps and send letters home.
As we stood and waited our turn a rather grand lady swanned past us to the front of the line, and you pointed out the error of her ways!
"We do not queue here young man"or something near to that was her reply which was not appreciated by us.Not that it made any difference.

Joe,

Don't recall that incident, but it made me reflect how mellow you get with age! I would probably say " be my guest " today.

One Calcutta memory is the grim one of seeing the odd corpse going down river. Sometimes with a hawk sitting on it. Not easily forgotten.

David E
8th June 2011, 01:17
Joe,

Don't recall that incident, but it made me reflect how mellow you get with age! I would probably say " be my guest " today.

One Calcutta memory is the grim one of seeing the odd corpse going down river. Sometimes with a hawk sitting on it. Not easily forgotten.

Alan,

Can better that one-in "Inchanga".Ted Webber,the Senior App and I had to free a well rotted corpse that was jammed under the Accomodation Ladder spur.

Sixty one years ago-where have they all gone

David E

Ian Harrod
8th June 2011, 05:11
Got kicked out of the swimming club in the early 70's. Apparently you are not permitted to relocate the pool side furniture to the bottom of the pool and sit on it underwater.

Alan Rawlinson
8th June 2011, 09:34
Got kicked out of the swimming club in the early 70's. Apparently you are not permitted to relocate the pool side furniture to the bottom of the pool and sit on it underwater.

Seems this was a major attraction in pools around the world - Can recall arriving in Point Fortin ( trinidad) to load bitumen drums on one bankline ship, and the Shell club was barred to us - they explained that a previous bankline visit had resulted in all the tables and chairs being flung into the pool for an underwater re-arrangement!

Alan Rawlinson
9th August 2011, 18:43
Here we go again.....

One of the ' Magic moments ' has to be arriving in some special place, especially at dawn or dusk, with all the shore lights twinkling... Coming in straight from the ocean. ( If you were on the bridge - trying to pick out the Fairway buoy or the pilot boat against the array of lights)

I nominate a few - Durban, Yokohama, BA maybe..

There again, even the yukky ports looked good from seaward!

jimthehat
9th August 2011, 23:52
Here we go again.....

One of the ' Magic moments ' has to be arriving in some special place, especially at dawn or dusk, with all the shore lights twinkling... Coming in straight from the ocean. ( If you were on the bridge - trying to pick out the Fairway buoy or the pilot boat against the array of lights)

I nominate a few - Durban, Yokohama, BA maybe..

There again, even the yukky ports looked good from seaward!

I think mine would be Durban,but only because i would be looking to see my girlfriend who would come down from the traansval and book into a hotel for the 5-6 days we were in,that was the far east run.

jim

RayL
12th August 2011, 16:23
Pete,

<<Another thing that we did see was a meteor passing slowly acrossthe sky and as it arrived on the Horizon it appeared to explode....>>

That sounds like a fireball you're describing and it would have been of interest to any astronomer you cared to report it to subsequently; especially if you could have given date, time and direction details, plus your ship's approx position.

John Campbell
12th August 2011, 18:52
Here we go again.....

One of the ' Magic moments ' has to be arriving in some special place, especially at dawn or dusk, with all the shore lights twinkling... Coming in straight from the ocean. ( If you were on the bridge - trying to pick out the Fairway buoy or the pilot boat against the array of lights)

I nominate a few - Durban, Yokohama, BA maybe..

There again, even the yukky ports looked good from seaward!

even Vizag

John Dryden
13th August 2011, 21:38
Arriving at Lourenco Marques at night.Lit up like a christmas tree with all the neon lights.Good nights ashore too!

Alan Rawlinson
10th September 2011, 13:20
How about - the graveyard watch on the bridge - monkey island in Mid Pacific on a cloudless night ( most of them, were) The heavens above were an unforgettable sight.... Millions of stars and the planets in swathes across the whole sky. An unforgettable, breathtaking sight, and a true ' magic moment ' which triggered amazing emotions...

jimthehat
10th September 2011, 16:41
How about - the graveyard watch on the bridge - monkey island in Mid Pacific on a cloudless night ( most of them, were) The heavens above were an unforgettable sight.... Millions of stars and the planets in swathes across the whole sky. An unforgettable, breathtaking sight, and a true ' magic moment ' which triggered amazing emotions...

How about doing the 0100-0300lookout up fwd. on a samboat and being told to watch out for the ghosts coming up over the bulkwark,too busy looking for that dam ghost,no time to look at the stars.

jim

China hand
10th September 2011, 19:12
And Dog tired on the foc'sl, watching the little red lights come on as they grounded, knowing we were going to do the same in about two hour's time, leaving Bs As after being up river, and down to the marks. Then the sodding wind goes SW, and you just know it is going to be "one of those nights".(Read)

kwg
10th September 2011, 19:39
How about - the graveyard watch on the bridge - monkey island in Mid Pacific on a cloudless night ( most of them, were) The heavens above were an unforgettable sight.... Millions of stars and the planets in swathes across the whole sky. An unforgettable, breathtaking sight, and a true ' magic moment ' which triggered amazing emotions...

And the trail of the Phosphorus glow from way,way back in the wake to the bow wave.

Waighty
11th September 2011, 18:20
At anchor off Lae waiting for alongside berth. Anchor watch 0000 to 0400, humid and warm, heavy rain, gentle rolling, watching the rain falling on the fore deck glistening in the deck lights and running in torrents to the scuppers, the lights of Lae in the distance, sitting in the pilot's chair and just taking it all in and being glad I was alive and able to appreciate the wonderful work that nature does.

Never experience that in Britain.

John Dryden
11th September 2011, 21:21
Waighty's magic moment on anchor watch has jolted my memory.
Anchored in the Hooghly on the Gowanbank awaiting a berth and I was 2nd trip app.I was given the all night anchor watch,ah such responsibility for an 18 year old!Think I took a thousand compass bearings that night.
Watching the sun come up on the misty river,the cries of the birds and the early morning orange sun breaking through to highlight the lush greenery on the river bank was a magic moment for me.

Alan Rawlinson
15th September 2011, 17:22
Waighty's magic moment on anchor watch has jolted my memory.
Anchored in the Hooghly on the Gowanbank awaiting a berth and I was 2nd trip app.I was given the all night anchor watch,ah such responsibility for an 18 year old!Think I took a thousand compass bearings that night.
Watching the sun come up on the misty river,the cries of the birds and the early morning orange sun breaking through to highlight the lush greenery on the river bank was a magic moment for me.

These last 2 posts by John and Weighty - great stuff - brilliant moments - and just what I was hoping for in starting this thread.

Agree about not getting similar feelings much in the UK or after the Bankline time. The nearest I get these days is on my morning walk with my Jack Russell ( Monty) down to the water on a still, quiet, and misty dawn. It can be magic.

Joe C
16th September 2011, 12:49
On the Irisbank in flat calm looking over the bow, watching the dolphins scratching their backs on the straight stem post under the clear water and watching the flying fish scatter when the dolphins chased them.Not many got away!

Waighty
20th September 2011, 22:18
These last 2 posts by John and Weighty - great stuff - brilliant moments - and just what I was hoping for in starting this thread.

Agree about not getting similar feelings much in the UK or after the Bankline time. The nearest I get these days is on my morning walk with my Jack Russell ( Monty) down to the water on a still, quiet, and misty dawn. It can be magic.

I now live in rural Wiltshire and while my morning walks are a similar joy with the ever changing weather and seasons I'm afraid it will never match the magic of the seagoing past.

Another memory that springs to mind; I had moved on from Bank Line in 1983, as indeed we all had to, and started work for HM Gov as master of mooring vessels. The one I was on was working for RAF off the Humber and we were berthed in Grimsby. It was January, freezing cold and freezing fog, dead calm. As the sun began to clear the fog I could see hundreds of gulls sitting in the dock water and then as the fog cleared some more I could see that the gulls were frozen into the surface ice and unable to move. It was one of the strangest sights I'd ever seen. Obviously there had been no movements in and out of Royal Dock overnight to disturb the water. It was nearly midday before the gulls finally managed to break free.

Waighty
20th September 2011, 22:30
How about - the graveyard watch on the bridge - monkey island in Mid Pacific on a cloudless night ( most of them, were) The heavens above were an unforgettable sight.... Millions of stars and the planets in swathes across the whole sky. An unforgettable, breathtaking sight, and a true ' magic moment ' which triggered amazing emotions...

I know exactly what you mean Alan. Of the many transits I did of the Pacific the opportunity to look up to the stars and try and take it, and the emotions, all in was breathtaking.

Only one trip where that magic failed; Riverbank 1980, CAVN charter, on passage Pusan to Buenaventura. All but two nights were overcast and stormy, heavy swells and seas ,greenys all over the decks, thoroughly depressing all courtesy of CAVN's approved weather routeing company. Finally the old man (El Gristo!) gave up, ignored all the so called advice and laid course straight to Buenaventura. After that we eventually saw the starry heavens again.

johnb42
20th September 2011, 22:39
Plenty of magic moments for me in the Bank Line, but one that sticks with me is when we arrived in Dar-es-Salaam on the Shirrabank. I got the news on arrival that my wife had given birth to my second son. The old man Alan Newton came down to give me the news and to declare in his smooth, sophisticated Yorkshire style "Right Mate, you're coming to church with me to give thanks". The padre at the Mission was John Taylor and I was duly bundled off to church to give thanks.
Alan Newton and John Taylor are men that I remember with affection to this day. Magic moments and magic times.

Alan Rawlinson
10th September 2012, 18:55
I have lasting memories of approaching the UK - damp, misty, cool morning on the Westbank, - fog horn going every two minutes. Gliding past Ushant, and walking up the foredeck for some reason, long forgotten. All the steel surfaces wet from the fog. The unmistakable excitement of ' the channels ' and the unreal world after a long voyage out in the tropics.

A magic moment of a sort....

Johnnietwocoats
12th September 2012, 02:19
I have lasting memories of approaching the UK - damp, misty, cool morning on the Westbank, - fog horn going every two minutes. Gliding past Ushant, and walking up the foredeck for some reason, long forgotten. All the steel surfaces wet from the fog. The unmistakable excitement of ' the channels ' and the unreal world after a long voyage out in the tropics.

A magic moment of a sort....

Happened to me as well Alan....

On my first trip on the Eastbank the senior chaps were trying to explain the "Channels" to me.. Couldn't understand them until the actual time arrived....

One has to experience them to believe...

Regards
John

Alan Rawlinson
14th January 2013, 19:06
OK, here's another 'magic moment' for me at least....

Arriving at the Mississippi pilot station, was it SW pass or Sabine pass (the memory blurs a bit) - the new face and fresh mannerisms of the pilot. The crackle of the walkie talkie ( circa 50's here) Country Music and the thought of all the goodies ashore, after a leisurely steam up the river. Cold fresh milk and cookies from the vending machines on the Harmony St berth. I could go on......

jimthehat
15th January 2013, 00:27
OK, here's another 'magic moment' for me at least....

Arriving at the Mississippi pilot station, was it SW pass or Sabine pass (the memory blurs a bit) - the new face and fresh mannerisms of the pilot. The crackle of the walkie talkie ( circa 50's here) Country Music and the thought of all the goodies ashore, after a leisurely steam up the river. Cold fresh milk and cookies from the vending machines on the Harmony St berth. I could go on......

Not so magical,arriving at the mississippi pilot station ,fire in the engine room,pilot boards and him and the old man decide to run the ship up on the mud,call goes out for the fire boat to get down from new orleans.
As a first tripper I was sent up to prepare the two outboard lifeboats,what did I do? chucked all the wooden covers overboard.

Fire fighting boat arrived some time later and they boarded and put the fire out they could not stop moaning as they had been watching a world heavyweight boxing match.

We got towed up river and spent a couple of weeks in Todd Johnston drydock before going to Port Sulphur to load.
Ship Maplebank Aug/Sept 1952

John Dryden
15th January 2013, 00:55
Magic to hear about it now though Jim..bet you got an earfull for chucking the covers over the side!

jimthehat
16th January 2013, 00:04
Magic to hear about it now though Jim..bet you got an earfull for chucking the covers over the side!
Too right from the mate and the bosun.Lucky they did not make me pay for the new wooden covers covers,tho at £5.16.8p a month otherwise I would still have been paying 18 months .later .

jim

John Dryden
16th January 2013, 00:39
I was a good few years after you Jim and the lifeboat covers were metal.The fastenings on them were rubbish but fortunately were roped through the handles.Of course when they blew off in bad weather(usually on the mates watch)I still remember the horror of getting them back into position,only for them to blow off again!To this day I think those fastenings were not up to it, so I hope you fared better with the wooden covers

Alan Rawlinson
16th January 2013, 17:44
Come on Guys, the boat covers were canvas in the 1950's Bank Line ships. Jim is my era, ( ex Woolverstone Hall) and the Liberty's were a step ahead of Bank Line normal practice by a mile! Wider bunks for a start with wooden dividers. Great heating. Chunkier fittings. Gun Bays, (but that was just a hang over from the war days) The upper wheelhouse - just like the " African Queen" with Humphrey Bogart.

and then those lovely triple expansion engines - like a big Tonka toy. No wonder there is a fan club out there for Liberty ships!!!

Aberdonian
16th January 2013, 19:04
Come on Guys, the boat covers were canvas in the 1950's Bank Line ships. Jim is my era, ( ex Woolverstone Hall) and the Liberty's were a step ahead of Bank Line normal practice by a mile! Wider bunks for a start with wooden dividers. Great heating. Chunkier fittings. Gun Bays, (but that was just a hang over from the war days) The upper wheelhouse - just like the " African Queen" with Humphrey Bogart.

and then those lovely triple expansion engines - like a big Tonka toy. No wonder there is a fan club out there for Liberty ships!!!

Alan, I agree with your comments regarding the good old Samboats, though....

Alan Rawlinson
17th January 2013, 08:55
Alan, I agree with your comments regarding the good old Samboats, though....

Yes, see what you mean. Nice Pic. The Beaverbank Class had solid covers then.

Notice the clinkerbuilt construction - very inviting on surveys for the surveyors knife and probe, especially after a good few years! On the Irisbank we had a boat condemned at survey in Fremantle after the extra keen surveyor kept digging at the stem bar until he had loosened all the planking in the area. It meant a few WEEKS delay while a new boat was shipped out.

We passed the time in the surf and playing beach cricket in the day, plus the usual evening activities. It was hell!

Aberdonian
17th January 2013, 15:28
Drawing together the subjects of Liberty ships and lifeboats, the boats on the Tielbank each had a set of charts stowed in the lockers. Printed on the back of these charts was American-style instruction on basic navigation and other nautical matters.

Aberdonian

John Campbell
18th January 2013, 18:19
Talking about wood on ships. Do we all fondly recall a long hot day in the tween decks stacking dunnage or labouriosly manhandling or hoisting dunnage to throw it over the side to the delight of the populace of e.g.Ceylon .

Once on Eskbank we got orders to load rice and for three days we Apps and the chippy slogged our guts making dozens of "ventilators" from dunnage. A hellish job with blunt saws , planks like cast iron and second hand nails from the chippie's store. We had about fifty or more made when we got a change of orders. Sad as i never saw rice being loaded but I knew about it for the exams etc.

I doubt if dunnage is used these days as you cannot land it or throw it over the side any more.
There was the cord wood in Trinidad and the bamboo matting in Calcutta - Happy Days!

jimthehat
19th January 2013, 00:43
Talking about wood on ships. Do we all fondly recall a long hot day in the tween decks stacking dunnage or labouriosly manhandling or hoisting dunnage to throw it over the side to the delight of the populace of e.g.Ceylon .

Once on Eskbank we got orders to load rice and for three days we Apps and the chippy slogged our guts making dozens of "ventilators" from dunnage. A hellish job with blunt saws , planks like cast iron and second hand nails from the chippie's store. We had about fifty or more made when we got a change of orders. Sad as i never saw rice being loaded but I knew about it for the exams etc.

I doubt if dunnage is used these days as you cannot land it or throw it over the side any more.
There was the cord wood in Trinidad and the bamboo matting in Calcutta - Happy Days!

Remember it well ,there must have been a fortune in timber/dunnage thrown over the side.
Another thing that used to go over the side was all the clinker from the engine room hoisted up onto the deck midships,that was the Etivebank.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
19th January 2013, 14:33
On the Irisbank we were ordered to fit shifting boards ( at sea!) to save time in port when destined to load bulk grain in Fremantle. Can't remember if the timber was loaded specially, or if we had sufficient, but a diagram was produced by the old man, and the 2/0, chippy, the Apps, and myself swung around nailing up the board divisions, and we felt we made a reasonably good job of it.

On arrival there was chaos and confrontation with the shipwrights and their union who claimed we had pinched their work. ( They had a point)
The boards had to be dismantled and rebuilt by the shore workers, and number 3 wooden lifeboat was condemned for good measure. This episode must have cost a lot of money, and someone in Bury St learned a lesson.

Aberdonian
19th January 2013, 16:09
After calling at Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles, the Foylebank stopped by Port Arthur to pick up bulk lub oil. We three apprentices had already spent many hours thoroughly cleaning out the deep tanks with caustic soda so it was a little galling to see the surveyor, rumoured to be in cahoots with a shoreside cleaning outfit, fail our efforts upon inspection.

As has been remarked in this site before, it was impressive to witness how easily those six tank lids could be screwed down using pneumatic tools in comparison with our rat-tail spanners!

Keith

Alistair Macnab
19th January 2013, 17:32
We had a mountain of wood dunnage left over from a southbound USA-Australia voyage where we had had to floor off two holds partially filled with bulk sulphur to load tractors and heavy lifts on top and also had drum cargoes in other hatches where the bilges had to be squared off.

On the way to Tonga we sorted out all the good wood from the stained and broken and tossed the other stuff into the ocean so when we got to Nuku'alofa we had good plank dunnage to SELL. The same thing happened in Ha'api and in Vava'u so we had a bundle of Tongan pounds (or whatever the currency was at that time) to go ashore in Vava'u to buy what we thought would be some great electronic gear - walkie-talkies, record players, tape recorders etc.

What we didn't appreciate, of course, was that there was no electricity in Vava'u so there was no electricals shop. so we were left with a boat-load of Tongan Pounds and no where to spend them! Had to exchange them at a substantial loss in Suva!

So much for our entrepreneurial profiteering!

Joe C
19th January 2013, 19:24
On the Irisbank we were ordered to fit shifting boards ( at sea!) to save time in port when destined to load bulk grain in Fremantle. Can't remember if the timber was loaded specially, or if we had sufficient, but a diagram was produced by the old man, and the 2/0, chippy, the Apps, and myself swung around nailing up the board divisions, and we felt we made a reasonably good job of it.

On arrival there was chaos and confrontation with the shipwrights and their union who claimed we had pinched their work. ( They had a point)
The boards had to be dismantled and rebuilt by the shore workers, and number 3 wooden lifeboat was condemned for good measure. This episode must have cost a lot of money, and someone in Bury St learned a lesson.

Remembered the wonderful long stay in Fremantle,have a picture somewhere of a few of us on the beach behind the grain silo.
On one shore trip I can also recall a bunch of us exiting a bar near the docks when a huge altercation (sounds better than punchup) broke out between crews from two not very friendly European neighbours.It wasn't our business so we leaped out of the kitchen window.
You couldn't have been involved Alan you didn't do things like that!

John Campbell
19th January 2013, 19:27
Whilst in B.A. on the Teakbank in 1960 the mate and the Old Man ( Beavis) decided to flog a great quantity of Jarrah Wood , remains of shifting boards, which were taking up space in the tween decks. It was during a prolonged dock strike and we were skint. Eager to obtain cash and in order to get our cut, myself (2nd Mate) and the Third Mate agreed to accompany the purchaser as he ferried the boards in two dilapidated lorries to a store on the outskirts of the City. The whole operation was fraught with danger as the Customs , Agent etc were in on the act and much bribery took place. The purchaser was a furtive creature who had a saw mill and was eager to get his hand on this hard red wood at a bargain price.
All was going fairly well and the 3/O and myself travelled with the wood until one of the lorries shed its load right opposite the Retiro Station and we had nothing but loads of trouble thereafter as hordes of Marineros, customs and police descended on us. Fortunately the Agents Runner for Chadwick Weir manged to bribe everybody who required dosh and many bottles of booze and bonded cigarettes as well . We poor souls got no wt as the receiver did a runner having got almost half the wood. Thus our couple of days hard work was in vain but never mind we did not end up in jail and I never was involved in flogging as much as an old oil drum again.
JC

Alan Rawlinson
20th January 2013, 08:58
There must be a fund of stories out there about the many uses that dunnage was put to, other than chucking it over the side..............

John Beale and myself, with the very able help of the Maltese Chippie, built a credible sailing dinghy out of dunnage, plus some marine ply for the sides. This was on the Maplebank, circa 1955, and we sailed it frequently in the Spencer Gulf port creeks. The sails were best Duck Canvas, courtesy of Andrew Weir, and no shortage of sailmakers among the Liverpool crew - in between drinking bouts, of course, and prior to most of them deserting a few weeks later.

jimthehat
20th January 2013, 14:01
Now Alan,did we not leave you with a good well found ship?

On the Maplebank circa 52-54 we had a elderly non company mate who just handed us 4 apps to the bosun before we sailed from Surry commercial dock.

Master of course was Capt. Mountain(lost overboard in the pacific).new master was Thorne found him fair and looked after the apps,but stillwe were the bosuns men.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
20th January 2013, 17:09
Now Alan,did we not leave you with a good well found ship?

On the Maplebank circa 52-54 we had a elderly non company mate who just handed us 4 apps to the bosun before we sailed from Surry commercial dock.

Master of course was Capt. Mountain(lost overboard in the pacific).new master was Thorne found him fair and looked after the apps,but stillwe were the bosuns men.

jim

Jim,

I still remember the day we joined in Bromboro like it was yesterday. ( you were on your way home, I guess)

Firstly, there was no power for some reason, and it was freezing, so we all had to troop over to a Lever Bros canteen for our meals. Then, in the cabin was a home made cosh hanging on the radiator, made of rubber hose with lead inside. I didn't remember seeing this on the Bank Line kit list for apprentices? Also,at the foot of the stairwell down to the main deck, you had left us a makeshift steel door which could be fixed closed. What sort of ship is this, I asked myself? ( Did u ever use this, by the way??)

We were not put into the deck crew work schedule like you, but the mate ( John Whiteside) took a keen interest in our welfare, and he definitely put me in a positive mood for second mates at the end of the trip. We were often called upon to stand in for the deck crowd when they were otherwise engaged on the NZ and Aus. coast, covering hatches, stowing the derricks, taking the wheel, etc as no-one else was near sober.

I think you had a similar experience of the crowd deserting, and we ended up back in Hamburg with only 1 or 2 of the original crew that signed on. The rest were drop outs and ex deserters picked up from other ships. Unusually, we also had an apprentice jump ship in N.Z.

Luckily as a teenager, it was a laugh a minute, but probably I wouldn't find it so funny now!

My lasting impression of the Maplebank trip is the Scouse humour and attitude to life - something else!

jimthehat
20th January 2013, 23:55
Alan,
that door was certainly closed when there were drinking sessions going on below,we had a couple of engineers who were drinking buddies of the crew,but they always ended up in a brawl and they would come dashing up the stairs locking the door behind them,lucky the crew did not think of going out onto the aft deck and trying to get in thru the aft boatdeck doors.
We had the same trouble as you,but with a London crew down on the Oz coast they would jump ship and the police would always bring some replacements,I think that only the bosun and two Kiwi Abs lasted the 18 months.
Dont remember the cosh,but myself and the other first tripper were in the two berth cabin on the aft port side of the bridge deck.

jim

david l brooks
21st January 2013, 02:46
nostalgia, 6am ,waiting for higher tide to go into ny city harbor,the skyline was amazing as a bell boy on the queen of bermuda on my 1st trip to sea,after seven more years at sea, im still living in the bronx nysome 40 years later

makko
21st January 2013, 17:01
nostalgia, 6am ,waiting for higher tide to go into ny city harbor,the skyline was amazing as a bell boy on the queen of bermuda on my 1st trip to sea,after seven more years at sea, im still living in the bronx nysome 40 years later
We used to arrive around 0400. An amazing sight: The Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty in the foreground and, as we turned in the river to enter Port Elizabeth, the first inklings of the rising sun changing the pitch black to purple then dark blue, pink and orange. I agree, a magical sight!
Rgds.
Dave

John Campbell
21st January 2013, 19:55
Getting away from dunnage - do you fondly recall an arduous task usually given to Apprentices - it was the cement washing of the domestic water tanks midships. I recently took part in a seminar(entry into enclosed spaces) a few weeks ago and you would not believe the palaver that goes on nowadays with a task such as this demanding a risk assessment plus SCBA sets etc - how on earth did we manage?
On the Clydebank when removed the manhole door we got one hell of a fright as we saw what we thought was a dead body lying in the pools of water on the tank floor: on further investigation it was a big pile of rags left by those who cleaned the tank the previous time.

David E
21st January 2013, 23:52
Getting away from dunnage - do you fondly recall an arduous task usually given to Apprentices - it was the cement washing of the domestic water tanks midships. I recently took part in a seminar(entry into enclosed spaces) a few weeks ago and you would not believe the palaver that goes on nowadays with a task such as this demanding a risk assessment plus SCBA sets etc - how on earth did we manage?
On the Clydebank when removed the manhole door we got one hell of a fright as we saw what we thought was a dead body lying in the pools of water on the tank floor: on further investigation it was a big pile of rags left by those who cleaned the tank the previous time.

A well remembered pleasure in Myrtlebank-the other horror,crawling through a double bottom to check for debris after drydocking

Dave E

jimthehat
22nd January 2013, 00:21
FW tanks,I certainly remember being sent in to cement wash the tanks on the Maplebank(no 4 t/d if I remember correctly)why do I remember,cos a big hairy a***d ab was outside and he kept on saying"keep that brush going or I will be in to get you".

jim

Aberdonian
22nd January 2013, 13:43
Getting away from dunnage - do you fondly recall an arduous task usually given to Apprentices - it was the cement washing of the domestic water tanks midships. I recently took part in a seminar(entry into enclosed spaces) a few weeks ago and you would not believe the palaver that goes on nowadays with a task such as this demanding a risk assessment plus SCBA sets etc - how on earth did we manage?


As an apprentice I cement washed the domestic fresh water tanks in the Foylebank; it was like working in a sauna! Prompted by John’s post, I had a look at the online P&I Club Master’s Guide to Enclosed Space Entry. Pause for thought there!

Some years ago when I was in Dammam, there were fatalities in a British-flag ship discharging alongside. Two seamen lost conscious in an empty forepeak ballast tank; a third would-be rescuer also lost his life. The Mate was one of the casualties. More than 50% of workers who die in enclosed spaces do so in the course of a rescue attempt.

The P&I site gives an example of how three seamen died even inside a chain locker due to lack of oxygen caused by corrosion to steel structure and anchor cable.

Aberdonian

IBlenkinsopp
22nd January 2013, 16:32
Yes, remember that now, cover off before b'fast leave to vent during b'fast then in and do the job, not much in the way of H&S. Brings to mind painting apprentice's bog with gloss paint, no ventilation, headache for days and vision impaired, not to mention cleaning deeptanks with God knows what carcinogenic chemicals. Could just go a Kormski ala Russe.

John Campbell
22nd January 2013, 17:06
Whilst attending a seminar on enclosed spaces - a debate got up around the current size of a manhole door. These apertures do not facilitate the easy entry of a person wearing regular SCBA as is now required for rescue purposes. Clearly the size of these apertures will have to change. I remember that all manholes did not facilitate easy entry for us skinny Apprentices in Bankline presumably ships from now on will have manholes designed appropriately for inspections will be rather difficult unless SCBAs are redesigned.
It used to be a vile task opening up or fitting these lids together with deep tank lids with their associated useless square sennit packing, useless rat tailed spanners etc.
JC.

Alan Rawlinson
22nd January 2013, 17:52
Two schools of thought here, I suppose. We can say it never did us any harm, but the statistics tell a different story - the accident ratio would be a lot higher without all the modern day mumbo jumbo.

Zero risk ( as dreamed of by the H&S zealots) means that no job gets done without a huge amount of hassle. Taken to the extremes would probably mean climbing an accommodation ladder only with a safety harness.

I wonder what the rules now say about swinging round the mainmast in a bos'n's chair. Anyone know?

Aberdonian
22nd January 2013, 18:09
Clearly the size of these apertures will have to change. I remember that all manholes did not facilitate easy entry for us skinny Apprentices in Bankline JC.

Not to mention the current global “obesity epidemic!”

Remember those heavy steel deep tank ullage plugs? Again in the Foylebank, I came within a whisker of having my block knocked off when pressure built up in a tank full of coconut oil. Upon release, the plug took off vertically like a rocket; I felt the breeze on my face as it passed by.

It was just another of those near-misses experienced by every seaman.

Aberdonian

Andy Lavies
22nd January 2013, 20:54
At least a cement wash left the water reasonably palatable. Some more modern chemical gunge meant weeks of foulness even after multiple water changes. Anyone for tea?

Andy

Andy Lavies
22nd January 2013, 21:00
And for the 'fun' of work in confined spaces it would be hard to beat painting the lazarette in the 'Inchanga' with aluminium hold paint while in Calcutta. Probably drunk for several days on the fumes!

Andy

Duncan112
22nd January 2013, 21:01
At least a cement wash left the water reasonably palatable. Some more modern chemical gunge meant weeks of foulness even after multiple water changes. Anyone for tea?

Andy

Is that not why small beer was the preferred drink in days of sail - didn't taint as fast as water (Pint)

John Campbell
22nd January 2013, 23:26
And for the 'fun' of work in confined spaces it would be hard to beat painting the lazarette in the 'Inchanga' with aluminium hold paint while in Calcutta. Probably drunk for several days on the fumes!

Andy

Andy do you remember when Bank Line would contract gangs of painters (obviously first time on the job) to paint out the holds with the aluminium paint?. With no scaffolding or safety belts they clambered up the spar ceiling and got covered in paint themselves and there were no roller brushes in them days. Poor souls they would try and cadge some kero off the Chippy to clean themselves, when they clambered out at the end of the day, with no avail. The contractor used to be called BabaLall if I remember. The fumes from that paint were certainly powerful - life was cheap for the poor admi in those days but I suppose they were glad to get the job. It took fifty years before COSHH Regs.arrived to put a stop to it all.
JC

Johnnietwocoats
23rd January 2013, 03:14
Andy do you remember when Bank Line would contract gangs of painters (obviously first time on the job) to paint out the holds with the aluminium paint?. With no scaffolding or safety belts they clambered up the spar ceiling and got covered in paint themselves and there were no roller brushes in them days. Poor souls they would try and cadge some kero off the Chippy to clean themselves, when they clambered out at the end of the day, with no avail. The contractor used to be called BabaLall if I remember. The fumes from that paint were certainly powerful - life was cheap for the poor admi in those days but I suppose they were glad to get the job. It took fifty years before COSHH Regs.arrived to put a stop to it all.
JC

I think our Old Man took the contract money for himself...No Names Mentioned...and had me paint every hold on the Fleetbank with the Aluminium Paint (Or at least it seemed that way)...LOL
One thing about thon stuf John was it was as thin as water and went on very easily....EVERYWHERE...Johnny...(Pint)

makko
23rd January 2013, 04:37
Two schools of thought here, I suppose. We can say it never did us any harm, but the statistics tell a different story - the accident ratio would be a lot higher without all the modern day mumbo jumbo.


Alan,
I went to a transformer inspection where the operative in tank part was to be performed by the "experts" of the Institute for Electrical Research.
I arrived and there were three guys removing the top cover. Once removed, we were invited to enter! I refused. No ventilation, PCB's, no safety team. The IIE guys entered. One passed out. It's a hassle, but well done H&S.
BTW, I have always been and am now more safety conscious.
Rgds.
Dave

Andy Lavies
23rd January 2013, 17:28
I wonder when rollers and sprayers came in for painting - don't remember any in my time deep sea. Nor anything mechanical for chipping, either, just 'bang, bang, bang' with chipping hammers.

Andy

Alan Rawlinson
23rd January 2013, 18:52
I wonder when rollers and sprayers came in for painting - don't remember any in my time deep sea. Nor anything mechanical for chipping, either, just 'bang, bang, bang' with chipping hammers.

Andy

Used to admire the Indian crews 'painting' rails with rags dipped in the paint - speedy and efficient, if a bit messy.

Quite tempted to resort back to this bank line practice when doing the rails on my patio here, instead of painstaking and slow brush work...

Aberdonian
23rd January 2013, 19:10
Used to admire the Indian crews 'painting' rails with rags dipped in the paint - speedy and efficient, if a bit messy.

Quite tempted to resort back to this bank line practice when doing the rails on my patio here, instead of painstaking and slow brush work...

If tubular, then also consider reverting to the practice of wrapping a length of steel chain around your rails then pulling ends alternately to remove flaking old paint.

Keith

jimthehat
23rd January 2013, 23:46
If tubular, then also consider reverting to the practice of wrapping a length of steel chain around your rails then pulling ends alternately to remove flaking old paint.

Keith
How about a bucket of strong sugi and a wad of cotton waste and washing down all the white paintwork,its a wonder that our fingers did not fall off due to the strong mixture,tho if it was too strong then the paint would flake off.

jim

Continuing on with the confined spaces issue,my grandson who is in his first term up at South Sheilds as a Maersk cadet contacted me last week re enclosed spaces.
He said that they just had a lecture about the dangers of entering enclosed spaces and said that they had to write about how todays regs compared with those of a generation ago.
I was able to tell him about my experience of entering deep tanks,fw tanks and the cable lockers mostly with no backup,also a couple of close friends who had been in tankers narrated a few instances of when they had close encounters with dangerous gasses.
When he joins his first ship in Feb I expect that he will find out seriously safety is taken nowadays.

jim

John Campbell
24th January 2013, 20:47
Magic Moments
- what was your very first job on board your very first ship? I will tell you mine.

I was ordered by the Mate, Mr Broadly, to take a party of six "Sick" crew members to the Doctor at the Dreadnaught Seamans Hospital. In those days the Indian crew were not like they are today and did not speak much English and used to use "Sickness " to get some time off and a run ashore. I had to take them through the Albert Dock onto a bus and it was not a short trip either until I got to the "quack" as we called the Dr in those days.

It was quite a journey for me as I had just come from the North of Scotland where a big city like London was mighty strange to me. Anyway we arrived at the hospital and the admis had their forms with their symptoms, roughly described by the 2nd Mate, but it was like visiting a vet with a cat or dog as communication was by sign language as neither the Doc or I spoke Hindi. They all had one phrase "Something paining Sahib" Soon we were on the way back to the ship each man clutching a paper bag of bottles of coloured liquid. All these lads walked one behind each other "Indian File" and I was mighty glad to climb the accommodation ladder of the "Southbank" without losing one soul. I remember Mr Broadly a kind man dolling out the fare money and he gave me a half crown for myself and then sending me ashore with a holdall to buy a dozen bottles of ale for himself and the other mates. I thought these tasks were odd and far from what I had been told to expect but I was sadly disillusioned when my next job was down among the copra bugs stacking dunnage in the tween decks.
JC

John Dryden
24th January 2013, 22:04
Not half as exciting as your first task John,mine was checking stores with the Mate then refilling the freshwater tanks in the lifeboats.

Alan Rawlinson
25th January 2013, 13:35
Magic Moments
- what was your very first job on board your very first ship? I will tell you mine.

I was ordered by the Mate, Mr Broadly, to take a party of six "Sick" crew members to the Doctor at the Dreadnaught Seamans Hospital. In those days the Indian crew were not like they are today and did not speak much English and used to use "Sickness " to get some time off and a run ashore. I had to take them through the Albert Dock onto a bus and it was not a short trip either until I got to the "quack" as we called the Dr in those days.

It was quite a journey for me as I had just come from the North of Scotland where a big city like London was mighty strange to me. Anyway we arrived at the hospital and the admis had their forms with their symptoms, roughly described by the 2nd Mate, but it was like visiting a vet with a cat or dog as communication was by sign language as neither the Doc or I spoke Hindi. They all had one phrase "Something paining Sahib" Soon we were on the way back to the ship each man clutching a paper bag of bottles of coloured liquid. All these lads walked one behind each other "Indian File" and I was mighty glad to climb the accommodation ladder of the "Southbank" without losing one soul. I remember Mr Broadly a kind man dolling out the fare money and he gave me a half crown for myself and then sending me ashore with a holdall to buy a dozen bottles of ale for himself and the other mates. I thought these tasks were odd and far from what I had been told to expect but I was sadly disillusioned when my next job was down among the copra bugs stacking dunnage in the tween decks.
JC

Not my first job, but on the (old) Ernebank, I was sent off to the Doctor's in Bromboro in charge of some Indian crew in need of attention. One of them, all skin and bone, called Tabarak Ali, was a diabetic, and the doctor took one look at him and came as near to panic as I have seen in a medic! He sent him off to hospital, and told me to go back to the ship and tell the Captain that the guy was dying etc etc... I was a bit startled to say the least, and felt sorry for him. He survived, because I saw him months later on the deck of another Bank Line ship anchored off Sandheads as we steamed past.

all the ex second mates will remember the phrase uttered by the Indian crew lining up at the medicine locker, Oh, bohot Dhoop, Sahib, pointing to the stomach - Big Trouble!

Alistair Macnab
25th January 2013, 16:52
Mention in one of these reminiscences of Bob Broadley on "Southbank" organizing a sick parade in the London Docks for a first-trip apprentice reminds me of Bob's organisation of a meeting of a first-trip Assistant Marine Superintendent at New York's JFK airport.

I was sent out from the London office to assist Captain Brian Loads in New Orleans as he was temporarily incapacitated and in hospital. This involved traveling over New York and Captain Broadley met me at the BOAC terminal in his car and took me downtown Manhattan to a hotel to spend a couple of days with him for orientation before proceding to New Orleans.

This was my first meeting with Bob as like all other Masters and Mates sailing out of U.S. Gulf ports, he had just been a voice at the end of the telephone line advising and instructing on cargo stowage for the Australian or New Zealand run.

I found him to be a great person, a Yorkshireman, and as fine a Bank Line master mariner as you could ever find. He was married and lived in Westchester County, just north of New York and had a son who was in the U.S. Navy.

Over the years that I worked for him, I found him to be a calm and experienced manager who seemed to never meet a cargo stow problem that he could not resolve. He knew the cargo spaces of the various Bank Line ship types by heart and could always tell just how much of any type of cargo could fit into a given space with still a 'walking space' left over around the hatch coaming. I was always amazed and impressed with this knowledge!

Anyway, I shall be writing more about Captain Broadley to add to the Bank Line section in SN's "Directory" file. Perhaps adequate to mention at this time that he was too soon struck down with a cancer in his stomach and he died in New York. His ashes were, however, scattered in the Gulf waters between New Orleans and Houston.

A fine man; a good man; and a special friend.

Joe C
25th January 2013, 21:21
I wonder when rollers and sprayers came in for painting - don't remember any in my time deep sea. Nor anything mechanical for chipping, either, just 'bang, bang, bang' with chipping hammers.

Andy

Anchored off Beira on the Fleetbank in 1957,she was very new at the time, I'm fairly certain we spent days over the side with electric chipping hammers.They had a conventional looking motor with a flexible connector to a spinning head with two or three mini " chippers "on the end. Apparently the plating had some sort of scale on it and guess who got the job of removing it.But it might explain the revolutionary and high tec equipment!!

Duncan112
26th January 2013, 10:03
Anchored off Beira on the Fleetbank in 1957,she was very new at the time, I'm fairly certain we spent days over the side with electric chipping hammers.They had a conventional looking motor with a flexible connector to a spinning head with two or three mini " chippers "on the end. Apparently the plating had some sort of scale on it and guess who got the job of removing it.But it might explain the revolutionary and high tec equipment!!

30 years later "Meadowbank" was supplied with a number of electric lawnmower devices for scaling the deck these were 415 volts 3 phase (I am not entirely convinced of the legality of portable 3 phase appliances with trailing extension leads but that's another matter) These were to be plugged into the sockets that were fitted to power the welding machines. Phase rotation is not critical for welding machines but when the lawnmower started backwards all the little hammers unscrewed and the scene resembled a small hand grenade going off!!

Aberdonian
26th January 2013, 15:25
Fellow apprentice Dave Paul and I arrived at Belfast early in the morning aboard the Royal Scotsman. We made for agent Lawther & Harvey’s office at Corporation Square where we met Captain Holbrook, the Master of the Cedarbank, as well as senior apprentice Taffy Ivins. After booking into the Brookvale Hotel we headed for the Harland & Wolff berth where final work was being carried out on the ship. The impressive Southern Cross, a fine looking vessel unique in her time, lay just astern of our ship. She would undergo sea trials in the following month.

The Indian crew were not expected for another couple of days so we apprentices were kept busy stowing paint and sundry other items. Marine Superintendent Captain Scobie, inspecting the ship accompanied by shipyard managers, looked into the officers smoke room and was heard to remark, “We’re spoiling ‘em!”

It was dark by the time we three lads left the ship and headed for the hotel. Unfortunately, we got lost. We had walked for miles when a RUC car drew alongside the kerb. A police officer checked our identities before ordering us into his vehicle. With heavy-handed humour he told us a police alert had gone out to watch for, “Three seamen suffering from memory loss wandering the streets.” We were thus escorted back to our hotel.

The Cedarbank sailed from Belfast on 5 Jan ’55, light ship for Point Fortin, Trinidad.

Keith

jimthehat
26th January 2013, 16:00
What a shame,brand new ship sent out to load all that nasty,sticky horrible stuff.
On the Etivebank we loaded a full cargo for Karachi.

jim

Waighty
26th January 2013, 16:40
30 years later "Meadowbank" was supplied with a number of electric lawnmower devices for scaling the deck these were 415 volts 3 phase (I am not entirely convinced of the legality of portable 3 phase appliances with trailing extension leads but that's another matter) These were to be plugged into the sockets that were fitted to power the welding machines. Phase rotation is not critical for welding machines but when the lawnmower started backwards all the little hammers unscrewed and the scene resembled a small hand grenade going off!!

I was tolds that in Ben Line when the "lawnmowers" were introduced some deck lads saw it as the company's way of speeding up the job and thus cutting down on overtime. Amazing how many lawnmowers "wandered" over pad-eyes and wecked themselves!

Alan Rawlinson
26th January 2013, 17:12
Fellow apprentice Dave Paul and I arrived at Belfast early in the morning aboard the Royal Scotsman. We made for agent Lawther & Harvey’s office at Corporation Square where we met Captain Holbrook, the Master of the Cedarbank, as well as senior apprentice Taffy Ivins. After booking into the Brookvale Hotel we headed for the Harland & Wolff berth where final work was being carried out on the ship. The impressive Southern Cross, a fine looking vessel unique in her time, lay just astern of our ship. She would undergo sea trials in the following month.

The Indian crew were not expected for another couple of days so we apprentices were kept busy stowing paint and sundry other items. Marine Superintendent Captain Scobie, inspecting the ship accompanied by shipyard managers, looked into the officers smoke room and was heard to remark, “We’re spoiling ‘em!”

It was dark by the time we three lads left the ship and headed for the hotel. Unfortunately, we got lost. We had walked for miles when a RUC car drew alongside the kerb. A police officer checked our identities before ordering us into his vehicle. With heavy-handed humour he told us a police alert had gone out to watch for, “Three seamen suffering from memory loss wandering the streets.” We were thus escorted back to our hotel.

The Cedarbank sailed from Belfast on 5 Jan ’55, light ship for Point Fortin, Trinidad.

Keith

I believe Capt Scobie had a reputation for being stern. His nephew Jim Scobbie clashed with his uncle during a ship visit. Something to do with the food. When we later sailed together on a long trip on the Irisbank, as 2/0 and 3/0, there were a couple of incidents which Capt Palmer ( no slouch in the stern department!) commented on along the lines of " If only his Uncle wasn't the marine superintendent " ! Little did he know there was no love lost.

alan ward
26th January 2013, 18:27
I once knew a nurse in Durban called Johanna,we got on extremely wellwith me visiting her home and she coming down to the ship,Clan Ranald,on several occasions.On our next trip I `phoned Johanna on arrival and was given the brush off,not being particularly bothered I got on with things the way we did and was surprised to receive a call from her about three days later.She asked if I fancied meeting up and apologised for not being available earlier but the 2nd.Mate off a Bank boat had been staying with her!which one of you b****ds was it?

Hamish Mackintosh
26th January 2013, 19:19
I believe Capt Scobie had a reputation for being stern. His nephew Jim Scobbie clashed with his uncle during a ship visit. Something to do with the food. When we later sailed together on a long trip on the Irisbank, as 2/0 and 3/0, there were a couple of incidents which Capt Palmer ( no slouch in the stern department!) commented on along the lines of " If only his Uncle wasn't the marine superintendent " ! Little did he know there was no love lost.

I hear tell that capt Palmerwas a little "Log Happy" and couldn't keep a crew on the Oz and Kiwi coast, why stay aboard a ship you had no money in? and he never seemed to learn, I never sailed with him myself but knew a couple of guys that did. One was a pantry boy who lost a good part of a finger and was put ashore in of all places Nauru. He had been with us for sixteen months on the Ivybank, and when he got back to Oz he was put abourd the Springbank, he was a lad of about sixteen or so, didn't drink or smoke, and had every intention of getting home with us on the Ivybank, had the mishap not taken place, well he managed to get logged three times in less than three weeks by the good Capt Palmer, and they had not left port yet, one was because the good capt had found dirt on the tops of the saloon and pantry doors(shades of Humphrey Bogart)so he said at 7 pounds a month i'd be better off on the beach,which is what he did, just as they were about to sail, along with a couple of other crew. He turned himself in as soon as the ship was well clear and found passage home on another Brit ship

Alan Rawlinson
26th January 2013, 19:58
I hear tell that capt Palmerwas a little "Log Happy" and couldn't keep a crew on the Oz and Kiwi coast, why stay aboard a ship you had no money in? and he never seemed to learn, I never sailed with him myself but knew a couple of guys that did. One was a pantry boy who lost a good part of a finger and was put ashore in of all places Nauru. He had been with us for sixteen months on the Ivybank, and when he got back to Oz he was put abourd the Springbank, he was a lad of about sixteen or so, didn't drink or smoke, and had every intention of getting home with us on the Ivybank, had the mishap not taken place, well he managed to get logged three times in less than three weeks by the good Capt Palmer, and they had not left port yet, one was because the good capt had found dirt on the tops of the saloon and pantry doors(shades of Humphrey Bogart)so he said at 7 pounds a month i'd be better off on the beach,which is what he did, just as they were about to sail, along with a couple of other crew. He turned himself in as soon as the ship was well clear and found passage home on another Brit ship

I could write reams about Capt Palmer, but would like to put on record here that I learned a lot of positive things from him - mainly about discipline, application, and consistency - traits that I was a bit short of before my enforced education as 3/0 under him. ( Stay on the wing of the bridge, unless you've got a good reason to enter the wheelhouse or chartroom, etc)

Then there was a nasty incident in Melbourne, with a drunken punch up (in my cabin) where one of the engineers ran amok, before the riot police carted him off. The Mate went to hospital. I ran off down the gangway and slept in a bus shelter up the road, and determined to pack my bags and leave the ship for good. Palmer descended from his ivory tower in the morning when I was surveying the bloodstains on the white bulkhead, and when I was throwing a few things in a suitcase , and he persuaded me to stay. It was one of those pivotal moments, I guess. I could have been a dinkum Aus by now. A manic moment rather than a magic moment.

John Campbell
26th January 2013, 22:02
Alan, when serving my time the tales re Capt. Palmer were legend . One I remember was when a keen young Apprentice was newly promoted to Uncrt. 3rd Mate and on his first night at sea on the 8-12 up came Palmer and stood behind him on the bridge wing. Anxious to show Palmer how keen he was the 3/0 gazed upwards and pointed asking the old man "Is that Venus?" "Keep your f---ng eyes on the horizon boy" was the reply.

Ian Harrod
26th January 2013, 23:46
I once knew a nurse in Durban called Johanna,we got on extremely wellwith me visiting her home and she coming down to the ship,Clan Ranald,on several occasions.On our next trip I `phoned Johanna on arrival and was given the brush off,not being particularly bothered I got on with things the way we did and was surprised to receive a call from her about three days later.She asked if I fancied meeting up and apologised for not being available earlier but the 2nd.Mate off a Bank boat had been staying with her!which one of you b****ds was it?

Good old Durban Johanna eh? You will have to be a bit more specific with the dates; could be anyone!

jimthehat
26th January 2013, 23:58
Good old Durban Johanna eh? You will have to be a bit more specific with the dates; could be anyone!

I think that we all had girls in Durban,my longtime lady was from a farm up in the transvall,she had come down for a holiday when i first met her she would then come down everytime the Ettrickbank arrived in (we were on the far east run.for 2 years)

jim

Alan Rawlinson
27th January 2013, 09:33
Alan, when serving my time the tales re Capt. Palmer were legend . One I remember was when a keen young Apprentice was newly promoted to Uncrt. 3rd Mate and on his first night at sea on the 8-12 up came Palmer and stood behind him on the bridge wing. Anxious to show Palmer how keen he was the 3/0 gazed upwards and pointed asking the old man "Is that Venus?" "Keep your f---ng eyes on the horizon boy" was the reply.


Never heard him swear - he tended to be stern and correct.

We leaned over the chart together one watch, and there was a discussion about the position. I said " I'm doing my best " and Palmer said " Well, your best is not good enough, Mister" Ouch . That always hurts!

Alan Rawlinson
4th April 2013, 15:55
Here's a nice snap of a Marconi man in No. 3 kit ( informal, I guess).

Regret there is no name I can add, but maybe someone sees themself from 50 + years ago?

Ian Beattie
4th April 2013, 16:19
I remember steaming into Durban backwards to the passenger quay , which held two Union Castle ships Edinburgh Castle and A N other on the Roybank. The Old Man whips out this brass telescope (paint on the glass so useless) as we pass no more than forty feet from the liner - I have never seen so many
anti bump tyres put out in so short a time LOL nearly wet meself

smithax
11th April 2013, 10:45
Earlier on there were some mentions of the Calcutta Swimming Club. It's still going, I recognized the entrance immediately.
I seem to remember on arrival at Calcutta we were anxious to know if Bank Line chaps were banned from it or not.

http://www.calcuttaswimmingclub.com/

jimthehat
11th April 2013, 12:33
Earlier on there were some mentions of the Calcutta Swimming Club. It's still going, I recognized the entrance immediately.
I seem to remember on arrival at Calcutta we were anxious to know if Bank Line chaps were banned from it or not.

http://www.calcuttaswimmingclub.com/

Cant think why they would have been,as I remember it in all the years I visited there as soon as we arrived the agent/super would bring on a number of temporary membership cards which were dished out,never heard of anyone being banned.

jim

smithax
11th April 2013, 13:15
I don't why there was a ban, I can remember we were taken into someones office and give a lecture about behaving ourselves as the previous (another?) Bank boat had been banned.
This was probably 1965 ish.

Ian Beattie
28th April 2013, 22:03
I remember on the Roybank 67/68 started in Rotterdam then to Freemantle Portuguese East Africa Cochin/Kerala new crew in Bagladesh, Ceylon Mauritius, Beira LM Suid Africa - Punta Arenas West coast S America - Panama - Gulf Coast -Panama Fiji Oz back
load Oz Cook islands Line islands - Panama UK Fantastic load of blokes --- Indian Ocean a GREEN flash as the sun set (totally honoured to see that) an Oz 3/o that sent down for coco (whats that I thought it was a clown) trying to persuade Oz birds that aquadente from Chile was Vodka with a smile and telling the Mate that I was all right after drinking that swag and that the bulkhead was still OK - Playing bridge with the mate/2/o/C/E being told not to fraternise with the abbos and WETF still doing that --Christmas Island on Christmas day---- so many good memories and learning massive things that had been instilled in me BUT were untrue (18 year old kid in New Orleans that could not read or write and WHITE) Big bubble burst - me being a man of the world at 21/22. what wonderful times playing golf n Rabaul OZ in the states incredible !!!!!! Then I spoilt it all by getting married and having to join the Ocean Weather Service - Dusky South Sea maidens a mere memory (but still there) What a happy ship or maybe we were all plonkers one way or another - never mind I am so glad I didn't miss that trip

makko
28th April 2013, 22:08
I remember on the Roybank 67/68 started in Rotterdam then to Freemantle Portuguese East Africa Cochin/Kerala new crew in Bagladesh, Ceylon Mauritius, Beira LM Suid Africa - Punta Arenas West coast S America - Panama - Gulf Coast -Panama Fiji Oz back
load Oz Cook islands Line islands - Panama UK Fantastic load of blokes --- Indian Ocean a GREEN flash as the sun set (totally honoured to see that) an Oz 3/o that sent down for coco (whats that I thought it was a clown) trying to persuade Oz birds that aquadente from Chile was Vodka with a smile and telling the Mate that I was all right after drinking that swag and that the bulkhead was still OK - Playing bridge with the mate/2/o/C/E being told not to fraternise with the abbos and WETF still doing that --Christmas Island on Christmas day---- so many good memories and learning massive things that had been instilled in me BUT were untrue (18 year old kid in New Orleans that could not read or write and WHITE) Big bubble burst - me being a man of the world at 21/22. what wonderful times playing golf n Rabaul OZ in the states incredible !!!!!! Then I spoilt it all by getting married and having to join the Ocean Weather Service - Dusky South Sea maidens a mere memory (but still there) What a happy ship or maybe we were all plonkers one way or another - never mind I am so glad I didn't miss that trip

Sounds like quite a nostalgic memory!!!
Rgds.
Dave

Alan Rawlinson
22nd May 2013, 10:00
Hi Guys,

I have just returned from a trip to the Baltic, near Rostock, and spent some time walking on the beach in the still of the morning.

Strangely, although a world away from Trinidad, it was very evocative of those magic mornings on the Bank Line ships loading at Point Fortin.

Out on deck, before the stevedores arrived, the sun glinting on crystal clear water, and a coolness in the air which was rapidly disappearing as the heat burned through. There was a lovely green shoreline, and often a sort of oily calm on the sea surface broken sometimes by fish. With the light in the right place it was possible to see way down in the depths. Add to this the pungent smell of the rough dunnage bundles on deck, waiting to be used in the stow. On the older ships, there would also be the cracking and banging of the steam lines to the winches as they came to life.

Unforgettable.

jimthehat
22nd May 2013, 23:58
My grandson has just completed his first three months on a maersk container ship as a cadet,he was complaining to me about the banging of the containers as they hit the deck,i told him he should count himself lucky not to have lived through the banging and clattering of 12 plus steam winches going 24 hours a day non stop.

jim

Andy Lavies
24th May 2013, 15:13
If our moments in Bank Line were so magical, why did we get the channels on the way home?

Andy

trotterdotpom
24th May 2013, 16:01
Because you wanted to see your Mums and get some good old fashioned British stodge into you after 2 years of eating that Bhandari's foreign muck.

John T

funnelstays
24th May 2013, 16:45
Thru the Magellans in the rain, brilliant sunbeam comes down and lights up a little island. Capt Betts :- "Almost makes you believe in the bible, don't it, son?". Onwards to the West coast.

35202

Johnnietwocoats
24th May 2013, 18:46
If our moments in Bank Line were so magical, why did we get the channels on the way home?

Andy


It was all part of the magic Andy....(Fly)

Duncan112
24th May 2013, 22:27
It's only now that we realise what we miss - the name of the site "nostalgia"

Alan Rawlinson
25th May 2013, 08:15
If our moments in Bank Line were so magical, why did we get the channels on the way home?

Andy

Good Question, Andy....

I think we all need our ' ups and downs ' rather than working in a conveyor belt type of employment. Or maybe, it's like sticking pins in yourself - nice when you stop!

Andy Lavies
25th May 2013, 21:12
"Black Magical Moments" in the Bank Line - waiting weeks or months for a letter then getting a "Dear John!" Funny how quickly we could get over it.

Andy

John Dryden
25th May 2013, 21:55
"Black Magical Moments" in the Bank Line - waiting weeks or months for a letter then getting a "Dear John!" Funny how quickly we could get over it.

Andy

I got two on my first 13 month trip,both thoroughly deserved B\)

Joe C
29th May 2013, 10:54
Got mine on the Irisbank,it didn't work though,we've been married for fifty two years