Chief Engineers & 2nd Eng's we sailed with

ianian
24th April 2010, 08:59
We seem to hear a lot about Masters etc, but never any of the other ranks who all go to make up a ship's officers compliment who are essential to the safe operation of the vessel, so we all have picked enough holes in Masters so lets have a go at the other ranks.

Kind Regards

ianian (see my profile)

Billieboy
24th April 2010, 09:52
I'll sing you a song, it won't take very long.......

Alistair Macnab
24th April 2010, 16:59
"Fleetbank" (1953-1955) Bob Reid;
"Inchanga" (1958-1960) and "Roybank" (1966-1967) Fred Gibbons from Durban(Commodore Chief Engineer);
"Carronbank" (1960-1962) Bob Christie from Dundee;

All outstanding gentlemen and well thought-of by their engineers. There are several others whose names escape me at the moment, but no doubt my former shipmates can remind me. Outstanding Second Engineers include: Peter Arrowsmith and Stan Sweeney.

Charlie Stitt
24th April 2010, 17:52
The first to come to my mind. Joe Hanover C/E, Jim Cairns 2/E, Willy Thompson 3/E, Ricky Cooper 4/E, Brain Hill 5/E, Len Pritchard Lecky. Inverbank2 1962/63. Ian Blackburn 2/E and Ron Knowles Lecky, Forresbank, 1965/66. All first rate guys to sail with.(Thumb)

R58484956
24th April 2010, 18:08
RP Clunas, QE. WBT Blue, Canton. H Jeffery, Canton. W Goatley, Iberia. V Cutlack, Good Hope Castle. Every one of them were gentlemen. Some of them even spoke to juniors.

Sorry just realised that this is Bank Line and not MN.

China hand
24th April 2010, 18:18
The first to come to my mind. Joe Hanover C/E, Jim Cairns 2/E, Willy Thompson 3/E, Ricky Cooper 4/E, Brain Hill 5/E, Len Pritchard Lecky. Inverbank2 1962/63. Ian Blackburn 2/E and Ron Knowles Lecky, Forresbank, 1965/66. All first rate guys to sail with.(Thumb)

Joe Hanover in Full Steam:- CLASS! mi Buenos Aires, Querido!!(LOL)

ccurtis1
24th April 2010, 19:47
I think "boatlarnie" will agree, the Australian 2nd Engineer Kevin Habbin on the 1964 built Irisbank was superb

K urgess
24th April 2010, 19:56
About the only black mark about Bankline that I can remember was the second engineer on the Sprucebank in 1967.
Chief was Bill Harcus from Edinburgh and his wife.
Second was Pakistani and appeared not to fit. He was nicknamed Snowball, behind his back, if I remember rightly and didn't last further than Sydney. He spent most of his time in his cabin and didn't socialise. Not well regarded by the other engineers if I remember. It was extremely unusual to have a non-white officer at that time. I believe the situation wasn't helped by the crew being Indian I think. I seem to remember trying to be friendly but being quite sharply rebuffed.
When he left third and fourth were bumped up and a new fourth joined in Sydney by the name of John Horne.
The new second bumped from third was Arthur Taylor from Shields.
The rest were Larry Heskett from Sunderland (4th then 3rd)
Davy McCully from Glasgow as 5th, Terry Ralph from Watford as 6th, Arnie Jones from Liverpool as Lekky with Brian Reid from Christchurch (NZ) as 2nd. Brian paid off in Sydney and I've unfortunately not noted the name of his replacement although I have a feeling he wasn't replaced.

Weirbank ('69, '70 and '71) Chief was Allan with his wife and he was Aussie.
He was replaced by Rod Coates and his wife Suzanne when we got to Oz.
Then they left in the UK and Bob East joined.
Rod and his wife joined in quite a bit but I don't remember Bob East at all. Can't remember Allan's name but I seem to remember that his wife had a tendency to mother us a bit.
Second on the first trip was John Ravenscroft who was replaced by Don Jackson for the second trip.
3rd was John Paterson, 4th was Stan Beveridge who paid off in Panama because of a family bereavement so Pat Piesley who was 5th was bumped as was Tony Horsfall who was 6th. We got a new 6th Russ Blinco in Sydney. Lekkies were Iain Duncan and John Dougal.
2nd trip the 3rd was John Paterson and the rest the same until we got back to Sydney when Russ Blinco was paid off and replaced by Matthews whose first name eludes me at the moment. Lekkies were John Grieve and Don Matheson.

Sprucebank in 71/72 the Chief was Pike and his wife. Another mothering type.
Second was Jim Fowler.
3rd for the coast was Bobby Churchill, replaced by Dave Thornberry for the trip.
4th was Carl Mayl, 5th John Watkins and 6th Mike (Yakky) John.
Lekkies were Bobby Moffat and Billy (Petal) Coates.

Quite a few of them are pictured in my gallery and, apart from the first hiccough on the Sprucebank, were a great bunch of lads.
Boy did we have some fun. [=P]

chadburn
24th April 2010, 22:46
Any of you Bank Line men remember Brian Oliver? married an Australian Girl. Hard grafter in the Engineroom when it was called for.

jimthehat
24th April 2010, 23:06
ettrickbank ,2years far east run,the chief was from ceylon,had his wife and little daughter with him,perfect gentleman,having a few slides printed next week ,so will be able to post a photo of him and a couple of others going ashore in the company launch in Hongkong.

jim

Billieboy
25th April 2010, 08:55
Not Bank line, but the best Chief and Second I ever sailed with were George Morton and Tommy Williams of Radcliffes Cardiff. I also sailed with some pigs as well, their names have been forgotten.

Charlie Stitt
25th April 2010, 10:22
How could I ever forget my good friend, Fred Sharpe Chief Eng, Teakbank1965Poor Fred spent most of his time complaining to me about, ''those ruddy chipping hammers Mate'', but he was such a lovable old sod, I did'nt mind. Then there was T C McComb Chief Eng, Foylebank 1964, a real Gentleman ,Alan Smith Chief Eng, Laganbank 1961, a young fun loving Australian, always the life of a party, had his pretty wife with him that trip.I dont recall sailing on a Bankboat where I heard an Engineer whinge about the Chief or Second, or even about the job, for that matter, hard workers on board, but mustard after a few (Pint) when ashore.

Charlie Stitt
25th April 2010, 12:58
From left. 2/E, C/E McLaren,7/E,6/E,4/E, and Sparks. All one big happy ? family ashore in the bush Chittagong. Well what else could you do in Chittagong ?. I was a first trip Apprentice sent to look after them in case they come across some jungle juice.(==D)

xrm
25th April 2010, 13:10
McQueen C/E on Maplebank - 1970(?)

Vans Thompson 2/E on Nessbank - 1972

Octavius
25th April 2010, 15:04
We seem to hear a lot about Masters etc, but never any of the other ranks who all go to make up a ship's officers compliment who are essential to the safe operation of the vessel, so we all have picked enough holes in Masters so lets have a go at the other ranks.

Kind Regards

ianian (see my profile)

Most, if not all of the Chief Engineers I sailed were keen to remind the Master of their mutual equality but equally keen to remind the Master when the big decisions had to be made....your the Captain.

steamer659
25th April 2010, 16:09
I sailed as a Chief Engineer- for years. Now I manage a bunch of Chief's.
Generally, the best (and usually the easiest) ships to run, were the vessel's where the Chief and the Master got along well.

I've seen rotten Chiefs and rotten Masters- thank god never together. As a Chief Engineer, I made it my business to get along at all costs- until the "line is crossed"- then I usually had enough moxey to see that the offending party (or parties) found gainful employment elsewhere.

Ships run quite a bit better when the Officers all get along.. Master's have the ultimate responsibility- but not generally across the engine room door sill.....

Alan Rawlinson
25th April 2010, 17:38
Speaking personally, and absolutely no offence meant to anyone, I always found them ( the engineers - all ranks) totally alien. They inhabited a mysterious world of grease and oil, unable to see where we were heading, something which would have sent me potty. A couple of them over the years tried to punch my head in or worse, bless em. Usually after getting tanked up. I don't hold any grudges whatsoever over that.

Despite the comments above, I can remember my genuine respect and awe when they managed , against all the odds, to get knackered engines turning again, usually in stinking heat and at sea with a heavy roll with pistons dangling from slings while they changed liners or whatever....

My nomination for best engineer to sail with was one G Forsyth, 2nd engineer of the 1930 built twin screw Irisbank. Everyone regarded him as cuckoo because he had the habit of saluting the rising sun as he emerged from the hell hole engine room each morning, but I empathised with that...

Octavius
25th April 2010, 18:52
I sailed as a Chief Engineer- for years. Now I manage a bunch of Chief's.
Generally, the best (and usually the easiest) ships to run, were the vessel's where the Chief and the Master got along well.

I've seen rotten Chiefs and rotten Masters- thank god never together. As a Chief Engineer, I made it my business to get along at all costs- until the "line is crossed"- then I usually had enough moxey to see that the offending party (or parties) found gainful employment elsewhere.

Ships run quite a bit better when the Officers all get along.. Master's have the ultimate responsibility- but not generally across the engine room door sill.....


Masters have the ultimate responsibility....end of!

Alistair Macnab
25th April 2010, 19:22
I never sailed with Jimmy but met him so often when he was sailing in Bank Line that I got to know him quite well. In fact, once when on leave, I went to Fuengirola in Spain where he had an apartment and spent a holiday with him, inspecting all the "British Pubs" around Malaga!

He eventually married a Spanish woman whose name was Mariella and they both came to live in New York when I lived there. Jimmy took a job as hotel engineer at one of the very large tourist hotels in Manhattan.

He was a great chap and I'm glad to see that he is remembered along with such luminaries as Joe Hanover with whom I did not sail but was well regarded. I think Joe was also domiciled in Southern Spain.

Can't recall members of the engineering department without mentioning the remarkable Farquhar Mackenzie as 1st. Leckie whose friendship and ability to create good times whether afloat or ashore are recalled by many of his shipmates.

John Briggs
26th April 2010, 02:12
Masters have the ultimate responsibility....end of!


A rather simplistic and somewhat inaccurate remark.
I ran short of bunkers on one voyage and just managed by the skin of my teeth to drop anchor off Okinawa with nothing left in any fuel tanks. I was not held responsible for that fiasco and the Chief Engineer was dismissed.
Chief Engineers, particularly on modern ships, have a massive burden of responsibility and they will be held responsible for any stuff ups that are clearly their fault.

Steamer 659 - I agree with your comment, "Master's have the ultimate responsibility- but not generally across the engine room door sill....."

John Dryden
26th April 2010, 02:32
As a lowly apprentice I recall checking bunkers 3 times just to make sure and once lo and behold it was wrong,we had been robbed by a large amount.

GWB
26th April 2010, 03:14
Chief Engineers Stan Ledger on Suvic Frank Mole Tommy Fulton Second's Bobby Comeford, Bruce (Jimmy) Andrews, John Mawer Southern Cross Max McLean Len Tarelton Suvic all good guys and worked hard when required also played hard.

Joe C
26th April 2010, 14:41
Speaking personally, and absolutely no offence meant to anyone, I always found them ( the engineers - all ranks) totally alien. They inhabited a mysterious world of grease and oil, unable to see where we were heading, something which would have sent me potty. A couple of them over the years tried to punch my head in or worse, bless em. Usually after getting tanked up. I don't hold any grudges whatsoever over that.

Despite the comments above, I can remember my genuine respect and awe when they managed , against all the odds, to get knackered engines turning again, usually in stinking heat and at sea with a heavy roll with pistons dangling from slings while they changed liners or whatever....

My nomination for best engineer to sail with was one G Forsyth, 2nd engineer of the 1930 built twin screw Irisbank. Everyone regarded him as cuckoo because he had the habit of saluting the rising sun as he emerged from the hell hole engine room each morning, but I empathised with that...

Signed his name "G4".

Duncan112
28th April 2010, 17:54
Bit later than some of the contributors but:

Meadowbank 1985~6 C/E Derek Hull 2/E Frank Orwin
Troutbank 1986 C/E Brian Frost 2/E Gwyn Roberts and Jim Smith
Troutbank 1987 C/E Charlie DeSilva 2/E David Lee
Clydebank 1987~8 C/E Brian Frost 2/E Mike Barber
Clydebank 1988~9 C/E Graham Humphries & Fred Grant 2/E Jeremy Reeves

Duncan

oldmarconiman
4th May 2010, 09:00
Sailed from Jan '58 until Sept '60 with Chief Engineer Morgan on the Eskbank. We would often have a drink together in the evening after I came off watch. He taught my young budgie to swear in a broad Welsh accent to say "Bastard Bokkie" much to the amusement of one and all. Bokkie was the birds name.

michael charters
6th May 2010, 22:47
Mcqueen Chief san pablo

RayL
10th June 2010, 10:32
Name long forgotten, I'm afraid, but I can never forget a run-in I had with the Chief Eng on the Speybank as I was heading to my cabin after the last watch. As was normal, the last action I had carried out in the Radio Room before locking up had been to turn off the ship's general receiver, never thinking that anyone could possibly be listening to it at that hour of the night, but at the bottom of the stairs this normally friendly, quiet-natured guy accosted me with a single bellowed word - "Why!!?".

Of course, as soon as I worked out what he was talking about (it wasn't at first clear) I turned the set back on for him as he looked in a state to turn violent if I had tried to argue with him.

johnb42
10th June 2010, 13:01
Chief engineers. I remember Bob Forrest on the Beaverbank. Alban Brunz (ex Paddy Henderson) Elmbank. Noel Sneleickz (sorry if the spelling is wrong) Marabank.
Shirrabank, Northbank and a second year on the Marabank the Chiefs were all Indians (sorry, couldn't resist it), and I can't remember their names.

Alistair Macnab
10th June 2010, 14:52
Just remembered the name of the Chief Engineer on the maiden voyage of the "Ernebank" from Sunderland in 1965 was Alan Wright. He was Anglo-Burmese and we actually went to Rangoon where he had a chance to meet up with some of his extended family who were living in a very poor way as a result of the oppressive conditions imposed upon the citizenry by the ruling junta. Mr. Wright eventually became the Bank Line Engineer Superintendent in Singapore.

Ian J. Huckin
10th June 2010, 16:09
Memorables:

C/E:
Harry "the Hobbit" Wakinshaw (Also refferred to as "Chief Walkingshort" due to his stature)
"Sammy" Sandvid
Jimmy "Fiddler By Name, Fiddler By Nature" Fidler
"King" Billy Simpson (a'm quotin facts mister!)

2/E:
Torchy

and there were others......

Duncan112
10th June 2010, 17:36
Chief engineers. I remember Bob Forrest on the Beaverbank. Alban Brunz (ex Paddy Henderson) Elmbank. Noel Sneleickz (sorry if the spelling is wrong) Marabank.
Shirrabank, Northbank and a second year on the Marabank the Chiefs were all Indians (sorry, couldn't resist it), and I can't remember their names.

Noel Snellex finished up lecturing at the sea school in Madang - met him a couple of times - don't know what happened when he retired though.

Ron Stringer
10th June 2010, 19:21
On the 'City of Lucknow', to avoid paying off in Tilbury and thereby coming under the baleful influence of the Marconi Staff Clerk at their East Ham depot, I signed on again to do the coasting trip. This involved Dunkirk and Antwerp plus Hull, Dundee and round to Birkenhead (and home on leave to Manchester). We were joined by a coasting crew at Tilbury which included a number of Scots engineers that clearly enjoyed a party. Every night there was a party in one or other of the engineers' cabins, on the main deck, port side.

On the first evening at dinner someone was telling a tale when the Chief Engineer came into the Saloon and someone whispered, 'Look out, St Michael is coming.' The subject was changed. Mystified, I waited until dinner was over and on the way out, asked why the Chief was called St Michael. 'You wait until tonight and you will see.

The party that night was in the 3rd Engineer's cabin and by about 11.00 it was in full swing with everyone well oiled and singing along to records of the Brothers Four, Kenneth McKellar and other favourites of the the 3/E. There was a banging on the door and when it was opened, there stood the C/E looking very red in the face and wearing blue-and-white striped pyjamas of the type sold by Mark and Spencers. He demanded that the noise be kept down, that all singing stopped and he be allowed to get some sleep. 'OK Chief,' was the reply and he went away. Everything then continued exactly as before.

'Now you know why he is St Michael' I was told.

For the non-Brits amongst the members, St Michael is the brand name under which clothing is sold in the Marks & Spencers chain of stores. Their underwear and nightwear used to be the automatic choice of the British middle classes.

This scene was repeated every night while we were in any port. During our visit to Dundee we were strikebound and so had a prolonged stay, in which time we made the acquaintance of most of the police that patrolled the docks at night (no dock gates there). After several nights of partying we obviously reached some breaking point with St Michael because this night on his visit he threatened that if the noise did not stop at once, he was going to fetch the police. That night we were in the 2nd Engineer's cabin and the 2/E flung the cabin door wide open and said, 'Will these two do?' revealing a police constable and his sergeant, both with drinks in their hands and each with a girl on his knee.

Collapse of St Michael. Although we were only in Dundee for a couple more nights, he never appeared at the parties thereafter.

david harrod
14th June 2010, 12:06
Noel Snellex finished up lecturing at the sea school in Madang - met him a couple of times - don't know what happened when he retired though.

I took over at the College in Madang when Noel retired after many years. The PNG Gov't awarded him the OBE for services rendered. He retired to Brisbane where he fortunately survived a massive heart attack; I understand he is well, but surprisingly has stopped smoking!

Donald McGhee
18th June 2010, 05:04
I remember the C/E on Inverbank, he was I think Burmese? Mr Bruhns. Heck of a good guy, mixed well, always had a good word with and for the apprentii.

Chief on Marabank was I think Mr Hanover, from W.Hartlepool, yes....the monkey joke was cracked a few times. Quiet guy. Can't remember the chief on Teviotbank, but he was driven mad on the maiden voyage, kept doing the bottom end bearings or something!

Only engineer I never took to (Teviotbank) was a "large" guy from South Shields, Simon someone, he was 4/E I think, a bit of a bully who ganged up on us with the Snr App, but the exception, not the rule, as the majority of the engineers were good guys and we got on well with them.
I think it's only when you reach Mate or Master that you start to battle with them!
Heres to "em.(Pint)

boatlarnie
19th June 2010, 19:20
I never sailed with Jimmy but met him so often when he was sailing in Bank Line that I got to know him quite well. In fact, once when on leave, I went to Fuengirola in Spain where he had an apartment and spent a holiday with him, inspecting all the "British Pubs" around Malaga!

He eventually married a Spanish woman whose name was Mariella and they both came to live in New York when I lived there. Jimmy took a job as hotel engineer at one of the very large tourist hotels in Manhattan.

He was a great chap and I'm glad to see that he is remembered along with such luminaries as Joe Hanover with whom I did not sail but was well regarded. I think Joe was also domiciled in Southern Spain.

Can't recall members of the engineering department without mentioning the remarkable Farquhar Mackenzie as 1st. Leckie whose friendship and ability to create good times whether afloat or ashore are recalled by many of his shipmates.

Hi Alastair,
Sailed with Farquhar on the Irisbank (1967-1968), he was a great shipmate, good sense of humour and extremely reliable helping out all and sundry when needs be. Only mistake I made was, when on leave after paying off Irisbank, visited Dornie to say Hi. Man, never left the place for 4 days for most of the time I was incapable of driving. Eventually the wife and I sneaked out to the car early one morning and took off otherwise we might still be there. Farquhar used to help out in the pub which closed its doors at 10 pm, only to open them 15 minutes later to allow the local bobby to join in the drinking.
What an extremely hospitable bunch of natives lived there in those days!!??
Alan

Charlie Stitt
28th August 2010, 19:39
We all know promotion in Bankline for Deck Officers was very good,but it did'nt really dawn on me, until now, just how good it also was for Engineers who kept their noses clean. From looking through my crew lists. Ian Blackburn was 4th Eng on the Teakbank, I was Mate, had our leave then we both joined the Forresbank, I was Mate, but Ian was now 2nd Engineer,(Uncert) with a Dispensation I think was the term used.??. Did'nt he do well.? Cheers Ian.(Pint)

Charlie Stitt
28th August 2010, 22:46
I would just like to add, Ian Blackburn, was the 2nd Engineer every Copra Run Mate could possibly wish for . All you Bankline Copra Run Mates will know what I mean when I say its good to have a Copra Run Second Engineer.( A second, without a moan, or a groan, who throws his weight behind helping the Mate pump bilges, fit steam coils in deeptanks etc) He sure made life on board a lot easier for me. Thank you Ian. (Thumb)

david harrod
30th August 2010, 06:11
I would just like to add, Ian Blackburn, was the 2nd Engineer every Copra Run Mate could possibly wish for . All you Bankline Copra Run Mates will know what I mean when I say its good to have a Copra Run Second Engineer.( A second, without a moan, or a groan, who throws his weight behind helping the Mate pump bilges, fit steam coils in deeptanks etc) He sure made life on board a lot easier for me. Thank you Ian. (Thumb)

I too had the great pleasure of sailing with Ian; I agree with all your remarks Charlie, a great bloke and a real gentleman.

Charlie Stitt
4th September 2010, 22:32
While serving with Bankline, I had the privilge to sail with some first class Second and Chief Engineers, but how did their careers kick off I wonder? On one ship, there was this chap from Glasgow who joined as first trip 2nd Lecky , his shore job prior to joining us was( I am not joking) erecting/rigging TV aerials.Now during that lenghty trip he kept a watch as a Junior Engineer. Was that not Bankline giving this young fellow a golden opportunity to becoming a Chief Engineer ? I also sailed with a Junior Engineer from Glasgow who served his time with Singer Sewing Machines. I don't think these guys would have had much luck getting started with the likes of Blue Flue .Some credit where credit is due please.

John Dryden
4th September 2010, 22:46
You are spot on about the opportunities in Bank Line for engineers,Charlie.I remember one first tripper and he told me his shore job was maintaining looms in Paisley and how boring it was.Another guy from Sheffield who probably had never seen a ship but soon learned I guess.Don,t know if they stayed at sea but they all enjoyed it on the ships I was on.

Charlie Stitt
5th September 2010, 08:58
Had a closer look through my wee book. The chap from Glasgow who served his time at Singers, was not a first tripper but a 3rd Engineer , and a darn good one too, yes, I believe he went on to become a Chief. He had to take a bit of ribbing that trip,'' come on, you are only a sewing machine mechanic''(Jester)

Abbeywood.
5th September 2010, 15:06
Just remembered the name of the Chief Engineer on the maiden voyage of the "Ernebank" from Sunderland in 1965 was Alan Wright. He was Anglo-Burmese and we actually went to Rangoon where he had a chance to meet up with some of his extended family who were living in a very poor way as a result of the oppressive conditions imposed upon the citizenry by the ruling junta. Mr. Wright eventually became the Bank Line Engineer Superintendent in Singapore.

Hi Alistair,
The above posting stirred my memory, I think !, (Ref: Alan Wright).
If he is the Chief that I have in mind then he was married to an Aussie and I sailed under him on the second voyage of Marabank, which ended in Immingham on 2nd March 1965, and which would probably fit in with your given date for the Ernebank.
I remember, if it is the same chap, that he had to suffer the rigours of the apartheid system in S. Africa. and go ashore separate from his wife. Needless to say they did'nt go ashore very much.
However he proved to a more than capable Chief as all the Engineers were learning the vagaries of an 5RD76 Sulzer, something new in the Bank Line inventory at that time.
Best regards, Pete' Lambert

Alistair Macnab
5th September 2010, 17:32
Abbeywood....
Thank you for your reminiscences about Alan Wright. Like all Bank Line officers of mixed heritage, he had problems in South Africa in those days. Reminds me of Wilkie Rutherford's wedding in Durban when he was Mate on the "Inchanga".
On board that ship we had only a handful of white officers so after the marriage took place ashore, Wilkie and Rosemarie, his new wife who was from Germany, came back aboard and the wedding reception was held aboard the ship. We had all the officers attending and all the Indian friends we had all made in Durban came aboard as well, and we had a marvellous time which we would not have been allowed to do ashore.
In my experience, those officers I sailed with who were of mixed ancestry, Pete Arrowsmith and Stan Sweeney were others, would sometimes get very down in their cups and express anger and frustration at their mixed ancestry.
Makes me wonder about any grandchildren of mine who will be mixed Vietnamese and American from my son's marriage last year. Admittedly, times have changed for the better and mixed heritage is now as commonplace as not!

PJW
5th September 2010, 20:54
Sailed with quite a few Bank Line engineers whilst serving my time and as 3/O. But also sailed with IanIan who started this thread on the Polarisman. A small chemical tanker owned and operated by Rowbothams. Perhaps there should be another thread stared of where we sailed with ex Bank Line officers?

Macphail
5th September 2010, 22:41
Post #43

I sailed with chief engineer Arrow smith as 3rd engineer, I was responsible for the engine injectors which I kept in good nick, being blue flue trained.
We docked in Canada Dock, Liverpool, on an early Friday evening, up the road to my uncle Chrissie’s house in Flinders Street off Vauxhall Road. Had a very good and happy time.
Arrived back on board slightly late on the Saturday morning.
Arrowsmith stated that I had been whoring up in Lime Street.
And should be logged.
Interviewed by the superintendent who was onboard at the time, Mr Banks.
Mr Banks originated from Wick.
Interview, where are you from, Thurso. Where were you last night, at my uncle Chrissie’s home, Chris Morrison from Thurso.
End of story.

John

Alistair Macnab
7th September 2010, 21:17
Aye! He has the richt name and he hails frae the richt airt!
How often have we all encountered and benefited from being a Hame Body!
Translate into Geordie, Scouse, Belfast, Bengali, Yaapi or whatever floats your boat!

Macphail
7th September 2010, 22:10
I am only stating the facts.

Alistair.

Pete Arrowsmith was a good man, being on "B" articles, we relied on the overtime, and Pete signed the overtime book with ease.
Bob Birse was the second, he stated that you will all do the work on watch and not claim overtime, what was his problem, stuck up the Weir family's arse?.
OK Bob, I duly flogged my overtime book and presented it to Pete when he was rounding of his paper work.
Everything boxed off. On the pay off day, Birse was leafing through the overtime books. The shout went up, what the hell is this, to late mate.
There where some shits in Bank Line.
I did three voyages on the Larchbank, enjoyed every minute, things where a bit basic. But the ports and the characters made up for it, plus the parties and the lovely LBD Doxford.

John.

rangan27
17th September 2010, 03:12
does anyone remember the M.V.yewbank during the vietnam years 1968-1969.
I sailed with her as a second engineer into Cambodia and Saigon during those hectic days of GIs and communistas-"Yankee Go Home" syndrome.
Would love to share my stories for those interested.
Rgds
raj

billyboy
17th September 2010, 06:16
Then please do Rangan27. Sure we all like to read about them. Maybe you can start a new thread called Vietnam war.

Alistair Macnab
18th September 2010, 17:58
To Rangan 27:
In addition to the "Yewbank"s steady employment on the Oriental African Line, the "Carronbank" was in the same position. We also called at Saigon where I was most impressed by the outwardly calm and order in the principal tree-lined avenues of the city and the tremendous range of good restaurants. The Cambodian port you possibly remember was Sihanoukville. It was a small concrete wharf of perhaps three or four berths with nothing else around about except the road to Phnom Pen.
But my memories are of 1962 vintage before the Americans were noticeably engaged. A good new thread, as has been suggested, would be Bank Line in the War Zones. South East Asia certainly comes to mind but also Suez, the Formosa Straits, the Beira Blockade and the India-Pakistan War of 1967 that brought about Bangladesh. Also Bank Line regularly called at Singapore and Malayan ports during the Emergency there and the Biafran Seccession was going on when Bank Line ships called in that region.
What a store of stories there must be!

To Macphail.....
I knew Bob Birse and Pete Arrowsmith well and actually sailed with Pete twice but never with Bob. Both were 'company men' and its interesting to note your comments on the overtime question. I only sailed as an Uncertificated Third Mate with overtime, all my other ranks were without overtime payments. Nevertheless, as a senior officer responsible for checking others' overtime records, both officer and crew ranks, it was a bothersome task and one I would rather not have been involved with! There is always a time when the Company's interests have to weighed against a personal friendship. I'm sure I flunked the test more than once!

rangan27
18th September 2010, 23:25
Dear Allister--Thank you for the memories.It was strange days indeed.We were young and did not know the full extent of all the killings that was going on around us and I feel very sad that we contributed to these killings in some sad way- we did carry arms to the americans on our ships which made us guilty to in the grand scheme of things- yes siyanoukville does come to mind and of course the killing fieilds. We were also into Hiroshima and Nagasake during our voyages-(the A-Bomb Sites) and i am glad for the experiences and the knowledge what peopel do to people and the human condition after the wars. We continue on our life's journeys with a destination in mind-god bless.Raj

Alan Rawlinson
19th September 2010, 13:12
Dear Allister--Thank you for the memories.It was strange days indeed.We were young and did not know the full extent of all the killings that was going on around us and I feel very sad that we contributed to these killings in some sad way- we did carry arms to the americans on our ships which made us guilty to in the grand scheme of things- yes siyanoukville does come to mind and of course the killing fieilds. We were also into Hiroshima and Nagasake during our voyages-(the A-Bomb Sites) and i am glad for the experiences and the knowledge what peopel do to people and the human condition after the wars. We continue on our life's journeys with a destination in mind-god bless.Raj

Well put...

"Man's inhumanity to man" as Robert Burns aptly called it back in 1784.

jimthehat
19th September 2010, 19:12
ettrickbank ,2years far east run,the chief was from ceylon,had his wife and little daughter with him,perfect gentleman,having a few slides printed next week ,so will be able to post a photo of him and a couple of others going ashore in the company launch in Hongkong.

jimHERE IS THE ETTRICKBANK PHOTO C/E AND 3 OTHER ENG EARLY 60S

JIM

Macphail
19th September 2010, 22:22
MacNab,

"I knew Bob Birse and Pete Arrowsmith well and actually sailed with Pete twice but never with Bob. Both were 'company men' ."

I was not a "Bank Line Man", professional third engineer working off the pool. Did three happy voyages on the MV "Larchbank".
Bank line company men did not operate fairplay.
Cadets as slave labour.

Macphail.

Alan Rawlinson
20th September 2010, 07:46
MacNab,

"I knew Bob Birse and Pete Arrowsmith well and actually sailed with Pete twice but never with Bob. Both were 'company men' ."

I was not a "Bank Line Man", professional third engineer working off the pool. Did three happy voyages on the MV "Larchbank".
Bank line company men did not operate fairplay.
Cadets as slave labour.

Macphail.


I could never accept this ' slave labour ' theory. I can see where it comes from - young fit men doing important and essential jobs around the ship, working hard in many cases, and putting in long hours when needed, and all for token wages. ( 4.11.08 per month in my case)

The opposite side of the coin is that it was a beginning, a learning of the trade with a promise of better things to come. The wages were low but the outgoings were minimal, with all found in terms of food and accommodation. It was accepted by the cadets/apprentices and their families at the outset, i.e. voluntary, and with no compulsion to sign on, unlike the military in times of war for example.

I think we lose sight of the fact that it was a contract between the company and the individual. Yes, the company got extremely good value from the work that would have cost a lot more on the open labour market, ( hence the slave labour theory) but the cadet/apprentice got a grounding, seatime, and often the knowledge that a better paid job as an officer was assured.

Such an existance would benefit thousands of teenage layabouts today if the opportunity arose.

Am I alone in thinking it was a great start to working life?

xrm
20th September 2010, 08:34
Can't remember the chief's name or the 3E on the right - can anyone?

Taken on Christmas Day - 1970 / 71 - not sure

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/37756/title/christmas-day-19-3f-3f/cat/all

pete
20th September 2010, 08:48
I could never accept this ' slave labour ' theory. I can see where it comes from - young fit men doing important and essential jobs around the ship, working hard in many cases, and putting in long hours when needed, and all for token wages. ( 4.11.08 per month in my case)

The opposite side of the coin is that it was a beginning, a learning of the trade with a promise of better things to come. The wages were low but the outgoings were minimal, with all found in terms of food and accommodation. It was accepted by the cadets/apprentices and their families at the outset, i.e. voluntary, and with no compulsion to sign on, unlike the military in times of war for example.

I think we lose sight of the fact that it was a contract between the company and the individual. Yes, the company got extremely good value from the work that would have cost a lot more on the open labour market, ( hence the slave labour theory) but the cadet/apprentice got a grounding, seatime, and often the knowledge that a better paid job as an officer was assured.

Such an existance would benefit thousands of teenage layabouts today if the opportunity arose.

Am I alone in thinking it was a great start to working life?

I fully concur Alan. As you move upwards you base your Learning on the knowledge gained during your apprenticeship Thus if you are lucky enough to get to the "Top of the Heap" you can honestly say "I would never send a Man to do a job that I cannot do myself". Everything from Truck to Bilge.........................pete

Joe C
20th September 2010, 15:04
I could never accept this ' slave labour ' theory. I can see where it comes from - young fit men doing important and essential jobs around the ship, working hard in many cases, and putting in long hours when needed, and all for token wages. ( 4.11.08 per month in my case)

The opposite side of the coin is that it was a beginning, a learning of the trade with a promise of better things to come. The wages were low but the outgoings were minimal, with all found in terms of food and accommodation. It was accepted by the cadets/apprentices and their families at the outset, i.e. voluntary, and with no compulsion to sign on, unlike the military in times of war for example.

I think we lose sight of the fact that it was a contract between the company and the individual. Yes, the company got extremely good value from the work that would have cost a lot more on the open labour market, ( hence the slave labour theory) but the cadet/apprentice got a grounding, seatime, and often the knowledge that a better paid job as an officer was assured.

Such an existance would benefit thousands of teenage layabouts today if the opportunity arose.

Am I alone in thinking it was a great start to working life?

As Apprentices we were,in the main in our teens which meant we were minors and as such were made wards of the Captain so both the Apprentice and his parents were clearly aware it was the first serious step in a career rather than a money making enterprise.
I can't remember having too much time allocated to the correspondence course so most of our time was spent "learning the ropes".
Alan was on 4.11.8, per month and I recall starting on 7.1.8, Things were looking up!

Macphail
20th September 2010, 23:21
Post # 55.

"I could never accept this ' slave labour ' theory"

I can only compare, Blue Funnel, 1960 to 64. Hold deep tanks carried palm oil under controlled conditions. The tanks where cleaned, and prepared, by a large work squad in Singapore.

Bank Line...
The cadets carried out the task of preparing the deep tanks, I really felt sorry for them, steaming out the tanks, applying chloride pellets, chloride burns all over there legs and exhausted.
Character building to become a deck officer. Rubbish, Slave labour.

The ship-owner has only one god that is the dollar, they will Sh*t on everybody to get it.
The disappearance of the Norwegian seafarer is a good example.

Alan Rawlinson
21st September 2010, 07:07
T'was ever thus.....

Can see your point about ship owners getting value for money.. However the ' slave labour ' tag is still a misnomer when you consider that we all ( fortunately) worked in a free world with a choice. Our eyes were wide open, and some of us enjoyed it immensely!

Post # 55.

"I could never accept this ' slave labour ' theory"

I can only compare, Blue Funnel, 1960 to 64. Hold deep tanks carried palm oil under controlled conditions. The tanks where cleaned, and prepared, by a large work squad in Singapore.

Bank Line...
The cadets carried out the task of preparing the deep tanks, I really felt sorry for them, steaming out the tanks, applying chloride pellets, chloride burns all over there legs and exhausted.
Character building to become a deck officer. Rubbish, Slave labour.

The ship-owner has only one god that is the dollar, they will Sh*t on everybody to get it.
The disappearance of the Norwegian seafarer is a good example.

Charlie Stitt
21st September 2010, 11:10
Post # 55.

"I could never accept this ' slave labour ' theory"

I can only compare, Blue Funnel, 1960 to 64. Hold deep tanks carried palm oil under controlled conditions. The tanks where cleaned, and prepared, by a large work squad in Singapore.

Bank Line...
The cadets carried out the task of preparing the deep tanks, I really felt sorry for them, steaming out the tanks, applying chloride pellets, chloride burns all over there legs and exhausted.
Character building to become a deck officer. Rubbish, Slave labour.

The ship-owner has only one god that is the dollar, they will Sh*t on everybody to get it.
The disappearance of the Norwegian seafarer is a good example.

The Bank Line had little to do with ,who prepared deep tanks, it was the Chief Officer who was responsible for who did this job, when I was C/O, except for laying steam coils, I had the Lascars do most of the cleaning work, the Apprentices completed the job with a final hose down. I'm sure in the Engineroom, it was the Second Engineer, not the Company who decided who did what job. Yes I must admit some Mates and Second Engineers were a bit twisted which did nothing for the Company's image.

Winebuff
21st September 2010, 18:21
As an Engineering Cadet in the 70's (Bank Lines first intake 1974) I never felt I was used as slave labour, yes we got some dirty jobs but then again there are not that many clean ones when handling heavy oil and bilge water. The real dirty stuff, cleaning purifier plates and moping up was always carried out by the crew. Doubt H&S would allow us to wash off in diesel/gas oil any more.
I was spoiled my wages started at 57/month all found digs and meal allowance at college.

Peter Smith
74-84

mwebster56
23rd September 2010, 16:31
I am only stating the facts.

Alistair.

Pete Arrowsmith was a good man, being on "B" articles, we relied on the overtime, and Pete signed the overtime book with ease.
Bob Birse was the second, he stated that you will all do the work on watch and not claim overtime, what was his problem, stuck up the Weir family's arse?.
OK Bob, I duly flogged my overtime book and presented it to Pete when he was rounding of his paper work.
Everything boxed off. On the pay off day, Birse was leafing through the overtime books. The shout went up, what the hell is this, to late mate.
There where some shits in Bank Line.
I did three voyages on the Larchbank, enjoyed every minute, things where a bit basic. But the ports and the characters made up for it, plus the parties and the lovely LBD Doxford.

John.

Hi John
You are dead right (the single line above your last paragraph!) and Birse was one of them.
It was a strange phenomenon; Some of the people who would not give you overtime when we were on B articles, were very keen on overtime when we went onto A articles in the mid 70's. Strange that isn't it?
Mike

Charlie Stitt
8th December 2010, 16:33
I remember, on the Laganbank in 1961, we had a young Australian Chief called Alan Smith, he was a real sport, and was the life of any party.We were enjoying a few bevvies in the smokeroom when a bit of horseplay broke out, Alan threw a beercan, it missed its target and hit the fancy glass panel in the door, Smash. Alan had to go and report the breakage to the Old Man, who just happened to be , no other than Capt F F Feint RNR, who expected every officer to behave in a gentlemanly manner. It still brings a smile to my face when I think back on how we all gathered at the bottom of the stairway, to hear Alans amazing explaination of how the glass got broken. (==D)

matt mcgrotty
21st December 2010, 17:30
Sailed with a Chief called T.A.M. Searle on the Avonbank,must be the most bogus Chief ever.He could not take to us Scots,I was 6th Engineer on The Avonbank,he wound me up so much I tried to push him in the Harbour in Quito,South America.Needless to say at the end of the day the fat idiot won:he got me sacked.Dont know if anyone else had a run in with the idiot.

Doxford76J6
17th January 2011, 17:27
So you also survived the TAYBANK! I sailed on it as a first trip engineer cadet in 1977. Ye gods!

Silver5
20th January 2011, 15:39
Does anyone of you remember a Mr. Bob Bailey (Robert A.) chief engineer on the Esso Cardiff in 1962-1963? and even better does anyone has a picture of him, because I have one but would like to have more, because he was my father. He had a daughter Jennifer Bailey, and two sons Robert F. Bailey and Timothy Bailey. (the last one I am having contact with now but it doesn't goes smoodly) I know my father was born in New Zealand and lived in Falmouth cornwall (UK)
If you know more please help me?

Doxford76J6
20th January 2011, 22:08
Hello Alistair,

I met Jimmy and had the pleasure of sailing with some great Chiefs. I also had the great pleasure of sailing with Farquhar and wholly endorse your feelings. I joined Bank Line as an Eng cadet in 1975, left in 1987 as 2nd engineer with the Meadowbank when she was sold and sailed on her as Chief for the German buyers for two years. I joined the Salvage Association in 1989 in Antwerp and transferred to New York in 1992. Been here ever since. Now President of Noble Denton New York, still running a casualty surveying office.

Nice to be in touch.

John Poulson

Scoddie
21st January 2011, 13:45
McQueen C/E on Maplebank - 1970(?)

Vans Thompson 2/E on Nessbank - 1972

I sailed with Vans on Caledonian Macbraynes Ferries and met him a few times while with Bank Line. Another good guy!!

Alistair Macnab
21st January 2011, 15:45
John.....

Great to see that you have found a good berth ashore in NY. Noble Denton are also in Houston and I know them to be an excellent company. Several of my friends have worked for them in the past. Over the years I have discovered a number of ex-Bank Line men on this side of the pond!

Alistair.