Bank Line cargo.

John Dryden
8th May 2010, 02:56
The things we used to take to New Guinea to this day baffle me.Dundee cake has already been mentioned and rightly so,Johnny Walker whisky,Vat 69 and endless cases of fine German lager along with numerous handy household items far to expensive to even contemplate.Maybe it,s just me thinking PNG was paradise but we took three Morgan sports cars there on the Olivebank during 1969 along with a few other expensive vehicles.
Not forgetting the missionaries as passengers who were heading for the hills, for what ever reason Bank boats did it.Suez was closed at that time too so it was even more remarkable.
The Copra ships not forgotten either,they all played a part in the Andrew Weir days of profitable tramping on the oceans of the world.
JD.

Donald McGhee
8th May 2010, 04:07
Well remember the cargo variety. Machetes, sanitary towels (which the labour used to hook over their ears to keep out cement dust!), hurricane lamps,a variety of hardware and all sorts of trade goods I suppose.
I guess back in the early days it would have been beads and blankets, hatchets and mirrors as well!

Cars, land rovers, the occassional small boat, plenty of grog, which we guarded faithfully (yeah right!) Most interesting. Now ya get a ruddy great container, how boring.(Thumb)

Alan Rawlinson
8th May 2010, 08:13
Well remember the cargo variety. Machetes, sanitary towels (which the labour used to hook over their ears to keep out cement dust!), hurricane lamps,a variety of hardware and all sorts of trade goods I suppose.
I guess back in the early days it would have been beads and blankets, hatchets and mirrors as well!

Cars, land rovers, the occassional small boat, plenty of grog, which we guarded faithfully (yeah right!) Most interesting. Now ya get a ruddy great container, how boring.(Thumb)

This reminds me of a trip up to Fanning Island on the Southbank, with a strange mix of cargo, some on deck - what you would expect for island life, with batteries ( and beer) prominent. There was also a 40 or 50 ft long bulky timber beam, which was destined to be the roof truss for a new community hall, and eagerly awaited. On arrival it was slung over the side to waiting boats, and unfortunately slipped slowly out of the strops and disappeared into the oggin, end on. I have a vivid memory of everyone leaning over the side, waiting for the beam to resurface - something which never happened, as it was probably hardwood. Can recall seeing tears from some locals, and I felt a mixture of anger and deep remorse for not personally checking the slinging arrangements.

Charlie Stitt
8th May 2010, 11:46
One of two large tank we carried on deck Forresbank 1966. US GUlf to Fremantle.Attracted media attention.

Alistair Macnab
8th May 2010, 17:41
From the U.S. Gulf to Australasia which ultimately became three ships a month to Australia and one ship a month to New Zealand. When I was first involved with this service we carried mainly bulk parcels of fertilizer or sulphur which were levelled out, dunnaged over and overstowed with cotton in bales. Hatch squares were saved for plate glass, tractors and light aeroplanes and we all remember the carbon black in pallets and the bulk oil parcels in the deeptanks.
As time went on, the dry bulk parcels phased out except for the petroleum coke in a "short" hold like No.3 in the later 6-tank ships. General cargo began to predominate as well as heavy projects for Bougainville, Queensland and Fremantle which consisted of KD draglines and drill rigs. All sizes of tractors were regular features. Neo-bulks included pre-slung bagged soybean meal, filter clay and drilling mud with rolls of newsprint on pallets and unitized bales of woodpulp. And, of course, bulk oil parcels in deeptanks!
Its no wonder that this trade was difficult to containerize either on the basis of size, weight or value!

david harrod
11th May 2010, 09:01
Tea, cinnamon, coir and coconut, shellac, madras tobacco to africa, cashews, resin, giraffes and ostriches back to india; cloves in zanzibar leaving the tween deck lockers tainted for months; jute, gunnies, carpets...this sounds a little like Masefields apes and peacocks...in a way it was, but it was also great fun...

Alistair Macnab
11th May 2010, 18:29
The cargoes carried between the two continents was indeed evocative of John Masefield's "Cargoes". I well remember the newspaper advertisment in the Durban daily paper that showed a picture of the "Inchanga"s bow with Captain B.H. Jackson standing on the quay beside it and the caption: "One Million Pounds of 'Five Roses' Tea Rushed to You Every Month in Peak Condition". (The packets of tea were carried in tea chests with labels wrtten in English and Africaans).

The northbound cargoes back to India included wattle bark, copper and zinc slabs from LM and Beira (actually originating in the Rhodesias) and bagged soda ash and bales of sisal from Dar and Mombasa.

The cashew nuts were a B.I. sub charter in season with a B.I. Bill of Lading to Cochin for shelling. Aparently the Indians were better at removing the nuts from the fleshy exterior than the Africans. It seems there was a terrible stain left on the fingers from the process which the Tamils didn't mind or had some method of counteracting(?)

One voyage, we went to Capetown and loaded 2,000 tons of canned pilchards originally from South-west Africa/Namibia and destined for Madras and Calcutta. Usually the most southerly port was Durban where, if you remember, Bank Line despatched ships to East Africa, Bay of Bengal ports, Far East ports, River Plate ports and West Coast of South America ports on a liner basis. Durban was truly a Bank Line hub.

jimthehat
12th May 2010, 00:39
The cargoes carried between the two continents was indeed evocative of John Masefield's "Cargoes". I well remember the newspaper advertisment in the Durban daily paper that showed a picture of the "Inchanga"s bow with Captain B.H. Jackson standing on the quay beside it and the caption: "One Million Pounds of 'Five Roses' Tea Rushed to You Every Month in Peak Condition". (The packets of tea were carried in tea chests with labels wrtten in English and Africaans).

The northbound cargoes back to India included wattle bark, copper and zinc slabs from LM and Beira (actually originating in the Rhodesias) and bagged soda ash and bales of sisal from Dar and Mombasa.

The cashew nuts were a B.I. sub charter in season with a B.I. Bill of Lading to Cochin for shelling. Aparently the Indians were better at removing the nuts from the fleshy exterior than the Africans. It seems there was a terrible stain left on the fingers from the process which the Tamils didn't mind or had some method of counteracting(?)

One voyage, we went to Capetown and loaded 2,000 tons of canned pilchards originally from South-west Africa/Namibia and destined for Madras and Calcutta. Usually the most southerly port was Durban where, if you remember, Bank Line despatched ships to East Africa, Bay of Bengal ports, Far East ports, River Plate ports and West Coast of South America ports on a liner basis. Durban was truly a Bank Line hub.
Always popped into Zanzibar northbound ,cant remember what spices we loaded.
far east run on the ettrickbank were as alistair has stated with the addition of Copper concentrate in bags,one trip northbound we had the smoke alarms go off in no lower t/d three days out from singaporeblasted in co2 ,got to singapore fire brigade on board kept on blasting in co2 then discharging the cargo ,then more co2 and so on for four weeks,later found out out that the fire had started due spontainous combustion in the copper concentrate.

jim

John Dryden
12th May 2010, 01:10
It was never a pleasure going down into the holds to check on any cargo movement then trying to put it right in the semi darkness.Creaking and groaning as it did, and clambering over it to get it lashed down it was always good to get back up on deck and into the fresh air.
I think,Jim,we had one minor outbreak of a fire in bales of gunny,same kind of thing I think so we had to keep an eye on it.

david harrod
12th May 2010, 04:14
And then there was fishmeal!

I also remember loading (Lindenbank I think) a cargpo of whale oil from Albany, it would have been close to the last one ever shipped from there; surprisingly it had no smell.

Very interesting cargoes on the EAC charter (Sibonga/Siena...Firbank/Cloverbank) I remember being in Longview the day that Elvis died and seeing longshoremen weeping; it was OK tho' because within an hour he had been sighted 6 times!

Joe C
12th May 2010, 18:26
Bungs and casings in barrels in brine which leaked and rotted the tank tops.Animal innards,not as romantic as all those spices.

Winebuff
18th May 2010, 18:24
Crestbank circa 1981. Loaded a large white container in Barcelona described as "Air Conditioning Plant" bound for Iraq during Iran/Iraq war. It was brought by road all the way from Hamburg where we had been a week before.
It had no visible air ducts and was designated as deck cargo, when we arrived we were called into port and they came to unload it with a large military presence and we were then sent away to anchor/drift for several days.
Not sure with hindsight I actually want to know what it was.
Best to keep ones head down in the old ER, out of sight and out of mind.

Peter Smith
74-84

Andy Lavies
18th May 2010, 21:36
Bagged fibrous asbestos, ivory tusks, monstrous logs, hot chillies, coal, china clay, sulphur, bulldozers, hundreds of VW's to Kota Baru (Yes, we did start off towards the wrong Kota Baru!.) Just some of the cargoes I came across.
Andy

Charlie Stitt
4th November 2010, 12:22
Remember while discharging bulk sulphur with grabs, if the grab struck the tween deck coaming, causing a spark, all the sulphur dust in the hold went up in a mighty flash. I never did stand on deck with my head over the coaming after seeing this for the first time, still have my eyebrows.

xrm
4th November 2010, 12:50
Carried Armoured Cars, Timber, and on the Maplebank a Tug on the foredeck

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/37748/title/bank-line-apprentice/cat/all

jimthehat
4th November 2010, 13:03
Carried Armoured Cars, Timber, and on the Maplebank a Tug on the foredeck

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/37748/title/bank-line-apprentice/cat/all

We never needed a tug on the old maplebank,the old steam engine never broke down,not like the doxfords.

jim

pete
4th November 2010, 14:02
Carried a Hovercraft fom UK to Moresby on No.2 Hatch. Bl**dy impeller (Prop)?? broke loose and the canopy filled. Good Fun (In retrospect}. BTW Charlie, I have about 100 further Images to post about the Elmbank all taken by my late father, all ready to post at 6 per day.......................pete

Charlie Stitt
4th November 2010, 14:29
On Laganbank I think it was, we carried a passenger home from Fiji, nothing unusual about that, except he brought his old car with him.It was an old standard ten, if I remember right, and we stowed it on top of number four hatch. I don't know how much he paid Bankline to ship this for him, but I reckon at the end of the day, it cost him nothing, as he got his monies worth in paint etc. He had the wheels off and all under the mudguards and underneath cleaned off and redleaded etc, the Cassab could often be seen running to and fro with cans of paint, grease, and all sorts, yes his car got more work done to it than our ship got in drydock. We all wondered why he felt it worth shipping that old car Home, obviously he knew something about it we did'nt.

pete
4th November 2010, 19:20
I suppose that most of us carried Sugar from Queensland to Malaysia/Singapore and Phosphate from Nauru/Ocean/Makatea to Australasia however on Hazelbank bound for W.C.S.A we loaded in the Bay of Bengal discharged in East Africa but on arrival in Durban we played "Mummy" to umpteen Bank Boats as they gave us their W.C.S.A cargo. At one time there were 7 of us in the harbour, 6 on the Island and 1 under the Sugar shute. Never drank so much "Castle" in my life. Love the damnable stuff even now..................pete

jimthehat
5th November 2010, 01:02
I suppose that most of us carried Sugar from Queensland to Malaysia/Singapore and Phosphate from Nauru/Ocean/Makatea to Australasia however on Hazelbank bound for W.C.S.A we loaded in the Bay of Bengal discharged in East Africa but on arrival in Durban we played "Mummy" to umpteen Bank Boats as they gave us their W.C.S.A cargo. At one time there were 7 of us in the harbour, 6 on the Island and 1 under the Sugar shute. Never drank so much "Castle" in my life. Love the damnable stuff even now..................pete

never picked up sugar in Oz ,but loaded a full cargo bulk sugar in Durban for vancouver,a long trip in the old clydebank.

jim

Donald McGhee
5th November 2010, 01:34
I remember loading sugar at Mourilyan, port for Innisfail and drinking some awful stuff called Abbotts lager! can anyone remember that?
Back in the late 60,s that was and the trip into town was memorable, lots of hard Aussies in black singlets, all brown and wrinkly from the sun, all cane workers.

I guess that's all changed now, but I can also remember the Singaporean labour when we discharged at Jurong, ladies, and some very accommodating too, but that was yesterday and the dreams are getting faded! Maybe they were just women?

Back to work on Sunday, and reality, what a bugger!(Pint)

Alan Rawlinson
5th November 2010, 09:03
Loaded consecutive sugar cargoes in Cuba on the old Ernebank- the first one on what must be the shortest run for a full load from Cuba to New Orleans! Can anyone match this for the shortest full load voyage? Then we returned to Cuba for another load for Yokohama, Kobe, and Moji.
Happy days.....

Billieboy
5th November 2010, 11:29
Having a sweet tooth, I seem to remember being involved with some repairs on the largest ever molasses cargo ever delivered to Ghent, about 37K tonnes I think it was.

The main problem was the emergency fire pump in the fore peak, it had a big hole in the bend, between the sea suction valve and the pump suction. A simple repair, when we finally found the damage. Took a day to find.

Charlie Stitt
5th November 2010, 12:17
Sugar from all around the World, it appears, but us guys on the Inverbank 2 must have loaded it in the best place, ROSARIO and BA, for Gramercy, knowing that after discharge, we were loading back to Aussie.. OK I hear you mention Japan, but we got there from Whyalla Aussie, with a load of salt.Come to think of it, we seemed to hit ALL the right places that trip.

Waighty
5th November 2010, 14:52
I remember on Avonbank 1970 we carried a Rover 2000TC out to Honiara. Having "drifted" the car at almost every port before Rabaul wew were very pleased to get to Honiara and finally offload it. The proud new owner was standing ashore eagerly awating his new toy, when the dockers dropped a hatch board right through the windscreen. Oh s h 1 t!!!!

Charlie Stitt
5th November 2010, 15:57
I remember on Avonbank 1970 we carried a Rover 2000TC out to Honiara. Having "drifted" the car at almost every port before Rabaul wew were very pleased to get to Honiara and finally offload it. The proud new owner was standing ashore eagerly awating his new toy, when the dockers dropped a hatch board right through the windscreen. Oh s h 1 t!!!!

Thank you Waighty, I love this type of story, and can just picture it in my mind. (==D)

Winebuff
5th November 2010, 17:17
Sugar out of Cairns on the Firbank. Not sure how but missed high tide or overloaded(?) had to cut our own channel through the sand bar to get out. A case of home James and don't spare the horses as we slid out.

jimthehat
5th November 2010, 19:02
on the far east run loading westbound ,I can remember boxes of sandels that used to get broken into by the east and south african dockers.
Now was it just fantasy or were the sandels all loaded left shoes in one box and right in another and that dockers could be seen going ashore in two left or right shoes.

jim

xrm
5th November 2010, 19:27
Used to carry BATA shoes / boots from India (?). They were not shipped in pairs and were mixed in lots.

Charlie Stitt
5th November 2010, 20:14
Jars of peanut butter, tins of cashew nuts, bound for BA from India etc. Some thieving git chucked some into my cabin, left me with no option but to eat the evidence.

rabaul
5th November 2010, 22:54
Loading sugar from barges off Pimentel Peru on the Lossiebank -bleeding bags into the holds over christmas and new year 1977/78 - no hurry one barge a day over almost three weeks - we became part of the local scenery - invites to first foot the locals - trips on an old bus to Chiclayo to eat spicey chicken and drink cheap red wine. The sugar was bound for China but we all paid off in Panama after 9 months sailing from Mombasa to Bangkok to Japan back to S Africa across the S Atlantic - through Magellan Straits and north up the west coast of S America

Alan Rawlinson
6th November 2010, 09:04
on the far east run loading westbound ,I can remember boxes of sandels that used to get broken into by the east and south african dockers.
Now was it just fantasy or were the sandels all loaded left shoes in one box and right in another and that dockers could be seen going ashore in two left or right shoes.

jim

Brings it all back, Jim... Can remember being in the hold in Durban watching cartons and boxes of silk items , dresses, blouses, scarves etc from the Far East. Shoes too. The African dockers would go ashore at the end of the shift all dressed up in gaudy flowing silk dresses and 2 left shoes, singing and dancing in their usual cheeful way..

pete
6th November 2010, 11:02
Sugar seemed to come from everywhere, loaded in Fiji from a vey small Jetty with a small railway running along a very long jetty. We had picked up all the labour in Fiji and they lived on top of No.3 Hatch. Good music at night. Also loaded in Maceio, Brazil, and fetched up in the Harbour swinging round the pick for about 2 weeks and when we got alongside it took 2 weeks to load. Howevber the consolation prize was the USHS Hope was alongside and their "Staff" were very friendly.!!!..........................pete

Charlie Stitt
6th November 2010, 12:44
In the 6o's, due to the Russian missile saga, relations between the US and Cuba were Artic Cold and all trade between them halted, Cuba was screaming out for lub oil. On the Forresbank, when we completed discharge of our City LIne charter cargo in Quebec and Montreal, CHEEKY Bankline gave us a parcel of Lub Oil to drop off at Havana on our way to Galveston. We were supposed to drydock on arrival Galveston, NO CHANCE, we lay for days while Capt Broadley begged our American friends forgiveness.

John Dryden
7th November 2010, 00:19
Loaded sugar twice,first time from Townsville all the way to St Johns N.B.,a 33 day voyage stopping at Christobal for fuel and fresh water for a few hours.Next time Cairns to Penang,a shorter voyage.
Another time we loaded bags of cement in Hamburg for New Guinea.Looking back now I imagine that cement must have been rock hard by the time we unloaded it as it poured down all night.We had already put sawdust on the deep tank bottom to dry it out so it was already soaking down there.I suppose when loading in the the Continent(old fashioned name for Europe?)time was of the essence.