Bankline training

rcraig
8th June 2010, 19:12
The benefits of Bankline training! Who would have thought it, 54 years on and straight into action, reflexes and vision as acute as ever, as if I had never been away.

Enjoying a lovely bit of lemon sponge, sweet and tangy, fresh and with enough cholesterol content to block an artery at 3 paces, lulled into giving up the old practice of tapping out the contents on a plate, I spotted that old familiar little brown "thing", still and docile nestling on the side of the cake and sharing it with me.

Ahh....the waves of nostalgia swept over me. A weevil, not seen for many a year. I swear it was flying Bankline colours...wonder if it could have been trained? Almost wept a tear as I washed it away..


Unfortunately, websites shatter all dreams. Apparently you could catch E. coli from them. Still, the bright side is that I actually thought my senility and infirmity were caused by old age...but now I know.

Now let me dig in the cupboard...could be a copra beetle around and the cup would really be overflowing

Alistair Macnab
8th June 2010, 22:06
The odd weevil, copra bug and even jute moth didn't spook me as much as cockroaches! I saw my first Bombay Canary at, where else? Bombay. I was climbing over some painting stages and assorted ship stuff stowed on the docking bridge, when I came face-to-face with what I took to be the head of some kind of alien monster but which turned out to be a particularly enormous cockroach. I was frightened out of my wits as a first tripper! After that, of course, cockroaches and I became co-occupants of a series of Bank Boats and were especially present in the saloon pantry in the middle of the night when visiting to raid the fridge! But this has been mentioned before. The audible scurry of little footsteps over the tile floor which turned from an iridescent heaving black to white in front of your very eyes.Arghhhh! It spooks me out even writing about it!

John Campbell
8th June 2010, 22:17
Ray and Alistair -many thanks for those excellent descriptions of weeevils and cockroaches - sheer nostalgia which after all is what this great site is about.
Lang may your funnel reek!
JC

Ian Harrod
9th June 2010, 10:04
C'mon Alistair; raiding the fridge? What did you expect to find? Even the seagulls flew astern of a Bank Line ship using one wing as they had their lunch under the other!

Anyway, the curled meat paste sandwiches had already been delivered to the bridge box on the chartroom settee.

Charlie Stitt
9th June 2010, 11:25
Thank you Ian, your comments sure put a smile on my face. Glad to hear Bank Line training in the catering department remained the same for years after I left the Company, ''curled meat paste sarnies left on the chartroom settee'' Yummy, and that grey, course textured home made bread they were made from, remember it well, no regrets. (Thumb)

jimthehat
9th June 2010, 12:18
Thank you Ian, your comments sure put a smile on my face. Glad to hear Bank Line training in the catering department remained the same for years after I left the Company, ''curled meat paste sarnies left on the chartroom settee'' Yummy, and that grey, course textured home made bread they were made from, remember it well, no regrets. (Thumb)

18 months on a white crew ship was the best training,4 months at sea crew all drunk,so straight in at the deep end lowering and topping derricks with the bull wire just wrapped round the drum,NO lashing.
Charlie,that course textured bread now sells as speciality bread in tesco at 1.35 a loaf.

jim

Alistair Macnab
9th June 2010, 16:49
In the first place, the lock had to have been sabotaged early in the voyage and it always was. Secondly, you are correct that its contents overnight were either meager or nothing at all. But the irresistible draw that kept raiders coming back night after night was always the chance that something had been left in the fridge, forgotten and abandoned. A corner of moldy cheese, a half-empty milkjug of watered down Carnation, a beer can placed earlier in the fridge by a very junior and very new engineer who was to learn the folly of his actions at the end of his watch.
It wasn't so much for the inevitable disappointment as the pleasurable anticipation: something akin to what must have driven the Klondikers into the frozen tundra in search of the elusive gold. After all, where would you store a dead seagull that had dropped from the sky due to starvation? There was always the chance that the bird had dropped dead before getting around to eating his packed lunch.
Perhaps I was thinking of the occasions when the pantry fridge was stocked for the night steward to perform his overnight magical miracles when midnight Bore standbys interfered with the customary evening visit to Free School Street?

Charlie Stitt
9th June 2010, 17:02
Will be back shortly Jim, just popping up to Tesco for a loaf, must get a jar of that meat paste as well to make my sarnies. I will have to leave them overnight to let the corners curl up,then, with a cup of stewed tea with tinned milk of course, take them out to my garage,(where lingers, a good strong smell of hemp and paint), close my eyes and there I shall be sitting on number three hatch Myrtlebank. Dream On. (Jester)

Donald McGhee
9th June 2010, 23:34
You guys definitely brought a tear to my eyes! Isn't it amazing that we still hanker after some of the the things that would have the health inspectors descending in droves?

I guess that some things like tea and condensed milk are an acquired taste, borne of necessity, but still savoured today by people of our ilk, and may I say, much to my wife's disgust! Why, asks the food and drink police, do you enjoy that muck when fresh milk is available?

Why indeed. Why do we enjoy, or remember fondly, food (I use the term loosely) that even the dog would think twice about eating?

I have even gone so far as inducting my Grandsons into the food lore, tabnabs are now a common term and to see a 4 year old asking for a tabnab and a cuppa char, with condensed like Pappa has, is a joy.

John Dryden
10th June 2010, 01:40
C'mon Alistair; raiding the fridge? What did you expect to find? Even the seagulls flew astern of a Bank Line ship using one wing as they had their lunch under the other!

Anyway, the curled meat paste sandwiches had already been delivered to the bridge box on the chartroom settee.

I remember the chart room settee sarnies too,have a look at them and think to yourself I can,t eat them.Three hours later wolf 'em down and they tasted delicious.Sometimes used to nibble them to last longer!

Joe C
11th June 2010, 18:03
People nowadays seem to have a different take on food from those of us who experienced Bank Line fare.
A few months ago I brought home a packet of poppadoms from our local corner store and when we opened them they were crawling with weevils.The memories came flooding back,but the wife who had never seen a weevil did'nt enter into the spirit of the thing and I had great difficulty stopping her from calling in the food police!
I tried to point out that it was a sign of their authenticity but sadly we threw them away untapped!

Charlie Stitt
12th June 2010, 11:41
After 43 years, I still have not trained my dearest Wife to do things the RIGHT way, as the Bank Line trained me.Does this mean I am a lousy tutor, or that my charming Wife is th---/*#: coming dear, sorry I MUST go now.:sweat:

John Dryden
12th June 2010, 23:26
Charlie,it dosn,t mean you are a lousy tutor just that 43 years ago you signed on as Mate and you are still sailing with the same Master!

david harrod
14th June 2010, 13:15
I remember the chart room settee sarnies too,have a look at them and think to yourself I can,t eat them.Three hours later wolf 'em down and they tasted delicious.Sometimes used to nibble them to last longer!

I think brother Ian has a distantly romanticised view of bridge suppers (even that term is stretching it); I never saw meat in a sandwich once; I saw something that was euphemistically referred to as sandwich spread or relish; I think it was what the seqagulls left after they had eaten their packed lunches!

I do, however, remember on occasions having a night steward when loading in calcutta...some of them did a great fry up...you just didn't go into the galley when it was cooking...!

Charlie Stitt
14th June 2010, 13:28
A NIGHT STEWARD while loading in Calcutta to make your fryup ??? Part of Bank Line training, while on nights in Calcutta while I was there, was making your own from whatever you could find, or steal.(Jester)

david harrod
15th June 2010, 07:28
A NIGHT STEWARD while loading in Calcutta to make your fryup ??? Part of Bank Line training, while on nights in Calcutta while I was there, was making your own from whatever you could find, or steal.(Jester)

I could never work out how to get the stove properly lit...oil burners and me didn't get along...

Alistair Macnab
15th June 2010, 16:50
The night steward in Calcutta was a former officers' steward on one of the white ships. He was retired and came aboard any of the Bank Boats in Calcutta if he knew the Master. I have seen him on the "Inchanga" but also on the "Roybank". He worked for tips and I don't think he was 'official' but very welcome none the less. Unfortunately, I have forgotten his name. He used to produce grilled cheese sandwiches in the middle of the night which were marvelous!

DURANGO
15th June 2010, 18:59
The night steward in Calcutta was a former officers' steward on one of the white ships. He was retired and came aboard any of the Bank Boats in Calcutta if he knew the Master. I have seen him on the "Inchanga" but also on the "Roybank". He worked for tips and I don't think he was 'official' but very welcome none the less. Unfortunately, I have forgotten his name. He used to produce grilled cheese sandwiches in the middle of the night which were marvelous! I have to say lads you are making my mouth water with just the thought of the fine vittals served up by the bank line , but then again I am one of the survivers of the cooking aboard the old Pilcomayo best wishes ,oh to have had fresh meat even in the guise of a weevil.

Andy Lavies
16th June 2010, 22:12
As middle watch appy with Allan Mcgregor in the Inchanga I was sent below at 0200 every morning to prepare toasted blue cheese sarnies - can't remember how we got the cheese but 'twas yummie!
Andy

Johnnietwocoats
17th June 2010, 06:56
I remember on the Streambank when we were in Durban the Electrician and 5th Engineer were pissed after a night ashore and went to the Apprentices Study and eat (Stole) the Appy's Sardine Sandwiches which were left in the usual plastic container.

They were revolting as usual so they left a note saying "These ******* sandwiches taste like ****"

The Ch. Steward reported the note to the Old Man (Williamson) who immediately had me (Senior Apprentice) attend to his quarters. He asked me what happened, I told him I didn't know as I wasn't there. He called me a liar and promptly stopped my Shore Leavefor the duration.

The Electrician let the Mate know that I had nothing to do with it and when he told Williamson the Master said unless the Electrician came and told him the truth my Shore Leave would remain banned.

No admission from the ass Electrician and the rest is history...

Waighty
19th August 2010, 13:11
I remember on the Streambank when we were in Durban the Electrician and 5th Engineer were pissed after a night ashore and went to the Apprentices Study and eat (Stole) the Appy's Sardine Sandwiches which were left in the usual plastic container.

They were revolting as usual so they left a note saying "These ******* sandwiches taste like ****"

The Ch. Steward reported the note to the Old Man (Williamson) who immediately had me (Senior Apprentice) attend to his quarters. He asked me what happened, I told him I didn't know as I wasn't there. He called me a liar and promptly stopped my Shore Leavefor the duration.

The Electrician let the Mate know that I had nothing to do with it and when he told Williamson the Master said unless the Electrician came and told him the truth my Shore Leave would remain banned.

No admission from the ass Electrician and the rest is history...

Does no one recall the weevils floating out of shredded wheat when the mixture of evaporated milk ("Shaky" as it became known in some quarters) and water? The joy of tiny morsels of fresh meat!

Weirbank 1972 I recall the sandwiches left out on the bridge consisting of two lamb (or what passed for lamb) chops, suitably breaded and deep fried some hours before (say lunch time) being inserted between two pieces of bread - bone and all. As 3rd Mate and always hungry, I did my best to consume the lot.

I always enjoyed the "homemade" bread on Bank Boats - the nearest you'll get today is Scottish Plain bread - yummy.

Bill Aitken
20th August 2010, 00:07
I did like a Japati with marmalade.[=P]

John Campbell
20th August 2010, 19:59
Do any of you old sea dogs remember entering a Deep Tank for the very first time - did you have a safety belt or fall arrester - did the mate test the atmosphere or carry out a risk assessment ? Just how did we all survive ? I was reading this article today which made me think of that oily ladder and the aroma of coconut oil way back in 1953 when I with terror in my heart descended into what I thought was hell to hang up the dreaded old paintdrums holding lethal caustic soda - read on:-



An investigation into a fatality on board Brostrom’s oil/chemical tanker ‘Bro Arthur’ found that the vessel’s safety management lacked direction in a number of areas.


The case, investigated by the UK’s MAIB, centred around an incident on 19th February 2010 when a German shore worker was fatally injured on board the tanker.


‘Bro Arthur’ had part-discharged at Rotterdam before arriving in Hamburg to offload her remaining crude palm oil cargo.


A team of three cargo ‘sweepers’ had been arranged under the operational direction of a supercargo. While exiting No 2 cargo tank on completion of the ‘sweeping’ operation, one of the team fell to the bottom of the tank.


The postmortem toxicology report identified that the casualty was under the influence of a variety of prescription and illegal drugs, which would have caused severe impairment.


All the evidence suggested that he fell from the vertical ladder as he lost his hand grip on the slippery surface. He had not been provided with a safety harness or fall arrestor.


The deceased had been sub-contracted by a German cargo tank cleaning company, although MAIB made it plain that its investigation did not seek to explore German contractual arrangements, or legislative issues, as these were being addressed by the German authorities.


MAIB found that there were issues relating to superficial risk assessments, inaccurate atmosphere testing routines, weak control of contractors, an unwillingness to confront individuals when their condition compromised safety, non-compliance with mandatory safety drills and unsuitable casualty recovery equipment.


As a result of its findings, recommendations were made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) which were designed to:

• Improve the control and safety of shore contractors who are employed on board vessels in port.

• Highlight the need for the provision of suitable portable rescue equipment that can be used for the recovery of personnel from deep cargo tanks.

• Ensure ships’ staff are trained in the use of such equipment.


Recommendations were also made to 'Bro Arthur’s' management company and the manufacturer of atmosphere monitoring equipment supplied to the vessel.


In addition, MAIB produced a safety flyer, which contained details of the accident and appropriate safety lessons for promulgation to the industry via the ICS and the International Group of P&I Clubs.

Billieboy
20th August 2010, 20:32
Looks like another junkie from the central station, got the same in Rotterdam in the late eighties, early nineties, on palm and coconut oil cargoes.

Alistair Macnab
20th August 2010, 21:58
Do you think that increased safety regulations lead to people taking more risks than they would otherwise have done? When you went down the slippery deeptank ladder and walked along the lethal stringer to reach the far corner of the tank to hang up your caustic soda bucket, you were on your own - no one to save you and no one to look out for you! Remember, you had one hand occupied with the bucket and the flashlight and only one other hand for yourself. Were you properly dressed in protective clothing and shoes or have you the caustic burns on your wrists to this day? In a recently discharged deeptank, how was the air checked for oxygen level?
Ignorance is Bliss and its Folly to be Wise!
We're still here and some poor sods, protected by a mountain of regulations, are dead.
Mind you, who would be a shipowner in these days with all the rules and regulations piling up? I bet the P and I contribution would be enormous!

Hamish Mackintosh
20th August 2010, 23:28
Did you guys not have a "black pan"for the middle watches?We did on the Ivybank, and there were very few nights it wasn't bubbling away at 0400, but in retrospect I think it was a ploy by the chief steward to save on breakfasts as non of the 12 to 4 watch, deck or engine room, bothered to get up at 0800, it was the farmers job to see it was at its peak for watch change

jimthehat
20th August 2010, 23:52
Did you guys not have a "black pan"for the middle watches?We did on the Ivybank, and there were very few nights it wasn't bubbling away at 0400, but in retrospect I think it was a ploy by the chief steward to save on breakfasts as non of the 12 to 4 watch, deck or engine room, bothered to get up at 0800, it was the farmers job to see it was at its peak for watch change

hamish,
us poor second mates HAD to get up in the morning,have breakfast and then up to the bridge to do a long by chron ready for the noon sight,then it was down to open up the medicine cabinet and sort out all and sundry.

jim

Hamish Mackintosh
21st August 2010, 04:00
hamish,
us poor second mates HAD to get up in the morning,have breakfast and then up to the bridge to do a long by chron ready for the noon sight,then it was down to open up the medicine cabinet and sort out all and sundry.

jim

AHA, That was on none white crew ship?Our second mate was "on Call"which was very infrequent, (a Young lad from Belfast). No one trusted him with a hypodermic(?)or even the pills he prescribed,but he did,along with the third engineer join us for the AM black pan.I had the "joy" of being on the wheel(a Sam Boat) and overhearing our second mate and Cap't Hale discussing how to administer an enema to little "Jonesey"a Liverpool fireman who had been "plugged up" for several days,(black draft was not working) and overhearing the "operation", they did it in the Captains cabin right behind the wheel house, and I swear Jonesey took off out of that cabin and ended up hanging over the stern, there was a streak of S--t all the way from the bridge to number four hatch, and the poor little sod(he was only five feet f all)was found with his feet thru the bottom rail,and his torso thru the second rail, hanging there like a rag.The second mate was looked upon after that, as an entity to be avoided as far as medical advice was concerned, Jonesey jumped ship the next trip to Auckland

Charlie Stitt
21st August 2010, 10:43
Good stuff Hamish.(==D) You have made my day. Thanks.

chadburn
21st August 2010, 11:38
Any of you Bank Line Lads ever come across an Engineer called Brian Oliver?, not sure as to whether he was aboard the vessel that hit the putty in the South Pacific and remained there.

xrm
21st August 2010, 14:10
Used to get the odd corned beef buttie in the chartroom supper box, but have never taken milk or sugar since sailing on the Nessbank and the 2/O found a dead Bombay Canary in the condensed milk - we never mentioned it to the Mate, and it never semed to do him any harm - probably because he was well oiled most of the time.

Re. deeptank cleaning - used to spread caustic soda from a bag using a hand held shovel and wearing shorts and wellie boots. One of the other apps did get a lump in his wellie - caused a nasty hole on the top of his foot.

Most things we did would be banned now by the HSE - standing on top of Samson posts, getting lifted out of a hold by standing on a cargo hook, going down a rope ladder to get the aft draught at anchor. I had forgotten how much fun we had!

Duncan112
21st August 2010, 16:39
Do you think that increased safety regulations lead to people taking more risks than they would otherwise have done? When you went down the slippery deeptank ladder and walked along the lethal stringer to reach the far corner of the tank to hang up your caustic soda bucket, you were on your own - no one to save you and no one to look out for you! Remember, you had one hand occupied with the bucket and the flashlight and only one other hand for yourself. Were you properly dressed in protective clothing and shoes or have you the caustic burns on your wrists to this day? In a recently discharged deeptank, how was the air checked for oxygen level?
Ignorance is Bliss and its Folly to be Wise!
We're still here and some poor sods, protected by a mountain of regulations, are dead.
Mind you, who would be a shipowner in these days with all the rules and regulations piling up? I bet the P and I contribution would be enormous!

I agree entirely, the current safety and form filling culture tends to give the impression that if you have been told to do it it's safe, if you haven't been told not to do it it's safe, no need to pay any attention to the job or your surroundings yourself. People must be taught to assess risk themselves.

About 12 months ago there was an article in the Daily Telegraph concerning a builder who was incurring the wrath of the HSE, seems he had told one of his employees to clean out the concrete mixer when he finished.

You, and I (and presumably the builder) would put some water in it with a shovel full of gravel and leave it to churn for a while before tipping out the gunge.

Not our brave employee - he poured a gallon of petrol in, started the mixer and after a suitable interval threw a match in - the end product resembled a fougasse with bad burns to the operator.

HSE had a successful prosecution for failing to ensure a safe place of work.

Some people need protecting from themselves.

Billieboy
22nd August 2010, 11:57
Any of you Bank Line Lads ever come across an Engineer called Brian Oliver?, not sure as to whether he was aboard the vessel that hit the putty in the South Pacific and remained there.

I knew a John Oliver from Sunderland, and Lt.Cdr(rtd) Ted Oliver from near London.

JOHNKITTO
23rd August 2010, 12:54
Who ever watched the Bhandari spit on the oven to see if it was hot enough to cook the chapatis. If it bounced of it was hot enough, if it stuck.........well...........

rcraig
23rd August 2010, 18:08
Heard the story, had forgotten it, and I think, but was never sure, that it was just a story. Certainly saw butter spread with a fore finger to make it go further.

chadburn
23rd August 2010, 18:29
I knew a John Oliver from Sunderland, and Lt.Cdr(rtd) Ted Oliver from near London.

Thank's Billieboy,(Thumb) not him unfortunatly, Brian met and married an Australian Girl as a result of his trips downunder with Bank Line.

China hand
23rd August 2010, 19:06
Who ever watched the Bhandari spit on the oven to see if it was hot enough to cook the chapatis. If it bounced of it was hot enough, if it stuck.........well...........

Is there any other way?[=P]

Donald McGhee
24th August 2010, 07:32
You will all, of course, remember the MN way to make meat patties?? No?

Take a ball of mince etc, lift arm, place pattie under armpit and bring arm down!

Result, a perfect, if hairy pattie! Delicious.

I think the Bandarry spit would perhaps be preferable eh? Who's having a burger for tea?

McMorine
24th August 2010, 12:30
The stewards used to melt the butter and paint it on the bread with a 1" paint brush. Hows that for economy?

Alan Rawlinson
24th August 2010, 12:38
I still avoid anything labelled as '' Mixed Grill '' usually the result of a fridge clean out.

Winebuff
24th August 2010, 19:02
The stewards used to melt the butter and paint it on the bread with a 1" paint brush. Hows that for economy?

Forgot about that, mind the galley was so hot the butter would never have stayed on a knife lone enough to spread.

China hand
24th August 2010, 19:19
A lot of that runny butter tasted suspiciously like ghee. At 3 in the morning in Cal, who cared?

simomatra
25th August 2010, 00:09
Any of you Bank Line Lads ever come across an Engineer called Brian Oliver?, not sure as to whether he was aboard the vessel that hit the putty in the South Pacific and remained there.
I think I sailed with him on the Nairnbank, he was 4th, Ian Ian my chime in here as he has a crew list.

Memory was hew was a Geordie, sandy haired and thin.

Is my memory correct?

JOHNKITTO
25th August 2010, 20:31
Is there any other way?[=P]

None that I saw.

JOHNKITTO
25th August 2010, 20:33
Heard the story, had forgotten it, and I think, but was never sure, that it was just a story. Certainly saw butter spread with a fore finger to make it go further.

Certainly saw it alright. But you had to turn a blind eye to a lot of things that happened in the galley, otherwise you would have staved to death or worse.

Alan Rawlinson
26th August 2010, 08:53
Certainly saw it alright. But you had to turn a blind eye to a lot of things that happened in the galley, otherwise you would have staved to death or worse.

This is correct - and I suspect things have not changed a lot. Out of sight etc.......

On the comical side, I recall a Xmas on the white crew Maplebank. Blown up condoms round the saloon bulkheads - stewards getting some revenge on those being served. Common tricks were ( and still are?) overheating the plates to glowing - dropping cigarette ash into the meal and shaking the plate so that food covered it up. Condensed milk was routinely blown out of the can through one of the punch holes.

Later experience on passenger ships shocked me when confronted with the galley waste ( whole trays of beautiful grilled fish, steaks, etc dumped over the side on a daily basis when the table demand had run out) Does this still happen, I wonder? Other observations: The delicious cream that passengers ooed and aah'rd about was actually from a 45 gallon drum of the stuff! I could go on.