Bank Line " Workhorses "

Alan Rawlinson
21st September 2010, 08:44
No, I'm not referring to the junior engineers or the App's!

Looking back over the variety and scope of the Bankline ships and operations, some ships, largely unsung, had an outstandingly long career, serving for 30 years plus, from shipyard to the breakers, constantly circling the globe, and keeping out of the headlines, and off of the rocks. They clocked up more miles, and carried more cargo than any Bankline ship before or since. The 18 Inverbank class twin screw vessels of 1924/5 from Belfast, and the 4 Irisbank class twin screw vessels from the same yard in 1930, are the ones that should have appeared at an awards ceremony.

Alistair has neatly and brilliantly described the fleet and the developments in his work, but it would be nice to see a tribute to the '' workhorses '' which must have contributed hugely to the Inverforth coffers.

Several of the Inverbank class had 34 and 35 years in the fleet, only going to the breakers in 1959! I estimate they carried between 1 and 1.5 million tons of cargo each during their service, and the mind boggles at the tales that must remain untold. They were the Inverbank, Glenbank, Comliebank, Clydebank, Forresbank, ( still put in 33 years despite coming to grief on the S Africa coast) and Levernbank. Many of the remaining names in this class were war casualties.

Of the 4 Irisbank class, again twin screw ( pilot's nightmares) they all amazingly survived WW2 and went to the breakers with 30 years plus service. This is a truly outstanding feat, and is a tribute to the shipyard workers and the crews. It is not possible to do, but I, for one, would like to see a profit and loss account for the life of one of these ships!

Winebuff
21st September 2010, 19:24
Profit and loss, what a wonderful idea.

Accountants (and Economists let us not forget the Right Hon Vincent) know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Alan Rawlinson
21st September 2010, 20:20
Profit and loss, what a wonderful idea.

Accountants (and Economists let us not forget the Right Hon Vincent) know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

A man comes down in the middle of a field in a balloon basket.... " Where am I "" he shouts out to a passing local. " Your'e in a basket, in a field " comes the reply. The man in the basket immediately shouts back " You're a b... accountant, arn't you? " " How did you know, says the local? " " Because your information was accurate , but completely useless " comes the answer...................

Going back to the Bank Line " workhorses " I imagine the company used voyage accounting - each trip calculated seperately. win some, lose some, - quite a lot of losing voyages in the old days laying at anchor for weeks at a time, I expect. Bring on the container revolution! ( Apologies to the ' King Canutes ' out there.)

Andy Lavies
21st September 2010, 20:56
Probably Bank Line 'workhorses' had an easier time than, say, Isle of Wight Ferry 'workhorses'. Lymington's "C" Class ships lasted more than thirty years even when being berthed, with varying degrees of force, more than twenty times a day.
Andy

Charlie Stitt
21st September 2010, 22:10
Come on now Alan, ''Workhorses''? Faithful Old Cart'horses, more like, they just plodded along giving the Apprentices plenty of time to learn how to strip paint off railings with a chain, paint the inside of lifeboats with stockholm tar, reeve a three fold purchase etc . If I remember right, on the Myrtlebank, we spent a lota, lota time in port, slowly but surely loading or discharging with our old rattlebox steam winches, yep, that was ok in the likes of Durban or BA, but oh my, Kiddepore Dock.Then there was the little matter of heading into a gale, one step forward, two steps back, Sundays At Sea Galore, (worth three bob a day, wow). Despite this, these ships must have made mucho money for Uncle Andrew and Uncle Morton otherwise they could not have ordered all those new ships to roll of the stocks, in quick succession. With the right bunch of guys on board, those fine old girls were hard to beat .Says I without looking through my rose tinted glasses.

Alan Rawlinson
22nd September 2010, 07:17
Probably Bank Line 'workhorses' had an easier time than, say, Isle of Wight Ferry 'workhorses'. Lymington's "C" Class ships lasted more than thirty years even when being berthed, with varying degrees of force, more than twenty times a day.
Andy

It's an interesting comparison. However, it's probably similar to comparing a taxi with the heavy duty bulk lorries we see on the road. The Comliebank, for example sailed for 35 years ( 24 to 59) in the Bankline service, carrying all types of bulk and general cargoes, in all the oceans, and in all weathers. Add to this the varying loading conditions around the world, ( hit and miss, unlike today) it is a tribute to the design and building of the hull.

These ships are fondly remembered by me at least, as uncomplaining carthorses, plodding round and round the world, as Charlie suggests. Their longevity in the Bankline fleet can be put down to good trading conditions, (up and down, over the years) good returns for the owner, economical running at 10kts, and an affordable building cost. On reflection, the cost of maintaining twin screws must have been a pain to the engineering department.

Re the original building cost, I am not sure about my facts here, but I seem to remember that the later Eastbank class, built in 1947, cost the right side of 1m each!

Joe C
22nd September 2010, 11:04
It's an interesting comparison. However, it's probably similar to comparing a taxi with the heavy duty bulk lorries we see on the road. The Comliebank, for example sailed for 35 years ( 24 to 59) in the Bankline service, carrying all types of bulk and general cargoes, in all the oceans, and in all weathers. Add to this the varying loading conditions around the world, ( hit and miss, unlike today) it is a tribute to the design and building of the hull.

These ships are fondly remembered by me at least, as uncomplaining carthorses, plodding round and round the world, as Charlie suggests. Their longevity in the Bankline fleet can be put down to good trading conditions, (up and down, over the years) good returns for the owner, economical running at 10kts, and an affordable building cost. On reflection, the cost of maintaining twin screws must have been a pain to the engineering department.

Re the original building cost, I am not sure about my facts here, but I seem to remember that the later Eastbank class, built in 1947, cost the right side of 1m each!

We spent a lot of our time on the Far East run on the Levernbank on one engine while the other one was under repair.
However we were told that if we rushed about at ten knots there wouldn't be enough cargo for us.So the two tired old engines played their part in the grand profit making plan.
We usually needed a few days between ports to recover, so seven knots suited everyone!

Alan Rawlinson
22nd September 2010, 13:44
We spent a lot of our time on the Far East run on the Levernbank on one engine while the other one was under repair.
However we were told that if we rushed about at ten knots there wouldn't be enough cargo for us.So the two tired old engines played their part in the grand profit making plan.
We usually needed a few days between ports to recover, so seven knots suited everyone!

It was a fairly regular occurance to steam on one prop on the Irisbank, as you probably recall, Joe. The wheel had to be near hard over to keep a straight course. Imagine the turbulance down against the rudder face - a bit like a plane coming in to land with all the flaps down!

Arriving at Cristobal, the Panama pilots didn't want to know unless we had both engines in working order, and preferably a full bottle of starting air. They were sniffy about the draft too, if I remember correctly - usually with good reason.

Alistair Macnab
22nd September 2010, 16:32
I seem to remember on the trials of the "Ernebank" a 15000 deadweight tweendecker from Pallion, that the Super let me hold a Bank Line check for UKP 650,000 as the second payment of two to Doxford for the ship. That makes a Bank Boat UKP 1.3 million in 1965.
I think the "Inverbank"Class from Govan in 1924 must have cost no more than UKP 250,000 each. I guess the pound went a lot further in those days!

Alan Rawlinson
22nd September 2010, 17:13
I seem to remember on the trials of the "Ernebank" a 15000 deadweight tweendecker from Pallion, that the Super let me hold a Bank Line check for UKP 650,000 as the second payment of two to Doxford for the ship. That makes a Bank Boat UKP 1.3 million in 1965.
I think the "Inverbank"Class from Govan in 1924 must have cost no more than UKP 250,000 each. I guess the pound went a lot further in those days!

Thanks Alistair, It was H & W at Govan that built the Inverbank class of 1924, and not Belfast as I stated earlier...

The 4 Irisbank vessels were from Belfast in the Workman Clark (1928) yard, which built the 3 ' White Boats ' for the Bank Lijne shortly afterwards..

Winebuff
22nd September 2010, 18:14
I seem to recall the Firbank in 1976 costing about 6 Million.

Or perhaps they told us that in the hope we would be careful with her.

Peter Smith
74-84

jimthehat
22nd September 2010, 19:25
We spent a lot of our time on the Far East run on the Levernbank on one engine while the other one was under repair.
However we were told that if we rushed about at ten knots there wouldn't be enough cargo for us.So the two tired old engines played their part in the grand profit making plan.
We usually needed a few days between ports to recover, so seven knots suited everyone!

Spent 4 years on the far east run,2 on the Clydebank and 2 on the ettrickbank,I know we had our engine problems,but I am sure that over the period we managed 10knts as near as damitt.
I wonder if all the sulphur we carried had any effect on the ships hull.??

jim

Charlie Stitt
22nd September 2010, 19:57
Alan, I think the good old Steamships built by Workman Clark around 1929, also deserve a round of (Applause) . I never did meet anyone, or even hear of anyone who sailed on one of these ships. Anyone out there ??

Alan Rawlinson
22nd September 2010, 20:54
Alan, I think the good old Steamships built by Workman Clark around 1929, also deserve a round of (Applause) . I never did meet anyone, or even hear of anyone who sailed on one of these ships. Anyone out there ??

Charlie, I think there are many fantastic stories of ships that gave such long and rewarding service in the fleet. The sad thing is that the internet and SN has come too late for most of the stalwarts who could have told us a few amazing stories of their exploits. The workman Clark steamships of 1929 must be the Deebank, Trentbank, Forthbank and Lindenbank as listed in my copy of Middlemiss. 2 clocked up over 20 years, and the other 2 came to grief, like so many in war time.

On the theme of longevity, I had the interesting experience of meeting up with, and talking to a chap at the Bank Line reunion I went to - way back iin the early 90's. He had served 40 years as master, joining as Master, I think he said. Does anyone know the details? Was it Jim Townley? It's a name that seems to come out of nowhere in my addled brain.

Joe C
23rd September 2010, 13:00
Charlie, I think there are many fantastic stories of ships that gave such long and rewarding service in the fleet. The sad thing is that the internet and SN has come too late for most of the stalwarts who could have told us a few amazing stories of their exploits. The workman Clark steamships of 1929 must be the Deebank, Trentbank, Forthbank and Lindenbank as listed in my copy of Middlemiss. 2 clocked up over 20 years, and the other 2 came to grief, like so many in war time.

On the theme of longevity, I had the interesting experience of meeting up with, and talking to a chap at the Bank Line reunion I went to - way back iin the early 90's. He had served 40 years as master, joining as Master, I think he said. Does anyone know the details? Was it Jim Townley? It's a name that seems to come out of nowhere in my addled brain.

Could be Capt.J .Townsley,he was Master on the Moraybank,'54-'55?

John Dryden
23rd September 2010, 15:26
It would not surprise me if Bank Line got top prices for the ships they sold on to other companies,mainly Greek as I remember.
J Townsley was master on the Shirrabank 71/72,he would have been about 60 years old then.

Alan Rawlinson
23rd September 2010, 18:30
It would not surprise me if Bank Line got top prices for the ships they sold on to other companies,mainly Greek as I remember.
J Townsley was master on the Shirrabank 71/72,he would have been about 60 years old then.

Jim Townsley it is then...

He told me that he had put in 40 years as Master, as mentioned earlier... What a record. I take my hat off to him , (if I had one.)

Because of this subject, I had a trawl through the thread on Masters we have sailed with and J Townsley gets a couple of mentions.. aloof etc.. and his own man. ( see Moraybank, by J Coghill)

After a couple of glasses of red wine, I get a bit philosophical, and it strikes me that ex Bankline Masters, when the day comes, are judged not only at the " Pearly Gates ", but on SN - Bankline section.

Joe C
24th September 2010, 11:34
Jim Townsley it is then...

He told me that he had put in 40 years as Master, as mentioned earlier... What a record. I take my hat off to him , (if I had one.)

Because of this subject, I had a trawl through the thread on Masters we have sailed with and J Townsley gets a couple of mentions.. aloof etc.. and his own man. ( see Moraybank, by J Coghill)

After a couple of glasses of red wine, I get a bit philosophical, and it strikes me that ex Bankline Masters, when the day comes, are judged not only at the " Pearly Gates ", but on SN - Bankline section.
I would expect my two or three word comment on Capt. Townsley would be fairly similar to most first trip apprentices' experience.At the ripe old age of seventeen your powers of judgement would have been short on experience and the Captain would'nt really have had a lot of time for the junior appy!
However two situations come to mind;when he refused to let the Pilot steer the ship through a road bridge (Galveston or Mobile) Frayed tempers.I was on the movement book and I had to log the exchange,and when we sailed to the States fom Rotterdam the American health people decided that the crew and the apprentices should have "short arm"inspections,note,not the officers.Captain Townsley told my fellow first tripper to roll his sleeve back down and get his "toggle"out.

Alan Rawlinson
24th September 2010, 12:29
Have tried to imagine what it must have been like to serve decades as a Bank Line master successfully... I get a strong feeling that a ' no nonsense ' confident approach would be essential, and that seems to accord with Joe's Moraybank anecdotes about Capt Townsley.

Alistair Macnab
24th September 2010, 18:12
Its interesting to note that Captain Townsey's name has cropped up under the heading of Bank Line Workhorses! Can any of us imagine 40 years as Master that took in the end of the 30s Depression and the Second World War?
As a 'jumped up' Master of the 60s with no more experience that a Dog Watch behind me and now his nominal Boss in the USA, Captain Townsley was never-the-less always courteous and professional towards me although he may have had reason to act otherwise when in my enthusiasm for something, I may have shown a total lack of experience!
Those of you who sailed with him will remember the characteristic deep blinking of his eyes accompanied by a slight backwards movement of his head. It was the only external manifestation of the control of his personal thoughts.
A gentleman and a Master of exceptional character.

Hamish Mackintosh
25th September 2010, 03:01
I seem to recall the Firbank in 1976 costing about 6 Million.

Or perhaps they told us that in the hope we would be careful with her.

Peter Smith
74-84

The Sam boats must have been a real bargain??

JOHN ROUSE
25th September 2010, 08:17
Is there anyone out there who recalls Captain William Watson later Super intendent whose widow Vera is now my wife of 5 years ~~ she travelled with him aboard Dartbank & Taybank in the early 60's with both of her sons Bruce & Alex who both became officers with Bank Line. She would appreciate any contact.

Joe C
25th September 2010, 17:33
Jim Townsley it is then...

He told me that he had put in 40 years as Master, as mentioned earlier... What a record. I take my hat off to him , (if I had one.)

Because of this subject, I had a trawl through the thread on Masters we have sailed with and J Townsley gets a couple of mentions.. aloof etc.. and his own man. ( see Moraybank, by J Coghill)

After a couple of glasses of red wine, I get a bit philosophical, and it strikes me that ex Bankline Masters, when the day comes, are judged not only at the " Pearly Gates ", but on SN - Bankline section.
I didn't remember Capt. Townsley as "aloof". It was Capt. Palmer who,with his pith helmet and long shorts,almost meeting his long socks, who I recorded as "aloof".

Alistair Macnab
25th September 2010, 18:33
When the time comes to review what has already been said about Captains Townsley, Watson and Palmer, I hope contributors will have the connective skills to look under "Bank Line Workhorses"! All three have been written about before and there may be yet many things to say about each individual that will further illuminate the character and personality of "Masters We Have Sailed With".

Captain Townsley:
Recent remarks have identified him as a stalwart Master with a light but firm hand on the helm.

Captain Willie Watson:
I am told that he originally hailed from Hull and not Tyneside as I had erroneously indicated. Then from a subsequent message today, comes the sad news of his passing but that Vera, his wife, is still around. Am I right in thinking that it is Vera who hails from North Shields? Anyhow, I'm glad to be able to add something to Willie's biography which was contributed by my own wife. When Willie visited us in Brooklyn New York, he took off his shoes at the entrance to our apartment causing my wife to remark that Willie had been 'well trained' by Vera! He stayed with us for several days and was an excellent house guest, tidying up after himself in the kitchen and making his bed in the morning. Our personal habits are indicative of how well we have been trained. I suspect that there are one or two former Bank Line Masters who have had their rougher edges smoothed out by a caring spouse and are the better for it!

Captain Conrad Palmer:
He was indeed a relic from an earlier era, just about as pukka as a sahib could be. His presence was as a stern ruler than as a manager but what's wrong with that? Perhaps we all needed a firm hand to steer us away from the unbridled impetuosities of youth?

(By the way, these and other remarks have previously been aired in other SN sites specifically headlined "Bank Line Masters" but are included here in response to contemporary references.)

Bank Line Workhorses:
The buying price of a Liberty ship was around GBP 200,000 when obtained from the Ministry of War Transport. This is the amount I seem to recall but I would prefer to see some reliable confirmation (or otherwise!) of my imperfect and fast dwindling little grey cells.

By the way, the Bank Line Reunion in on Saturday October 9th just outside Birmingham UK. Its not too late to call Brian Lucy to tell him you'll be attending!

Alan Rawlinson
26th September 2010, 10:03
I didn't remember Capt. Townsley as "aloof". It was Capt. Palmer who,with his pith helmet and long shorts,almost meeting his long socks, who I recorded as "aloof".


Joe, The aloof comment was made by someone else.

Re Capt Palmer - I have plenty of material on Capt Palmer, most of which has been related elsewhere by me in these threads and will not be repeated, but I would like to add a couple of things....

I probably knew ( understood?) him as well as anyone in the Bank Line, as I had daily contact ( and frequent rollickings) over a 2 year voyage. After 50 years it is possible to get a more balanced view.

Firstly, he was nursing a heart condition throughout, and this had a bearing on his manner etc.. He was a strict disciplinarian of the old school, and would have been at home on one of the hard working sailing ships, i.e. firm but fair. As often happened on the Bank Line ships there was a huge age gap between the young mates and the Master and the fact that Capt Palmer was unimaginative and humourless could maybe be a plus in the company's eyes! He was a decent, honest and loyal Master after all, and probably what the job demanded. He wasn't there to keep us happy.

His previous ship had been a white crew Samboat, and he had apparently dished out DR's to previously unblemished disharge books, causing some bitterness which has been mentioned in exchanges with other SN contributors.

We had a nasty incident in Melbourne in 1956 when an Aussie engineer ran amok after a drinking session. It was in my 3/0's cabin unfortunately, and I took off down the gangway, and slept the night in a bus shelter on the dock road. When I crept back nervously in the morning there was no one on the gangway, ( The seacunny had been attacked) and I crunched through broken glass in the alleyway, and on my cabin floor. There were blood stains all over the white panelled bulkheads. Turned out the mate was in hospital, and the engineer was being held by the police. I decided to leave for good, and started throwing my stuff in a suitcase. Palmer appeared at the door, and asked what I was up to, before giving me lots of assurances that it was safe to stay. ( Could definitely have been a career changing moment - who knows!)

On the Irisbank, on the 8 to 12 in the evening, he had a habit of opening up on many nights, and becoming human. We were literally in the dark, and he related some of his thoughts. His No 1 fear, was dying on the operating table as a result of his heart condition. He mentioned this more than once, and I was sad to hear some time after we had paid off, that this is exactly what had happened in a Liverpool hospital.

Les Gibson
27th September 2010, 00:42
For John Rouse,
John, I was with Willy and Wife and children on Dartbank and Taybank, I was chief electrician. My memories of Willy not so good but I do remember his charming wife and 2 super children. How she put up with us lot and still stayed smiling I will never know! Definitley not a 'Mrs Captain' and she may or may not remember me. John I would imagine that you are a very fortunate man, she is probably just as nice now. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to. Sorry to hear that Willy has gone.
Regards,
Les Gibson

ernhelenbarrett
27th September 2010, 10:01
Joined the Tweedbank in Liverpool, she was built in the 1930's, twin screw and did about 10 knots with a following typhoon!, Cuba to New Orleans, then up the U.S. Coast, then back down to Galveston, Beumont, Lake Charles, Coatzacoalcos in Mexico to top up with sulphur, down to NZ, Australia, up to Solomons, new guinea for Copra and Palm oil, Borneo, Colombo for a crew change then Birkenhead/Glasgow to discharge. The Radio Room/my cabin were combined on the aft end of the Boat Deck abaft the funnel and the lot was held down by two wire strops and bottlescrews!! When she rolled the whole lot slid to port and starboard and I had to go out and tighten the bottlescrews periodically. Communication between the Radio Room and Bridge was by means of a handkerchief when taking time signals!! Just a short trip of 18 months though!!
Ern Barrett

JOHN ROUSE
28th September 2010, 09:08
Alistair Macnab comments that Willie Watson was well trained by Vera ~~ I am now 5 years into my training session. Both Willie & Vera were from Hull ~ they moved to Tynemouth when Willie was Superintendent looking after 24 ships being built on the Tyne & Wear in the 70's

JOHN ROUSE
28th September 2010, 10:02
Further to my previous message~~ Vera & I have just returned from Pitlochry where we attended Ronnie Blair's 80th Birthday dinner. Friends from Bank Line (none of whom could attend) were Geoff Flynn; Raymond Hall; Les McBain; Roddy MacLeod; Albert Scales; George Scott; Joe Tomlan; Bob Lidstone & Willow Scott. I list these as they may be of interest. The dinner was held @ Port~na~Craig Restaurant on the River Tummel ~ a delightful setting & a good place to stay if you are in the area.

Alan Rawlinson
5th October 2010, 17:55
Wouldn't surprise me if the best 'workhorses' that Bankline ever owned ( apart from the apprentices) were the liberty ships that they opted for after the war. Relatively cheap to buy, steam triple expansion engines, and quite big carrying capacity, they must have given good returns before the hulls started to get expensive.

These were ' no nonsense ' carriers, with some deeptank capacity, and easy working gear, lapping up cargoes before the advent of the dreaded creeping box disease. ( Put this last bit in for Alistair!)

Does anyone know for sure?

Alistair Macnab
6th October 2010, 02:39
Looking without passion but from an economic investment point-of-view at second-hand ships available for purchase after the Second World War, probably the SAM Boat was one of the better buys. Most available ships were steamers so engine-type as part of the question was out. The exception was the oil engined C-1. Weir's had two "Hickory" boats on charter for evaluation purposes but their deadweight was too small. So motorships were off the table except for what Doxford could provide (Roy/Wey/Meadow/Moray in 1944-45 with the 3-legged 'Economy' oil engine)
Liberty versus Victory types were compared and contrasted. Liberties won as having the greater deadweight earning capacity and a 'simple' engine room since Bank Line's seagoing personnel had no turbine experience. Remember, even after the 12 SAMs had been bought, Weir's continued to buy British-built 'Empires' which fitted in with the Readhead "T-Class" 'Empire' precursor of pre-war purchase.
Come to think of it, the SAM Boat hulls and engine room were also to British design so SAM Boats were not really 'foreign' but fitted in very well with the surviving Weir fleet.

Personally, I used to think that the Victory type of ship would have been a better strategic buy at the time but from this distance and from what we can see was the Bank Line strategy for the post-war years, the SAMs were a good choice from economic and operational points-of-view.

Donald McGhee
6th October 2010, 02:58
Ineresting thoughts on the workhorses, which were of an era before my time .I do remember that the Inverbank I sailed on, Doxford engined, built 1962 and her sisters would also come under this classification. They went everywhere, carried anything, anywhere it would fit!
In my opinion the very best classrooms for apprentices that ever were. There was a real "something" about these bank boats, a sense of strength and honesty, seaworthy and at times, in the right climate even comfortable!!
I will have another dram and dream some more of blue skiesand calm seas under a tropic sun, to be interrupted by the mate bellowing for the lazy sons of bitches masquerading as apprentices!

jimthehat
6th October 2010, 15:54
Looking without passion but from an economic investment point-of-view at second-hand ships available for purchase after the Second World War, probably the SAM Boat was one of the better buys. Most available ships were steamers so engine-type as part of the question was out. The exception was the oil engined C-1. Weir's had two "Hickory" boats on charter for evaluation purposes but their deadweight was too small. So motorships were off the table except for what Doxford could provide (Roy/Wey/Meadow/Moray in 1944-45 with the 3-legged 'Economy' oil engine)
Liberty versus Victory types were compared and contrasted. Liberties won as having the greater deadweight earning capacity and a 'simple' engine room since Bank Line's seagoing personnel had no turbine experience. Remember, even after the 12 SAMs had been bought, Weir's continued to buy British-built 'Empires' which fitted in with the Readhead "T-Class" 'Empire' precursor of pre-war purchase.
Come to think of it, the SAM Boat hulls and engine room were also to British design so SAM Boats were not really 'foreign' but fitted in very well with the surviving Weir fleet.

Personally, I used to think that the Victory type of ship would have been a better strategic buy at the time but from this distance and from what we can see was the Bank Line strategy for the post-war years, the SAMs were a good choice from economic and operational points-of-view.
As a first trip app on the maplebank and doing a turn on the wheel or a lookout up fwd and seeing a victory ship zip past us at a rate of knots ,I often wondered why weirs had not bought any,9were they 16 knts plus?)

jim

Alan Rawlinson
6th October 2010, 16:34
[QUOTE=jimthehat;460162]As a first trip app on the maplebank and doing a turn on the wheel or a lookout up fwd and seeing a victory ship zip past us at a rate of knots ,I often wondered why weirs had not bought any,9were they 16 knts plus?)


I always thought they ( the Victory ships) looked fantastic with majestic lines, but in a League of their own with respect to size, and power, not to mention the special turbine experience required. They had that grand ' sit up and beg ' accommodation and funnel design, that is reminiscent of Blue Funnel. No reason why they couldn't have been part of the fleet, but they would have been markedly different from the other Bank Line vessels post war. Probably the running costs suited liner trades more than the random sort of port hopping that we did, especially round the Pacific islands.

It was always a treat passing through some of the dock systems such as Kiddapore or King George docks in Calcutta, or the Surrey or Millwall docks etc in London, and slowly pass down the lines of ships - just like a Lord Mayor's parade! What a feast, studying all the different lines, layout, hatches and accommodation. The big Victories always stood out for me, and were instantly recognizable. Can even remember the name of one - "Khyber Pass" - was she a P & O vessel, I wonder?

Alistair Macnab
6th October 2010, 17:00
Moving on from Donald McGhee's remark about the "Inverbank" of 1962 leads to the thought that ALL Bank Boats were 'workhorses'!
Yes, Bank Boats down through the years were always basic, always good capacity carriers, always economical to operate and always available where and when required.
Workhorses,certainly, but products in support of good business strategy as well.
Towards the end, the company got conventional 'lineritis' in a big way. This resulted in fancier ships to keep up with the times but the times were running out!
Anyhow, a successful run of 124 years and still in existence, has to say something about selected ship types and business strategies. What other British shipping companies from the 'golden years' are still around?

Joe C
6th October 2010, 19:42
No doubt it was just as crucial commercially to dispose of the ships at the right time.Perhaps while they still had a value,weren't falling apart and not costing a fortune to run.

Alan Rawlinson
6th October 2010, 20:01
No doubt it was just as crucial commercially to dispose of the ships at the right time.Perhaps while they still had a value,weren't falling apart and not costing a fortune to run.

Hi Joe,

Your comments put me in mind of a spell I had in Elder Dempsters on the management side in the 70's. We had an intensive ( 19 sailings per month!) schedule to the West African Ports within the conference, and with the Apapa Express service being the cream, as it were. Everyone sweated to turn the ships round, get them down to the last quarter inch on their marks leaving Liverpool etc etc. Hundreds of people were involved. ( all break bulk in the early 70's - we were still trying to convince exporters to use pallets) The ships were the ' goose that laid the golden egg'.

Then, when the sale and purchase market suddenly became favourable, a key vessel ( the goose) would be sold. I clearly remember the outward line manager saying that it was a no brainer. The profit from the sale was worth several years top trading profit, and with no effort involved by anyone.

IBlenkinsopp
6th October 2010, 21:27
Moving on from Donald McGhee's remark about the "Inverbank" of 1962 leads to the thought that ALL Bank Boats were 'workhorses'!
Yes, Bank Boats down through the years were always basic, always good capacity carriers, always economical to operate and always available where and when required.
Workhorses,certainly, but products in support of good business strategy as well.
Towards the end, the company got conventional 'lineritis' in a big way. This resulted in fancier ships to keep up with the times but the times were running out!
Anyhow, a successful run of 124 years and still in existence, has to say something about selected ship types and business strategies. What other British shipping companies from the 'golden years' are still around?

Stevie Clarkes, 280 yrs and still going, now they were hard work.

Eddie

Johnnietwocoats
7th October 2010, 04:03
[QUOTE=jimthehat;460162]As a first trip app on the maplebank and doing a turn on the wheel or a lookout up fwd and seeing a victory ship zip past us at a rate of knots ,I often wondered why weirs had not bought any,9were they 16 knts plus?)


I always thought they ( the Victory ships) looked fantastic with majestic lines, but in a League of their own with respect to size, and power, not to mention the special turbine experience required. They had that grand ' sit up and beg ' accommodation and funnel design, that is reminiscent of Blue Funnel. No reason why they couldn't have been part of the fleet, but they would have been markedly different from the other Bank Line vessels post war. Probably the running costs suited liner trades more than the random sort of port hopping that we did, especially round the Pacific islands.

It was always a treat passing through some of the dock systems such as Kiddapore or King George docks in Calcutta, or the Surrey or Millwall docks etc in London, and slowly pass down the lines of ships - just like a Lord Mayor's parade! What a feast, studying all the different lines, layout, hatches and accommodation. The big Victories always stood out for me, and were instantly recognizable. Can even remember the name of one - "Khyber Pass" - was she a P & O vessel, I wonder?

Here's a picture of a model of a Victory Ship.

I would have loved to have sailed on that ship.

And what about T2 Tankers....Pure Luxury in their day

Alan Rawlinson
7th October 2010, 08:43
[QUOTE=Alan Rawlinson;460171]

Here's a picture of a model of a Victory Ship.

I would have loved to have sailed on that ship.

And what about T2 Tankers....Pure Luxury in their day

Johnnie,

It's a Liberty ship ( Samboat)


There were 534 Victory ships built, and they were designed by a bloke called George G Sharp, who was the Head of ABS at the time. ( see his site of the same name). They were instantly re cognisable with a high raised focs'le and very tall funnel. ( I think different variants were built, though)

Picture attached'

Cheers

jimthehat
7th October 2010, 14:59
[QUOTE=Johnnietwocoats;460313]

Johnnie,

It's a Liberty ship ( Samboat)


There were 534 Victory ships built, and they were designed by a bloke called George G Sharp, who was the Head of ABS at the time. ( see his site of the same name). They were instantly re cognisable with a high raised focs'le and very tall funnel. ( I think different variants were built, though)

Picture attached'

Cheers
yeas can confirm its a sam boat,model of the jeremiah o,brian,which I visited when she was in the Uk,when i was on the maplebank we still had the gun platforms on the upper bridge, ALAn were they still there when you were on board?/

jim

Johnnietwocoats
7th October 2010, 18:28
[QUOTE=Johnnietwocoats;460313]

Johnnie,

It's a Liberty ship ( Samboat)


There were 534 Victory ships built, and they were designed by a bloke called George G Sharp, who was the Head of ABS at the time. ( see his site of the same name). They were instantly re cognisable with a high raised focs'le and very tall funnel. ( I think different variants were built, though)

Picture attached'

Cheers

Hi Alan. Oops sorry my mistake.

It is a nice model though and I liked the lines on her.

Of course in my early years at sea I saw a lot of Victory, Liberty and
T2 Tankers.

I will now go to the Site you recommended and brush up

Take care

Johnnie (Smoke)

China hand
7th October 2010, 19:44
Zim Lines had a couple of Liberty's around 1968. They were re-engined and had Pielstick diesels. Now that must have been one noisy engine room.
Also saw loads of old Liberty hulks used as "floating magazin" in Gdynia and Constanza in the '70's.
What a wonderful tool they were.

Alan Rawlinson
7th October 2010, 20:06
[QUOTE=Alan Rawlinson;460336]

Hi Alan. Oops sorry my mistake.

It is a nice model though and I liked the lines on her.

Of course in my early years at sea I saw a lot of Victory, Liberty and
T2 Tankers.

I will now go to the Site you recommended and brush up

Take care

Johnnie (Smoke)


Hi Johnnie,

Agree they are all nice lines - I had some kind soul make me a model of the Liberty ' Maplebank ' in a bottle, and a good job he did too. I still have it on display here. ( I think he cheated a bit, as the bottom of the bottle has been cut out and re- sealed!)

Jim,

Yes, we had the gun ports on the Maplebank after your voyage. Can recall them vibrating in the hurricane style winds of the Cook Strait in N.Z. when on lookout!

Alan Rawlinson
30th October 2010, 21:11
Have been delving deeper on www.uboat.net and what a fantastic site, obviously the result of lots of hard work. The dozen or so Bank Line ships lost to u Boats, and the details are clearly laid out , together with some fascinating PHOTOS of the ships, some of them belonging to the Inverbank class from Goven, mentioned in this thread. - those that didn't make it into old age...

No need for the actual name, just imput the " Bank" suffix, and the list will appear. Another click brings up the photos.

A big thank you to those who have toiled to make this database possible!

Charlie Stitt
31st October 2010, 21:10
Have been delving deeper on www.uboat.net and what a fantastic site, obviously the result of lots of hard work. The dozen or so Bank Line ships lost to u Boats, and the details are clearly laid out , together with some fascinating PHOTOS of the ships, some of them belonging to the Inverbank class from Goven, mentioned in this thread. - those that didn't make it into old age...

No need for the actual name, just imput the " Bank" suffix, and the list will appear. Another click brings up the photos.

A big thank you to those who have toiled to make this database possible!

Thank you for posting this info Alan.I did as you suggested and up come the list of Bank Line ship casualties, and what about HMS Springbank then? hardly recognisable as one of our favourite old twin screw jobs. All very interesting.(Thumb)

Alan Rawlinson
1st November 2010, 08:38
Thank you for posting this info Alan.I did as you suggested and up come the list of Bank Line ship casualties, and what about HMS Springbank then? hardly recongisable as one of our favourate old twin screw jobs. All very interesting.(Thumb)

Hi Charlie,

Yes, agree the pic of Springbank was of special interest - I had to do a ' double take ' the conversion was so good. Only the midship accommodation looked original.

I had a look for the ' Incomati ' and in addition to a description of her sad loss off of the West African coast, there is a nice picture.

CAPTAIN JEREMY
1st November 2010, 21:19
Have been delving deeper on www.uboat.net and what a fantastic site, obviously the result of lots of hard work. The dozen or so Bank Line ships lost to u Boats, and the details are clearly laid out , together with some fascinating PHOTOS of the ships, some of them belonging to the Inverbank class from Goven, mentioned in this thread. - those that didn't make it into old age...

No need for the actual name, just imput the " Bank" suffix, and the list will appear. Another click brings up the photos.

A big thank you to those who have toiled to make this database possible!

Interesting site. My uncle (well he would have been if he had lived long enough) was 3rd Mate on the Thornliebank, and lost when she was torpedoed & exploded.