Best and Worst Feeders

China hand
18th October 2010, 18:21
Gentlemen, we have all heard, read, got the hint that some Masters in the Bank Line had a differing view to the way the victualing of the ship should be handled.
With tongue in cheek, I challenge you: Who were your best and worst feeding ships (obviously, for libel reasons, some may wish to use other than proper names of the Master in Command at that time).:confused:

jimthehat
18th October 2010, 23:10
Gentlemen, we have all heard, read, got the hint that some Masters in the Bank Line had a differing view to the way the victualing of the ship should be handled.
With tongue in cheek, I challenge you: Who were your best and worst feeding ships (obviously, for libel reasons, some may wish to use other than proper names of the Master in Command at that time).:confused:

cant remember the worst feeder,probably working to hard.
Best feeder was ettrickbank(Inver trading and transport) Chinese crew master JR Lynch.
jim

Charlie Stitt
19th October 2010, 10:12
Did it really have a lot to do with who the Master was on board ? I would suggest, more to do with the proficiency of the Butla and Galley Wallah. I can remember sailing on Bankboats were the end result coming from the galley was quite good, then a change of crew, blimey, although it was the very same menu/stores, you could not recognise what the mess was on your plate. The repetitive nature of the Menu did'nt help much, remember, the moans and groans usually started after a month or so, as we become bored with the same thing day after day, one look at the menu, and you could tell what day it was. On the Laganbank with Capt R A Leach as Master, we had a few moans coming from the Engineers Allyway, one guy in particular claimed the meat we took on board was rubbish, so Capt Leach arranged for this chap to inspect the meat before and while it come on board, no complaints, meat looked ok, one happy Engineer. Surprise, surprise, nothing changed, same menu, same quality,( which was ok, usual Bank Line fodder), sorry there was one big change, no more groans from down the alley. Jim, perhaps having Chinese catering crew had something to do with the Ettrickbank being your best feeder.

Ian Harrod
19th October 2010, 10:32
I think you are getting to the point. Whilst ultimately the responsibility of the Old Man; if the butler was pulling the wool over his eyes and he did nothing about it, then we all suffered.
The number of times, as a cadet, we were stationed at strategic points on deck and at the ends of the alleyways to ensure the human stores change ended in the stores were numerous! Particularly the bond stores.

Alistair Macnab
19th October 2010, 14:02
OK already!

We've all had our fun complaining of Bank Line food and it's our God-given duty to complain about it. Sometimes it became repetitive and predictable; sometimes the Master/Butler were on some kind of misguided mission to 'save the company money';sometimes storing overseas resulted in inferior quality and sometimes the galley wallahs didn't know how to cut/prepare/present what they served up.

I am yet to hear of or even meet the poor starving apprentice or junior engineer whose life was blighted through malnutrition on Bank Boats!

Good feeders? Bad feeders?

I'm not going to say that "Inchanga" was one of the best because there were occasional 'luxury' items. Otherwise I seem to remember the catering was pretty ordinary. As for Chinese catering on "Ettrickbank" and "Carronbank": aboard the former the food was certainly novel and a change from the "Calcutta Book of British Dishes", but aboard the latter, it was sloppy and mediocre despite having a great Master, the late Peter Stewart.

I honestly cannot remember a great feeder! Here in the USA and despite dark suggestions from shipboard, stores were ordered just as designated by the Masters with no quality or price limitations imposed by the shore office. A sheep carcase supplied in New Orleans was certainly better than one from the Calcutta chandlers but both ended up tasting and looking the same on the saloon plate.

May I go so far and raise a few hackles by suggesting that we were just spoiled? Of course it became boring! I once as Master changed the fried chicken from Thursdays and Sundays to chicken salad or chicken satays on random days of the week. The result? A deputation of junior engineers complaining about the change!

In the immortal words of every Butler I sailed with; "What to do, sahib?". Master retires to his bedroom and the solace of the straight gin carefully and craftly concealed in the berth water bottle!

Winebuff
19th October 2010, 21:05
Never starved and there was usually enough choice available on each menu to make a meal.

It was the silly things that I missed - fresh milk 2 days out and the total inability of any galley to provide a rare steak.

Klaatu83
19th October 2010, 21:53
Military Sealift Command ships were appalling feeders. Roast beef or steak was only served about once every couple of months, providing the Chief Steward hadn't sold the meat ashore (not an uncommon practice). They generally ran out of fresh milk, fruit and vegetables by the end of the second week at sea, and the stewards used to sift the rice and flour before use to strain out the weevils. It was also not uncommon to find bugs in the Soda crackers, the way they used to do in ship's biscuit back in the "good old days".

Cockroaches were a common sight in the saloon, pantry and galley. We used to refer to them as "land shrimp". I even got one in my food once when I found a "bay leaf" in my lunch, turned it over with my fork, and discovered that the "bay leaf" had legs. When I showed it to the Old Man he said, "What are you complaining about? That's the only fresh meat you're going to see aboard this ship!"

A close second to MSC was Lykes Lines. The Lykes family, who owned the line, owned a meat-packing company, and were were also part owners of a chain of supermarkets. We strongly suspected that all the out-dated produce from both businesses used to end up in the galleys of their ships. I know for a fact that we once logged 22 cases of food poisoning amongst the crew on one of their freighters during the course of a single voyage.

Johnnietwocoats
20th October 2010, 01:44
OK already!

We've all had our fun complaining of Bank Line food and it's our God-given duty to complain about it. Sometimes it became repetitive and predictable; sometimes the Master/Butler were on some kind of misguided mission to 'save the company money';sometimes storing overseas resulted in inferior quality and sometimes the galley wallahs didn't know how to cut/prepare/present what they served up.

I am yet to hear of or even meet the poor starving apprentice or junior engineer whose life was blighted through malnutrition on Bank Boats!

Good feeders? Bad feeders?

I'm not going to say that "Inchanga" was one of the best because there were occasional 'luxury' items. Otherwise I seem to remember the catering was pretty ordinary. As for Chinese catering on "Ettrickbank" and "Carronbank": aboard the former the food was certainly novel and a change from the "Calcutta Book of British Dishes", but aboard the latter, it was sloppy and mediocre despite having a great Master, the late Peter Stewart.

I honestly cannot remember a great feeder! Here in the USA and despite dark suggestions from shipboard, stores were ordered just as designated by the Masters with no quality or price limitations imposed by the shore office. A sheep carcase supplied in New Orleans was certainly better than one from the Calcutta chandlers but both ended up tasting and looking the same on the saloon plate.

May I go so far and raise a few hackles by suggesting that we were just spoiled? Of course it became boring! I once as Master changed the fried chicken from Thursdays and Sundays to chicken salad or chicken satays on random days of the week. The result? A deputation of junior engineers complaining about the change!

In the immortal words of every Butler I sailed with; "What to do, sahib?". Master retires to his bedroom and the solace of the straight gin carefully and craftly concealed in the berth water bottle!

Alister.

I don't ever remember complaining about the food on the Eastbank, Foylebank, Fleetbank, Streambank and the Cedarbank during my apprenticeship. I was young and healthy and still in my Teens...
Fish and chips for breakfast and all sorts of curries for lunch was fine by me...
I worked so hard every day and in Port that all I needed was Carbs and Calories...
Master's Bonds didn't bother me either as none of them ever allowed me to drink even when I was twenty.
I got enough from the Engineers for cleaning their carpets etc.
I never had the pleasure of sailing with any of the "GOOD" Masters so I knew no different.
Now after I attained my 2nd Mates Certificate I moved on to Caltex...
That's when I discovered a whole new world...

Great Food....Great and very Competent Masters....Great Mates and efficient Engineers.....

Must admit though that Caltex Apprentices did not Learn nearly as much as a Bankline Appy....

BTW. Both Companies employed Indian Crews.

Indian Chief Stewards, Serangs, Tindals etc. etc. the works....

They were even treated better in Caltex...

Having said that...Would I go back and change my Apprenticeship?....No

Life is all about enduring the good and the bad. Makes us stronger as we get older....

JTC(Smoke)

Alan Rawlinson
20th October 2010, 10:52
When I was responsible for the offshore catering - for 100's of men, the contractors were falling over themselves to get the contract and pressed envelopes stuffed with wadges of notes into my hand...

If accepted, it inevitably led to a rapid lowering of catering standards on board, and the juicy steaks became less frequent, and buns and stodge appeared freely during the tea and coffee breaks. I learned quite a few tricks in the UK offshore fields from very skilled and experienced caterers. The name of the game was to get the lowest cost per head per day...

Broadening the study even wider, maritime history is peppered with references to the situation on board in the 1700's 1800's and later when the richest man on board was the guy responsible for the stores and the catering. I don't imagine this suddenly changed for the better in our day!

Charlie Stitt
20th October 2010, 10:56
Never starved and there was usually enough choice available on each menu to make a meal.

It was the silly things that I missed - fresh milk 2 days out and the total inability of any galley to provide a rare steak.

The first ''Garlic Steak'' I ever tasted was on the old Myrtlebank in 1955, they were done on top of the big coal fired iron range, we must have taken them on board in BA. The treat was a one of I think, then back to porridge, and grey bread. Yummy.

Jim Mclaughlin
20th October 2010, 13:28
Joined a palm boat in leith with an SOS in the late 70s.
I was not to keen on her with one thing and another. When we sat down for the first meal it was like slop from another era. That was enough for the SOS and myself sod three months of this, we were ofski in one day.

No offence intended palm lads

Charlie Stitt
21st October 2010, 21:31
Until I acquired the taste for a good Indian curry, then my First Bank Line ship was the worst feeder, but then, when my taste buds had a change of heart, and told me, this curry is something special, I could'nt wait until the next bowl come my way. Delicious. Must add, I pity the poor sod who joined Bank Line, Brocks, Clan Line etc who never did acquire the taste. One generous helping of a good Bank Line curry at lunchtime, did we really need much more ? I would now settle for a cup of tea and a biscuit in the morning and evening, if I could only have a good big nosh up of a Bank Line curry for my lunch. Must go now to get my prayer mat out.

david harrod
22nd October 2010, 10:05
I do not ever remember steak on a Bank Line menu; I remember chips and picallilly for breakfast, chip butties and Sunday dinners in Calcutta:roast beef and baked and boiled potatoes (meat and two veg, right?) I also remember a copra voyage Singapore to Bordeaux via the Cape; coming up Biscay we were reduced to a salad at lunch that consisted of a slice off the 40 fathom coil of bologna all bank boats were issued with on launching and raw onion and beetroot artistically spread around a bowl. We got into port and the old man ordered bread and fresh greens...we got garlic shoots and so much french bread we took a list...funny how much you get when you order it by weight...

jimthehat
22nd October 2010, 12:51
I do not ever remember steak on a Bank Line menu; I remember chips and picallilly for breakfast, chip butties and Sunday dinners in Calcutta:roast beef and baked and boiled potatoes (meat and two veg, right?) I also remember a copra voyage Singapore to Bordeaux via the Cape; coming up Biscay we were reduced to a salad at lunch that consisted of a slice off the 40 fathom coil of bologna all bank boats were issued with on launching and raw onion and beetroot artistically spread around a bowl. We got into port and the old man ordered bread and fresh greens...we got garlic shoots and so much french bread we took a list...funny how much you get when you order it by weight...

Who needed steak on board,going round the oz coast it was ashore at every oppurtunity into the first cafe and a huge steak and a quart of cold fresh milk,AND we could afford it on an appys pay.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
22nd October 2010, 14:35
Many of the contributors to the Bankline menu discussion will have later experience of the food served up on Offshore platforms. The fare bore no comparison, but I would be the first to say that the Bankline feeding was adequate, and although I didn't eat the curries, I can't recall being particularly deprived. On the Maplebank, we worked hard, I was always hungry. The interior of the galley was a familiar area, as we helped ourselves to a snack during the nightime hours, sneaking down from the bridge!

Onboard the platforms offshore, both in the North Sea, and the Persian Gulf, the food is a major feature ( relieves the boredom??) and it was common for the French crews to demand and get a choice of 12 or more different types of cheese after a meal. Prime steaks, and top class nosh all the way...

Charlie Stitt
22nd October 2010, 16:03
Who needed steak on board,going round the oz coast it was ashore at every oppurtunity into the first cafe and a huge steak and a quart of cold fresh milk,AND we could afford it on an appys pay.

jim

Yes Jim ,a meat pie at the warfies canteen more like.

Charlie Stitt
22nd October 2010, 16:11
Many of the contributors to the Bankline menu discussion will have later experience of the food served up on Offshore platforms. The fare bore no comparison, but I would be the first to say that the Bankline feeding was adequate, and although I didn't eat the curries, I can't recall being particularly deprived. On the Maplebank, we worked hard, I was always hungry. The interior of the galley was a familiar area, as we helped ourselves to a snack during the nightime hours, sneaking down from the bridge!

Onboard the platforms offshore, both in the North Sea, and the Persian Gulf, the food is a major feature ( relieves the boredom??) and it was common for the French crews to demand and get a choice of 12 or more different types of cheese after a meal. Prime steaks, and top class nosh all the way...
No, did'nt have to suffer the platforms to get top rate tucker, just walk down the road and jump on board an ASN ferry.(Eat)

jimthehat
22nd October 2010, 23:19
No, did'nt have to suffer the platforms to get top rate tucker, just walk down the road and jump on board an ASN ferry.(Eat)

yes Charlie we did feed well in ASN.

best feeding ever(after the wifes)was whilst working in port safety in jeddah,3 slap up meals a day and if one was on day shift lunch would be brought in from the villa and served up with all the trimmings,no wine tho.

jim

rabaul
23rd October 2010, 18:11
I have just returned from a night out eating in a smart resturant where the portions are more suited to skinny super models rather than a 'traditionally built mature scotsmen'. I was surprised to see tapioca on the pudding menu - my mind went back thirty plus years to plates of poverty pudding at lunch time - rice , sago , vermicelli , macaroni and tapioca - I loved them all , with a dribble of milk ( even watered down connie onnie) to fuel me through an afternoon on deck - I had no hesitation in ordering it .Imagine my disappointment when a shot glass appeared with a table spoonful of tapioca arrived in front of me decorated with a sprig of rosemary and placed on a square black plate. Tasted great but hardly the rib sticking substenance of my youth. I await to see fritters and syrup making appearence in the near future.

Joe C
24th October 2010, 14:16
Going to sea in the fifties there can't have been too many who could have had a case to moan about the food.We had only recently stopped using our ration books!
The fare in the saloon was mind- blowing to a sixteen year old who had been consuming neeps and tatties on a regular basis.
I balked at some of the dishes though, "brains on toast"was too much for my delicate constitution and some of the high octane curries played havoc with my nether regions!!

Waighty
15th September 2011, 15:54
Military Sealift Command ships were appalling feeders. Roast beef or steak was only served about once every couple of months, providing the Chief Steward hadn't sold the meat ashore (not an uncommon practice). They generally ran out of fresh milk, fruit and vegetables by the end of the second week at sea, and the stewards used to sift the rice and flour before use to strain out the weevils. It was also not uncommon to find bugs in the Soda crackers, the way they used to do in ship's biscuit back in the "good old days".

Cockroaches were a common sight in the saloon, pantry and galley. We used to refer to them as "land shrimp". I even got one in my food once when I found a "bay leaf" in my lunch, turned it over with my fork, and discovered that the "bay leaf" had legs. When I showed it to the Old Man he said, "What are you complaining about? That's the only fresh meat you're going to see aboard this ship!"

A close second to MSC was Lykes Lines. The Lykes family, who owned the line, owned a meat-packing company, and were were also part owners of a chain of supermarkets. We strongly suspected that all the out-dated produce from both businesses used to end up in the galleys of their ships. I know for a fact that we once logged 22 cases of food poisoning amongst the crew on one of their freighters during the course of a single voyage.

I was surprised to read about the food quality being poor on MSC and Lykes ships. I remember visiting an APL ship circa mid 1960s, name escapes me but could have been Jeff Davis, in Surabaya, Indonesia, where the food was fabulous and mountains of it; seriously good hospitality. I was with Ben Line as a cadet at the time and at one stage seriously thought of trying to get a job on American ships once I had a 2nd Mates Ticket. I discovered Bank Line instead where generally I had no complaints about the food at all. (Eat)

Jocko
12th November 2011, 17:25
I agree with Joe C. I grew up under Rationing. Didn`t see a banana until I was about 11 years old. I sailed with Hogarths of Glasgow, Shaw savill, Canadian Pacific cargo and various wee Coasters and never had a bad feeder. We never ran short either and one of our runs from Vancouver to Capetown took 38 days. As for the weevils in the rice, at first I used to push them to the side of my plate but after a while I just ate them and I`m still hale and hearty at 74.

Satanic Mechanic
12th November 2011, 17:44
Some of the high octane curries played havoc with my nether regions!!

I was on board an Indian manned ship the other day - always a pleasure for me as I have to have curry at least once a week. This one was a yeehaa belter though it was off the Octane scale and was fairly near the top of the Semtex scale - absolutely wonderful but defo a few 'near tears' moments sometime later

Johnnietwocoats
16th November 2011, 00:01
I can't recall a bad meal in my four years as an Apprentice with Bank Line...

I ate everything that was put in front of me....

I ate everything for breakfast including fish and chips....

It was all worked off me in time for my Curry etc at lunch time....

By the time supper came around I was in a negative calorie mode and gulped down everything at the supper table...

No...Not one bad meal....JTC

Basil
16th November 2011, 01:18
Fyffes very good.
Certainly beat subsequent service in the RAF where guys on secondment from other European countries were scathing in their comments about our food.

Jocko
16th November 2011, 09:45
Johnnietwocoats, your right. We worked hard and burned off calories like nobody`s business. I remember we could eat three really good meals a day on board. Go ashore in the States or Canada, have a good drink and then scoff a huge T-bone steak with all the trimmings. When we got back to the ship we headed for the Duty mess for a corned beef sandwich!!!!! The laugh was that working in the heat of the Engineroom there wasn`t a pick on us. When I used to go home on leave my mother used to think that we were being starved and I had to explain to her that the food was great.