The last days of Palm Line

palmoil chop
12th December 2010, 17:27
It doesn't come out until the end of January 2011, so it's unfortunately a bit late for a Christmas present. However, the end of January is a bit of a bleak time of year, especially this winter. That being so, an excellent opportunity to enjoy once again the sunshine of West Africa.

If you go to :

www.amazon.co.uk/ Palm-Small-Chop-John-Goble

then you'll find details of a book that not only charts the last days of Palm Line but also recalls the quarter century before as seen from the decks of three shipping companies (ED's and NNSL are the other two). Lots of memories of a long-forgotten trade, all written down before remembrance of them is lost for ever.

father john
20th December 2010, 11:23
Palm Oil and Small Chop. by John Goble.
Sounds pretty interesting to me , being an old Palm Line Hand from the 60's

palmoil chop
26th December 2010, 19:05
Many thanks for your positive response. The Palm Line section of the book is just from 1979 onwards, the last few years of the company's existence but probably the best times I had down the coast. I was with ED's in the 1960s and my experiences will probably ring a few bells for you.
I see that you're on the other side of the world now. Luckyyou, given the weather that we're currently enjoying. I served my time in the NZS and Fremantle was my first Australian port, called there in early 1959. My last Aussie visit involved spending Christmas 1985 in Risdon by Hobart. I also visited Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane. I could scarcely believe how much they had changed. And now, 25 years further on, they're probably even more unrecognisable. Maybe I'll get the chance one day of a third visit but there's also the wise advice : never return to places fondly remembered. They've changed, you're a lot older and it might all add up to disappointment.

I hope that you enjoy the book in due course. Let me know if you spot anything that reveals a faulty memory !

very best regards

lakercapt
27th December 2010, 01:00
, an excellent opportunity to enjoy once again the sunshine of West Africa.

.

Alas I can't think along these lines as the sunshine , when not in the rainy season, meant long hours on deck being baked and trying to keep a track of what was going on dodging logs or errant slings of cargo with labour that could and did go to sleep at the winch controls.
I really don't have many fond memories of Palm line and west Africa and the only reason I stayed was they paid my study time when I was up for mates and masters.
Course we have some that will disagree but that is my perception.

father john
30th December 2010, 10:13
Many thanks for your positive response. The Palm Line section of the book is just from 1979 onwards, the last few years of the company's existence but probably the best times I had down the coast. I was with ED's in the 1960s and my experiences will probably ring a few bells for you.
I see that you're on the other side of the world now. Luckyyou, given the weather that we're currently enjoying. I served my time in the NZS and Fremantle was my first Australian port, called there in early 1959. My last Aussie visit involved spending Christmas 1985 in Risdon by Hobart. I also visited Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane. I could scarcely believe how much they had changed. And now, 25 years further on, they're probably even more unrecognisable. Maybe I'll get the chance one day of a third visit but there's also the wise advice : never return to places fondly remembered. They've changed, you're a lot older and it might all add up to disappointment.

I hope that you enjoy the book in due course. Let me know if you spot anything that reveals a faulty memory !

very best regards

I think that we may have met at S O Nav. Southampton in 58/59, pretty hard to remember that far back though. As you correctly guessed the weather down under is great, unless one lives in Qld. which is half under water at the moment. Risdon in 85 was probably for Lead or Zinc residue I should think. Yes Sydney Melbourne, and Brisbane have changed a lot in the last 25 years, there is a huge commodities boom going on here and Perth W A is leading the charge. I look forward to reading your book as I was with Palm Line from 63 - 69 and experienced pretty much the same as E D's etc.
I still have some vivid memories of West Africa, I bet W A W A and TWAFU ring a few bells !

WilliamH
30th December 2010, 11:24
I seem to rember WAWA wood was very light weight, and was a Mates nightmare because it took up so much space, I have often heard it referred to as West Africa Wins Again.

father john
30th December 2010, 22:23
Yes WilliamH you are correct on both counts, so you obviously spent some time in West Africa. TWAFU referred to a " Typical West African F*** Up", and a TWANFU was a "Typical West African Non adjustable F Up". The mind boggles at what the stevedore's employees could do, as Lakercapt mentions, labour going to sleep at the winch controls !

slick
31st December 2010, 16:21
All,
After serving my time in Hains Palm Line was like a another world and the work on deck was easier!!

Yours aye,

slick

palmoil chop
2nd January 2011, 07:59
The West African trade was pretty black and white (no pun intended!). You either liked it or loathed it but then all trades had their drawbacks and even life at sea was never 100 per cent enjoyable. In my book I try not to wear too rose-tinted a view but I still think it was an experience worth remembering. I would guess that most of us who visited the Coast are nowadays far better off than than the poor sods who had to live there and still do.

WAWA : West Africa wins again ! The wawa name was also attached to the type of timber called obeche, very light and therefore took up probably double the space of the hardwood timbers. I was told that its growth was encouraged in wartime as an alternative softwood when we were cut off from other sources such as Scandinavia.
Other Nigerian abbreviations were NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority = No Proper Arrangement) and NEPA (Nigerian Electric Power Authority = No Electric Power Again).
Palaver dere too much !

slick
2nd January 2011, 11:27
All,
'Fine pass all'.

Yours aye,

slick

woodend
2nd January 2011, 14:52
Hey 'my friend' why for you abuse me! These posts brought back many memories! Palm oil chop, hours to prepare an hour to eat and the afternoon to sleep it off (hopefully).(Thumb)

father john
3rd January 2011, 10:34
I found West Africa an interesting and 'different' area to visit. Negotiating the Niger delta creeks to Sapele, Burutu and Warri was quite an experience on an ocean going ship, also steaming up the Congo river to Matadi was another completely different sort of place to visit, then there was Lobito and Luanda in Angola, quite different again.
Palm Line had some good ships in the 60,s and short trips from Northern Europe to west Africa had some advantages over a much longer voyage to NZ Australia or the Far East.

RSalvidge
6th January 2011, 22:47
Hello,
My grandfather - John Salvidge - was a Captain and (I think) Commodore with Palm Line in the 60s/70s/80s. I was wondering if anyone knew him and could give me any information about him? He was with the Merchant Navy during WW2 and was sunk more than once. That's about all I know I'm afraid! He lived near Hull. There's very little online about the ships and crew!
Thanks
Rachel

father john
9th January 2011, 00:12
Hello Rachel,
Yes I remember your grandfather Captain John Salvidge quite clearly. I sailed with him on two occasions when he was Master of MV Bamenda Palm. I was 4th Officer on the first occasion in 1963, and 3rd Officer on the second occasion in 1965. Both times on Bamenda Palm. I have good memories of him, and found him to be an excellent Captain to sail with, and you can feel justified to be proud of him. I remember him as being a gentleman who commanded his ship in a calm, efficient manner, and was well respected by his crew and others.
John.

Ken Davidson
2nd June 2011, 23:04
All,
After serving my time in Hains Palm Line was like a another world and the work on deck was easier!!

Yours aye,

slick
Hi
I too served my time with Hain ss co then went to palm line between1953 and 1961

Regards
ken Davidson

Chris Weston
13th June 2011, 22:57
How about the father of them all
Nigeria
Nothing is guaranteed except rain in august

Africapalm
23rd June 2013, 17:03
It doesn't come out until the end of January 2011, so it's unfortunately a bit late for a Christmas present. However, the end of January is a bit of a bleak time of year, especially this winter. That being so, an excellent opportunity to enjoy once again the sunshine of West Africa.

If you go to :

www.amazon.co.uk/ Palm-Small-Chop-John-Goble

then you'll find details of a book that not only charts the last days of Palm Line but also recalls the quarter century before as seen from the decks of three shipping companies (ED's and NNSL are the other two). Lots of memories of a long-forgotten trade, all written down before remembrance of them is lost for ever.

Hi John, just read you book, brilliant, brings back so many memories even for us palm engineers who never got out on deck much. Don't think our paths crossed even though I was with palm from 75 - 86.

d crosby
6th April 2014, 15:34
Any old palmer Lecky's out there or any one who sailed on the ILORIN PALM 1967 it would great to hear from people who sailed on her at the time.
D CROSBY.

Africapalm
6th April 2014, 21:27
Hi,

Not in touch with any lecky's from palm, but you may remember my cousin Hugh Dop, who was in palm around the late 60s and seventies.

I will forward your mail to others who were around at that time, to see if anyone knows any electricians, quite a few from the Sunderland area are still meeting up, c Curtis, n Thompson m Scott, I'm in touch with m Hurley, b Elsmoor who may have been on Ilesha around that time.

Mark

slick
7th April 2014, 10:46
All,
Memory does not serve me too well, but do I remember a El.Off. John Ross from East Ham I sailed with him on the Badagry Palm in 1963-1964.

Yours aye,

slick

oldun
7th April 2014, 12:45
On the Lagosian/ Lagos Palm 1949, picked up Kru boys in Freetown who were with us all down coast,Accra, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Sappele and a call in at Fernando Po. Fight over a broken window in the local "white only" club left one of the crew with severe head injuries, 7/6d for a new pane of glass was thought to be over the top. Happy days, mepacrine,salt tablets, boils, not too much work! Oldun