Xmas in the Bankline...

Alan Rawlinson
3rd November 2011, 08:39
Here's a seasonal thread which has not yet been explored. Good, Bad, or unusual Xmas times on the Bank Boats...

My odd one was Maplebank 1954 at sea. The white crew stewards tastefully decorated the saloon bulkheads with hugely inflated condoms from the medical locker - gave it a seasonal flavour!

Tony Selman
3rd November 2011, 09:31
Alan, I was under the impression that all Bank Line ships had Asian crews. How many ships had white crew?

Duncan112
3rd November 2011, 09:41
The streamers in the saloon being "singed" by an over enthusiastically ignited Christmas pudding, Sparky phoning home on New Years Eve from Antwerp to find out his houseboat had burned down to the waterline, blacking out in the middle of the Pacific, but most of all the cameraderie.

Not Bank Line but on a CNCo ship up the Gulf, following Christmas Dinner a choice of Christmas Pudding or mince pies and custard, you've guessed it lads..... wrong mince!!

jimthehat
3rd November 2011, 13:05
Alan, I was under the impression that all Bank Line ships had Asian crews. How many ships had white crew?
early 50s I think there were three.
maplebank52=54 xmas in Bunbury or gerldton.

http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z341/chiefmate/cid_0B30623B59384D3DAE2DC4A68D3EFF13user4ef6874ddb shipscrowd1.jpg
Click on link for photo master had just joined taking over from Mountain who had disappeared crossing the pacific

Alan Rawlinson
3rd November 2011, 14:10
Alan, I was under the impression that all Bank Line ships had Asian crews. How many ships had white crew?

Hi Tony,

The Bankline liberties were crewed by Europeans after the war, and they gradually were phased out as the ships were sold - and the management became a problem, maninly with discipline and desertions.

I think the trip I had with a Liverpool crew on the Maplebank was one of the last ones. Great fun and wildly chaotic in port, with drink being the problem. We managed the best part of 2 years but all the original crew ( except one\) had long deserted for pastures anew in Australia and New Zealand. In those days, the vacancies were filled with deserters from previous ships who had been rounded up.

It was an unforgettable time, with the overriding memory after all these layers of time being the natural Scouse humour.

JoeQ
3rd November 2011, 14:33
Hazelbank 1978 in Xing Can (sp?) in China discharging bales of cotton. About 3 feet of snow on deck and me on watch (2nd Mate). A good time was had by all, great trip.

Hamish Mackintosh
3rd November 2011, 16:18
Hi Tony,

The Bankline liberties were crewed by Europeans after the war, and they gradually were phased out as the ships were sold - and the management became a problem, maninly with discipline and desertions.

I think the trip I had with a Liverpool crew on the Maplebank was one of the last ones. Great fun and wildly chaotic in port, with drink being the problem. We managed the best part of 2 years but all the original crew ( except one\) had long deserted for pastures anew in Australia and New Zealand. In those days, the vacancies were filled with deserters from previous ships who had been rounded up.

It was an unforgettable time, with the overriding memory after all these layers of time being the natural Scouse humour.

On the Ivybank old man Hale would sign anyone who didn't a limb missing , we signed two "geordie" brick layers on in Adelaid, as firemen, who had got to Ozz as ten shilling poms, but were homesick.They lasted the rest of the trip including twotrips up to the islands for phosphate

David E
4th November 2011, 00:18
Hi Tony,

The Bankline liberties were crewed by Europeans after the war, and they gradually were phased out as the ships were sold - and the management became a problem, maninly with discipline and desertions.

I think the trip I had with a Liverpool crew on the Maplebank was one of the last ones. Great fun and wildly chaotic in port, with drink being the problem. We managed the best part of 2 years but all the original crew ( except one\) had long deserted for pastures anew in Australia and New Zealand. In those days, the vacancies were filled with deserters from previous ships who had been rounded up.

It was an unforgettable time, with the overriding memory after all these layers of time being the natural Scouse humour.

Alan,
Some of the old "Empires" as well.Did a short spell in "Lochybank" in
'52-estimate there was that 70% of the crowd had jumped in Australia and New Zealand.

jimthehat
4th November 2011, 00:27
Alan,
Some of the old "Empires" as well.Did a short spell in "Lochybank" in
'52-estimate there was that 70% of the crowd had jumped in Australia and New Zealand.

I am sure that it was written into the articles that the crew had to jump ship at some point.
On the maplebank 18 months londonto Bromborough we only HAD THE BOSUN LEFT ON DECK,ALL THE STEWARDS WERE NEW i THINK THAT THE E/R CREW WERE THE MOST FAITHFUL.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
4th November 2011, 08:13
I am sure that it was written into the articles that the crew had to jump ship at some point.
On the maplebank 18 months londonto Bromborough we only HAD THE BOSUN LEFT ON DECK,ALL THE STEWARDS WERE NEW i THINK THAT THE E/R CREW WERE THE MOST FAITHFUL.

jim

Ditto - we had one bloke left, an EDH called Smith. Always felt sorry for him, because he was the most loyal, or the most wimpish, depending on where you were coming from. The Master gave him a D.R. on discharge for his troubles, when he had stood by and done all the jobs that the rest were too p....d to do!

Travelling back to the UK from Hamburg on the ferry was a riot. The crew were totally tanked up the whole way and causing mayhem. One of them had a parrot in a cage, and which was feet up when the cloth was finally lifted! Like something out of a bad movie.

Waighty
5th November 2011, 16:54
Here's a seasonal thread which has not yet been explored. Good, Bad, or unusual Xmas times on the Bank Boats...

My odd one was Maplebank 1954 at sea. The white crew stewards tastefully decorated the saloon bulkheads with hugely inflated condoms from the medical locker - gave it a seasonal flavour!

Maybe not the best but certainly the most tense, well leading up to it anyway. Birchbank 1977, December 24th, completing loading at Durban for France and Italy on Chargeurs Reunis charter. Agent ascertained that East London had one vacant berth on Christmas Day, he also advised that a Messagerie Maritime ship also in Durban, also completing that day and also after the East London berth! We finished first and got away first but the unmistakeable shape of the black painted MM ship was getting ever closer in the dark. 3rd and 2nd Mates kept an eye on the radar distance but there was no doubting that she had the edge on us and would get by eventually. Don Young, the Master got the Chief to pile on all the revs he could. Would we make it? :eek:

Ironically, we had a charterer's French supercargo with us who visited the MM ship in Durban, partly to mix with some of his own countrymen but mainly to cadge some French cheese off them! He forecast that they would get to East London first. Whoever failed would have to anchor off and roll for two or three days. (Sad)

The pilots put out a VHF broadcast stating that they would take one ship in if it arrived at or before 1000. Don Young answered immediately stating that we would be there at 0945. THe MM ship made no reply for a few minutes but then claimed it would be there at 0945 also! The pilot said whover got there first would get the pilot.

Now I don't know whether it was luck or just those few extra revs but we got the pilot at around 1000, got berthed and had a great Christmas Dinner plus an extra day off on the 26th. (Bounce)

On Christmas afternoon whilst walking off the meal we watched the MM ship rolling quite heavily outside East London. There but for the grace of God....

RayL
5th November 2011, 17:51
<<Master had just joined taking over from Mountain who had disappeared crossing the pacific>>

As I have already remarked elsewhere, we were warned at radio college not to let ourselves get into arguments when we got to sea, so the above might be an example of what was being implied.

By and large I abided by the advice, but there were inevitably exceptions. For example, on Christmas Eve 1966 the radar system failed (my responsibility as R/O, of course) and it turned out that the 3/O had tied bunting to the scanner thus blowing the circuit breaker.

jimthehat
5th November 2011, 20:05
<<Master had just joined taking over from Mountain who had disappeared crossing the pacific>>

As I have already remarked elsewhere, we were warned at radio college not to let ourselves get into arguments when we got to sea, so the above might be an example of what was being implied.

By and large I abided by the advice, but there were inevitably exceptions. For example, on Christmas Eve 1966 the radar system failed (my responsibility as R/O, of course) and it turned out that the 3/O had tied bunting to the scanner thus blowing the circuit breaker.
Was certainly not implying that an argument was the possible cause of the master being lost at sea.
The old man like many others had been at sea all during WW2 and maybe his nerves suffered,12 hours before arriving at our first port we had a major E/r fire and we ended up in drydock for 3 weeks.
This fire was certainly on the masters mind cos he used to come into my and the other first trippers cabin and discuss certain matters .

which came out at the coroners inquest in brisbane
jim

iain48
5th November 2011, 21:09
Elmbank christmas dinner 1973 only time I wore whites and epaulettes for meal or anything else.

John Dryden
5th November 2011, 22:16
First xmas was in Calcutta,must have been a poor one as my journal entry says ''continued discharging cargo''.
Second one was good,spent in Albany and remember being interviewed by the local radio station about what it was like spending Christmas far from home.
Third one back in Calcutta,no cargo work this time though so a bit better.
PS Waightys yarn was brilliant!

Macphail
5th November 2011, 23:32
MV Larchbank
Christmas 1967.

Captain Freddy Feint. Master.
In the centre of the Pacific on passage to Aussie.
The dining salon was like an oven, so we all sat in our best simit and ball bags.
Being Christmas, we had Tennants lager, the directors pictures had been got at, Andy Weir and co, had there head showing , but , below was the body of a Playboy centre fold.
The spread laid on by Captain Feint was first class.
The Captain proposed a toast to the Queen, the Christmas pudding arrived, this was liberally sloshed with brandy.
Captain, “I will now light the Christmas pudding”, WOOSH!!!, Freddy lost his eyebrows.

Happy days.


All the best,
John

Alan Rawlinson
6th November 2011, 07:13
Great stories - also love the race down to East London as described by ' Weighty '!

A couple of 'downers' stick in my mind, one in Galveston, ( Crestbank 1959) when we were all expected to participate in the Xmas dinner alongside, and I chose to give it a miss and roam the seafront bars instead..... Had a great time, but it got me in hot water on return. Can recall the free Turkey buffet and all the trimmings in some of the bars.

A bit later, and post Bankline, as a ferry mate, clearly remember being asked to go to the Master's cabin, where we were solemnly presented with a small bottle of beer to mark Xmas day, and as a present from the company!! We were all underwhelmed.

jimthehat
6th November 2011, 20:56
Great stories - also love the race down to East London as described by ' Weighty '!

A couple of 'downers' stick in my mind, one in Galveston, ( Crestbank 1959) when we were all expected to participate in the Xmas dinner alongside, and I chose to give it a miss and roam the seafront bars instead..... Had a great time, but it got me in hot water on return. Can recall the free Turkey buffet and all the trimmings in some of the bars.

A bit later, and post Bankline, as a ferry mate, clearly remember being asked to go to the Master's cabin, where we were solemnly presented with a small bottle of beer to mark Xmas day, and as a present from the company!! We were all underwhelmed.

Alan ,you must have been in the wrong ferry outfit should have joined ASN/Townsend,great company.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
7th November 2011, 07:22
Alan ,you must have been in the wrong ferry outfit should have joined ASN/Townsend,great company.

jim

Jim,

You could be right - certainly low on Xmas cheer on that occasion. Sealink/BR had its compensations though, which I did rather well out of, getting paid reduced wages for 3 years whilst away at Uni. Also kept my rank on return, which didn't go down too well with my shipmates!

Going back to the Bankline Xmases, for some strange reason the boxing day shenanigans were more memorable for me. Can remember some wild parties complete with young ladies in both Sydney and the US gulf coast ports.

Winebuff
7th November 2011, 10:02
When I asked why the food was always better on Christmas day, I was informed the galley had more notice.
My retort along the lines of "how much notice did they need for the other days of the week?" Was not too well received.

jimthehat
7th November 2011, 11:01
When I asked why the food was always better on Christmas day, I was informed the galley had more notice.
My retort along the lines of "how much notice did they need for the other days of the week?" Was not too well received.

When I read this post I thought "cant be a bank line man,but I was wrong,but what was wrong with bank line food? the apps grew big and strong on what was dished out.
sailed on the ettrickbank,chinese crew ship was "Inver trading and transport 2 and we got the best food at sea.

jim

Alistair Macnab
7th November 2011, 16:54
Ships owned by the "Inver" company were: Eskbank", "Ettrickbank", "Teesbank" and "Rowanbank" of 1937 and then the "Laganbank" of 1955. Operated within the Bank Line management which had always some Hong Kong Chinese crews for ships captive to the Oriental African Line. "Ettrickbank" latterly was one and so was the "Carronbank". Agree, the food was certainly a welcome change from Bengali cuisine being more imaginative and varied. Spent Christmas 1956 on the "Ettrickbank" and Christmases
1960, 1961 and 1962 on "Carronbank" (long trip!)

Andy Lavies
7th November 2011, 17:02
Imaginative chinese crew menus! I remember "Springing Frog in the Fried Potato"
Andy

Andy Lavies
7th November 2011, 17:13
Ah! Yes. 'T'was "Toad in the Hole"
Andy

Steven Lamb
7th November 2011, 18:19
Who needed Xmas dinner - when curry was on for breakfast !
Never a dull moment in the "The Bankline"

Cheers
Lamby
Sparky on :- Ivybank & Nessbank - late 70's

jimthehat
7th November 2011, 22:41
Ships owned by the "Inver" company were: Eskbank", "Ettrickbank", "Teesbank" and "Rowanbank" of 1937 and then the "Laganbank" of 1955. Operated within the Bank Line management which had always some Hong Kong Chinese crews for ships captive to the Oriental African Line. "Ettrickbank" latterly was one and so was the "Carronbank". Agree, the food was certainly a welcome change from Bengali cuisine being more imaginative and varied. Spent Christmas 1956 on the "Ettrickbank" and Christmases
1960, 1961 and 1962 on "Carronbank" (long trip!)

I was 2/0 on the ettrickbank,JR lynch master....christmas 1959...1960 and left in calcutta 21/12/61,dont know what we were doing in calcutta as we had done the two years on the far east run.

pete
12th November 2011, 11:16
Was on one Bank Boat when we spent Christmas in Saudi..Nuff said??.....pete

jimthehat
12th November 2011, 11:24
Was on one Bank Boat when we spent Christmas in Saudi..Nuff said??.....pete

Spent 5 xmases in saudi nothing wrong with that

Waighty
12th November 2011, 17:14
First xmas was in Calcutta,must have been a poor one as my journal entry says ''continued discharging cargo''.
Second one was good,spent in Albany and remember being interviewed by the local radio station about what it was like spending Christmas far from home.
Third one back in Calcutta,no cargo work this time though so a bit better.
PS Waightys yarn was brilliant!

Hello John, maybe I was just lucky, I never got to Calcutta but did spend at Christmas in Chittagong; working! We put the meal off until Colombo a few weeks later. That was on Shirrabank.

Mike