Bank Line ship models

Alan Rawlinson
28th January 2012, 09:09
The interesting appearance of the ' white ship ' builders model got me thinking what happened to all of the rather nice models that I once spotted in the Bank Line Tower Hill offices that they occupied after Bury St. There was a very nice glass cased model of the ' Southbank ' I remember.

Are there any ex employees out there, perhaps reading this, who could say what happened to them?

pete
28th January 2012, 09:49
Further to your post Alan whatever happened to all those Log Books that we so laboriously copied out???.......pete

DURANGO
28th January 2012, 13:13
The interesting appearance of the ' white ship ' builders model got me thinking what happened to all of the rather nice models that I once spotted in the Bank Line Tower Hill offices that they occupied after Bury St. There was a very nice glass cased model of the ' Southbank ' I remember.

Are there any ex employees out there, perhaps reading this, who could say what happened to them? The offices that you mention where at Royal mint court , I was an a.b. in the merchant navy , when I left the sea or rather the sea left us as all the ships where going to the breakers I got a job in the lift trade I worked my way up from a mate to becoming a lift engineer and I used to repair the lifts in Royal mint ct I well remember standing in the reception of the Bank line offices looking at a large model of the 4 masted barque Olivebank , I asked the receptionist if during my lunch break could I make a sketch of her as it was my intention to build a model of her in a bottle [ ship,s in bottles being my hobby for over 45 years ] she said no problem so later on in the afternoon I was busy sketching away when all of a sudden I felt the presence of a tall man in a black overcoat standing next to me , he started to ask the receptionist what I was doing when I jumped straight in to explain myself and to tell him how I had seen Bank line ships all over the world and that I was an ex merchant seaman and once he sensed that I knew what I was talking about his exact words to me where " come with me then I am going to throw you out " he then took me to his office all done out in red leather furniture ,and there on the wall was a lovely painting of the Olivebank leaving a port in China after a brief conversation about ships and the Bank line he showed me off the premises as we where leaving the office,s we where passing all those lovely models of the Bank line ships and he was quite happy to stop and chat with me about them and there history [ it turned out he was the managing director who was only a few weeks away from retirement ] at a rough guess I would say this was about 15 years ago or there abouts , but the funniest part of the story was when I got back to the reception the receptionist said to me " I have worked here for years and he has never ever spoken to me " but then again maybe it was the fact that he was just for a short while talking to someone who understood ships I dont know his name and I dont know if he himself had ever been to sea although I am sure he must have , but as to where those models of all those fine ships ended up well that,s another story

Alan Rawlinson
28th January 2012, 16:38
The offices that you mention where at Royal mint court , I was an a.b. in the merchant navy , when I left the sea or rather the sea left us as all the ships where going to the breakers I got a job in the lift trade I worked my way up from a mate to becoming a lift engineer and I used to repair the lifts in Royal mint ct I well remember standing in the reception of the Bank line offices looking at a large model of the 4 masted barque Olivebank , I asked the receptionist if during my lunch break could I make a sketch of her as it was my intention to build a model of her in a bottle [ ship,s in bottles being my hobby for over 45 years ] she said no problem so later on in the afternoon I was busy sketching away when all of a sudden I felt the presence of a tall man in a black overcoat standing next to me , he started to ask the receptionist what I was doing when I jumped straight in to explain myself and to tell him how I had seen Bank line ships all over the world and that I was an ex merchant seaman and once he sensed that I knew what I was talking about his exact words to me where " come with me then I am going to throw you out " he then took me to his office all done out in red leather furniture ,and there on the wall was a lovely painting of the Olivebank leaving a port in China after a brief conversation about ships and the Bank line he showed me off the premises as we where leaving the office,s we where passing all those lovely models of the Bank line ships and he was quite happy to stop and chat with me about them and there history [ it turned out he was the managing director who was only a few weeks away from retirement ] at a rough guess I would say this was about 15 years ago or there abouts , but the funniest part of the story was when I got back to the reception the receptionist said to me " I have worked here for years and he has never ever spoken to me " but then again maybe it was the fact that he was just for a short while talking to someone who understood ships I dont know his name and I dont know if he himself had ever been to sea although I am sure he must have , but as to where those models of all those fine ships ended up well that,s another story

Hallo Durango, and greetings from Cornwall...

Many thanks for that posting - very interesting indeed. I knew the offices in Royal Mint Court because my son was working in the operations department for a while. Fascinating for me ( an old Bank Line hand) because I got a fair amount of feedback about what was going on, and I visited during lunchtime when we shared a beer or two, before No 1 son had to return to his desk with the model of the ' Southbank ' perched over him. Rightly or wrongly the marine department very much felt they played 'second fiddle ' to the 'futures and trading department ' which was starting to dominate the scene.

I will get the name of the gent with the red leather furniture, and will revert with this info later.

A couple of other points: As you probably know there are some stunning pics of the Olivebank from various angles. They are online , but I would be happy to email them to you if interested?

Re your hobby - I have a nice ship in a bottle - The 'Maplebank' (liberty ship) . I had it made for me by a kind gent who advertised in ' Sea Breezes ' about 40 years ago! It is in a brandy bottle, and it looks like he somehow managed to open the bottle from the bottom, and then re-seal it, but I could be wrong.
cheers/Alan

PS . I have just spoken with Guy who was in the Royal Mint court offices, and I drew a blank on the name of the MD. However, it seems there was one of the Weir family that either visited or had an office there. It seems that as the ships were sold off in that decade, the historical items, like the ship's bells, and any paintings etc were stored in a big storage room in the cellar!!

Are there any ex employees reading this that could shed some light on the fate of these items?

DURANGO
29th January 2012, 14:32
Hallo Durango, and greetings from Cornwall...

Many thanks for that posting - very interesting indeed. I knew the offices in Royal Mint Court because my son was working in the operations department for a while. Fascinating for me ( an old Bank Line hand) because I got a fair amount of feedback about what was going on, and I visited during lunchtime when we shared a beer or two, before No 1 son had to return to his desk with the model of the ' Southbank ' perched over him. Rightly or wrongly the marine department very much felt they played 'second fiddle ' to the 'futures and trading department ' which was starting to dominate the scene. I would be very interested in seeing paintings

I will get the name of the gent with the red leather furniture, and will revert with this info later.

A couple of other points: As you probably know there are some stunning pics of the Olivebank from various angles. They are online , but I would be happy to email them to you if interested?

Re your hobby - I have a nice ship in a bottle - The 'Maplebank' (liberty ship) . I had it made for me by a kind gent who advertised in ' Sea Breezes ' about 40 years ago! It is in a brandy bottle, and it looks like he somehow managed to open the bottle from the bottom, and then re-seal it, but I could be wrong.
cheers/Alan

PS . I have just spoken with Guy who was in the Royal Mint court offices, and I drew a blank on the name of the MD. However, it seems there was one of the Weir family that either visited or had an office there. It seems that as the ships were sold off in that decade, the historical items, like the ship's bells, and any paintings etc were stored in a big storage room in the cellar!!

Are there any ex employees reading this that could shed some light on the fate of these items? I would be very interested in seeing any photos or indeed paintings of the Olivebank I will always remember the model I saw back then as a lovely example and I only hope that she is being well looked after and admired as she deserves to be best regards Dave .

Alistair Macnab
29th January 2012, 19:15
Come on White Ship Guys! What are we going to do about the model? As China Hand has indicated, this is not going to be something that we can get hold of, even if we want to, without some financial transaction. Any thoughts?

As something else that has come to my attention and which would be an interesting relic to acquire is a copy of a British picture magazine of 1934 with a story about Lord Inverforth's Western Isles cruise on the brand new "Isipingo" with a veritable who's who of guests aboard. Great pictures of the full size swimming pool abaft the Bar Lounge verandha and cabins, barber's shop, bureau, dining room and sitting room etc.

I saw a copy of it once in Durban and wonder if there are any other copies available? All you UK retirees may have better ideas and connections than me, situated as I am here in Houston TX. Perhaps this can be one of the topics for discussion at the Annual Reunion?

Alan Rawlinson
29th January 2012, 20:02
I would be very interested in seeing any photos or indeed paintings of the Olivebank I will always remember the model I saw back then as a lovely example and I only hope that she is being well looked after and admired as she deserves to be best regards Dave .

Dave,

The Olivebank was sadly lost in the war in the North Sea. There are some postings about the incident elsewhere in the Bankline site, but briefly she rested on the bottom after being hit, and the upper spars were clear of the water, which allowed a few crew members to be rescued.

Alan Rawlinson
29th January 2012, 20:10
Come on White Ship Guys! What are we going to do about the model? As China Hand has indicated, this is not going to be something that we can get hold of, even if we want to, without some financial transaction. Any thoughts?

As something else that has come to my attention and which would be an interesting relic to acquire is a copy of a British picture magazine of 1934 with a story about Lord Inverforth's Western Isles cruise on the brand new "Isipingo" with a veritable who's who of guests aboard. Great pictures of the full size swimming pool abaft the Bar Lounge verandha and cabins, barber's shop, bureau, dining room and sitting room etc.

I saw a copy of it once in Durban and wonder if there are any other copies available? All you UK retirees may have better ideas and connections than me, situated as I am here in Houston TX. Perhaps this can be one of the topics for discussion at the Annual Reunion?

I think models are best situated where the maximum enjoyment can be had from them. i.e. a club entrance, or even a maritime restaurant - shame we don't have a venue - or do we?

How's this for an idea - ask the Holiday Inn, Birmingham for a placing for the model. A whip round at the reunion could then start the ball rolling. Just a thought.....

jimthehat
31st January 2012, 09:17
Further to your post Alan whatever happened to all those Log Books that we so laboriously copied out???.......pete

About 6-7 years ago i contacted the bank line marine super in London about getting hold of some cargo plans,He told me that some time before there had been a big fire down in the dungeons and almost all the company archives were lost.
That was a pity cos i had been looking forward to getting hold of some of the masterpieces I produced on the far east run.

jim

pete
1st February 2012, 08:31
Thanks Jim, I knew something had happened. As a matter of interest I recently had to contact the Bank Line office only to find that they now employ only 25 PEOPLE as opposed to the 2,000 plus in their heyday.......pete

Waighty
11th February 2012, 18:25
About 6-7 years ago i contacted the bank line marine super in London about getting hold of some cargo plans,He told me that some time before there had been a big fire down in the dungeons and almost all the company archives were lost.
That was a pity cos i had been looking forward to getting hold of some of the masterpieces I produced on the far east run.

jim

What about the masterpieces from PNG - cocoa, coffee etc. Spent many long hours doing those A4 sized detailed section plans for attachment to main plan. Three years later when Mate I was in Hamburg on Birchbank on charter I had a visit from 'Michel' who many of you will recall was the usual stevedore for Sopac. He wanted to know if I understood the detailed stowage plans for one of the Cora class that was due in in a few days, he needed a bit of guidance. I nearly collapsed when he showed me the plans, I don't know who the 2nd Mate was but all he'd done was photocopy some of mine from years before! So I was able to tell him exactly what they meant on the Corabank in 1975 but didn't hold out much hope for what it would be like now!

Neat trick though to get out of doing the section plans.

Shipbuilder
11th February 2012, 19:26
I built an ESKBANK a few years ago, but hardly a shipbuilders model. It got busted during transport to Canada!
Bob

Winebuff
12th February 2012, 13:21
I built an ESKBANK a few years ago, but hardly a shipbuilders model. It got busted during transport to Canada!
Bob

What a wonderful model and such a shame to have lost it in transit.(Applause)

Shipbuilder
12th February 2012, 13:38
It wasn't a write-off by any means. Some of the after derricks had been knocked off. The transit insurance paid out a small amount and I forwarded that to the buyer who said he was happy with that and he would repair it himslef. I also sent a repair kit and instructions out to him and assume he managed it OK, as I heard no more.
Bob

Alistair Macnab
12th February 2012, 20:06
She, and her sisters: "Ettrickbank" and "Teesbank", were neat little craft and were comfortable ships to sail on. I was on "Ettrickbank" 1956-1957 on the Oriental African Line. At first we had Indian crew but this was changed to Chinese crew. We came through a severe typhoon in the South China Sea taking 10 days to go from Singapore to Hong Kong. Throughout the worst of the weather, the ship help up beautifully although if I had been Master, I would have been a lot more concerned about our survival. Several deck crew lost their lives.

It might be worth mentioning that "Esk" and her other two sisters were actually owned by the Inver Transport & Trading Company and managed by Andrew Weir.

Yes, they were almost "Doxford Economies" but with a few Andrew Weir touches: girder derricks, 4-cylinder oil engine, wood sheathed main deck and a particularly inconvenient derrick arrangement at No.4 where the booms were very long and could be rigged at the full length position to serve the deep tank hatch or shortened for working No.4.

The model is beautiful and pretty accurate. If I can quibble, I would say that some hold vents were buff on the outside but all had pale blue interior cowls - the blue that is the proper colour of the Scottish St Andrew's flag.

Long may the model be cherished!

Shipbuilder
12th February 2012, 21:02
Thanks,
Colour schemes are always a problem. Before I build a model, I usually ask here about the colours, but seldom get any definate replies, so I have to guess. I used copies of the original plans to build the ship. It was not a commision or anything, I just felt like doing it. I think the biggest mistake was that I fitted her with conventional derricks, it was not until years later, that someone bothered to tell me they were the girder type as mentioned by Alistair. The plan did not show this, they just looked like normal ones - maybe they changed the design when it came to building the ship.
Bob

jimthehat
12th February 2012, 23:19
She, and her sisters: "Ettrickbank" and "Teesbank", were neat little craft and were comfortable ships to sail on. I was on "Ettrickbank" 1956-1957 on the Oriental African Line. At first we had Indian crew but this was changed to Chinese crew. We came through a severe typhoon in the South China Sea taking 10 days to go from Singapore to Hong Kong. Throughout the worst of the weather, the ship help up beautifully although if I had been Master, I would have been a lot more concerned about our survival. Several deck crew lost their lives.

It might be worth mentioning that "Esk" and her other two sisters were actually owned by the Inver Transport & Trading Company and managed by Andrew Weir.

Yes, they were almost "Doxford Economies" but with a few Andrew Weir touches: girder derricks, 4-cylinder oil engine, wood sheathed main deck and a particularly inconvenient derrick arrangement at No.4 where the booms were very long and could be rigged at the full length position to serve the deep tank hatch or shortened for working No.4.

The model is beautiful and pretty accurate. If I can quibble, I would say that some hold vents were buff on the outside but all had pale blue interior cowls - the blue that is the proper colour of the Scottish St Andrew's flag.

Long may the model be cherished!

Yes the ettrickbank was a great ship,I was on her as second mate from dec59 to dec 61 on the far east run .
We had a major fire onthe way to Singapore in no1 L/h and we spent about five weeks in singapore dangerous cargo anchorage trying to extinguish the fire withe the port fire brigade on board.
We had another fire in the E/r whilst in sandakan,an eventful time but a happy ship with bert Lynch in command.

jim