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  #1  
Old 1st April 2008, 10:22
Jim Harris Jim Harris is online now  
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Smile Tell me it isn't true!

Are there any old 'Bankliners' out there who did the Far East run?

In 1974, I was to join the 'Shirrabank' in Singapore bound for
Bangkok.... and I believe the flexible route was Thailand, Philippines,
Northern Australia [for sugar] Indonesia, Singapore then back to
Thailand going round and around!!

I believe that the voyages were at least 24 months, and the
ships never returned to Europe?

I also believe that the time in Bangkok was about 4 weeks and
the same in Manila, with your local 'wife' living on board being the norm?

Is this correct, or do I live in a dream world of, 'what might have
been' as I chose to join the wretched 'Corabank' instead!!
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  #2  
Old 1st April 2008, 10:32
Dozy Dozy is offline  
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In the 1960's there were five ships on the, "Oriental/African run" Joining in Hong Kong then: Taiwan, Japan, Phillipines, Cambodia (Sianhoukville), Goh si Chang, Bangkok, Port Swettenham, Singapore, Mauritius, Reunion, Majunga, Beira, Laurenco Marques, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Capetown, Durban, LM, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mombasa, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong. The trip was supposed to be fifteen months or three times round, whichever came first. Usually someone in the office said, after a couple of years, "haven't we got a ship in the Far East that's about due for some leave?"
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Aye aye,
Any fool can take the helm when the sea is calm:

Last edited by Dozy : 1st April 2008 at 10:33. Reason: spelling mistakes.
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  #3  
Old 1st April 2008, 20:15
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avonbank avonbank is offline
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In the seventies Bank Line trips on the Africa/Far East run were down to about nine months and usually crew changed at Durban but you could always sign on for more.
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  #4  
Old 1st April 2008, 22:01
soapy soapy is offline
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as dozy says there were 5 ships on the far east run.if memory is correct
they were the:river, yew,garry, levern&carron.
i did my first and last trips as apprentice on this most fantastic trip.
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  #5  
Old 8th April 2008, 09:47
oldmarconiman oldmarconiman is offline  
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You must have joined the latter Corabank as I sailed on the S.S. Corabank - Liberty Ship - leaving Rotterdam Sept 1958 and arriving Hong Kong Dec 1958 where she was sold to Chinese. Then it was down to Singapore to continue articles on M.V. Eskbank sailing Dec 1958 and finally signing off in Sept 1960 in Dar-es-Salaam. Esk was on the Cape Town to Far East run, 5 months or thereabouts from Japan to Cape Town and back. Good happy ship commanded by Captain Sam Withers. Continued to court my Durban born wife first met when on T.S.M.V. City of Durban and we married in the UK in July 1961. I was 'Sparks'. More on my website www.oldmarconiman.co.uk

Happy days!
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  #6  
Old 17th February 2009, 21:16
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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Wink Engineers must have a special diet.

On the Inverbank 1962/63 we did a round trip from Japan to South Africa calling at all the usual ports. Somewhere along the line we called at a port where there was some infectious outbreak and each crew member was given a small container into which we had to give a sample of pooh. One of the engineers made a lovely little turd from a mixture of grease and carbon and sealed it in his container. I would loved to have seen the expression on the face of the lab assistant in Japan when he/she started to analyse that one. Yes we all enjoyed that round trip but from Japan we went off wandering again, Nauru, Aussie etc etc.

Last edited by Charlie Stitt : 18th February 2009 at 18:47.
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  #7  
Old 17th February 2009, 22:28
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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I would echo all the viewpoints of the previous entries but with the added ports of Sagay, Tandoc and Jose Panganiban in the Phillipine Out Islands and Sandakan and Wallace Bay in North Borneo - all of these on the southbound leg. The last port in Japan was occasionally Otaru on the North Island. Called at Saigon, Kaohsiung (Taiwan) and Shanghai occasionally.
Everyone agrees that it was a great run. I was on "Ettrickbank (1956-1957) and "Carronbank" (1960-1962) with Chinese crews. On the earlier stint aboard "Ettrickbank", our running sisters included "Eskbank", "Luxmi" and "Gujarat" and one of the blast jobs, I think it was the "Forresbank", the one that was lost off the South African coast. The newer ships mentioned came later including the "Carronbank".
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  #8  
Old 17th February 2009, 23:03
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dec 1961 the ettrickbank was still on the far east run,i had just completed 2years as second mate on her,the oldman was lynch,previous to that in 50s i was senior app on the Clydebank also 2 years on the far east run,
JIM
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  #9  
Old 18th February 2009, 18:18
Quiney Quiney is offline  
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In the late 70's I took the Ruudbank (from new) from Sunderland/continent to China, on to Japan, to Red Sea, to South Africa, to Japan, to Persian Gulf.

That took a year. The officers were relieved after six months (ish) and I (plus my wife) stayed on for a double-header.

If I remember rightly, six months was the 'norm' by the 80's
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  #10  
Old 18th February 2009, 18:46
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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Jim Harris, you believe the stay in Bangkok was 4 weeks ? In my we blue book (1963 ) it says we were two days in Bangkok and two days in Saigon, Eleven days in Singapore, plenty of time to get new suits made to measure. And do all you guilty sods remember what you could get for a bar of scented soap ??
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  #11  
Old 19th February 2009, 18:22
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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This is a poor quality photo but it may well jog your memory.
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  #12  
Old 19th February 2009, 21:36
jmcmullan jmcmullan is offline  
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I managed to do three round trips on the Far East South Africa run on the Riverbank and it took eighteen months. Remember after we were out for one year the skipper worked a paying off amount. I had managed to save about £12 but did I have a fantastic trip.
Joe Mcmullan
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  #13  
Old 20th February 2009, 15:40
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcmullan View Post
I managed to do three round trips on the Far East South Africa run on the Riverbank and it took eighteen months. Remember after we were out for one year the skipper worked a paying off amount. I had managed to save about £12 but did I have a fantastic trip.
Joe Mcmullan
Joe...
Were you on "Riverbank" with Captain Wilkie Rutherford? I sailed with Wilkie on the "Inchanga".
I hear there was a murder on board "Riverbank" whilst the ship was en route from Singapore to Mauritius. The Master put the ship into Colombo to seek police investigation but had to proceed on the voyage when the Singhalese officials could not discover the culprit. Imagine carrying on with the voyage knowing that there was a murderer on board! I think it was a Chinese crew.
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  #14  
Old 24th February 2009, 15:49
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Oriental African Line:
Towards the end of this, the most popular Bank Line liner service, it was combined with Ahrenkiel mainly to carry kd automobiles from Japan to South Africa. When that joint operation ended, the Bank Line version was discontinued, again leaving a lot of trade on the floor for someone else to pick up (and they did!) Even to this day, there is a lot of Phillipine, Malaysia, Indonesian and Thailand breakbulk trade with the Indian Ocean islands and East Africa (and perhaps some South Africa as well) and vice versa.
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  #15  
Old 25th February 2009, 10:33
ernhelenbarrett ernhelenbarrett is offline  
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I did a trip on the old Tweedbank/GBYC to Cuba/USA/Mexico/NZ/Australia/Islands/Borneo/Colombo/Liverpool in the early 60's and took on an Aussie C/E for a trip to UK and back to OZ (he was told !!). Later I joined the Alaric/GWRQ and a year later heard the Tweedbank so had a chat to the R/O, that poor C/E was still there and they were on the South Africa/Far East run. I later heard she went on fire off Japan and became a total loss
Salaams Ern Barrett
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  #16  
Old 28th February 2009, 16:16
John Mepham John Mepham is offline  
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If Jim Harris was worried about the 'far east run' those of us on the copra
run on (the brand new) Hollybank 1966 were scared to death of getting a
mid trip transfer to a ship that never went home, the copra run was only
about 6 months.
Was the corabank that bad ?
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  #17  
Old 21st March 2009, 22:34
Rinrada Rinrada is offline  
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Also on the Tweedbank in 1970.
Picked her up at the Milwall Docks and headed off to the Far East via a quick mail stop in Cape Town.After breaking down half a dozen times in the Indian we finally arrived in Darwin and from there on did the Port Morsby,Lae,Madang,Raubal,Weewak,Solomans/New Caledonia Islands run.
From then it was Aussie coast-Newcastle,Whyalla,Wolongong and back up the reef to Manila,Bangkok,Hong kong,Taiwan and Hanoi (British Neutral Ship)

Great Time...even got introduced to Mr Marcos in the Phills...but never met his wife..
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  #18  
Old 22nd March 2009, 09:23
Jim Harris Jim Harris is online now  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mepham View Post
If Jim Harris was worried about the 'far east run' those of us on the copra
run on (the brand new) Hollybank 1966 were scared to death of getting a
mid trip transfer to a ship that never went home, the copra run was only
about 6 months.
Was the corabank that bad ?

Maybe I didn't word my post clearly enough, but what I meant
to say was....

To this day I deeply regret not having taken the position onboard the 'Shirrabank' and her endless run around the Far East and 'never
going home'.

I can't imagine anything more exciting than a Bangkok-Manila-
Singapore triangle of ports, and probably would have done it until
the Willie either wore out or dropped off!

But I was never a career Engineer, and unashamedly confess that
my focus was definitely more penis than piston!

And the 'Corabank' wasn't that bad.... I suppose!
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  #19  
Old 23rd March 2009, 11:28
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Strath101 Strath101 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Harris View Post
Are there any old 'Bankliners' out there who did the Far East run?

In 1974, I was to join the 'Shirrabank' in Singapore bound for
Bangkok.... and I believe the flexible route was Thailand, Philippines,
Northern Australia [for sugar] Indonesia, Singapore then back to
Thailand going round and around!!

I believe that the voyages were at least 24 months, and the
ships never returned to Europe?

I also believe that the time in Bangkok was about 4 weeks and
the same in Manila, with your local 'wife' living on board being the norm?

Is this correct, or do I live in a dream world of, 'what might have
been' as I chose to join the wretched 'Corabank' instead!!
Dreams are not always what they are cracked up to be and times were a changing, you may have been disappointed as I joined the Shirrabank while it was in dry dock in Sunderland in May 1975. After that it went round Europe then to Pacific Islands, PNG etc and up to Singapore then back and forth from Aus with sugar. As for ‘local wife’ on board, oh yes you missed a great time but unable to comment further due to real wife nearby but time spent in Singapore was 8 days the first time then after 2 days in Aus it was back for 2 weeks in Singapore, 2 days in Aus and back to Penang for 16 days and paid off in Singapore Dec 1975 and home just in time for Christmas.
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  #20  
Old 23rd March 2009, 12:06
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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"Local Wife ?"

I dont know who she is or how she got on board Inverbank, HONEST.
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  #21  
Old 23rd March 2009, 21:48
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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One time in Bangkok our sew-sew ladies had persuaded us that they were strictly Officers Girls but on visiting a Danish East Asiatic ship on a Sunday, the grapling iron hit the bulwark just as we were being shown around the ship (one of the M-Class) and a group of ladies clambered up the attached line like the pros they were and headed for the poop accommodation. Red faces on our side when mutual recognition resulted in kisses en route to the sailors and firemen. Much amusement on the part of the Danish officers, our hosts, who up to that time had been very formal. Much hillarity and Carlsberg followed.
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  #22  
Old 26th March 2009, 09:40
Jim Harris Jim Harris is online now  
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strath101 View Post
Dreams are not always what they are cracked up to be and times were a changing, you may have been disappointed as I joined the Shirrabank while it was in dry dock in Sunderland in May 1975. After that it went round Europe then to Pacific Islands, PNG etc and up to Singapore then back and forth from Aus with sugar. As for ‘local wife’ on board, oh yes you missed a great time but unable to comment further due to real wife nearby but time spent in Singapore was 8 days the first time then after 2 days in Aus it was back for 2 weeks in Singapore, 2 days in Aus and back to Penang for 16 days and paid off in Singapore Dec 1975 and home just in time for Christmas.


Ah well, at least I know now....
And had I joined her in Singapore in 1974 as intended, I probably
would have paid-off in Sunderland in 1975 and met you!

And yes, times were a changing, but were they for the better?

Regards,

Jim.
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  #23  
Old 26th March 2009, 14:41
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mil511mariner mil511mariner is offline  
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I was on the OliveBank in 75-76 a 10 month trip with Capt Pat Grist and Capt Peter Howell. Joined in Durban and paid off in Bangkok, with £10 in my pocket and 4 nights waiting a flight home!

Route was Durban, EL, PE, CT, Lourenco Marques (Maputo) Tanjong Priok, Sing, Bangkok, Kaoshiung, Manilla, Hinobaan, Bangkok, Sing, Port Louis, Reunion, Mombasa, Tanga, Nacala, Maputo, Durban, EL, PE, CT, Maputo, Sing, Bangkok.

I kept the cheque for 26p from my pay off for years......
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  #24  
Old 27th March 2009, 09:54
Jim Harris Jim Harris is online now  
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by mil511mariner View Post
I was on the OliveBank in 75-76 a 10 month trip with Capt Pat Grist and Capt Peter Howell. Joined in Durban and paid off in Bangkok, with £10 in my pocket and 4 nights waiting a flight home!

Route was Durban, EL, PE, CT, Lourenco Marques (Maputo) Tanjong Priok, Sing, Bangkok, Kaoshiung, Manilla, Hinobaan, Bangkok, Sing, Port Louis, Reunion, Mombasa, Tanga, Nacala, Maputo, Durban, EL, PE, CT, Maputo, Sing, Bangkok.

I kept the cheque for 26p from my pay off for years......

Now that's the story I was wanting to hear!

You've cheered me up no end as I knew in my heart that
Uncle Andrew wouldn't let me down!

So I can now dream happily about the Singapore, Bangkok and
Manila triangle with a little bit of Mombasa thrown in for good
measure?

And I think you should count yourself lucky that you still had all
that 26p left to spend.... [you lucky bugger!]

Regards,

Jim.
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  #25  
Old 16th April 2009, 16:45
John Mepham John Mepham is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Harris View Post
Maybe I didn't word my post clearly enough, but what I meant
to say was....

To this day I deeply regret not having taken the position onboard the 'Shirrabank' and her endless run around the Far East and 'never
going home'.

I can't imagine anything more exciting than a Bangkok-Manila-
Singapore triangle of ports, and probably would have done it until
the Willie either wore out or dropped off!

But I was never a career Engineer, and unashamedly confess that
my focus was definitely more penis than piston!

And the 'Corabank' wasn't that bad.... I suppose!
Nice one Jim, thats the sign of of good engr. fix it or f*** it.
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