Humorous Anecdotes From the Bank Line - Ships Nostalgia
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Humorous Anecdotes From the Bank Line

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  #1  
Old 13th October 2009, 23:10
johnb42 johnb42 is offline  
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Humorous Anecdotes From the Bank Line

There has to be so many of them, but one that has always stayed in my mind is this.
Ken Berry was as I remember, head of Forwarding Department which encompassed a wide sphere, with loosely defined boundaries.
Ken visited the Elmbank in Dagenham one morning and told us this tale.
He had been tasked with completing some important documentation and ensuring it was "forwarded" the following day. The documents were taken home, and Ken anxious to see the job completed properly set out for Bury Street the following morning. Sod's Law took over and on a wet and miserable morning his car broke down. Ken called a cab and arived at No 21, somewhat rain drenched but pleased with himself at his efforts. As he got out of the cab, the Lord Inverforth's limo pulled up and discharged his Lordship.
Deferentially Ken stood back to allow his "boss" to enter first. His Lordship cast a withering glance at Ken, made an over-emphasised gesture of checking his watch and said "Morning Berry, late again ", and left a wet and deflated head of Forwarding standing on the steps.
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Old 14th October 2009, 09:19
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline  
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Coming up the River Plate with a pilot on board on a bright sunny morning - A Blue Star ship slowly passed down the port side, very close. We were on the Eastbank with a rather tiddly Master on the bridge wing, complete with cravat and a very affable mood - goodwill to all men etc... As we drew level, bridge to bridge, our Captain gives a very cheery wave to those on the other ship, who all stood po faced without responding at all. The inevitable happened - the affability suddenly disappeared, and they all got a tremendous V sign with a full arm motion, and a loud raspberry, which only we could hear!

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson : 14th October 2009 at 11:32.
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Old 14th October 2009, 13:35
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wilkie rutherford on the clydebank doing his party trick for the apps and engineers in his darkened cabin,always went down a treat.

jim
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Old 14th October 2009, 16:28
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Was it a Bank line ship where someone painted a skeleton on a sheet with luminous paint and lowered it over the front of the wheelhouse on a very black night on the 3rd mate's watch?
Mind you, with the food on some of them you could have lowered an apprentice over and shone a torch on him.
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Old 15th October 2009, 16:02
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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We were loading timber in Miri or Sandakan on the Levernbank in 1957,when a swarm of giant Bornean bees descended on the ship.When they had settled on the bridge front around the bell and quietened down,(the noise was frightening without the sting threat)we then had the problem of removing them as the ship had stopped loading. The C/O had a cunning plan,(eat your heart out Baldrick)we tied a bucket on to a halyard, lit a flare in the bucket and hauled it up to the bees.The idea was to upset the bees so that they would clear off.The first part of the plan worked ,they were very upset but unfortunately before the "go away" bit happened the bucket melted and molten galvanised bucket and magnesium dripped into No.2 hold.So we put the fire out,it was safe in the hold the bees didn't like the acrid smoke,fetched another bucket,soaked some cotton waste in paraffin,repeated the process and this time the bees flew,all over the ship,very angry and looking for trouble! After about half an hour we crept out of cover and found they had settled in a cargo light.No problem,we switched on the light and they had had enough and flew to shore.Life returned to what passed for normal.
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  #6  
Old 17th October 2009, 19:49
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Humour

Where's the humour out there? You've all gone quiet!
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Old 18th October 2009, 15:32
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Visited a Bank line ship on the African coast some where and while sitting in an engineers cabin having a drink a man walked past the door in some awful looking underpants and a peak cap on but no peak on it, Who is that I asked, Thats the Chief off to feed his chickens in the steering gear, he has one killed about once a week and tells the catering department that under no circumstances must the master have any of his chicken. Apparently they did not get on too well. !!
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Old 18th October 2009, 22:08
johnb42 johnb42 is offline  
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Originally Posted by R58484956 View Post
Visited a Bank line ship on the African coast some where and while sitting in an engineers cabin having a drink a man walked past the door in some awful looking underpants and a peak cap on but no peak on it, Who is that I asked, Thats the Chief off to feed his chickens in the steering gear, he has one killed about once a week and tells the catering department that under no circumstances must the master have any of his chicken. Apparently they did not get on too well. !!
Can well believe that one.
I was 2nd Mate on the (old) Beaverbank and this apparition wearing a dhoti would appear regularly on the fore deck during the night 12-4. Turned out to be the Chief Eng., just a little bit blown away. No names, no pack-drills, but anyone who was there 68-69 will know who I mean.
John
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Old 19th October 2009, 11:52
McMorine McMorine is offline  
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Humorous anecdotes from the Bank Line

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Originally Posted by johnb42 View Post
Can well believe that one.
I was 2nd Mate on the (old) Beaverbank and this apparition wearing a dhoti would appear regularly on the fore deck during the night 12-4. Turned out to be the Chief Eng., just a little bit blown away. No names, no pack-drills, but anyone who was there 68-69 will know who I mean.
John
M.V Beechbank Captain Kent, I sailed on this vessel April 1966 to April 1967. One particular day the Chief Steward is informed by the cook that he's found some maggots in a bag of rice. So the Old Man is informed, not very happy I may say, but even less happy when all the bags of rice prove to be contaminated. Anyway the Old Man has a brilliant idea, spread a clean tarpaulin out on the deep tank hatch, empty each bag of rice out and with all the stewards turned too, they get on their hands and knees and proceed to pick the maggots out one by one, not an easy task to say the least. then all the rice was rebagged. Problem solved, need I say more. Not many Officers ate curry and rice after that. Mind you what the eye doesn't see!!!!
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Old 19th October 2009, 15:25
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New funny stories? Most of the good ones have appeared in other threads but I can add one more that I haven't told before.
Merry party exiting from Isiah's and encountering an ancient native in a loin cloth pushing a heavy cart along Free School Street. Laughingly pushing said native aside to comandeer the vehicle: two merry guys pushing and three companions leaping on top of the cart as it careens towards Park Street.
Suddenly someone notices the cart's contents. It is dead bodies! Mother Theresa's collectors had been out doing their nightly pick-up. Bit of a sobering experience! Sheepishly deliver cart to the Lady Herself and receive expected lecture. Spend two years bringing in medicines from South Africa at Her request!
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  #11  
Old 19th October 2009, 16:46
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Unhappy

Singapore on the Levernbank,this was obviiously a trip to remember!A bunch of us went to Bugis St.for dinner at those Chinese mobile restaurants,(barrows) then on to the Straits Caberet for a drink and a dance.A dollar a dance,cheap at half the price,then back to the ship in the early hours.Unfortunately during the course of our entertaining evening John W.,a fellow apprentice from Capetown lost the ability to walk very well,being a South African he wasn't used to staying up late(or so he said afterwards)So at the dock gates we found a convenient dust-cart and loaded him on.Unfortunately the dock police didn't approve and asked us to return it.When we remonstrated with them,explaining John's temporary immobility(he was up late)they arrested him.So we told them "If you are going to arrest him,arrest us as well",so they did!Along came the Land Rover "hurry-up"wagon and we were hauled off to the Police Station.By now the alcohol was wearing off and reality was creeping in,as was dawn.We were all interviewed ,finger-prints taken and lined up by the charging officer who advised us that since John had been accused of assaulting a police officer and was in no condition to assault himself out of a paper bag the charge was dismissed and we were told to go away,much to our relief.Unfortunately the Mate was waiting for us and a whole lot of brass was cleaned over the following weeks.
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  #12  
Old 19th October 2009, 22:29
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Don,t panic Joe C,more anectdotes forthcoming,at least you lot will believe ,em!

Last edited by John Dryden : 19th October 2009 at 22:31. Reason: spelling
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  #13  
Old 19th October 2009, 23:27
johnb42 johnb42 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
New funny stories? Most of the good ones have appeared in other threads but I can add one more that I haven't told before.
Merry party exiting from Isiah's and encountering an ancient native in a loin cloth pushing a heavy cart along Free School Street. Laughingly pushing said native aside to comandeer the vehicle: two merry guys pushing and three companions leaping on top of the cart as it careens towards Park Street.
Suddenly someone notices the cart's contents. It is dead bodies! Mother Theresa's collectors had been out doing their nightly pick-up. Bit of a sobering experience! Sheepishly deliver cart to the Lady Herself and receive expected lecture. Spend two years bringing in medicines from South Africa at Her request!
"Bit of a sobering experience"?.
I imagine this was instant sobriety without the addition of hot water.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 10:06
Abbeywood. Abbeywood. is offline  
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Marabank

As speculation builds, the 'Marabank', and presumably the 'Speybank' too, were fitted with little jolly-boats, about 14ft oa, which were stowed on the Poop deckhouse.
While laying at anchor in Vancouver for a few days, a week ?, waiting to load grain the 'Old man' arranged for the hire of an Evinrude outboard, so that hands could get ashore occasionally. This outboard was stowed in the ships office when not required, mounted on the back of a chair.
It was only a matter of time before adventurousness popped up and all hell broke loose when 'a person' decided to give the engine a run.
Any body tried stopping a chair driven by an outboard motor. It takes a bit of doing, with the office enveloped in exhaust smoke and fumes.
You don't have to be mad to work here but it helps.
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Old 30th November 2009, 16:35
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline  
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Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
Where's the humour out there? You've all gone quiet!
Humorous anecdotes - Come on - Couldn't have been that grim, surely?

Have been racking my brains - or what is left of them, and decided that any stories I have in this category fall into the black humour or tragic categories.

A Liverpool crowd ( Maplebank) provided plenty, such as the time in Buenos Aires in the early hours, staggering back to the ship behind some of the deck crew, and hearing loud gunfire ahead. We found them in the messroom, shaking, but still cracking jokes, after being fired at by the dock police - presumably for smashing up any obstacle that got in the way.

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson : 30th November 2009 at 17:00.
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Old 1st December 2009, 15:17
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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We were in Colombo on the Iris, Moray, Fleet, Levern or Ivybank .Always ended up in Colombo! I think it was the Moraybank,when we had to launch the motor life-boat,don't know why,and off we set round the harbour.However the engineer in charge of the engine wasn't too happy about the small piece of cork keeping the sea out,so he gave it a couple of firm taps with his little hammer from his tool kit,knocking the brass nut clean through the bung. Five minutes later as we rowed back to the ship,sitting up to our waists in water,he was not the most popular man in the boat but we entertained the rest of the ships in port. Thank goodness the buoyancy tanks worked but we should have had a spare bung, or maybe the aforementioned engineer should have inserted an appendage.(no, lets not go there!)
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Old 2nd December 2009, 12:30
McMorine McMorine is offline  
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We were in Colombo on the Iris, Moray, Fleet, Levern or Ivybank .Always ended up in Colombo! I think it was the Moraybank,when we had to launch the motor life-boat,don't know why,and off we set round the harbour.However the engineer in charge of the engine wasn't too happy about the small piece of cork keeping the sea out,so he gave it a couple of firm taps with his little hammer from his tool kit,knocking the brass nut clean through the bung. Five minutes later as we rowed back to the ship,sitting up to our waists in water,he was not the most popular man in the boat but we entertained the rest of the ships in port. Thank goodness the buoyancy tanks worked but we should have had a spare bung, or maybe the aforementioned engineer should have inserted an appendage.(no, lets not go there!)
We were anchored off in Cairns Queensland on a Bank Line ship, the name escapes me. Anyway it was decided to launch the motor lifeboat for an afternoons adventure. Someone decided we should fly the red ensign from the stern and a piece of rope was required to lash it to the boat hook. being ever so helpfull, I spotted the very item in the bottom of the boat and giving it a good tug, out came the drain bung followed by a spectacular water spout. It was quite an effort to ge it back in, I can tell you. Not amusing at the time, but worse was to happen later.(Another time)
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Old 4th December 2009, 00:05
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This tale is hazy for obvious reasons.I was in Durban on the Shirrabank when another Bank boat tied up nearby.On this nameless ship was my old schoolmate who shall also be nameless.Anyway we met up did the rounds in the bars and decided to go to Johannesburg to visit a girl my mate had met on a previous visit.Bearing in mind this was late at night we started hitching a lift.
The first car that stopped took us all the way to Jo.burg,we woke up about 7 in the morning in the middle of the city bleary eyed and hungover,300 miles away with no money.
Made it to girls house and her father threw us out,penniless so off we went hitching back to Durban.
24 hours later we made it back(god knows how)no cash no food.
Got back to the docks and no sign of my mates ship,it had sailed.Anyway we ended up in the supers office(Lynch)got a real bollocking but it was an adventure and humorous after the event.
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Old 21st December 2009, 16:08
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Looking out on our festive snowy landscape with Christmas approaching prompted me to think back to some less than memorable Christmases past.
We were in Visaghapatan in 1956 discharging grain which was loaded bulk in Fremantle and unloaded bagged by hundreds of wharfies who bagged it in the holds faster than the gear could cope with it.The unloading was accompanied by all the usual chaos,noise,dust,smell,betel nut stains and sh*te hawks wheeling overhead.One of the wharfies had been hurt by a bottle screw on the end of a swinging wire as they dismantled the shifting boards and we got him out of the hold to be taken off by ambulance.Just another working day. When two ABs from a Russian ship which was tied up ahead of us came aboard,signed to us that it was Christmas and we should join them on their ship for a celebratory drink.We thought it over( for nearly a second) then joined them.It was an amazing experience,bearing in mind our relationship with the Russians in the fifties,they were fantastic hosts and the ABs who, by the way looked a lot like Giles used to draw truck drivers,and also by the way were women,produced the Vodka wich we drank in the traditional way.The language barrier was a problem initially as they couldn't speak English and we couldn't speak Russian but after half an hour or so it didn't matter as we couldn't string a sentence together in any language.I don't remember any more but I havn't managed another Christmas like it since.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 10:08
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Russian Ship Visits

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Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
Looking out on our festive snowy landscape with Christmas approaching prompted me to think back to some less than memorable Christmases past.
We were in Visaghapatan in 1956 discharging grain which was loaded bulk in Fremantle and unloaded bagged by hundreds of wharfies who bagged it in the holds faster than the gear could cope with it.The unloading was accompanied by all the usual chaos,noise,dust,smell,betel nut stains and sh*te hawks wheeling overhead.One of the wharfies had been hurt by a bottle screw on the end of a swinging wire as they dismantled the shifting boards and we got him out of the hold to be taken off by ambulance.Just another working day. When two ABs from a Russian ship which was tied up ahead of us came aboard,signed to us that it was Christmas and we should join them on their ship for a celebratory drink.We thought it over( for nearly a second) then joined them.It was an amazing experience,bearing in mind our relationship with the Russians in the fifties,they were fantastic hosts and the ABs who, by the way looked a lot like Giles used to draw truck drivers,and also by the way were women,produced the Vodka wich we drank in the traditional way.The language barrier was a problem initially as they couldn't speak English and we couldn't speak Russian but after half an hour or so it didn't matter as we couldn't string a sentence together in any language.I don't remember any more but I havn't managed another Christmas like it since.
Had a similar experience on a Russian ship which has remained with me. She was moored ahead of our Bankline ship. It was surreal - like a step back in time, with an austere messroom with a well used piano in one corner, a picture of Lenin on the bulkhead, plus extremely welcoming and friendly Russian hosts, some of whom were playing target practice with air pistols in between drinks.

I later came to enjoy Russian hospitality on business trips to Moscow, and the conviviality and heavy drinking became quite a problem when the object of the trip was to secure a signature ( even a blurred one!) to a deal. Meals started with a big bowl of punch on the table, bottles of Vodka etc etc, and the usual massive hang over the next morning - whilst hastily checking the paperwork to see who had signed what the night before!

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson : 22nd December 2009 at 14:30.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 19:49
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Had a similar experience on a Russian ship which has remained with me. She was moored ahead of our Bankline ship. It was surreal - like a step back in time, with an austere messroom with a well used piano in one corner, a picture of Lenin on the bulkhead, plus extremely welcoming and friendly Russian hosts, some of whom were playing target practice with air pistols in between drinks.

I later came to enjoy Russian hospitality on business trips to Moscow, and the conviviality and heavy drinking became quite a problem when the object of the trip was to secure a signature ( even a blurred one!) to a deal. Meals started with a big bowl of punch on the table, bottles of Vodka etc etc, and the usual massive hang over the next morning - whilst hastily checking the paperwork to see who had signed what the night before!
We could be referring to the same incident.I'm sure it was when I was on the Irisbank.
I always thought Visag was one of the few ports that could make you look forward to going to Calcutta!
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Old 6th January 2010, 12:24
kwg kwg is offline
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White Rabbits

There was in the 60's a certain Master and C/E who were a pair of 'old' drunks to say the least. One evening they were guests of the company agent in Colombo. Both were stoned as usual, drinking pinkies on the house veranda. When a white rabbit skips across the patio stops washes its face with its paws and disappears into the night. It was said that neither commented, made hurried excuses and left. It later transpired the agents children's white rabbit had the run of the garden....
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Old 9th January 2010, 11:13
Abbeywood. Abbeywood. is offline  
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We could be referring to the same incident.I'm sure it was when I was on the Irisbank.
I always thought Visag was one of the few ports that could make you look forward to going to Calcutta!
Visag was one of the few ports that would make you look forward to going anywhere. What a shambles. Especially the so-called Main Street with the drainage ditch down the middle and a shiny Bata shop on the side
Most convivial.
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Old 13th January 2010, 16:01
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Beaverbank - Caracas 1976- Billions of Venezuelan Bolivars in the bullion locker, loaded and welded shut in Glasgow.
When we came to unload the wharf was cleared, the ship was cleared and all but a handful of crew allowed on deck. The armed military police manned the derricks and the locker was cut open. The crates were loaded into a couple of trucks then all hell broke loose. They had only loaded 21 of the 22 crates on the manifest, somehow we had lost millions of currency.
After much shouting, threats and waving of guns the trucks were unloaded and the crates again checked.
Yes you guessed it, the idiots could not count.

Peter Smith
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Old 13th January 2010, 18:01
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Winebuff...your story reminded me of the time we loaded crates of newly printed 'postage stamps' for Sydney, the locker was duly welded shut. When it was opened in Sydney the crates were not there. As you say all hell broke loose (no guns though), later the crates turned up in open stow in no 3 tween deck.
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