Bank Line passenger ships - INCHANGA, etc - Ships Nostalgia
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Bank Line passenger ships - INCHANGA, etc

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  #1  
Old 14th December 2005, 20:43
Principe_Perfeito Principe_Perfeito is offline  
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Question Bank Line passenger ships - INCHANGA, etc

Hello to all.

One of the recent photos posted at Riversea displays the INCHANGA:
http://riversea.tugtalk.co.uk/memories/inchanga1934.htm
(I have included the photo because the articles at Riversea have a finite lifespan and it might be useful to some to have the photo in the future)

Does any have more information on her and her sisters?
How many passenger ships did Bank Line operate and what where the routes?

Best regards from Lisbon,
Paulo Mestre
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File Type: jpg INCHANGA1934.jpg (37.6 KB, 229 views)
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  #2  
Old 14th December 2005, 22:07
PJW PJW is offline  
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Inchanga

Bank Line operated three sister ships, Inchanga, Incomati and Isipingo. All built around 1934 by Workman Clark Belfast. They operated on the India /Africa service. However one of them was lost in the second world war, I think it was the Inchanga.They where known as the "white boats", for obviuos reasons.
There where a couple of ships that carried passengers prior to this but not on this scale.
Regards
PJW
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  #3  
Old 14th December 2005, 22:10
Bruce Carson Bruce Carson is offline
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Hi Paulo:
The Bank Line (Andrew Weir & Co.) began a South Africa to India service in 1906 with chartered tonnage and in 1913 bought three passenger steamers from the Bucknall Line ('Surat', 'Kathiawar' and 'Gujarat', ex 'Johannesburg', 'Buluwayo', and 'Fort Salisbury').
Three new 12 knot replacements, were built by Harland & Wolff, Glasgow in 1923-4, the motorships 'Gujarat' (2), 'Kathiawar' (2) and 'Luxmi'. They were single screw, measured 370' x 48', were around 4,150GT. Each carried twelve first class, twenty second class and immigrant accommodation. The Kathiawar was wrecked in 1937 and after WWII the two survivors had their passenger accommodation removed.
In 1934, Workman, Clark, Belfast built three twin screw motor liners for the service, the 'Inchanga', 'Isipingo' and the 'Incomati'. The first two measured 403.5' x 57' with a GT of 7,069. The Incomati was 418' x 57' and measured 7,369GT. Fifty first class, twenty second class and five hundred in 'tween decks accommodation were carried. The 'Incomati' was a war loss: the other two were reduced to twelves in the early fifties and were scrapped in the mid sixties.
The route, I believe, was Capetown and Durban to Calcutta and Rangoon.

Bruce C.

Last edited by Bruce Carson : 16th December 2005 at 00:09.
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  #4  
Old 14th December 2005, 23:46
Bruce Carson Bruce Carson is offline
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Interesting fact about the 'Incomati' was that she was larger and slightly faster than the other two Workman, Clark built ships.
She was given engines salved from the burned out Furness Bermuda liner 'Bermuda', which gave her an advantage in speed over the 15 knot service speed of the 'Inchanga' and 'Isipingo'.
Apparently, the 'Bermuda' was a boat born to burn.
Built for the New York-Hamilton service by Workman, Clark and the largest ship ever ordered from that yard, the 19,086GT quadruple screw liner made her maiden voyage in Jaunary, 1928.
Her superstructure was destroyed by fire at Hamilton in June, 1931 and she returned to her builders for major repairs.
In November, when almost rebuilt, she burned and sank to a total loss at the shipyard. She was raised and Workman, Clark bought the wreck and salved the Doxford engines. The liner, being towed to a shipbreaker, she ran aground in Eddrachilles Bay.
Anyone know into what ship(s) the other engines went?

Photos of the two ships:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~bmuwgw/ssbermuda.jpg
http://www.red-duster.co.uk/Incomati.jpg

Bruce C.

Last edited by Bruce Carson : 15th December 2005 at 18:39.
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  #5  
Old 8th June 2007, 22:14
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i remember seeing the "Inchanga" and I went aboard the "Isipingo" in Kidderpore Docks in1952. When we were apprentices we were always terrified of being transferred to these vessels as you were guaranteed a two year stint there. There was an infamous Master on the "Inchanga" called by alland sundry "Bullshit Jackson" he made life a misery for apprentices I am told. The ship was immaculate and had a white hull - thr run Capetown, Durban, Tanga, Colombo, Calcutta was OK but not in those pre air conditioned days with weeks in Calcutta.
JC
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  #6  
Old 8th June 2007, 23:01
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duquesa duquesa is offline   SN Supporter
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Inchanga

My uncle was Ch.Off on them for some time before moving up to command and vanishing into the Bank Line tramp trades. I've lost some of his details but know he was Master of the Shirrabank pre-war. He had some great stories to tell but my impression was that he had fond memories of service on the Indian/African service.

Last edited by duquesa : 8th June 2007 at 23:03.
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  #7  
Old 24th July 2007, 02:17
David E David E is offline  
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Inchanga 1950-1952

I was an Apprentice in the "Inchanga" from October 1950 until March 1952. A very happy ship.I enjoyed all the time that I was in her.Three Masters while I was there- Stafford-Watts,starchy but fine:Greig,dreadful and Beavis,good.I arrived there during my second trip in the "Myrtlebank",transferred in Calcutta.I was lucky to be Third Mate there for a part of the time.Because of the length of the trips BL had difficulty getting Second and Third Mates for her.I was away from the UK from February 1950 till May 1952.
Part of the BL "India Africa Line" with the "Gujarat" and the "Luxmi," we made a leisurely circuit between India and Africa.Normally,Calcutta,Rangoon,Colombo,Mombassa, Tanga,
Dar-es-Salaam,Zanzibar,Beira,Lourenco-Marques and Durban.On the northward leg we visited the same ports with the addition of Madras.
Other ships were "Myrtlebank" 1949-1950:"Lochybank" 1952:"Forresbank"
1952-1953:"Roybank" and "Weybank" 1953
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Old 11th June 2008, 00:29
stocksie stocksie is offline  
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Inchanga/gwrj

Just joined the forum and can add a bit about the India/Africa Bank boats.
I sailed with Captain "Bullshit" Jackson June 1955-Aug 1957. He was always civil and correct to me but can imagine he might have been heavy handed with newbies. As Radio Officer I was able to claim Class 1 rates of pay because of her passenger certificate but she did not ever carry any while I sailed on her. When Dyer offered it to me I thought "might as well get the best pay for the (at that time) obligatory 2 year stint."
We never did go to Capetown. Her 21 year survey came up December 1955 and we spent 5 months in Kidderpore dry dock. They kept me on articles but I did a couple of short trips coastal to helpout the Calcutta depot. Christmas night
1955 the hatch insulation caught fire and that delayed us more. I remember the
Old man and supers dashing about rigging hoses and shouting the odds in full
evening dress having been dragged from a party! Supers at each end (I forget which was which) were Capt Gale and Capt Banks (Appropriate!)
She had a Chief Steward J Johnson that had been R/O aboard before the 2WW. Sadly he passed away in Chalna and was buried at sea. Also aboard
was a Stewardess in case any passengers turned up!
During the 2 years we crossed and sighted sister ship Isipingo but were never
in port together. R/O aboard her was Frank Clarke a very senior Marconi man
ex Dominion Monarch etc.
I calibrated the 579 DF whilst at anchor off Madras using the redundant Rees-
Mace lifeboat transmitter (New Salvita 3 in Durban) Always wanted to
punch the wet cell accumulator to let the acid in. Boy did they get hot!!
Also the lifeboat crew got very sick in the choppy conditions. I hasten
to add I had shifted the TX off 500khz!!
Glad to get off her and enjoyed the trip home on Pretoria Castle.

Last edited by stocksie : 11th June 2008 at 00:32. Reason: spelling!
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  #9  
Old 5th November 2008, 10:29
Andy Lavies Andy Lavies is offline  
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Inchanga

I was in the Inchanga from March 1958 until November 1960. Junior apprentice to senior apprentice to acting 3/O. Thirty-two months. I stayed on after my indentures expired because I was too young to go for secomd mates. I never did get AB's pay because I was already getting £27-10-00 a month as 3/O.
Bullshit Jackson was still Master when I joined. I think he was taken off at Colombo with a suspected heart attack. 'Wilkie' Rutherford was Mate, Alan McGregor the 2/O and Alastair 'Hamish' MacNab (still on this site) 3/O. 'Ma' Bowness was the stewardess throughout and had been there for years. After Alastair paid off an acting 3/O joined when I was senior Appy. As we were leaving Beira he drunkenly puked over the Old Man (Jim Williams) in front of the pilot and was instantly disrated. I'd been on an all night cargo watch and was just getting my head down when I was given ten minutes to shift my gear up to the 3/O's cabin before taking over the watch. I'd almost have given up the promotion for a couple of hours kip but only 'almost.'
Interesting that Stocksie was in her when she caught fire in Kidderpore dock - she was set afire in that same dock when I was in her using paint as an accellerant and the shore fire hoses cut. No significant damage, though.
I remember being sent to the company godown in Calcutta (they never would allow the mate in there!) to look for stores. When I got back to the dock I had to use semaphore to get a message to the ship - the only time in 50 years afloat that I used it (outside the exam room, that is.) Good times!
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Old 5th November 2008, 12:29
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Ahoy,
Still have 1933 as built year for the INCHANGA?
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File Type: jpg Inchanga1933.jpg (67.0 KB, 53 views)
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  #11  
Old 24th November 2008, 19:46
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Inchanga, June 1958 - June 1960

Andy Lavies was indeed one of the Apprentices when I was certificated 3/O. the other two were "Copperbelt" from Kitwe Northern Rhodesia. I forget his name and John Baird from Durban. It was a good two-years for me. We were the same team for practically the full time. I think the most passengers we carried was about 20 at one time. Always well-supported between Mombasa and Colombo.
We carried numerous live wild animals from Africa to India, to the Colombo zoo and for a maharajah's private zoo via Madras (Chennai).
Ship's passenger spaces were kept ready, just in case! First and second class. The third class tween deck passenger spaces were eliminated and turned over to cargo but the portholes remained along the sheer strake.
Masters during my time were Captain Jackson, Captain Harry Allan and Captain Jim Williams. Jacko had a heart attack in Colombo and Harry Allan came out to relieve him, but Jacko had some unfinished "business" to attend to, so came back aboard until Calcutta as passenger so that he could dispose of his swag which was always in great demand. Brandy, golf paraphenalia, small electronics, camera film, chocolates, etc.

Mrs Bowness, the stewardess, was Durban-based and was everyone's favourite mother-figure. On high days and holidays she would put on her No.1 corset and was so stiff that she couldn.t manage the companionways and bumped down step by step on her bum!

Great days.....! Chronicled in my book "Running Away to Sea". We went down to Capetown once otherwise we always terminated in Durban. We never did the Calcutta-Rangoon round-trip leg. Spent lots of time in Calcutta, in one twelve-month we were in Cal five times! Our shore base was Isiah's.

Alistair Macnab
Houston TX.
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  #12  
Old 24th November 2008, 20:58
Andy Lavies Andy Lavies is offline  
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Hi, Alastair,
"Copperbelt"'s surname was Mellows, I think. I don't know what happened to either him or John Baird. Lots of time in Calcutta, of course, but remember the jute moths in Chalna giving you the itch. "Bombay Tigers", the huge cockroaches that could practically carry you across the deck when you trod on them. Lying at anchor off Chittagong while a new windlass armature was flown out to the ship. 'Pirates' at Diamond Harbour in the Hooghly that would strip the deck of anything movable if they got aboard. (A good lookout, fire hoses and strategic buckets of coal were an effective defense!) Brandy snaps and plates of chips at the Swimming Club in Calcutta (a three week temporary membership cost about 15 rupees.) And best of all - getting away to open sea from Sand Heads after a month or more up the Hooghly during the monsoon!
Andy Lavies
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Old 11th December 2008, 21:57
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline  
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Bankline Inchanga

Just joined the Forum, and read the postings about '' Inchanga '' which brought back quite a few memories. I was an Inchanga apprentice / third mate (uncertificated) for a while in 1952, although I had only been at sea for 6 months! Still remember passing through the Maldive channels at night , ( making shirt buttons) with no radar, and the old man and the passengers partying down below. I believe these things are called FLASH BACKS !!!

The Master was Beavis I believe, the mate was \Rigby, second mate's surname was Lynch ( later to be a superintendent in S Africa.)

This route Calcutta/Durban with the various stop offs, conducted in a leisurely way as someone said, was memorable. The spice smells from the huge ventilator cowls in the alleyways, the wood and canvas swimming pool below the bridge, and the moorings at Calcutta in the Hooghly, etc are a few of the unforgetable things.

There was a query in the thread somewhere about the sister ships - It was the Incomati that was lost during the war, and the Isipingo and Inchanga carried on the service for many years...

I have a pic somewhere of the Inchanga in Madras harbour mid 1952, and will dig it out to see if it can be uploaded.

I ended up mate of the Southbank afew trips before she was lost, and then left the Bankline for pastures anew.

Cheers / AL
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  #14  
Old 29th December 2008, 16:28
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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I attach an old Bank Line pad heading which some of you may be familiar with
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File Type: jpg Bankline (Medium).JPG (90.4 KB, 61 views)
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Old 29th December 2008, 17:05
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Charlie....
These were notpads printed and available in Durban where the Indian-African and Oriental African Lines converged. Thank you for bringing this important relic of nostalgia back for all of us to view. There is a veritable wealth of Bank Line nostalgia in Ships Nostalgia from photographs and comments to the odd critical observation. Its surprising (and gratifying) that the criticism is so rare but welcome, none the less. As an Islandmagee man, you must be surrounded by Weir's folks!
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Old 30th December 2008, 18:37
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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Yes Alistair there was no less than five ex Andrew Weir men at any one time sailing out of Larne on Townsend Ferries, Mates and Masters. We even have Brain Rodgers back living here, he moved back HOME as soon as he retired from head office. There is still quite a few Master Mariner's on the Island but all old hands like myself since the opportunities for a sea career become non-existant, even the ferries running out of Larne and Belfast all sail under a foreign flag, mostly Spanish crew, what a shame. All is not lost however as I and many others keep the Red Duster flying with pride from the stern of our motor cruisers and yachts.
I signed Indentures with Andrew Weir Shipping and Trading Co Ltd in May 1955, Joined Myrtlebank,West,Eric,Erne,Lagan,Inver,Teak and Forres. Was made up to acting 3rd Mate during voyage on Ericbank,still only 18 Y/O. First trip Mate on Teakbank with big Capt John Jack Reed,then Mate on Forresbank with Capt Jim McCoy both gentlemen to sail under. Resigned from Weir's 1967 , broke my heart, was like saying goodbye to my family, but things turned out good for me and after a few years on the ferries had a successful business life. Really enjoy this forum so will keep in touch.
Happy New Year.

Last edited by Charlie Stitt : 30th December 2008 at 18:53. Reason: Mistake made
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Old 30th December 2008, 19:08
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Charlie....
Whilst the open access site is not the appropriate place for personal messages and we can email each other using the "private messages" link at SN to keep in touch, nevertheless, I want to thank you for your rundown on Islandmagee seafarers and Bank Line and to comment on your broken heart at leaving the family. I, too, was a reluctant departer from Weir's and, can you believe, I am still "sore" about it 25 years later! Crazy isn't it?
My indentures are dated October 11th. 1953 and coincide with the delivery voyage of the "Fleetbank" from Belfast. Second ship was the "Laganbank" also new from Belfast! One of the apprentices was John Kane. I think he was an Island man or at least his family was. If you see Brian Rogers, give him my regards.
Cheers and all the Best in 2009!
Alistair
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Old 7th January 2009, 18:19
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline  
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Hallo Paulo

have added a pic of the INCHANGA taken when I was onboard many moons ago!

Cheers//Alan rawlinson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Principe_Perfeito View Post
Hello to all.

One of the recent photos posted at Riversea displays the INCHANGA:
http://riversea.tugtalk.co.uk/memories/inchanga1934.htm
(I have included the photo because the articles at Riversea have a finite lifespan and it might be useful to some to have the photo in the future)

Does any have more information on her and her sisters?
How many passenger ships did Bank Line operate and what where the routes?

Best regards from Lisbon,
Paulo Mestre
Attached Images
File Type: jpg inchanga.jpg (112.5 KB, 46 views)
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  #19  
Old 7th January 2009, 18:24
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline  
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Inchanga

Hallo Andy,

Finally found the pic of the INCHANGA taken when I was on board in 1952. (It's not lost till its filed).

Cheers // Alan


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Lavies View Post
I was in the Inchanga from March 1958 until November 1960. Junior apprentice to senior apprentice to acting 3/O. Thirty-two months. I stayed on after my indentures expired because I was too young to go for secomd mates. I never did get AB's pay because I was already getting £27-10-00 a month as 3/O.
Bullshit Jackson was still Master when I joined. I think he was taken off at Colombo with a suspected heart attack. 'Wilkie' Rutherford was Mate, Alan McGregor the 2/O and Alastair 'Hamish' MacNab (still on this site) 3/O. 'Ma' Bowness was the stewardess throughout and had been there for years. After Alastair paid off an acting 3/O joined when I was senior Appy. As we were leaving Beira he drunkenly puked over the Old Man (Jim Williams) in front of the pilot and was instantly disrated. I'd been on an all night cargo watch and was just getting my head down when I was given ten minutes to shift my gear up to the 3/O's cabin before taking over the watch. I'd almost have given up the promotion for a couple of hours kip but only 'almost.'
Interesting that Stocksie was in her when she caught fire in Kidderpore dock - she was set afire in that same dock when I was in her using paint as an accellerant and the shore fire hoses cut. No significant damage, though.
I remember being sent to the company godown in Calcutta (they never would allow the mate in there!) to look for stores. When I got back to the dock I had to use semaphore to get a message to the ship - the only time in 50 years afloat that I used it (outside the exam room, that is.) Good times!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg inchanga.jpg (112.5 KB, 22 views)
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  #20  
Old 10th February 2009, 16:48
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jimthehat jimthehat is offline  
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Charlie,
did you join ASN in 1967?I did straight from Bank line,spent most of my time running out of felixstowe,but while i was single always got sent up to relieve on the preston/cairnryan//larne/belfast run as 2/0 and relief c/o on the bardic,Ionic and the dreadful landing craft,can remember all the northern officers and masters well ,but not their names ,well maybe herbie,and big willie Close
regards
JIM
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