Bathurst Fire Engine (Gambia)

Julian Calvin
5th April 2014, 20:41
Heard the story but were any of you there?
Apparently a wonderful, new fire engine was being delivered and many official Govt signatories came to witness delivery. Discharge was from a 'K' (?) boat midstream. Derrick was one of those with the heel fastening welded to bulkhead. This sheered and fire engine landed on bulwark before slowly toppling over the side to the bottom of the creek and embarrassment of all.

bev summerill
5th April 2014, 21:34
I discharged several times in Bathurst but always alongside with a delay at anchor if there was another shop alongside.I was not aware that they had any lighters

Bev Summerill

Roger Turner
6th April 2014, 21:13
Great Story.
My only recollection of Bathurst is a more or less absence of anything.

Anyway thank goodness for a posting this site has almost been as deserted as Bathurst

lakercapt
7th April 2014, 03:38
On a Palm line boat the last thing we loaded in Tilbury were two barges (Craft in the local lingo).
Arrived in Bathurst and through necessity the first thing to be discharged (by the jumbo) were the two barges which were put in the water on the off side.
The rest of the cargo was discharged and away we sailed.
A small tug had taken the barges away.
Got a message about a shortage of cargo (out turn report) asking us to check and see if we had discharged the barges!!!!
Some enterprising person had stolen them!!!!
Never a dull moment when on the "Coast"

Peter Martin
7th April 2014, 09:11
Apart from a self-edifying 'Triumphal Arch' erected by the latest despot in power, not much has changed in 'Banjul', as they now refer to it!
The exception to this being a new airport and a profusion of coastal ribbon development to facilitate the tourist industry.
Sadly, few have ever heard of 'ED's'.

Roger Turner
7th April 2014, 13:48
Introducing Banjul

It's hard to imagine a more unlikely or consistently ignored capital city than the tiny seaport of Banjul. It sits on an island and sulks, crossed by sand-blown streets and dotted with fading colonial structures. And yet, it tempts with a sense of history that the plush seaside resorts lack, and is home to a busy harbour and market that show urban Africa at its best.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/the-gambia/banjul#ixzz2yCigSmX2
Ses it all?

Roger Turner
7th April 2014, 16:25
lakercapt lakercapt

"On a Palm line boat the last thing we loaded in Tilbury were two barges (Craft in the local lingo).
Arrived in Bathurst and through necessity the first thing to be discharged (by the jumbo) were the two barges which were put in the water on the off side.
The rest of the cargo was discharged and away we sailed.
A small tug had taken the barges away.
Got a message about a shortage of cargo (out turn report) asking us to check and see if we had discharged the barges!!!!
Some enterprising person had stolen them!!!!
Never a dull moment when on the "Coast""

Talking of Out Turn Reports, Discrepancies and never a dull moment.
Did anybody hear the story of the discrepancy clerk who when faced with needing a description for the contents of an open carton asked the beachmaster
"Sah Sah what did ting"?
Beachmaster "Man hole covers"
Cable from Head Office Outturn Report shows 200 missing manhole covers - please search and advise.High Value?
Manhole covers = FLs, now for some obscure reason always referred to as condoms.

Geoff Gower
7th April 2014, 16:32
Heard the story but were any of you there?
Apparently a wonderful, new fire engine was being delivered and many official Govt signatories came to witness delivery. Discharge was from a 'K' (?) boat midstream. Derrick was one of those with the heel fastening welded to bulkhead. This sheered and fire engine landed on bulwark before slowly toppling over the side to the bottom of the creek and embarrassment of all.

Had personal experience back in the 50's when running USA aid to Nigeria. Had a load of new 3 ton pickup trucks as deck cargo which were discharged at anchor into "surf-boats" .A bit of a "Hit and Miss" performance, with 3 of the trucks plus surf boats going to the bottom!

clibb
7th April 2014, 16:36
I remember the Agent for ED's in Bathurst in the 60's had an Austin Healey 3000. Given it's success in rallying I thought it was probably a good car for Gambian roads. The ED office, such as it was, was on the first road back from the wharf. There was a Victorian (I think) cast iron postbox outside the office. It had two slots in it. One was labelled 'Inland', and the other 'Liverpool' - presumably the extent of the rest of the world to Gambians at that time.

Nick

Roger Turner
7th April 2014, 20:19
Anybody remember the ground nut scheme or the chicken farms?

What went wrong -they were well away before I first visited 1953/4 -poss Sangara

Julian Calvin
7th April 2014, 20:33
Have to ask; what else did you see 'dropped' or 'bent' during discharge?
Remember some tanks being discharged in Lagos. Am sure the barrel on one bent after being caught under the tween deck. OK for shooting over hills!!

lakercapt
7th April 2014, 22:21
Accra must be littered with cargo as I know that I personally initialed tally slips LOB for all sort of cargo (including the new governors dinner service)
Often wonder that some enterprising person does not try and salvage the items there.

Kanbe
8th April 2014, 11:26
I was on the ship to which you refer as 3rd mate at the time and witnessed the whole event which went as follows. The fire engine was supposed to weigh 4 tons 15 hundredweights. It was stowed in No1 tween deck, brought out on to the hatch square it was placed in the appropriate slings with spreaders etc. The mate at the time used to have the doubling gear rigged to the winch on the opposite side to the derrick as this helped bring the derrick inboard especially when loading logs in West Africa. The topping lift was rigged to the starboard winch and it was the starboard derrick that was being used, bare in mind that there were only two winches/derricks at each hatch making it impossible to rig the guys to a winch meaning that the derrick had to be pulled in/outboard by hand. The vessel was starboard side to the wharf at Bathurst (now Banjul) As the original member stated Uncle Tom Cobley and all was present either on board or on the jetty. I believe that this unit was first mooted about 1935 but time passed the war intervened and the colonial office, as it was at that time, was so busy that it took until 1961 before the purchase was approved and so it was loaded for delivery.
The whole was raised up and then was being pulled outboard. At some point in order that the derrick be in a position to lower the fire engine to the wharf it became necessary to lower the derrick i.e. ease out on the topping lift. The African winch driver knew better than the mates on board and instead of leaving the steam on and using the reversing lever to lower the topping lift so that by pulling it back to heave up the lowering could be controlled/stopped he shut off the steam pushed the lever to lower and was unable to stop the whole running away. Heaving up on the purchase, pulling on the guys did not prevent the inevitable one of the wheels caught on the ships side plating, that which was above deck level, the fire engine tilted and the wires of the slings cut into the bodywork. The wheel slipped off the plating the fire engine fell firstly against the wharf then against the ships side and finally came to rest still in the slings with about 9 inches showing above the water and the derrick well below the horizontal. Having gathered things together the whole was slowly raised swung outboard and lowered on to the wharf where it was deposited resting on three wheels the chassis having been twisted.
It did not help matters that notwithstanding assurance from all the authorities that there was plenty of water at all states of the tide as the ebb took effect the vessel came to rest upon a sandbank and so heeled away from the wharf a considerable amount, a factor not at the time noticed by the ships personal.
Having got the vehicle on the wharf the mate, 2nd mate and myself were all walking along the port deck towards the bridge where the master had stood to watch proceedings to give our verbal reports, passing No.2 hatch as the first sling which was grenades was being brought up when it caught under the beam causing one of the boxes to fall out into the tween deck wherein a considerable amount of explosives were stowed. As it happened the expected big bang did not happen however without speaking we three all thought that the bang we thought might be the result of this would mean that we would not have to write any reports for head office.
I was later told that the unit was returned to the UK, repaired and later sent back to Bathurst by another ship

Kanbe
8th April 2014, 12:22
Seeing Roger Turner's post - What about the tally clerk in Takoradi who in completing a vehicle damage report on a Volkswagen insisted that he filled in the report with
'No engine but spare engine in the boot' !!!!

Kanbe

retfordmackem
8th April 2014, 13:05
Have to ask; what else did you see 'dropped' or 'bent' during discharge?
Remember some tanks being discharged in Lagos. Am sure the barrel on one bent after being caught under the tween deck. OK for shooting over hills!!

Brill JC(Jester)(Jester)(Jester)(Jester)(Jester)

bev summerill
10th April 2014, 21:20
yet another SNAFU

Bev

ben27
11th April 2014, 00:58
good day roger turner.m.8 april.2014 05:19.#10.bathhurst fire engine,i remember the ground nut scheme back in 1947.(it was going to be britains saviour financialy)it was not.it was a grand failure.the ship i was on went to all the ports collecting the crop to take to the uk.the cargo was just the nuts and hardwood we loaded up some river,like your new fire engine,we lost the lot.the s.s.stanhill was wrecked ,all hands were saved,but the nuts went down like the scheme,have a good day,happy sailing regards ben27

bev summerill
14th April 2014, 16:51
I was in Bathurst many times in the 60's and 70's to load peanuts which were of a very high quality HPS hand picked specials.Peanuts were the only cargo I ever loaded there
Bev S

Billhobbs
15th April 2014, 15:10
The groundnut crop was still in evidence up to a few years ago. I can remember Delmas (who took over EDL in the early 90's) scheduling a vessel to call and pick up the crop on their way back to Europe. It was all containerised by then if memory serves me correctly it was still the only export cargo from Banjul apart from the odd container of personal effects.

I remember my first call at what was still Bathurst in the early 70's and being impressed by the dress code of the pilot who came aboard in full white's, including shoes and a lot of gold braid on his cap.
Bill H

Rogerfrench
16th April 2014, 15:27
The infamous Groundnut Scheme that allowed wide boys to get rich but was a calamity otherwise wasn't in West Africa - it was in what was then Tanganyika.
Groundnuts wouldn't grow well there.
On the other hand, they grew well in West Africa.