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Old 28th December 2018, 19:37
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Originally Posted by Harry Nicholson View Post
Hello chaps. I'm on with ch3 of book 2 of a seagoing memoir (book 1 is on Amazon as "The Best of Days"). I'm enjoying poking around in the fragments of 'factual' memory and adding imaginary bits of dialogue to help keep it lively.
This current chapter deals with the 1957 dock strike in Calcutta which meant that Mahanada was at anchor at Sandheads 5th - 29/30th August with up to 30 other vessels, apart from a break of a couple of days when we all had to flee into deep water to ride out a cyclone. We spread awnings to catch rain, and were rationed to a bucket a day.
I think Maihar was also at Sandheads and perhaps other Brocks, but cannot recall which. When we got to Kidderpore there was a fabulous party. Mahanada was awash with festive visitors from other Brocks.
I wish I knew what others of the fleet were in port with us. We were in Calcutta for 42 days turning round for the States.
Mahanada's skiffle group composed the Sandheads Lament to a Harry Belafonte calypso. It went something like:

All day, all night, agent-man,
He don't seem to give a damn.
Nobody here at Sandheads
Love de agent-man,
He don't seem to give a damn.

Alongside in Kidderpore,
We'll not give a fook.
We'll have a raving party
Instead of swinging round de hook.

Are there any of you fine gentlemen able to add anything to these events?

Also, I'm wondering what we did with our waste water, sewage and the like. Was it discharged into the dock, or did we have the means to contain it? I know Kidderpore dock water was poisonous - but did the visiting ships add to that state of affairs.

Attachment 187447
On SS Maihar we lay at Sandheads 14 August 1957 until 31st August, having had to shift ship twice due to other ships dragging anchor down on us. I think the Mahanada would have just gone in before us as when we arrived at Calcutta my pal Rankin Sinclair, he was either 4th or 5th engineer on her, was already in. His brother was 2nd Eng. in the malakand at same time. At the time we lay at sandheads the Nourse Marjata was close by, I only found out later that al lad from my home village in Shetland was R/O on her.
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