Deck Passengers on Bank Line ships...
Andrew Weir's Bank Line were very active in the carriage of Deck passengers during the first half of the 20th century. Starting in 1906 after some in-chartering voyages, two new ships were built in Glasgow, at Russell's, the "Tinhow" and the "Mineric" and the second-hand bought-in the "Salamis" in 1911 for the Indian African Line between Calcutta and Durban. The "Salamis" was an ex-Aberdeen Line emigrant carrier. The "Salamis" was first used on a Colombo-Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong connecting service for the Indian-African Line.
All three carried additional cabin passengers as well.
In 1912, the "Salamis" or the "Tinhow" was transferred to Weir's Oriental African Line to cater for Chinese deck passengers to Durban and Cape Town from Hong Kong. (No clear record of which was assigned).
Deck passengers from Calcutta and Hong Kong were indentured labour for the sugar plantations of Natal and northbound: returning labourers and repatriated ship's crews.
In 1913, three ex-Bucknall steamers from their London-South and Mozambique passenger/cargo service were bought, reconditioned, and placed on the Indian African Line as 1st and deck passenger ships and the Oriental African Line steadied around both the "Salamis" and "Tinhow".
Three motorships were ordered and delivered from Harland and Wolff in 1923, the "Luxmi", "Gujarat" and "Kathiawar" for the Indian African Line but when Bullard King's India-Natal Line was purchased from Union Castle in 1935, three excellent white motorships, the "Isipingo", "Inchanga" and "Incomati" had already been built by Workman Clark in Belfast in 1934 to replace the earlier motorships which were transferred to the Oriental African Line to replace the steamships on that service.
The 'White Ships' had accommodation for 500 deck passengers as well as 50 first class and 20 second class (berthed) passengers. They ran until 1964 being finally downgraded to 12 1st. class only. The "Incomati" and "Tinhow" were war casualties and the "Kathiawar" was wrecked on Goa Island Mozambique in 1937.
You can read all about Weir's passenger ship ventures in my new book "The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy" now published in the United States and available through payment in your own currency by PayPal.
Last edited by Alistair Macnab; 19th February 2019 at 18:13..