Ships Nostalgia - View Single Post - The Sandheads Lament
View Single Post
Old 20th July 2018, 22:47
jimthehat's Avatar
jimthehat jimthehat is offline  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,034
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
Not a Brocks man, but I was third mate on Bank Lines Isipingo and we had many weeks swinging around the Hook at Sandheads,then it was up the river to the grand kiddapore docks where we had another month or so, lucky we had the Calcutta swimming club to fall back on after we got fed up with the delights of Chowringi.
In those days I think that everything got discharged into the dock and river, what was the name of the box toilet that was slung over the stern for the dockers?was it the thunder box?

Reply With Quote