The fascinating story of Andrew Weir and the Bank Line - Ships Nostalgia
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The fascinating story of Andrew Weir and the Bank Line

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  #1  
Old 2nd November 2019, 10:49
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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The fascinating story of Andrew Weir and the Bank Line

Nearly 2020 now, and the amazing story of Andrew Weir and the Bank Line becomes more in focus. Having served there is almost akin to having done time in the French foreign legion, or as a Trappist monk! At least in my imagination.

The history has been told in various accounts including in the comprehensive inside account by long serving Alistair Macnab in his gripping book “ The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy”. A website with over 1000 entries is devoted to the Bank Line at http://banklineonline.com. and this site includes links to more sources. In addition, the pages of SN here are filled with fascinating posts.

My efforts studying the saga clearly show distinct periods from the 1885 start through to the tortured demise in recent years. They are the glorious sailing years, plus the steamer period, and the final and substantial Motorship fleet. A liking for twin screw ships between the wars also deserves its place as a stand alone period. Each of these have been the subject of articles that I have written for the shipping magazines.

It might be old age, but my thoughts are never far from the hundreds of seamen who had a watery grave far from home serving on the big ocean going three and four masted sailing ships. Surviving was a lottery with poor odds. Then, two world wars often meant horrible deaths for hundreds more of innocent seafarers. We should salute them all.

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson; 2nd November 2019 at 14:23..
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  #2  
Old 4th November 2019, 22:11
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Duncan112 Duncan112 is offline  
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Well said Alan, I consider myself fortunate to have spent a few years in The Bank Line, amongst other things it gave me a love for the South Pacific.

Perhaps it could be summed up in the words of one Master I sailed with in CNCo who had been an apprentice in The Bank Line "Hated every minute of it until I left then realised it had taught me to be a seaman"

Often wonder what would have happened if I'd stopped - left because no promotion in sight (1988) but might have made Chief a little sooner after they flagged out, but no steam time - probably the scrap heap at 40 like a lot of others!!
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Old 4th November 2019, 22:44
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
Nearly 2020 now, and the amazing story of Andrew Weir and the Bank Line becomes more in focus.

It might be old age, but my thoughts are never far from the hundreds of seamen who had a watery grave far from home serving on the big ocean going three and four masted sailing ships. Surviving was a lottery with poor odds. Then, two world wars often meant horrible deaths for hundreds more of innocent seafarers. We should salute them all.


The Empire Attendant, owned/managed by Andrew Weir sailed from Liverpool as part of Convoy OS.33 with a cargo of stores, vehicles and a 'quantity of explosives' bound for Durban and Karachi. At 0330 hours on July 15, 1942, South of the Canary Islands and while out of contact with the convoy she was torpedoed and sunk by U-582 . There were no survivors and the master, 49 crew members and nine gunners were lost. My Uncle was the Bosun.
Heart breaking for his family in a small East Antrim village but now just a statistic and largely forgotten.

But his name, his shipmates and his ship are part of the MN Memorial at Tower Hill, In proud and glorious memory, as Siegfrid Sassoon puts it.
Always well worth half an hour of your time when in London, Lest we Forget.
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Old 6th November 2019, 15:03
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Empire Attendant

More details on the tragic wartime loss of the Empire Attendant can be seen on my website http://banklineonline.com - search for the name. Also here is a record of the ship's movements....
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  #5  
Old 6th November 2019, 20:19
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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Amen to all of the above.

My own recollections of Bank Line are of a tramping company operating on liner principles, at standards as high as any found elsewhere, bar none.
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Old 8th November 2019, 00:54
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Bank Line were a wonderful/versatile tramp company - I chartered the Deep Tank spaces many times in the 1980's to carry sperm whale oil from Albany to Liverpool for a/c Cheynes Beach Whaling Co of Albany. Normally 250 tons at a time.

Unthinkable today.
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Old 8th November 2019, 08:00
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Greenpeace are coming to let down your tyres.
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Old 15th November 2019, 08:20
shinz shinz is offline
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Originally Posted by Engine Serang View Post
Greenpeace are coming to let down your tyres.
My, how the world changes in a short time. I'm guessing Albany southern WA?
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  #9  
Old 17th November 2019, 23:06
soccerover soccerover is offline  
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Bank Line

Yes - Albany W.A.

Pleased to say the whales have greatly recovered - here in Bermagui NSW, we have watched hundreds of sperm whales migrating south to Antactica, during Aug/Sept., after calving around Harvey Bay, Queensland.

Greenpeace have done a great job stopping the hunting down here.

Dare I say it - the whales are so prolific they are becoming a danger to shipping !
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  #10  
Old 18th November 2019, 06:12
duncs duncs is offline  
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Did only one trip with Bankline, the 'Elmbank'. Was talking, 2 days ago, to an ex Bankline lecky, and suggested to him, to get on to SN and that he might come across some names that he knew.
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