Bankline in the 50's.... - Ships Nostalgia
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Bankline in the 50's....

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  #1  
Old 18th June 2009, 07:34
Alan Rawlinson's Avatar
Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Bankline in the 50's....

Wood decks, open rails, serene quiet progress across the oceans...
stifling heat in the cabins, lucky to have an oscillating fan, or a wind cowel to stick out of the port
steam winches, cracking and banging, draining and jerking
heat your own water, with a steam line in the bath
then there was the wire sounding line! ( only used it once)
followed by an ultra modern wet paper echo sounder - OK if the paper was wet...
D/F - the less said the better

Would put it all to poetry if I had time, but too busy 60 years on...
Cheers/AL
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  #2  
Old 18th June 2009, 08:02
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heat your own water,Ah remember it well ,and us poor apprentices having to carry the Fw from the aft peak every morning to fill up all the tanks in the mid ship bathrooms,sinks in the cabins ,but no pipes to drain the water away.
JIM
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  #3  
Old 18th June 2009, 11:48
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John Campbell John Campbell is offline  
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And remember the hand pump , on the midship FW tanks, which was kept padlocked and the apprentices had to dole out two buckets per crew member per day and woe betide anyone who asked for more. I had that job under the beady eyes of Capt Hale. Remember how when passing through Panama opportunity was taken to replenish the FW from the lakes. I recounted this fact to several fellow cruisers as we passed through that waterway last year - they shook their heads at this tale saying that we would have all died of dysentery etc.

Thinking back remember the dreaded Water Barge in Kidder-pore and how we sometimes were desperate for pani and had to doctor the water with chemicals from the medicine chest. Did we really go through all this or is it my imagination?
JC
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  #4  
Old 18th June 2009, 12:37
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Still used to pick up water passing through the lakes at Panama in the 60s.
Sweetest water you could find. Certainly saved on soap.
Probably a lot safer in them days.
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  #5  
Old 18th June 2009, 12:53
johnb42 johnb42 is offline  
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Going out on deck and showering in the rain when washing water was limited to 15 mins at the end of each watch. The old Beaverbank.
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  #6  
Old 18th June 2009, 13:26
johnb42 johnb42 is offline  
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Hot and cold running "boys". No - not even I am that old.
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  #7  
Old 13th July 2009, 10:40
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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Yes Kris, there was a good reason why we took on FW during PC transit, nothing to do with water qualiy of course. Bankboats also arrived hogged at Cristobal as the ships were always checked amidships , not fore and aft.The Belfast built ships of the 1950's, were in my opinion, the best of Bankline during my time,wood sheathed decks and loads of boatdeck for games and other leisure use. I also remember well, my excitement when,receiving a letter from the Company at the end of my leave,tearing it open, my eyes darting first to the underlined ships name at the top, ''Laganbank'' ''Foylebank'', great a short trip, on the phone to my girlfriend to share the good news. ''Ericbank'' oh no, whats this ?. I also remember enjoying my time as 2nd Mate more than at any other time, chart corrections, cargo plans, medical locker etc, but now I'm getting into the 1960's so I will go and have a cuppa,
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  #8  
Old 13th July 2009, 11:08
Jim Harris Jim Harris is offline  
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Hurry up with that cuppa, Charlie and get back to the 60's!

And I too remember the excitement of getting new orders, and
wondering what was in store....

Great days, and wonderful memories.

Regards,

Jim.
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  #9  
Old 13th July 2009, 11:51
TonyAllen TonyAllen is offline  
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Charlie. Make your self a flask and get back to what you do best and tell those tales of the bank boats,I thought I had good memories of the blue funnel(which I have) but loved the bank boat story.Has anyone put it all down to paper, it was you who made me aware that my elder brother had sailed with the bank line .Kind regards Tony Allen

Last edited by TonyAllen; 13th July 2009 at 15:12..
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  #10  
Old 13th July 2009, 14:27
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Stitt View Post
Yes Kris, there was a good reason why we took on FW during PC transit, nothing to do with water qualiy of course. Bankboats also arrived hogged at Cristobal as the ships were always checked amidships , not fore and aft.The Belfast built ships of the 1950's, were in my opinion, the best of Bankline during my time,wood sheathed decks and loads of boatdeck for games and other leisure use. I also remember well, my excitement when,receiving a letter from the Company at the end of my leave,tearing it open, my eyes darting first to the underlined ships name at the top, ''Laganbank'' ''Foylebank'', great a short trip, on the phone to my girlfriend to share the good news. ''Ericbank'' oh no, whats this ?. I also remember enjoying my time as 2nd Mate more than at any other time, chart corrections, cargo plans, medical locker etc, but now I'm getting into the 1960's so I will go and have a cuppa,
Youv'e jogged a few memories there, Charlie....

Would agree that the time as second mate was an enjoyable time, and add that the navigation was also a pleasure.... I had an unusual trip mid fifties on the Eastbank when, for odd reasons, no-one bothered much with sights, and I had the fun and responsibility of 90% of the navigation - making landfalls etc accurately - well, within a few miles let's say! After a run to Japan, we loaded gunnies in the Bay of Bengal ports, and ended up discharging in B.A. before loading grain spasmodically, ( Hasta Munyana) in Enginerio White, for the UK. Spent weeks there in Argentina. Played football in the day, and went on the razz at night. We were exhausted - for all the right reasons! Happy days.

Cheers/AL
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  #11  
Old 13th July 2009, 16:15
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jimthehat jimthehat is offline  
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Yup,for me second mate on the far east run was the best,must admit getting all the cargo plans completed before sailing westbound was a bit hectic,multi load and discharge ,AND all done in brilliant colour.
somebody mentioned that we should not get too excited about our time in bank Line as there was life thereafter,there certainly was ,I spent 13 good years with ASN/Townsend before being chucked ashore with medical problems,but I think that it was the growing up in bank line that set it all off.
Great crowd of ex bank line on Ships nostalgia AND I never sailed with one.

JIM
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  #12  
Old 13th July 2009, 17:08
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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I found making accurate and colourful cargo plans to be one of my most pleasurable experiences. I had kept a portfolio of "Ettrickbank" cargo plans on the Oriental African Line for many years but in a house fire three years ago, they were lost.
The marks details on a cocoa or coffee stow plan from the Pacific islands were very intricate and the end result produced a feeling of great pride in penmanship.

I was never happy with the Kelvin Hughes chart portfolios and rearranged their sequece in the chart drawers as well as the individual chart sequences in each portfolio. I prepared a sweeping review which I took to the Master to send to either Head Office or to K-H direct and he chewed me out! Pretty disappointed as I felt that in particular, the folios covering the regular Bank Line runs were not logically compiled. I still have by revisions from 50 years ago!
It seems we are debating the pleasures of a second mate's regular duties. Yes, it was a good job and I liked the fact that I was largely left alone during the 12-4. It was a time when Master's were comfortable with your professional competance.

But surely the Chief Mate's job was the best? Keeping the ship clean and smart at all times, organizing the cargo stow and keeping the crew gainfully employed!
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  #13  
Old 16th July 2009, 16:49
John Hebblewhite John Hebblewhite is offline  
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Members of Bank Line will remember the description of the House Flag...
red the blood we sweat...blue the sea we sail on...separated by the thin white line of starvation..I served in the Bank Line from 1963-1973...apprentice to 2/O.

Rgds John.H
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  #14  
Old 17th July 2009, 00:29
Johnnietwocoats Johnnietwocoats is offline  
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Red to the Mast,
Blue to the Last
And the white streak of
starvation down the middle........
Anon...
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  #15  
Old 28th July 2009, 19:01
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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On this Bank Line Forum, to us older hands, there is one name very conspicuous by it's absence, and that is Captain Scobie. I remember all the letters from Weir's to me ref my application to join the company were signed A Scobie. Superintendents Department. I remember thinking, this must be a very important man, and I suppose he was just that. I don't remember when Capt Gale took over from him but I'm sure someone here knows the story. Extract from one of Capt Scobie's letters to me joining Myrtlebank. ''We enclose a Railway Voucher for your journey when joining, which please fully complete, in accordance with our further instructions, before exchanging for a ticket at the Booking Office.''. No mention of Airports back then, and that particular ticket turned out to be one from Larne to Tilbury Docks, via Stranraer. The telegram that followed these letters usually ended, '' kit readiness join acknowledge'', yes I remember going to bed with those words buzzing around in my head, no chance of sleep, going away to-morrow.
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  #16  
Old 28th July 2009, 23:51
David E David E is offline  
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I'm pretty certain Captain Scobie was the Senior Superintendent in Bury Street.Digging back through the old paperwork,he seemed to sign all the letters I had from Head Office.
Charlie's comment "No Airports back then....." summed up the attitude of the Company to repatriation after long trips in the early 50's.The cheapest route,however long it took. Leaving the "Inchanga" in Colombo, after 2+ years away,I moved to the "Myrtlebank",in port at that time.She sailed,so I spent the next three weeks in the old GOH.The "Lochybank" eventually staggered in, and I joined her, eventually getting back to the UK three months after leaving "Inchanga"
Finishing my time in "Forresbank" in Bombay the next year,my return to the UK was an even longer safari. After an initial two week stay in the MN Club in Bombay,I was sent across India by train to Calcutta-a night,day,night trip Joining the "Roybank",I eventually sailed in her to Colombo.Leaving her,I joined the "Weybank" for the final passage home.An interesting ship.I remember the Chief Engineer was on some energy saving drive.Lighting would be normal for a short period after dark-then after a couple of hours would begin to dim and by 2100 reading was impossible.It took ten weeks from the "Forresbank" to the final,welcome,escape in Birkenhead.The next step was to Fyffes,a very different company.
I enjoyed a lot of my time in Bank Line but felt I wanted to move on. A variety of Masters-good and bad,across the whole spectrum. The worst, a homosexual,who targeted the younger Apprentices.The best,Stafford-Watts. The only time I ever saw him loose his cool was in Calcutta during a Hooglhi Bore standby.A particularly violent Spring Bore carried away a forward cable.S-W requested "Slow Ahead".Nothing happened.After a time the phone rang and the J/E on watch asked "Did we mean that movement-if so,he'd better call the Second" A moments silence:B****r shouted S-W,hurling the blancoed topee he wore on duty,night and day, over the side
I suspect that the standards improved in the later fifties, they were pretty basic BOT minimum in my time,even extending to different menus for Officers and Passengers in "Inchanga"-unheard of in Fyffes

Last edited by David E; 29th July 2009 at 00:02.. Reason: spelling
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  #17  
Old 29th July 2009, 03:22
Hamish Mackintosh Hamish Mackintosh is offline  
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Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
And remember the hand pump , on the midship FW tanks, which was kept padlocked and the apprentices had to dole out two buckets per crew member per day and woe betide anyone who asked for more. I had that job under the beady eyes of Capt Hale. Remember how when passing through Panama opportunity was taken to replenish the FW from the lakes. I recounted this fact to several fellow cruisers as we passed through that waterway last year - they shook their heads at this tale saying that we would have all died of dysentery etc.

Thinking back remember the dreaded Water Barge in Kidder-pore and how we sometimes were desperate for pani and had to doctor the water with chemicals from the medicine chest. Did we really go through all this or is it my imagination?
JC
Greetings John!
I had the pleasure of sailing with Capt' Freddy Hale on the "Ivybank" circa 50-52, a great chap, but you are the first to make mention of him
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  #18  
Old 29th July 2009, 05:17
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Captain Alec Scobie had been the Marine Superintendent in Calcutta and was replaced by Captain Gale sometime before 1950. Scobie was Chief Marine Superintendent in London when I joined the company in 1953. I don't remember when he retired but it must have been around 1963(?) when he was replaced by Captain Gale. Scobie and John Hawkes (chartering director)were the driving forces behind Bank Line in the 50s and early 60s. They worked very well together, in fact, Lord Inverforth (II), Morton Weir, had to chastise them when they went too far by promoting their own ideas against his on one notable occasion! This caused a row and Scobie and Hawkes were retired soon afterwards! Nevertheless, Captain Scobie is remembered with great affection by all who worked with him. He was strict but fair and his knowledge of Bank Line ships was legendary. In Calcutta, his No.2 was Captain Chalmers who was succeeded by Captain Lidstone when Gale arrived. I can't remember the pecking order in the London office under Scobie. Perhaps someone else can enlighten us?
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  #19  
Old 29th July 2009, 08:04
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Capt Scobie had a nephew in the Bankline - Jim Scobbie, who is well and lives in Colchester. He was a superintendent with Sealink for many years after leaving the Bankline as 2/0. We have been friends since the mid fifties when we had a 2 yr voyage on the IRISBANK together 2/0 and 3/0 under Capt. Palmer.

There are plenty of anecdotes about this trip, but one of the best concerns our frequent ' run ins ' with Palmer. Jimmy was hauled onto the bridge during my 8 to 12 evening watch when we were rounding the Cape of Good Hope and a ' new ' lighthouse appeared on the coast, which wasn't on the chart... Palmer found it in the pile of Notiice to Mariners on the chartroom settee, and after the expected dressing down, he shouted at Jimmy, '' If your uncle wasn't Capt Scobbie in the London Office, this would be very serious and I would ask for you to be relieved! ''

Jimmy had a 'so so' relationship with his Uncle, as he had complained about the food to him during a ship visit in a UK port. It caused a slight rift between them.

AL
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Old 31st July 2009, 05:32
ernhelenbarrett ernhelenbarrett is offline  
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I sailed in the Tweedbank/GBYC in the fifties, she was built in 1930, typical Bankline trip Cuba/New Orleans/Texas ports/Mexico/Australia/New Guinea/Colombo/Uk. We took a Tissue paper Chart of Kavieng in New Ireland on board in Sydney as none of the Admiralty charts were up to date and can remember margins in the border with such comments as" after passing shed with red roof steer 274 degrees " somebody had scored out "red" with comment shed now painted green, and comments like "dont anchor here or you will have a Japanese Zero on the end of the anchor !! I ended up in the Islands Radio Station working point to point with RabaulRadio as the Islands R/O had done a "wander" into the jungle!!
Ern Barrett
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  #21  
Old 18th August 2009, 18:16
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Bank Line's last sailing ship

And I remember in about 1953-54 sailing on Bank Line's last sailing ship between Calcutta and Durban. What do you mean I'm talking nonsense?!
See the very proof before your eyes on the attached picture.
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File Type: jpg eastbank.jpg (55.2 KB, 288 views)
File Type: jpg Eastbank-the last sailing ship.jpg (58.7 KB, 359 views)
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  #22  
Old 18th August 2009, 20:20
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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Looks more like the Old Man was flying his Kite. Had to be seen to be believed, so well done for getting the photo.Is it to be taken serious ???
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  #23  
Old 18th August 2009, 22:00
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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I think they were drawing a piston. It was the Eastbank, and the mate was trying to reduce the rolling by putting a hatch tarpaulin up. It was fairly obvious it was not going to work and it came down pretty hurriedly when we thought we saw movement on the topmast.
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  #24  
Old 18th August 2009, 22:28
mahseer1 mahseer1 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcraig View Post
I think they were drawing a piston. It was the Eastbank, and the mate was trying to reduce the rolling by putting a hatch tarpaulin up. It was fairly obvious it was not going to work and it came down pretty hurriedly when we thought we saw movement on the topmast.
I was an apprentice on Brock's "Mahronda" in the late 50s. Anchored at Sandheads and rolling quite heavily. The Mate had a hatch tent hauled up the after shrouds in the hope that the wind would prevail against the current. It made no difference whatsoever and, frankly, looked a bit stupid. I suppose he could have argued that the hatch tent needed drying.
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  #25  
Old 19th August 2009, 14:26
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Memories of the 50's

Trailing dhoby at the end of a heaving line and forgetting about it until too late. Soaking underpants and hankies in a corrosive Tide solution in the wash bowl vainly hoping the movement of the ship was the same as a washing machine. And leaving it so long things fell apart.
Painting freehand the name of the Springbank on her bow so that the S was out of kilter from the rest of the name and appears so in the few shots I have seen of her.
Amongst other things
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