Bankline in the 50's.... - Page 12 - Ships Nostalgia
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Bankline in the 50's....

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  #276  
Old 16th March 2010, 11:37
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnietwocoats View Post
I still have the Caustic Soda burn scars on my shoulders........
We wore the very latest in protective clothing. Oilskins tied at the wrists and a sou'wester,mine must have been waterproof,I only had burnt wrists!
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  #277  
Old 16th March 2010, 13:15
Ian Harrod Ian Harrod is offline  
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This was originally posted in july 2006 but it seems appropriate to post it again! It occurred in 1969 but I am just beginning to see the funny side!

A very close near miss. First trip apprentice on a Bank Line ship cleaning after discharging general cargo in Oz. One job was to steam clean the deeptanks by placing buckets of caustic soda throughout the tank, closing it up and opening the steam inlet and leaving it for about 6 hours. I was walking along the deck and noticed a lot of steam venting from the deeptank ullage port. Never having seen this before, I picked up the ullage cap and screwed it down. Luckily for everyone (including the ship!) the Mate came along a few minutes later and immediately realised what must have happened. When he unscrewed the cap it stripped the last couple of threads and blew higher than the foremast. His comments to me would have made a Liverpool fireman blush.
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  #278  
Old 16th March 2010, 14:26
kwg kwg is offline
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This reminds me of a story an old C/O Angus McBain (spelling) told me from the war. Some MN vessels were fitted with a gizmo on the deck steam line as an anti-aircraft weapon, a hand grenade was dropped into the thing and was supposed to be propelled 100's feet into the sky, according to Angus they tested them first using a spud, there was a plume of water, the spud went up a few feet and dropped onto the deck....Someone tell me Angus wasn't pulling my leg..

Last edited by kwg; 16th March 2010 at 14:30..
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  #279  
Old 16th March 2010, 15:12
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Bank Line Deeptanks.....

In the U.S. Gulf, we eventually got round to only using the six deeptanks for bulk liquid cargoes, so the heating coils remained in place on the outward leg. We never loaded bulk sulphur in these spaces but occasionally had to use the upper tank spaces for drummed cargo. Even then, we dunnaged over the heating coils.

The big job for arrival in the USA was getting the tanks ready for survey for tightness and cleanliness. Originally, we used water ballast to test for tightness but that meant the tanks had to be emptied and cleaned and dried before a cleanliess certificate could be issued. Surveyors eventually got around to accepting air pressure tests for tightness. This enabled the tank cleaning process to be started earlier on the passage from Europe. Perforated ghee cans filled with dry caustic granules. How well I remember them. Like may of us, I still have the scars on my wrists!
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  #280  
Old 16th March 2010, 22:42
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Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
In the U.S. Gulf, we eventually got round to only using the six deep tanks for bulk liquid cargoes, so the heating coils remained in place on the outward leg. We never loaded bulk sulfur in these spaces but occasionally had to use the upper tank spaces for drummed cargo. Even then, we dunnaged over the heating coils.

The big job for arrival in the USA was getting the tanks ready for survey for tightness and cleanliness. Originally, we used water ballast to test for tightness but that meant the tanks had to be emptied and cleaned and dried before a cleanliess certificate could be issued. Surveyors eventually got around to accepting air pressure tests for tightness. This enabled the tank cleaning process to be started earlier on the passage from Europe. Perforated ghee cans filled with dry caustic granules. How well I remember them. Like may of us, I still have the scars on my wrists!
Alistair - thank the Lord that you got wise and stopped that business of lifting the coils - what a back breaking task that was. Also bearing in mind the COSHH regs that are slavishly followed nowadays - remember how few serious accidents took place as we first trippers went down those slippery dark tanks and hung up those ghee cans being hounded by a belligerent senior apprentice and others. I still mind the painful flecks of caustic to this day. Also I recall the laborious attempts as we sailed over the Atlantic to get the tank lids water tight.
I will never forget on arrival at Houston to see those huge American Engineers come down with their pneumatic spanners and do the two weeks work we we did in 30 mins. Those useless spanners and bolts we had and that square sennet packing !!
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  #281  
Old 19th March 2010, 13:06
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Rabaul mountain ( volcano)

Found another snap, taken on the peak of one of the local volcanoes - think it was called '' The Mother '' but stand to be corrected, it was a long time ago.

Left to right - Doug Christie, Senior App, 4th Engineer from N.I., 3rd Engineer from Scotland, Yours truly hanging on the bamboo pole after the ascent.

I seem to remember climbing hills and bumps all over the world as an apprentice - kept us out of trouble, I suppose. There was that funny knoll close to New Plymouth, and the cliffs overlooking Lyttleton. Some of us apps struggling up the face of that one, only to find people picnicking as we crawled over the edge - there was a road up the other side.
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  #282  
Old 19th March 2010, 13:13
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Rabaul

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Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
Found another snap, taken on the peak of one of the local volcanoes - think it was called '' The Mother '' but stand to be corrected, it was a long time ago.

Left to right - Doug Christie, Senior App, 4th Engineer from N.I., 3rd Engineer from Scotland, Yours truly hanging on the bamboo pole after the ascent.

I seem to remember climbing hills and bumps all over the world as an apprentice - kept us out of trouble, I suppose. There was that funny knoll close to New Plymouth, and the cliffs overlooking Lyttleton. Some of us apps struggling up the face of that one, only to find people picnicking as we crawled over the edge - there was a road up the other side.
Better quality snap
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  #283  
Old 18th May 2010, 14:26
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Hi,now just hope the snaps have come thru,the prints are from slides taken in the 50s,so they are not very good quality but maybe somebody can recognise the faces.
First photo is I think the Ettrickbank on the far east run
second is senior app ,he was from capetown.
third..from the left app. third eng(a bok0,yours truly and fourth eng.
fourth,, C/e and daughter plus couple of the lads.
fith chief,old mann and one other going ashore in the company launch in Hongkong.
regards

jim
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  #284  
Old 18th May 2010, 14:31
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Originally Posted by jimthehat View Post

Hi,now just hope the snaps have come thru,the prints are from slides taken in the 50s,so they are not very good quality but maybe somebody can recognise the faces.
First photo is I think the Ettrickbank on the far east run
second is senior app ,he was from capetown.
third..from the left app. third eng(a bok0,yours truly and fourth eng.
fourth,, C/e and daughter plus couple of the lads.
fith chief,old mann and one other going ashore in the company launch in Hongkong.
regards

jim
big mess up photos did not come thru,will try again one at a time

jim
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  #285  
Old 18th May 2010, 14:44
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hopefully I have suceeded

jim
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  #286  
Old 18th May 2010, 17:14
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"Ettrickbank"

Certainly looks like the "Ettrickbank"! In the photograph of the engineers, is the guy on the left not Frank Honey the uncertified Third Engineer? It looks awfully like him!
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  #287  
Old 18th May 2010, 22:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
Certainly looks like the "Ettrickbank"! In the photograph of the engineers, is the guy on the left not Frank Honey the uncertified Third Engineer? It looks awfully like him!
Alistair,
thanks for confirming the ettrickbank,I flew out to join her as 2/0 in singapore on15/12/59,had two great years on her,and dont know how but I payed off her in calcutta on 19/12 61.
i am terrible with names,but dont think there was anybody named frank honey on board.

jim
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  #288  
Old 20th June 2010, 06:06
jim garnett jim garnett is offline  
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Originally Posted by Crankcase View Post
I joined the Clydebank 17/10/57 in Colombo transfered from the Laganbank for my sins. Fourth Engineer in the 'Laganbank' to "Junior Second" on the Clyde. She was the worst fed worst maintained work house I have ever had the miss fortune to sail on. However I learnt alot about how to work a dead horse. I can't remember the name of the Skipper but the Chief was a scott named Scott. He had his wife with him her name waqs Corra. The Chief and she pretty much kept to their cabin. The Second eng was just about drunk all the time, and come to think about it so was almost every body else apart from the crew. The ship had picked up a cargo of Carsburgh for India and some of the cases got broken. How ever I paid off in Liverpool. The ship then went to Holland and then to be broken up. Amen
I'm glad the clydebank lasted until 1957.She was laid up for 6 months at Gellibrand pier in Williamstown in 1948 while a large vertical crack was welded in the boiler end plate.A new treatment in those days.I didn't think she'd last very long,so apparently we did a good job
Jim Garnett.
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  #289  
Old 21st June 2010, 03:25
Kenneth Morley Kenneth Morley is offline  
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Never hear anything of the 'HAZELBANK' I was fireman New Zealand/Islands/ running out of coal so next stop LYTTLETON NZ.for bunkering, left her and joined Swedish Tanker. memories Kenneth
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  #290  
Old 1st July 2010, 17:28
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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When I think back to sailing on Bankboats in the 50's, one of the first things I remember, WINCHES. What a difference to life on board, depending on the type of winches we had. My first ship Myrtlebank, old clatterbox steam jobs, trying to get to sleep at night, no the clatter did not keep me awake, it was more like waiting for the clatter to start again when all was quiet. My second ship, Westbank, wow, electric winches, magic, I must have spent half the trip just admiring these wonderful inventions, then by the end of the trip I took them for granted, yes Bank Line really had modern ships, glad I joined. Oh dear, my next ship Ericbank, and the one after that, Ernebank, clatter boxes again, why dos'nt Bank Line build modern ships. Life improved a bundle after Ernebank, never ever saw or heard the clatter off, a steam winch again. In a way I missed them, and nowadays, as I sit in the peaceful surroundings of my garden, I close my eyes and listen to the clatter of those old steam winches, great, I am reliving the happiest days of my life. Who cares about getting to sleep anyway ?
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  #291  
Old 1st July 2010, 21:27
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Clattering Steam Winches....

The things I remember most about steam winches were:

(1) The necessity of securing locking clamps on the drive shaft to keep the gears meshed otherwise they'd be liable to disengage especially when under load. I don't think they were designed that way, but it was because the winches were so old and the engage-disengage gear was so badly worn!

(2) The necessity to keep the windlass and the warping winch slowly turning over with a 'crack of steam' to keep the steam lines from freezing up in cold weather. and]

(3) The water hammering in the steam lines when they were first opened for 'esteam on deck'.

I was only on one Bank Boat with steam winches (Ettrickbank 1956-1957) but there was one ship with electric winches that had a dangerous feature. On the "Inchanga" when you switched off the electric power with the driving handle, the runner drum went into neutral and would run away when under load. You had to use the foot brake to stop this and longshoremen had to be made aware of this eccentricity. On newer Bank Boats' electric winches, switching off the power also caused the electro-magnetic brake to engage with the motor's brakepad and that held the runner drum automatically.
Isn't is great what ancient trivia we remember but cannot remember whether we took our pills this morning? Cheers, Charlie!

Last edited by Alistair Macnab; 1st July 2010 at 21:38..
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  #292  
Old 2nd July 2010, 04:56
Ian Harrod Ian Harrod is offline  
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On the Nessbank in Hull in 1969. A stevedore, having finished with the winch at No. 5, attached the runner to the aft end of the coaming as was normal procedure. He heaved the runner tight and turned the winch handle back to neutral (or so he thought) and walked away. He actually turned it back to notch 1 heave. The mainmast was hauled down to a 45 deg angle before the fuse blew. the 2 forward stays also failed. We sailed in that condition to London for repairs.
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  #293  
Old 2nd July 2010, 08:11
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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steam on deck

Who could forget the racket and the procedures involved with steam winches? My abiding memories of them include the habit ( necessity) of running round the hatches when steam was put on, and draining the water out of the cylinders with the little valve below to get them turning over, while the shore labourers stood waitng. Also, as 3/0 on the Irisbank, being rudely woken time and time again over a 2 year period, as the steam came on in various ports. The pipes ran around the accommodation , just below the porthole, and the banging was at gunshot volume or greater, accompanied by strange groans, whines, and whistles. Never to be forgotten, and strangely missed, as Charlie says.... It was part of a unique atmosphere, and hearing anything like it now immediately transforms me back to a warm tropical morning in Point Fortin, Trinidad, as the sun starting beating down, and the barges loaded with bitumen drums were being secured alongside. Then there is the smell of the wet dunnage bundles on deck.......
Oh, the nostalgia.....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Stitt View Post
When I think back to sailing on Bankboats in the 50's, one of the first things I remember, WINCHES. What a difference to life on board, depending on the type of winches we had. My first ship Myrtlebank, old clatterbox steam jobs, trying to get to sleep at night, no the clatter did not keep me awake, it was more like waiting for the clatter to start again when all was quiet. My second ship, Westbank, wow, electric winches, magic, I must have spent half the trip just admiring these wonderful inventions, then by the end of the trip I took them for granted, yes Bank Line really had modern ships, glad I joined. Oh dear, my next ship Ericbank, and the one after that, Ernebank, clatter boxes again, why dos'nt Bank Line build modern ships. Life improved a bundle after Ernebank, never ever saw or heard the clatter off, a steam winch again. In a way I missed them, and nowadays, as I sit in the peaceful surroundings of my garden, I close my eyes and listen to the clatter of those old steam winches, great, I am reliving the happiest days of my life. Who cares about getting to sleep anyway ?
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  #294  
Old 2nd July 2010, 16:03
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Those steam winches were amazingly tough.I remember the Ocean Islanders when we were loading tubs of phosphate, slamming them from full ahead to full astern and only very occasionally would the tormented winches spit out all their teeth!
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  #295  
Old 7th July 2010, 21:19
Charlie Stitt Charlie Stitt is offline
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I was'nt all that impressed when I first saw the Myrtlebank lying at Tilbury docks, a bit old looking I thought, ah well, too late now, here we go. This is your cabin, you share with another first tripper, get changed into your working gear we have to tighten bolts on the deep tanks, said this senior Apprentice. I was a bit confused, you see my Dad, who was ex RN, told me I was joining the Bank Line as an Officer Cadet, wear uniform, be on the ships bridge etc. NOT TO BE. The senior Appy got the important job of doing the movement book on the bridge, your turn will come some day, I was told. During that trip, I often looked up at the wheelhouse, all three windows of it, it was'nt much really, wheel, compass, telegraph, but it was MY ships wheelhouse, someday I would be allowed into it. My next trip, Westbank, I was number two Apprentice Sahib, then after a couple of months the senior Appy was transfered, hurray, I was made up to Senior Apprentice, and YES, on standby, I got onto the bridge, I was doing the movement book. Perhaps someday they will let me look at a chart, no that would be asking too much I suppose.
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  #296  
Old 8th July 2010, 07:59
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Stitt View Post
I was'nt all that impressed when I first saw the Myrtlebank lying at Tilbury docks, a bit old looking I thought, ah well, too late now, here we go. This is your cabin, you share with another first tripper, get changed into your working gear we have to tighten bolts on the deep tanks, said this senior Apprentice. I was a bit confused, you see my Dad, who was ex RN, told me I was joining the Bank Line as an Officer Cadet, wear uniform, be on the ships bridge etc. NOT TO BE. The senior Appy got the important job of doing the movement book on the bridge, your turn will come some day, I was told. During that trip, I often looked up at the wheelhouse, all three windows of it, it was'nt much really, wheel, compass, telegraph, but it was MY ships wheelhouse, someday I would be allowed into it. My next trip, Westbank, I was number two Apprentice Sahib, then after a couple of months the senior Appy was transfered, hurray, I was made up to Senior Apprentice, and YES, on standby, I got onto the bridge, I was doing the movement book. Perhaps someday they will let me look at a chart, no that would be asking too much I suppose.
Well done, Charlie. You've struck a chord with the comments about joining the first ship. Who can forget that list of kit , and in my case the struggle parents had to find the cash etc for the pairs of this and that, and the set of white number 10's, in most cases never used. ( I think I did eventually get into the slightly soiled white high necked suit on the Inchanga) My lasting recollection is the suitcase of pristine clothes from Monnery's in London, the white shirts with the distinctive crisp linen smell, and the quick deterioration into musty working gear, damp and dirty. Didn't some shirts have separate collars with studs? Also, can remember the mystery I felt why we needed all the different items, when the overriding need was for dungarees. Cleaning deep tanks, repairing spar ceiling, cement washing FW tanks etc.

I can still remember the feeling of guilt I had as the hard won gentleman's kit ( so lovingly assembled by my parents) was mostly adapted to working gear, covered in grease, dirt and mould, before it was partly freshened by a the results of a crash course in Dhobying.....

After the initial 2 years on the Forthbank, Hazelbank, Eastbank, Inchanga, and the damaged Westbank, I had come to terms with it all, and stocked up on subsequent voyages in the Gulf ports. American sea island cotton shirts, quality khaki shorts and trousers, whatever took your fancy, as long as the cash advance ran to it...
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  #297  
Old 8th July 2010, 15:37
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Bank Line Kit....

It was the long white stockings and white shoes that seemed so unnecessary for Bank Line apprentices. I think I only wore them once for a photograph of me and John Kane taken on the "Laganbank"s monkey island. Come to think about it. We looked like a couple of monkeys ourselves!
But remember the instructions that came with the kit list. "The tropical items can be supplemented at overseas in foreign ports" or something like that? This meant that whites and/or khakis could be bought from the visiting 'company tailor' in Calcutta.

I remember I was reasonably well kitted out uniform-wise but had a shortage of shore-going clobber. So much so that I had to spend my meager treasure on a pair of slacks in Buenos Aires. They were brown, had three inch turnups and baggy on the thigh and narrow at the ankle. For years they were my 'gaucho pants' and caused no end of amusement for my shipmates. Was I ever ahead of the fashion!
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  #298  
Old 8th July 2010, 18:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
It was the long white stockings and white shoes that seemed so unnecessary for Bank Line apprentices. I think I only wore them once for a photograph of me and John Kane taken on the "Laganbank"s monkey island. Come to think about it. We looked like a couple of monkeys ourselves!
But remember the instructions that came with the kit list. "The tropical items can be supplemented at overseas in foreign ports" or something like that? This meant that whites and/or khakis could be bought from the visiting 'company tailor' in Calcutta.

I remember I was reasonably well kitted out uniform-wise but had a shortage of shore-going clobber. So much so that I had to spend my meager treasure on a pair of slacks in Buenos Aires. They were brown, had three inch turnups and baggy on the thigh and narrow at the ankle. For years they were my 'gaucho pants' and caused no end of amusement for my shipmates. Was I ever ahead of the fashion!
Alistair,

I had forgotten about the white shoes. (white elephant, perhaps?)

Bought a very heavy leather jacket in BA with a removable sheep skin lining, and it was never used - too fancy, even for me! Just hung in the wardrobe. Eventually sold it cheaply to a stunned wharfie in Port Pirie, Spencer Gulf, S.Australia, who couldn't believe his luck......

Unrelated topic, but still on clothing - I can clearly remember the day in Sydney harbour, 1961, and as Mate of the Southbank, getting scrubbed up for Captain Carnie's society wedding. After donning the best suit and tie, I felt like a million dollars, and made a mental note to myself to find another occupation where I could dress like this on a daily basis. It was a sort of life changing moment, as experienced by many people

Almost 50 years on now, I go to great lengths not to put a suit on!

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson; 8th July 2010 at 18:42..
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  #299  
Old 9th July 2010, 16:21
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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I binned my suits in 2001, when I retired except for a dark one which at our age I kept,for obvious reasons.Fortunately I hav'n't had it on too often!
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  #300  
Old 9th July 2010, 16:33
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Yours truly up close and personal with one of those aforementioned Irisbank winches.
We always seemed to end up smothered in some gunge or other!
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