Bankline in the 50's.... - Page 19 - Ships Nostalgia
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Bankline in the 50's....

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  #451  
Old 10th January 2011, 07:54
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murder

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Campbell View Post
Do any of you ex Bank Line Apps recall the event in the late 50's when the Officers Boy (Steward) murdered the Butler by cutting of his penis leading to his death through lack of blood?. The ship was on its way home from the South Pacific I think and I believe the Indian Catering Steward was sentenced after a trial at the Old Bailey - Is this story true ? can any one confirm and what ship it was? JC
Eastbank - 1958

True story - joined her shortly after the event, and the gossip was that it was a marital dispute. Heard a gory account that there was a huge amount of blood which was seeping under the cabin door. This last bit always sounded a bit far fetched to me, but it certainly was a sad affair, and the perpetrator was banged up in the UK after his trial.
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  #452  
Old 16th February 2011, 08:13
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Bridge shenanigans..

I have been idly wondering where we are today in 2011 when it comes to the teaching and use of navigation. In the British merchant Navy ( the dregs of it) do they still teach and examine in Astro Nav i.e. Longitude by Chronometer, Intercept star sights etc etc?? Does anyone know the current situation, or is it true that sextants are no longer carried on board. Are they saturated with Sat Navs?

In the 50's the bridge rituals were hilarious to anyone with a sense of humour, but it was all tinged with a bit of terror, especially if the traditional line up for the noon Latitude resulted in wildly different figures! and doubly embarassing if it was the Master being the odd one out.

I can recall a ship in the mid 50's (no names etc) where the master ( a great personality - well liked) would appear unsteadily every day without fail, but somewhere between lining up on the bridge wing and actually producing a result, he would slip back down to his cabin muttering some excuse. The same gentleman would lean over the chart, glass in hand ( and I don't mean a telescope) and blearily enquire what was going on. Frequently the glass would slosh a few drops of Scotch onto the Admiralty chart. Great memories and infinitely preferable in my book to the authoritarian types who stood there in stony silence, clearing their throats occasionally.
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  #453  
Old 16th February 2011, 16:54
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Bridge Shenanigans.....

We used to have a day's run sweepstake aboard "Inchanga" on the long sea leg between Colombo and Mombasa. The latitude calculation was a bit tricky because we were running along ther equator and it was even worse during the equinox days. Running all around the bridge wings to catch the relevant latitude!

Nevertheless, we had to have a noon 'fix' in order to satisfy the punters. I had a deal with a young lady passenger that I would give her the heads-up of the likely day's run by taking a preliminary altitude before the team gathered for the official sight. I then worked out the day's run. and indicated to her with fingers over the dodger of the number she should bet on. She was waiting on the boat deck for the signal and did the necessarey with a view to splitting the pot!

Well, the Old Man was one of these Masters who wanted and got his own way. When the 2nd. Mate and I (I was Third Mate) were close and the Captain was the outlier, we always 'split the difference' by agreeing to the Master's number. It was very frustrating!

What did I do with the profits from the inside information provided to my accomplice?

Not a thing! We never won!
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  #454  
Old 16th February 2011, 18:25
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On the Blue Star A Boats, we were always hinted as to what would be the last digit of the day's run. When 2/o put the chit up in the foyer, surprise, the Lady preferred always seemed to win.
Sorry, I know it's off topic, but a bit relevant, only different funnel livery. (Much prettier).
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  #455  
Old 17th February 2011, 07:07
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Day's run

On the older and slower Bank Line ships, breaking 300 for the day's run was a great cause for celebration!
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  #456  
Old 17th February 2011, 09:13
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Prior to joining Bank Line I served my apprenticeship with H.E.Moss & Co's Tankers and the 2nd ship I joined was the old Lumen {built 1950}. On sailing from L'pool or first days run was minus 27 Miles. Nothing like a s'westerly buster in the Irish Sea. Fastest Passage was on the Shirrabank at 450+ Miles heading south on the SA Coast
With regard to "Autogratic" Masters I only sailed with one in B/L but when I joined U.A.S.C. every 2nd Master was just that.......pete
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  #457  
Old 17th February 2011, 15:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
I have been idly wondering where we are today in 2011 when it comes to the teaching and use of navigation. In the British merchant Navy ( the dregs of it) do they still teach and examine in Astro Nav i.e. Longitude by Chronometer, Intercept star sights etc etc?? Does anyone know the current situation, or is it true that sextants are no longer carried on board. Are they saturated with Sat Navs?

In the 50's the bridge rituals were hilarious to anyone with a sense of humour, but it was all tinged with a bit of terror, especially if the traditional line up for the noon Latitude resulted in wildly different figures! and doubly embarassing if it was the Master being the odd one out.

I can recall a ship in the mid 50's (no names etc) where the master ( a great personality - well liked) would appear unsteadily every day without fail, but somewhere between lining up on the bridge wing and actually producing a result, he would slip back down to his cabin muttering some excuse. The same gentleman would lean over the chart, glass in hand ( and I don't mean a telescope) and blearily enquire what was going on. Frequently the glass would slosh a few drops of Scotch onto the Admiralty chart. Great memories and infinitely preferable in my book to the authoritarian types who stood there in stony silence, clearing their throats occasionally.
Alan,not sure whether sextants are carried on proper ships,BUT certainly P&O cruise ships have one on on the bridge,brought out and dusted when the nav team have a stall on open day.
Not sure if I mentioned it before,but during a chat withe the ships navigator on the Arcadia,i was flabergasted to be told(after having asked the question)that he had no idea what a deviascopw was so I had to presume that the compass as we old salts knew it is no more.

jim
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  #458  
Old 17th February 2011, 16:22
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What are they going to use when one of the Solar Flares knocks out the technology that is in use today. No Sextant, No proper compass, and even if they had one could they possibly correct it without the skills learned on the Deviascope. Do they still use Azimuth Mirrors? or in fact do they now carry Nautical Tables, Almanacs, Chronometers Etc??. Thank the Lord I am retired, It frightens me.......pete
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  #459  
Old 17th February 2011, 16:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
Prior to joining Bank Line I served my apprenticeship with H.E.Moss & Co's Tankers and the 2nd ship I joined was the old Lumen {built 1950}. On sailing from L'pool or first days run was minus 27 Miles. Nothing like a s'westerly buster in the Irish Sea. Fastest Passage was on the Shirrabank at 450+ Miles heading south on the SA Coast
With regard to "Autogratic" Masters I only sailed with one in B/L but when I joined U.A.S.C. every 2nd Master was just that.......pete
Sat next to a yacht delivery type on a flight once and got discussing the ' days run ' - (like you do) - he came out with the gem " Nothing goes to windward like a 747 "
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  #460  
Old 8th May 2011, 17:38
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Pure Nostalgia

Can recall entering a port in the 50's, Colombo maybe, and the feelings when seeing another company ship lying there. Sometimes low in the water, rust streaked a bit, and the crowning glory, - fish drying above the poop on a string! Can't explain the emotion, but it was a mixture of curiosity, and pride in the workman like appearance, plus the comradeship, I suppose. This was before the rush of smarter new vessels. Then came the trip across to meet old friends, if you were lucky, and share a beer or two.
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  #461  
Old 8th May 2011, 22:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
On the older and slower Bank Line ships, breaking 300 for the day's run was a great cause for celebration!
Alan,breaking 300 for the day,dont think I made that on the maplebank,etivebank and clydebank,all 240 if we were lucky.my first greyhound was the Isipingo where we raced along at about 13.

jim
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  #462  
Old 9th May 2011, 08:25
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days run...

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Originally Posted by jimthehat View Post
Alan,breaking 300 for the day,dont think I made that on the maplebank,etivebank and clydebank,all 240 if we were lucky.my first greyhound was the Isipingo where we raced along at about 13.

jim
300 was achieved fairly often on the old twin screw " Irisbank" - (if both engines were running, and we were'nt going along on one only with the wheel hard over to keep a straight course.)

Still got my old sight book somewhere, will have to have a look.

Am I right in thinking some of the later Bank Line ships - Fish class maybe, regularly made 400 in a day?

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  #463  
Old 9th May 2011, 09:20
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Hi Alan, On the Shirrabank (the later one) if we ran at 118 revs we would normally do about 380/390 and quite often exceed 400.......pete
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  #464  
Old 10th May 2011, 08:12
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Super Bank Boats!

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Hi Alan, On the Shirrabank (the later one) if we ran at 118 revs we would normally do about 380/390 and quite often exceed 400.......pete
Thanks Pete - must have been great, forging along like that. It was always nice, leaving a crowded anchorage along with other ships to be the one with " legs ".

In a later life, when cruising on the old BR ferries, we could make 500, but slow steaming for economy kicked in.

On another topic, which was the last Bank Line ship purpose built for the owners, I wonder?
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  #465  
Old 10th May 2011, 09:06
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Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
Thanks Pete - must have been great, forging along like that. It was always nice, leaving a crowded anchorage along with other ships to be the one with " legs ".

In a later life, when cruising on the old BR ferries, we could make 500, but slow steaming for economy kicked in.

On another topic, which was the last Bank Line ship purpose built for the owners, I wonder?
It's a good question Alan so have checked my copy of Appleyards Book and the Last G/C vessel was Tenchbank (11-79). of course the very last to be commisioned for Weirs was the Willowbank, Containers, but she was destined for the Bank/Saville thing.......pete
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  #466  
Old 10th May 2011, 13:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
It's a good question Alan so have checked my copy of Appleyards Book and the Last G/C vessel was Tenchbank (11-79). of course the very last to be commisioned for Weirs was the Willowbank, Containers, but she was destined for the Bank/Saville thing.......pete
I seem to recall that one of the UBC vessels (Nearly said "Boats" there - that would stir up the pseudopurists!) was ordered on Bank Lines account around 1986/7 - paid for by Bank Line but never sailed under their flag - Baltic Eider or Osprey rings a bell.
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  #467  
Old 10th May 2011, 17:10
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last purpose built Bank Boat

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Originally Posted by pete View Post
It's a good question Alan so have checked my copy of Appleyards Book and the Last G/C vessel was Tenchbank (11-79). of course the very last to be commisioned for Weirs was the Willowbank, Containers, but she was destined for the Bank/Saville thing.......pete
Round about 79 or 80 I drove up to S Shields to see my good pal Healey Martin, who was master of a new building Fish class ship. There he was in a boiler suit, loading stores, so I could immediately see it wasn't the Bank Line that I had experienced! Could have been the Tenchbank too.

From what I can deduce, the Shaw Savill thing was a dog's breakfast - with Shaw Savill taking Weirs to the cleaners...
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  #468  
Old 11th May 2011, 02:53
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Bank & Savill Line....

I think I should put the record right about B&S as I was a Director of the line and the USA Representative.

The 'Heads of Agreement' were signed by the fearless leaders of both companies and looked as if all was equitable and just. Unfortunately, the wise guys at SSA who had been facing redundancy as the Furness Withy group were winding down somewhat precipitously and who had already been shunted off to Dee Shipping, an obscure tramp outfit of the Furness Group, were resurrected and put in place at Bank Line for B&S with only minimal supervision from our own team. The fellow put in place to oversea Weir's interest was a recent hire from the P&O/OCL executive training programme who was all containers and nothing else.

The New Zealanders of the New Zealand Shipping Company (SCONZ) were not ever very influential but always supported the Shaw Savill boys no matter what.

The first big bomb was the fact that the SSA/SCONZ cabel persuaded Bank Line's very conservative bosses that they were the container experts and that Bank Line were lucky to have them aboard to show them how to operate a container liner service. They had the producer boards' northbound cargoes in insulated 20s and we had the generals/bulks/parcel liquids southbound which were about 20% containerized in 40s when B&S started. Even so, when the northbound and southbound movements in teu terms started to be more or less equal, we were faced with the empty container returns of 20 insulateds to NZ and empty 40 drys back to the USA. Very little of the southbound or northbound cargo was suitable as reciprocal container loads on the grounds of cleanliness requirements or the American shippers preference for 40 drys and the small available cubic of a 20 insulated.

Believe it or not, the instruction them came down from on high that southbound cargo, henceforth had to balance the northbound cargo both in teu and revenue terms. This meant that we had either to dump 50% of our good-paying southbound customers and stuff and strip insulated 20s at our own expense with very select commodities for example: three rolls of coated carton stock per container/6 tonnes, revenue $450; six units of John Deere garden tractors per container/6 tonnes, revenue $1,080 and remember, stuffing stripping and bracing costs were on our tab as they were pier to pier movements.

When B&S started up, our southbound revenue was around $2,000,000 per sailing with three sailings a month to Oz and $900,000 per month for the one separate sailing to NZ. The northbound revenue for SSA was $750,000!

SSA didn't take us to the cleaners, we were meek little lambs to the slaughterhouse! There were many other outrageous personal and business slights but the foregoing will give you some idea of the way the Bank and Savill Line was operated. I have always felt that the word had gone out that Bank Line were about to follow all the other British shipping companies into oblivion and that our home team were just biding their time until retirement or golden parachute came upon them.

Anyway, its long since water under the bridge but even after 30 years I still resent how we were upstaged by a gang of outsiders whose experience was inferior to our own. I regret how Captain John Shaw and I were asked for our resignations by telephone but looking back on the 29 years I was with Bank Line, I had the best training both afloat and ashore that it was possible to acquire and in all fairness, placed me in good stead to go forward with a great career up to the present day when I can tell all my students at the Business College here at the University of Houston Downtown what its like in the real world of international business and logistics!
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  #469  
Old 11th May 2011, 07:02
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B&s

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Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
I think I should put the record right about B&S as I was a Director of the line and the USA Representative.

The 'Heads of Agreement' were signed by the fearless leaders of both companies and looked as if all was equitable and just. Unfortunately, the wise guys at SSA who had been facing redundancy as the Furness Withy group were winding down somewhat precipitously and who had already been shunted off to Dee Shipping, an obscure tramp outfit of the Furness Group, were resurrected and put in place at Bank Line for B&S with only minimal supervision from our own team. The fellow put in place to oversea Weir's interest was a recent hire from the P&O/OCL executive training programme who was all containers and nothing else.

The New Zealanders of the New Zealand Shipping Company (SCONZ) were not ever very influential but always supported the Shaw Savill boys no matter what.

The first big bomb was the fact that the SSA/SCONZ cabel persuaded Bank Line's very conservative bosses that they were the container experts and that Bank Line were lucky to have them aboard to show them how to operate a container liner service. They had the producer boards' northbound cargoes in insulated 20s and we had the generals/bulks/parcel liquids southbound which were about 20% containerized in 40s when B&S started. Even so, when the northbound and southbound movements in teu terms started to be more or less equal, we were faced with the empty container returns of 20 insulateds to NZ and empty 40 drys back to the USA. Very little of the southbound or northbound cargo was suitable as reciprocal container loads on the grounds of cleanliness requirements or the American shippers preference for 40 drys and the small available cubic of a 20 insulated.

Believe it or not, the instruction them came down from on high that southbound cargo, henceforth had to balance the northbound cargo both in teu and revenue terms. This meant that we had either to dump 50% of our good-paying southbound customers and stuff and strip insulated 20s at our own expense with very select commodities for example: three rolls of coated carton stock per container/6 tonnes, revenue $450; six units of John Deere garden tractors per container/6 tonnes, revenue $1,080 and remember, stuffing stripping and bracing costs were on our tab as they were pier to pier movements.

When B&S started up, our southbound revenue was around $2,000,000 per sailing with three sailings a month to Oz and $900,000 per month for the one separate sailing to NZ. The northbound revenue for SSA was $750,000!

SSA didn't take us to the cleaners, we were meek little lambs to the slaughterhouse! There were many other outrageous personal and business slights but the foregoing will give you some idea of the way the Bank and Savill Line was operated. I have always felt that the word had gone out that Bank Line were about to follow all the other British shipping companies into oblivion and that our home team were just biding their time until retirement or golden parachute came upon them.

Anyway, its long since water under the bridge but even after 30 years I still resent how we were upstaged by a gang of outsiders whose experience was inferior to our own. I regret how Captain John Shaw and I were asked for our resignations by telephone but looking back on the 29 years I was with Bank Line, I had the best training both afloat and ashore that it was possible to acquire and in all fairness, placed me in good stead to go forward with a great career up to the present day when I can tell all my students at the Business College here at the University of Houston Downtown what its like in the real world of international business and logistics!
Alistair,

Apologies for putting things so bluntly in the last post. However, I think your detailed account somehow supports the bald statement that poor old Bank Line were " taken to the cleaners " by the Savill crowd. It's nothing new.

I had years myself at board level in the heady world of shipping, and nearly always looking back, I could identify where the wheels started to come off, and which particular decision turned out to be a crucial one. Maybe the decision to join forces in the first place was a mistake? I am inclined to think - with the wonderful use of hindsight, - the concept was flawed from the very beginning, given the uneven balance of suitable container traffic.

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson; 11th May 2011 at 12:53..
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  #470  
Old 11th May 2011, 18:49
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A lot of us who remained at sea, and I was offered, but turned down a shore post as cargo super, always muttered that once a good glossy magazine came out, the writing was on the wall.

We called B&S Buggered and Stuffed, the guys we met on the Shaw Sav ships (Lingfield and I forget the other) thought the same about it. I was quite pally with the mate on one, I was in Forthbank, and he reckoned they were being sold down the trolly even then.

The whole sorry saga is so typical of how the western maritime world lost the plot.

And it was a FOUL houseflag, the yellow peril with streaks!

Moan now ceases.
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Old 12th May 2011, 00:10
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The same gentleman would lean over the chart, glass in hand ( and I don't mean a telescope) and blearily enquire what was going on. Frequently the glass would slosh a few drops of Scotch onto the Admiralty chart. Great memories and infinitely preferable in my book to the authoritarian types who stood there in stony silence, clearing their throats occasionally

In the Bank Line? Surely not!
Wink, wink. Nudge nudge.
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  #472  
Old 25th May 2011, 13:50
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snap from 50's

Any one recognise themselves from many moons ago?
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  #473  
Old 29th May 2011, 16:58
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Skint but happy!

snap from Irisbank 1956 when I was 3/0 - happy days!
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  #474  
Old 29th May 2011, 18:56
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snap from Irisbank 1956 when I was 3/0 - happy days!
thats me as 2/0 on the ettrickbank
jim
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  #475  
Old 30th May 2011, 16:17
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Hair....

Do you notice how short hair styles were evident in photographs of ship's staff in the 50s but in the 60s, everyone was so woolly? I was very proud of my curly red hair until I arrived in Sydney on one voyage as Master of the "Fleetbank" and the pilot who had just boarded said "Get a hair cut, Captain!"
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