Bankline in the 50's.... - Page 22 - Ships Nostalgia
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Bankline in the 50's....

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  #526  
Old 20th March 2012, 22:28
John Dryden John Dryden is offline  
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Same here 69 to 73,only one Nepalese guy on the gangway, as I remember they were dressed in a sort of uniform and always polite.I imagine they stopped a few vagabonds getting aboard when berthed..in the river at the bouys was thieving time.
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  #527  
Old 21st March 2012, 10:12
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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In the docks in Calcutta in the middle of the night I watched our Nepalese guard who had seen a rope moving as someone was trying to climb onboard,lean over the rail,cut the rope then calmly walk on(ignoring the scream)
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  #528  
Old 9th May 2012, 22:30
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Hi Shipmates,
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
I am a little late to this thread, but being a newbie here who sailed with BL from 52 to 60, I think this must be the right port. I sailed as cadet to 2/O on the Tay, Ness, Mara, Comlie & Glen. Then I joined Elder Dempsters. But I look back to the Bank days with fondness, and you have all brought back so many memories.

Several of you have commented on going to Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. I remember it well because of the two volcanoes at the entrance to the harbour and wondering if we would ever get out again! Also it was where I first experienced an earthquake/tremor. Well shipmates it is no more! The town has been completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This all happened back in 1994, but somehow I missed it and I wondered if you did too. If anyone is interested I have before and after pics.
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  #529  
Old 10th May 2012, 07:45
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Rabaul

Hallo Doug, and greetings from Cornwall,

I have sent you a private message.

Can recall the Rabaul scene very well, and climbing the Volcano called ' The Mother ' on one mad afternoon in 1953. Have a picture of us all looking exhausted on the top!

I suppose most of us remember the Japanese wreck berth, and the heavy drinking sessions which were a feature of Rabaul, for some unknown reason. Was it the heat?


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Hi Shipmates,
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
I am a little late to this thread, but being a newbie here who sailed with BL from 52 to 60, I think this must be the right port. I sailed as cadet to 2/O on the Tay, Ness, Mara, Comlie & Glen. Then I joined Elder Dempsters. But I look back to the Bank days with fondness, and you have all brought back so many memories.

Several of you have commented on going to Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. I remember it well because of the two volcanoes at the entrance to the harbour and wondering if we would ever get out again! Also it was where I first experienced an earthquake/tremor. Well shipmates it is no more! The town has been completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This all happened back in 1994, but somehow I missed it and I wondered if you did too. If anyone is interested I have before and after pics.

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson; 10th May 2012 at 07:48..
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  #530  
Old 10th May 2012, 14:23
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Thanks for replying so quickly Alan. I remember the Jap wreck berth. The funny story here was that I thought it was a floating quay! The reason being that an earthquake hit as I stepped off the accom ladder so the quay bobbed about like a cork! Snapped a couple of lines, and took out all windows shoreside. Good to talk to someone who's been there, the landlubbers here all think it's another of my tall stories!! I have posted some pics of the volcano in the gallery.

Last edited by Doug Matthews; 10th May 2012 at 15:12..
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  #531  
Old 10th May 2012, 17:48
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Quote:
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Hi Shipmates,
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
I am a little late to this thread, but being a newbie here who sailed with BL from 52 to 60, I think this must be the right port. I sailed as cadet to 2/O on the Tay, Ness, Mara, Comlie & Glen. Then I joined Elder Dempsters. But I look back to the Bank days with fondness, and you have all brought back so many memories.

Several of you have commented on going to Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. I remember it well because of the two volcanoes at the entrance to the harbour and wondering if we would ever get out again! Also it was where I first experienced an earthquake/tremor. Well shipmates it is no more! The town has been completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This all happened back in 1994, but somehow I missed it and I wondered if you did too. If anyone is interested I have before and after pics.
I was apprentice on the old Glenbank in '54/'55 from UK to Melbourne and then in E.D's from '57 to '59 on the Cabano, Perang, Ebani, Winneba, and Zini.

You may have seen the photo of the old Japanese ship berth in Rabaul in the gallery section.
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  #532  
Old 10th May 2012, 19:04
Reef Knot Reef Knot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Matthews View Post
Thanks for replying so quickly Alan. I remember the Jap wreck berth. The funny story here was that I thought it was a floating quay! The reason being that an earthquake hit as I stepped off the accom ladder so the quay bobbed about like a cork! Snapped a couple of lines, and took out all windows shoreside. Good to talk to someone who's been there, the landlubbers here all think it's another of my tall stories!! I have posted some pics of the volcano in the gallery.
We "landlubbers" don't think anything of the sort! We're just envious!
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  #533  
Old 10th May 2012, 23:04
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Doug Matthews Doug Matthews is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcraig View Post
I was apprentice on the old Glenbank in '54/'55 from UK to Melbourne and then in E.D's from '57 to '59 on the Cabano, Perang, Ebani, Winneba, and Zini.

You may have seen the photo of the old Japanese ship berth in Rabaul in the gallery section.
I followed you on the Glenbank from 57 to 59 as 2/0. We were away from UK for 2 years exactly, then flown home from Mombasa. 3 days on a DC3 - that was a trip on it's own.
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  #534  
Old 10th May 2012, 23:38
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Quote:
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I followed you on the Glenbank from 57 to 59 as 2/0. We were away from UK for 2 years exactly, then flown home from Mombasa. 3 days on a DC3 - that was a trip on it's own.
Were you on a fixed run,ie india Africa or S.Africa far east/
I was 3/0 on the isipingo for two years 57-59 and we must have sunk a few pints with other bank boats on the coast.

jim
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  #535  
Old 11th May 2012, 16:02
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Hi Jim
We did Trinidad, NZ and Oz first then Japan, Borneo, what is now Bangladesh, what is now Sri Lanka, S.Africa, E.Africa and back again. I don't remember the Isipingo - ships that pass in the night I guess.
When you were on the Glen was the skipper John Hill? Great guy but prone to high blood pressure and heart attacks!
Doug

Last edited by Doug Matthews; 12th May 2012 at 12:06..
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  #536  
Old 11th May 2012, 18:39
bill mc guire bill mc guire is offline  
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only spent 3 years at sea73/76but the first year74/75was spent o the teviotbank
this was the hapiest ship i was to sail on and those memories live on till this day in my humble opinion great people and great ships
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  #537  
Old 11th May 2012, 18:50
China hand China hand is offline  
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Teviot

Was that with H.J.Taylor as Master?
CH


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Originally Posted by bill mc guire View Post
only spent 3 years at sea73/76but the first year74/75was spent o the teviotbank
this was the hapiest ship i was to sail on and those memories live on till this day in my humble opinion great people and great ships
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  #538  
Old 11th May 2012, 23:58
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Quote:
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Hi Jim
We did Trinidad, NZ and Oz first then Japan, Borneo, what is now Bangladesh, what is now Sri Lanka, S.Africa, W.Africa and back again. I don't remember the Isipingo - ships that pass in the night I guess.
When you were on the Glen was the skipper John Hill? Great guy but prone to high blood pressure and heart attacks!
Doug
Hi Doug,
the isipingo and the Inchanga were the two white passenger ships that sailed continuously from Durban up the east African coast across to colombo ,then Vizag,madras and then calcutta and back again,they were two year postings.

jim
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  #539  
Old 18th May 2012, 18:09
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Inchanga

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Hi Doug,
the isipingo and the Inchanga were the two white passenger ships that sailed continuously from Durban up the east African coast across to colombo ,then Vizag,madras and then calcutta and back again,they were two year postings.

jim
Memorable for a number of things - not least the rich, spicy, and overpowering smell emanating from the big cowel vents in the alleyways... Sacks of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bundles of spices, regularly permeating the ship with the distinctive and rather pleasant aroma...

Last edited by Alan Rawlinson; 18th May 2012 at 18:14..
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  #540  
Old 18th May 2012, 19:56
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Quote:
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Memorable for a number of things - not least the rich, spicy, and overpowering smell emanating from the big cowel vents in the alleyways... Sacks of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bundles of spices, regularly permeating the ship with the distinctive and rather pleasant aroma...
Do you remember the elephant we took on board in Chittagong. It used to spend its days (its last days as it sadly turned out) leaning against the vent with its trunk in the vent, inhaling the jungle smells of the spicy cargo in the hold?
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  #541  
Old 19th May 2012, 06:49
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Elephant Blues..

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Do you remember the elephant we took on board in Chittagong. It used to spend its days (its last days as it sadly turned out) leaning against the vent with its trunk in the vent, inhaling the jungle smells of the spicy cargo in the hold?
Yes, and using it's front foot to flatten the buckets used for water. The most alarming 'trick' I remember was before we perfected the tethering arrangements it sat on the rail at the ship's side which bent downwards. Might have been better if it had toppled over, given the slow death it had.
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  #542  
Old 19th May 2012, 18:05
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Yes, and using it's front foot to flatten the buckets used for water. The most alarming 'trick' I remember was before we perfected the tethering arrangements it sat on the rail at the ship's side which bent downwards. Might have been better if it had toppled over, given the slow death it had.
There was nothing in the book about holding an elephant at bay on the end of a boat hook while we lassoed its leg, to persuade it back to its corner of the after deck.
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  #543  
Old 26th May 2012, 18:41
Aberdonian Aberdonian is offline  
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Laganbank 1956

As the months passed, the Master of the Laganbank became indisposed more frequently. Matters came to a head when we began our transit of the Panama Canal. Maybe a less censorious seafaring code existed in those days, or perhaps the American pilot chose not to notice the Captain’s condition, but in any case we passed through the Canal without incident. However, our bibulous Master, an otherwise fine, mild-mannered man, was put ashore at Panama City leaving the Mate to take command for the Pacific crossing towards Sydney.

If Mr. Simmonds knew anything, he knew how to work up a ship. Habitually out on deck alongside the serang, he oversaw a comprehensive sprucing up of the ship during the passage. Final tasks were recoating standing rigging with white lead and tallow, and bleaching Oregon pine-sheathed decks with caustic soda after some caulking had been carried out.

The Mate was motivated by the desire to impress his father who, I was led to understand, was Master of the Captain Cook (3) pilot cutter which lay off Sydney Heads. This elegant vessel had been deliberately built to a retro-design which made her look far older than her then 17 years. The sense of being in a bygone era was reinforced when, on a bright morning with a strong wind and moderate sea, a whaler with several bronzed stalwarts at the oars set off from the cutter to convey the pilot over to our lee side.

Happily, a straightened-out Captain rejoined his ship whilst we were on the Aussie coast; he suffered no further lapses.

A shot of the Laganbank entering Sydney Harbour is attached.

Aberdonian
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File Type: jpg 65. Entering Sydney Harbour 1956 Laganbank.jpg (255.6 KB, 79 views)
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  #544  
Old 27th May 2012, 01:08
John Dryden John Dryden is offline  
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Happy days indeed Aberdonian and the pic of the Laganbank makes me feel old although I do remember having a night ashore with said ships crew 15 or so years later...can,t remember where it was though.The pics you have been posting are out of the top drawer too.
JD.
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  #545  
Old 12th June 2012, 12:20
Aberdonian Aberdonian is offline  
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Behind the Curve

Sometimes Bank Line appeared reluctant to shed seemingly outdated ways:

In mid-fifties Belfast we three apprentices were sorting out stores, prior to the Cedarbank setting off on her maiden voyage, when we came across a large wooden tub girt with steel bands. Taffy Ivens, holding a list, declared it to be a salting tub. I looked to see if he was kidding but he wasn’t.
I hesitate to ask what those two racks of rope-handled, wooden fire buckets up on the monkey island were all about. Wood and rope?

In a later ship, we were painting overside on a stage in Kidderpore Dock when the Old Man idly poked his head over the gunwale. I pointed across the dock to where two Swedes, on a purpose-built punt, were painting their ships side using things called “rollers” attached to long manhelps.
I asked the captain if he considered this to be a better way of doing the job rather than our practice of using topside hand brushes.
The old sage shook his head, “No lad......them rollers......they don’t work the paint into the steel.”

I bet you didn’t know that.

Aberdonian

Last edited by Aberdonian; 12th June 2012 at 22:29..
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  #546  
Old 12th June 2012, 16:09
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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Memories....

Aberdonian and I sailed together on two ships, the "Fleetbank" and the "Laganbank" on their maiden voyages from Belfast in 1953 and 1955.
At that time, they were considered to be "quite a change for Andrew Weir's" as one Brocklebank apprentice said to me in Colombo. But plenty of old ideas prevailed including these ridiculous wooden fire buckets on the monkey island that Aberdonian mentions. I had forgotten all about them!

One 'old idea' that was most acceptable was, of course, the complete wood sheathing of all decks. There was no finer view from the bridge than to see a gleaming expanse of fine wooden decking stretching all the way to the forecastle. It was a testimony of a Chief Mate's capability and dedication when this was kept gleaming gold with traces of spilled cargo debris from split drums of bitumen from Trinidad or leaking lube oil additives from Houston long holystoned and bleached out. Every Cassab has his own mixture of soda ash, caustic and Teepol that was considered the best.

Mates were under a self-imposed direction for his ship to enter Durban or Sydney looking absolutely the best it could possibly look.
There was no written directive for this but the unstated knowledge was that the Superintendents in both ports had very critical eyes and reputations (and promotions?) depended upon this routine.

I always remember one Mate saying to me that to impress a Super, he always left one visible and important part of his ship in red-lead to signify 'a job in progress'. When I became Mate, I followed this advice!

And thinking about personal responsibility, there was a tale going round that Mr. Hawkes, who was operational and chartering director at the time, had a run in with Lord Inverforth when he was talking about the fleet as 'his' ships. The good Lord gently reminded Hawkes that the ships were, in fact, his. He had bought and paid for them himself. Mr. Hawkes wouldn't back down from his position as 'virtual' owner on the basis of his many years of careful and (dare we say?) parsimonious management of his Lordship's fleet and he was let go the next day! No matter how high within the company, one had always to remember that it was Andrew Weir and his family that owned it!
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  #547  
Old 12th June 2012, 18:43
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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50's revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
Aberdonian and I sailed together on two ships, the "Fleetbank" and the "Laganbank" on their maiden voyages from Belfast in 1953 and 1955.
At that time, they were considered to be "quite a change for Andrew Weir's" as one Brocklebank apprentice said to me in Colombo. But plenty of old ideas prevailed including these ridiculous wooden fire buckets on the monkey island that Aberdonian mentions. I had forgotten all about them!

One 'old idea' that was most acceptable was, of course, the complete wood sheathing of all decks. There was no finer view from the bridge than to see a gleaming expanse of fine wooden decking stretching all the way to the forecastle. It was a testimony of a Chief Mate's capability and dedication when this was kept gleaming gold with traces of spilled cargo debris from split drums of bitumen from Trinidad or leaking lube oil additives from Houston long holystoned and bleached out. Every Cassab has his own mixture of soda ash, caustic and Teepol that was considered the best.

Mates were under a self-imposed direction for his ship to enter Durban or Sydney looking absolutely the best it could possibly look.
There was no written directive for this but the unstated knowledge was that the Superintendents in both ports had very critical eyes and reputations (and promotions?) depended upon this routine.

I always remember one Mate saying to me that to impress a Super, he always left one visible and important part of his ship in red-lead to signify 'a job in progress'. When I became Mate, I followed this advice!

And thinking about personal responsibility, there was a tale going round that Mr. Hawkes, who was operational and chartering director at the time, had a run in with Lord Inverforth when he was talking about the fleet as 'his' ships. The good Lord gently reminded Hawkes that the ships were, in fact, his. He had bought and paid for them himself. Mr. Hawkes wouldn't back down from his position as 'virtual' owner on the basis of his many years of careful and (dare we say?) parsimonious management of his Lordship's fleet and he was let go the next day! No matter how high within the company, one had always to remember that it was Andrew Weir and his family that owned it!
Alistair - you've got me going now...

I had the pleasure to sail with John Hawkes ( son of the chartering director mentioned) , and we later became lifelong friends. Sadly, he has now passed away. A little anecdote that I'm sure John would not have minded me mentioning, and that was after he left the Bankline, he naturally wanted to strike out on his own independently, and indeed, he was to succeed in the Marine Insurance world with senior and prominent positions. However, there was an interim period when he became a road navvy, armed with a pick axe, a job which he thoroughly enjoyed. ( The Bankline training would have come in useful there) It seems his father took a very dim view of this when he passed his son on the way to commute to Bury Street, and tried unsuccessfully to divert him to a more acceptable role. !

Going back to the ships and the old ways which Bank Line tended to cling on to. - how many can remember using the manual sounding machine with miles of f.......ing wire on a drum!! Unbelievable by today's standards. It was used in conjunction with the small boom that could be swung out on the Master's deck area on the older vessels.
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  #548  
Old 12th June 2012, 21:39
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Alistair - you've got me going now...

I had the pleasure to sail with John Hawkes ( son of the chartering director mentioned) , and we later became lifelong friends. Sadly, he has now passed away. A little anecdote that I'm sure John would not have minded me mentioning, and that was after he left the Bankline, he naturally wanted to strike out on his own independently, and indeed, he was to succeed in the Marine Insurance world with senior and prominent positions. However, there was an interim period when he became a road navvy, armed with a pick axe, a job which he thoroughly enjoyed. ( The Bankline training would have come in useful there) It seems his father took a very dim view of this when he passed his son on the way to commute to Bury Street, and tried unsuccessfully to divert him to a more acceptable role. !

Going back to the ships and the old ways which Bank Line tended to cling on to. - how many can remember using the manual sounding machine with miles of f.......ing wire on a drum!! Unbelievable by today's standards. It was used in conjunction with the small boom that could be swung out on the Master's deck area on the older vessels.
The Kelvin sounding machine? Used it once, purely for practice. Sorry, twice. The second time was hiding 200 cigarettes under the canvas cover to avoid Customs.

It took a helluva long time to wind it back up again! If I remember rightly, and that would be a first nowadays, the wire drum ran on a lignum vitae bush. A useful piece of information, I doubt. Even in those days, the '50's, I wondered why it was fitted.
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  #549  
Old 12th June 2012, 21:51
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberdonian View Post
In a later ship, when we were painting overside on a stage in Kidderpore Dock, the Old Man idly poked his head over the gunwale. I pointed across the dock to where two Swedes, on a purpose-built punt, were painting their ships side using things called “rollers” attached to long manhelps.
I asked the captain if he considered this to be a better way of doing the job rather than our practice of using topside hand brushes.
The old sage shook his head, “No lad......them rollers......they don’t work the paint into the steel.”

I bet you didn’t know that.

Aberdonian
Oh yes we did. I am sure there must have been a check list of these wisdoms.

What I didn't know, was that you could actually suggest that to the Old Man! In two years of Captain Holbrook, I have difficulty remembering "conversing" with him. Except when he interrupted with a stentorian roar a battle beween the stewards and the two apprentices, our ire having been raised when we caught them spreading butter on toast with a forefinger.
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  #550  
Old 12th June 2012, 23:04
David E David E is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
Alistair - you've got me going now...

I had the pleasure to sail with John Hawkes ( son of the chartering director mentioned) , and we later became lifelong friends. Sadly, he has now passed away. A little anecdote that I'm sure John would not have minded me mentioning, and that was after he left the Bankline, he naturally wanted to strike out on his own independently, and indeed, he was to succeed in the Marine Insurance world with senior and prominent positions. However, there was an interim period when he became a road navvy, armed with a pick axe, a job which he thoroughly enjoyed. ( The Bankline training would have come in useful there) It seems his father took a very dim view of this when he passed his son on the way to commute to Bury Street, and tried unsuccessfully to divert him to a more acceptable role. !

Going back to the ships and the old ways which Bank Line tended to cling on to. - how many can remember using the manual sounding machine with miles of f.......ing wire on a drum!! Unbelievable by today's standards. It was used in conjunction with the small boom that could be swung out on the Master's deck area on the older vessels.
Alan,

Remembered-once only,"Myrtlebank"1950, making a DR approach into the Irish Sea after a virtually sightless crossing across the Atlantic-2 Apps,three seemingly endless winds.The tallow inserted into the base of the weight-examined to determine the nature of the sea bed

Dave E

Last edited by David E; 12th June 2012 at 23:06.. Reason: Spelling
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