Bankline in the 50's.... - Page 4 - Ships Nostalgia
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Bankline in the 50's....

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  #76  
Old 4th September 2009, 12:16
McMorine McMorine is offline  
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Pete Arrowsmith

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Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
I sailed with Stan Sweeney on, I think, the "Carronbank" (1960 - 1962) on the Oriental African Line. Stan was a great shipmate and always the life and soul of any party. He eventually went ashore in the London office and was responsible for engineroom stores. I think most of us eventually thought of him as one of us and his Anglo Indian origin became totally unimportant.
That was then, this is now. Today anyone with mixed heritage is usually taken for granted as likely to be in the majority rather than in the minority.

Another Anglo Indian was engineer, Pete Arrowsmith. I sailed with him on the "Inchanga". but he was around in other Bank boats for a number of years.
By the way we all loved the lilting accent and tried to master it!
I often wondered what the "licensious measurers" were doing and what it was for!



I sailed with Pete Arrowsmith on the Riverbank, two year voyage 1961 to 1963, he was 2nd Engineer, but never heard of him after that. Pete Simpson was 2nd Officer and if I remember rightly the skipper was Captain Holden. If you look at my photos , there is a photo of Pete Arrowsmith, a great engineer.

Last edited by K urgess; 4th September 2009 at 12:30.. Reason: Excess linefeeds removed
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  #77  
Old 4th September 2009, 12:28
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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My 1 year on the INCHANGA (1952) was a mixed bag, but left me with some very pleasant lifetime memories. many years later, driving or walking down in the Liverpool dock road, the spicy smell from the warehouses would instantly whip me back to the very wide alleyways on the Inchanga, with those massive cowls emanating the very same spicy smells, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc.

I was plonked on the bridge for a longish spell as acting 3/0 without a real clue what was going on. Can remember the heightened tension going through the half degree channel in the Maldives, with a party going on below.

Next door to our cabin was a very randy Leckie, who bedded any attractive female passenger without much trouble, much to our ( naive) amazement - and envy!

As the ' white ship ' boys will know, the apprentices cabin was opposite the barbers shop, and in my time it was possible to buy boxes of chocolate and put it on the slate. never mind that the chocolate was covered in white mildew spots in the tropics. It still went down a treat.

Nights spent supervising the loading down in the 4 tween deck reefer rooms - freezing of course - and I seem to recall loading sacks of potatoes in them ...

Then there was the wood and canvas swimming pool below the bridge, with a natural wave motion if the ship happened to be pitching heavily.

Clambering in and out of the double stacked lifeboats checking biscuits etc and wondering how the boats would launch in anger with such an arrangement. Never found out, fortunately.

AL



Quote:
Originally Posted by David E View Post
They seemed the main part of an incredibly complicated Customs system that must have been a relic of the Raj.With a radio,leaving the Forresbank in Bombay and crossing to Calcutta by train,I remember I had to take the radio to the Customs House and hand it over. Customs then shipped it over to Calcutta where it was returned.
They could be unpleasant when mob-handed.For some,unexplained reason, "Inchanga" was searched every trip for about a year when we arrived in Calcutta. 20-30 Officers each time would treat the crew as a sub-species,particularly if they found any gold.Very unpleasant.

All part of the memories. I enjoyed the two years I had on the India-Africa run-some of the best times I had

David
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  #78  
Old 4th September 2009, 12:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMorine View Post
I sailed with Pete Arrowsmith on the Riverbank, two year voyage 1961 to 1963, he was 2nd Engineer, but never heard of him after that. Pete Simpson was 2nd Officer and if I remember rightly the skipper was Captain Holden. If you look at my photos , there is a photo of Pete Arrowsmith, a great engineer.
That would be my uncle ... Len Holden... Riverbank was, I think, his second last ship...
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  #79  
Old 4th September 2009, 13:34
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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So that is what I was missing between 1952-53-ish! Why does no one ever tell me these things in time.

You struck a chord with the Maldive channel. When sharing month about 3M on the Eastbank with the other apprentice for a couple of months or so about the end of the first year, I was on the 8-12 morning watch going up the east coast of S. Africa absolutely clueless as to where we were for the whole watch taking cross bearings of headlands and river mouths, real or imagined, and putting in panic stricken fixes.

I have been stretching my brain as to whether or not we had radar then, but I don't think we had.
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  #80  
Old 4th September 2009, 13:40
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Ah ,the white ships,what joy,beat you there Alan i was two years on the isipingo,NO radar as i recall so that made navigating all that more interesting.

jim
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  #81  
Old 4th September 2009, 13:47
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Whistles

The hopefully attached shot may remind some of one particular chore. Polishing the whistle either just before arriving in port or in port as soon as you arrived.

"Cherished" memories of arriving in Buenos Aires, working at the deep green verdegris accrued after 4 weeks at sea from Calcutta. Two weeks to Durban/Cape Town, then two weeks to B.A..

What a chore. But once burnished up, kept in all its shiny golden glory until departure. Then the same routine for India. Can't say that one way was less "verdigrisable" than the other!

I suppose it helped me to cope more easily with my subsequent time in the army.
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File Type: jpg Buenos aires.jpg (20.7 KB, 93 views)

Last edited by rcraig; 4th September 2009 at 13:49.. Reason: spelling
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  #82  
Old 4th September 2009, 15:42
McMorine McMorine is offline  
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Riverbank

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That would be my uncle ... Len Holden... Riverbank was, I think, his second last ship...
Captain Len Holden had already done a two year voyage when we joined the vessel in Singapore. (photo of him in my gallery) When we flew out to Singapore the ship was a week late arriving, so we stayed in Connel House for seven days. you can imagine the time we had. We flew out on a Comet aircraft, which was quite an experience.
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  #83  
Old 4th September 2009, 17:45
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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My recollection is that we had radar on the INCHANGA in 1952 but it only got to be switched on for special occasions - i.e. I imagine just before running up the beach - or even after running up the beach. How daft was that?

Also, as 3/0 on the IRISBANK circa 1956, I recall the Master ( Capt. Palmer) demurring about switching on the radar when we had a Mississippi pilot on board, and the pilot said in a loud voice '' Captain, if you don't switch on the radar, we are going to anchor '', I tell you that. Needless to say, the radar went on. ( They never worked for any time in those days, hence the reluctance to tempt providence)

AL
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  #84  
Old 4th September 2009, 18:03
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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When I was shot down in flames over my faulty memory about what type of gyro compass we had retrofitted on the "Laganbank" (I was wrong, I admit that!) I hesitate to declare that the "Inchanga" had no radar. But on this I am absolutely sure! As 3/M there were lots of times when I could have used it, particularly when running through the passages in the Maldives and when northbound on the South African coast running less than one mile offshore to catch the countercurrent. But....No Radar!
This type of navigation grew hair on your chest and removed it from your head!
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  #85  
Old 4th September 2009, 22:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMorine View Post
Captain Len Holden had already done a two year voyage when we joined the vessel in Singapore. (photo of him in my gallery) When we flew out to Singapore the ship was a week late arriving, so we stayed in Connel House for seven days. you can imagine the time we had. We flew out on a Comet aircraft, which was quite an experience.
I only recall meeting him twice before he retired. First time was early 50's when he was on one of the - even then - older ships that berthed at Gellibrand Pier, Williamstown, probly loading bagged flour. I scored a football and a scooter on that visit. Next time I saw him was when he was on Shielbank just before she was handed over to the Greeks. That time I scored his Hallicrafters radio and my sister was given the prayerbook that the Bishop of Calcutta had given to the ship after the fatal explosion aboard her in the approaches to that port in the late 40's.
He never married and I think he did 3 years in Riverbank.
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  #86  
Old 5th September 2009, 00:31
David E David E is offline  
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Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
My 1 year on the INCHANGA (1952) was a mixed bag, but left me with some very pleasant lifetime memories. many years later, driving or walking down in the Liverpool dock road, the spicy smell from the warehouses would instantly whip me back to the very wide alleyways on the Inchanga, with those massive cowls emanating the very same spicy smells, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc.

I was plonked on the bridge for a longish spell as acting 3/0 without a real clue what was going on. Can remember the heightened tension going through the half degree channel in the Maldives, with a party going on below.

Next door to our cabin was a very randy Leckie, who bedded any attractive female passenger without much trouble, much to our ( naive) amazement - and envy!

As the ' white ship ' boys will know, the apprentices cabin was opposite the barbers shop, and in my time it was possible to buy boxes of chocolate and put it on the slate. never mind that the chocolate was covered in white mildew spots in the tropics. It still went down a treat.

Nights spent supervising the loading down in the 4 tween deck reefer rooms - freezing of course - and I seem to recall loading sacks of potatoes in them ...

Then there was the wood and canvas swimming pool below the bridge, with a natural wave motion if the ship happened to be pitching heavily.

Clambering in and out of the double stacked lifeboats checking biscuits etc and wondering how the boats would launch in anger with such an arrangement. Never found out, fortunately.

AL
Al
The "double deckers" would probably not have launched in anger! We had a snap survey in 1950 when the surveyor,unsportingly, requested that both port and starboard upper boats be swung out.No movement,total failure,as both of them had been painted into their chocks.Total panic.
One benefit was that,for a long time afterwards,they were always put in the water in Mombassa and used for picnics during the long periods spent at anchor waiting for a berth.

Dave
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  #87  
Old 5th September 2009, 00:38
David E David E is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
My recollection is that we had radar on the INCHANGA in 1952 but it only got to be switched on for special occasions - i.e. I imagine just before running up the beach - or even after running up the beach. How daft was that?

Also, as 3/0 on the IRISBANK circa 1956, I recall the Master ( Capt. Palmer) demurring about switching on the radar when we had a Mississippi pilot on board, and the pilot said in a loud voice '' Captain, if you don't switch on the radar, we are going to anchor '', I tell you that. Needless to say, the radar went on. ( They never worked for any time in those days, hence the reluctance to tempt providence)

AL
Was that C.S Palmer? Caught him in "Weybank"

Dave
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  #88  
Old 5th September 2009, 08:15
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Alistair,

Thanks for that - no radar - OK. I did sail on a few ships where the radar was only switched on by express permission of the ' old man ' and this is what has blurred the memory!

David,

I remember the Mombasa picnics with the lifeboats being exercised - the habit must have carried on, and was a pleasant way of spending an afternoon - once the engine could be coaxed into life!

Yes, Capt C.S. Palmer. Could write a book about him, subject to the censors. He was an unsmiling uncompromising disciplinarian, of the old school. As 3/0 on a 24 month voyage on the IRISBANK I was told many a time to stay out on the bridge wing, and not to venture inside unless absolutely necessary. The compass error was to be entered into the book every watch without fail, and woe betide if the actual error was markedly different from the previous one. He was unable to fly back from Bathurst with us, due to a heart condition, and he sadly died after returning on an Elder Dempster passenger vessel.

AL








AL

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  #89  
Old 5th September 2009, 13:16
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not sure which thread to enter this one,BUT,I payed off the Isipingo in calcutta on the 8.6.59,and signed on the Fleetbank two days later as supernumary 3/0,I then payed off in Birkenhead 32days later,cant think what that run was called or cargo.
Oldman for the trip home was TS robertson.

jim
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  #90  
Old 5th September 2009, 14:22
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T S Robertson

Jim,
I too sailed with TS Robertson as 3/O on Fleetbank from 12.7.58 to 5.1.59 and was also with him before on Foylebank 26.7.57 to 30.12.57 - when he took a heart attack in Mid Pacific bound for Brisbane with Sulfur, Cotton and Tractors.
This was the first time I had an experience of someone with a heart attack and we had medical assistance from the Doc. on the Rangitata , a day or so behind us.
We landed TS at Tahiti with his wife and Ch Off Yates went in command.Capt Thorne joined us later on Aussie Coast and we all had to revert to previous Rank.
We had a whale of a time in Papeete only there for about five hours and no sub. The Engineers had a tarpaulin muster of all available currencies and went ashore led by 3/E Sweeney . Poor Mr Yates was worried stiff that they would not come back and I was sent to round them up in a dockside pub. It was a great party and how I got them back I will never know but they did all have Frangipani garlands hang around their necks and bottles of Benedictine in their hands.
I often wonder what happened to Yates - He was a grocer in St Helen's and had spent the whole war on the Jersey and had a narrow escape from being executed by the Germans for attempting to escape. A real nice fellow and a good seaman.
JC
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  #91  
Old 5th September 2009, 17:51
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Alistair Macnab Alistair Macnab is offline  
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This thread is developing into a great site for remembering old shipmates. Good. I have two today to mention that have been mentioned before.
Captain Palmer was the first Master of the "Fleetbank" in 1953, taking the ship out from Belfast. We did, Trinidad- India with bitumen then India-River Plate with gunnies. In BA. Captain Palmer had a heart attack and was invalided home. He was replaced by Captain Kemp of St. Ives. But during Captain Palmer's command, I confirm that he was a strict disciplinairian and didn't often bend to notice apprentices!
As for Chief Officer Yates, I sailed with him on one of the copra boats on the copra run. I was Master. Must have been the "Fleetbank" in 1968 He was an experienced and careful officer and inclined to be a bit nervous, at least with me. Perhaps it was the spread of years between us? I liked and admired him very much.
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  #92  
Old 5th September 2009, 18:21
Joe C Joe C is offline  
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Captain Palmer/ Irisbank

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Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
Alistair,

Thanks for that - no radar - OK. I did sail on a few ships where the radar was only switched on by express permission of the ' old man ' and this is what has blurred the memory!

David,

I remember the Mombasa picnics with the lifeboats being exercised - the habit must have carried on, and was a pleasant way of spending an afternoon - once the engine could be coaxed into life!

Yes, Capt C.S. Palmer. Could write a book about him, subject to the censors. He was an unsmiling uncompromising disciplinarian, of the old school. As 3/0 on a 24 month voyage on the IRISBANK I was told many a time to stay out on the bridge wing, and not to venture inside unless absolutely necessary. The compass error was to be entered into the book every watch without fail, and woe betide if the actual error was markedly different from the previous one. He was unable to fly back from Bathurst with us, due to a heart condition, and he sadly died after returning on an Elder Dempster passenger vessel.

AL








AL
Alan,as an apprentice I suppose we were in awe of the captain but I remember with great respect, when we had the misfortune to lose a crew member overboard south of New Zealand when dumping dunnage after discharging bitumen, we returned to the position he went over and recovered him,alas too late.But light ship in poor weather no mean feat.He also as I recall gave short shrift to the officials in Visag who refused to unload grain from Freemantle because it was "highly contaminated".Perhaps the pith helmet,long stockings and shorts to match carried some weight in those days. Joe C
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  #93  
Old 6th September 2009, 09:37
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Irisbank

Hallo Joe,

We seem to have the same recollections re IRISBANK so the old brain must still be working OK!

I do have a fund of stories involving Capt Palmer, but do not intend to print them up here. He did have the one quality that I most admire in individuals - and that is integrity. Occasionally, in the dark, on the 8 to 12 watch, he would come out to my post on the bridge wing, lean over the dodger, and talk on a personal level. Looking back, I suppose he wanted to chat to someone and get away from the loneliness of being stuck in splendid isolation in the master's cabin.

Cheers// Alan
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  #94  
Old 7th September 2009, 00:21
David E David E is offline  
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Quote:
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Alan,as an apprentice I suppose we were in awe of the captain but I remember with great respect, when we had the misfortune to lose a crew member overboard south of New Zealand when dumping dunnage after discharging bitumen, we returned to the position he went over and recovered him,alas too late.But light ship in poor weather no mean feat.He also as I recall gave short shrift to the officials in Visag who refused to unload grain from Freemantle because it was "highly contaminated".Perhaps the pith helmet,long stockings and shorts to match carried some weight in those days. Joe C
That sounds like A.Stafford-Watts. Always immaculate in that tropical rig + dark glasses.Tremendous man and a remarkable Master. Always defended his ship and his crews to the death-believed they had a right to privacy and had a notice on his door which began "To whom it may concern,no matter how important they may consider themselves to be........" directed I think to Gale in Calcutta. He fought a bitter battle with the MN Club in Aliwal Street in Durban on their refusal to admit the Anglo-Indian officers we had on board.Aloof,but gave me tremendous support in my first spell as a windy Uncert. 3/O-taught me watch keeping priorities that lasted my time at sea.
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  #95  
Old 9th September 2009, 05:37
Crankcase Crankcase is offline  
 
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Clyde Bank

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
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  #96  
Old 9th September 2009, 09:49
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i must have had rose coloured specs,I was on the Clydebank for 2 years paying off 12 months before crankcase joined.
With bertie holland as master and Wilkie Rutherford as mate she was a well fed ship and with 3 apps being taught their trade by Wilkie she was one of the best ships for her age,as I have said before she was the best ship I had sailed on.

JIM
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  #97  
Old 13th September 2009, 17:52
rcraig rcraig is offline  
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Because my time with Bank Line was comparatively short, there are not many names I can quote from the past apart from the masters and some supers. So I am limited to experiences.
One which I remember vividly (but not thereby more accurately perhaps) is one which I have put out elsewhere.
It may not be known by many of the older mariners on this site but the lavatory bowls for the Old Man's "lavvy" in north-east (Scotland...see how sensitive I am to Geordie sensibilities?) parlance, shared a common overside discharge pipe on the Eastbank with that of the junior apprentices' lavatory bowl. I'll bet that not many of you knew that!

In the event therefore that the overside discharge pipe blocked then it blocked for both lavatories. (See, Dad, I could have been an engineer after all!).

So it came to pass one fine morn when we were leaving the gilded tropical isle of Fiji, Suva, to be precise, for the Line Islands...still so isolated even Google Earth cannot find them..... the overside discharge did block. And nothing we could do would clear it. Especially the added weight of crapping on top of it. And if the Old Man, Holbrook, continued to do that, the results were of course, given that the blockage was below our deck, our lavvy bowl would continue to dishcharge its bowels over our lavatory deck.

With remarkable magnanimity, did the O.M. not tell us in his loud voice that he would use the mate's lavatory?

And with remarkable magnanimity he did use it. For a very short time indeed. We became unnaturally interested in his bowel movements that trip. Mainly because we had to clean out the lavatory on a regular basis.

So by the time we reached Fanning Is., we had a great incentive to clear the blockage.

Anchor down, stage and rope ladder over and the Chinese chippy and I clambered down to just above sea level. The water was pellucid blue, and the atmosphere all around clear and sharp, all that a tropical atoll reef could be. I had donned my up to the minute personal protective equipment, shorts and sandals. The chippy had on his overalls. A reticent man, perhaps because he spoke very little English, but he could swear fluently.

Using our specially designed and crafted waste removal equipment, a bamboo cane we began to poke and probe. It was solid. I leant to the left with one hand, and he leant to the right both grasping the cane gingerly and pushed. Thirty feet of congealed crap and paper shot out in a khaki spray with us at the periphery. No, we didn't get the full blast. Part of it.

And boy, was the chippy fluent in swearing interspersed with roaring bursts of Cantonese/Mandarin (?)!

It was a hilarious scene, at least for those on deck. Not perhaps much that was particular to the 50's I grant you, but part of that rich tapestry of life which was a Bank Line apprentice's lot in those days.

Moral of the story; never trust a promise.

Damn. This was meant to be in the 50's thread

Last edited by rcraig; 13th September 2009 at 17:59.. Reason: Wrong thread but don't know how to change it
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  #98  
Old 13th September 2009, 18:52
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Moved that for you.
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Old 13th September 2009, 19:50
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Doctor Sahib?

My very first job as an App., just the morning after joining the Southbank in Royal Albert Dock in 1953 was to take a group of Indian Crew about a dozen to see the doc. in those days the poor seamen,oilers and seacunnies could only get shore leave for any length of time and it was always a good ploy to get a day off for and ask to get to see the Doc. Dentist or Post Office. In those far off days the Indian crew seemed to be prematurely old little men and ,save for the Serangs, spoke little English

I was sent ,with scant directions, to take these lads from the ship to the Seamen's Hospital Dreadnought and had to get there on foot and by bus. My knowledge of Hindi was nil and I was terrified of both losing my way and of losing my "crew"as they persisted in walking in "Indian" file. I remember being present when each Lascar was ushered in and the quack and I had to do our best to elicit what ailed the fellow. "Something paining" was the common complaint and each got a paper bag of assorted potents and back to the ship.
That whole exercise took a whole afternoon and I was quite pleased with myself as I had got to go ashore in my brand new uniform. Next day there were no more susti jobs for me as I was down the tween decks from dawn till dusk stacking dunnage among the copra bugs.

When we got to Vizag later on that voyage Capt Bob Smith , in order to forestall the crew going ashore to see the Doc - he got the Doc to come to the ship and also the Dentist. Much to the dismay of the crew and I will never forget the antics of the Dentist who set up in the hospital and extracted a good few teeth there and I can still see the spattering of blood that coated the bulkheads after he left. No hygiene what so ever just a couple of pairs of rusty forceps.

I googled up the "Dreadnought"and lo and behold it still exists in much reduced form.
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  #100  
Old 13th September 2009, 22:42
Johnnietwocoats Johnnietwocoats is offline  
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Quote:
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My very first job as an App., just the morning after joining the Southbank in Royal Albert Dock in 1953 was to take a group of Indian Crew about a dozen to see the doc. in those days the poor seamen,oilers and seacunnies could only get shore leave for any length of time and it was always a good ploy to get a day off for and ask to get to see the Doc. Dentist or Post Office. In those far off days the Indian crew seemed to be prematurely old little men and ,save for the Serangs, spoke little English

I was sent ,with scant directions, to take these lads from the ship to the Seamen's Hospital Dreadnought and had to get there on foot and by bus. My knowledge of Hindi was nil and I was terrified of both losing my way and of losing my "crew"as they persisted in walking in "Indian" file. I remember being present when each Lascar was ushered in and the quack and I had to do our best to elicit what ailed the fellow. "Something paining" was the common complaint and each got a paper bag of assorted potents and back to the ship.
That whole exercise took a whole afternoon and I was quite pleased with myself as I had got to go ashore in my brand new uniform. Next day there were no more susti jobs for me as I was down the tween decks from dawn till dusk stacking dunnage among the copra bugs.

When we got to Vizag later on that voyage Capt Bob Smith , in order to forestall the crew going ashore to see the Doc - he got the Doc to come to the ship and also the Dentist. Much to the dismay of the crew and I will never forget the antics of the Dentist who set up in the hospital and extracted a good few teeth there and I can still see the spattering of blood that coated the bulkheads after he left. No hygiene what so ever just a couple of pairs of rusty forceps.

I googled up the "Dreadnought"and lo and behold it still exists in much reduced form.
John....
Loved our Indian Crews both on Bank Line and Caltex/Texaco. Always had the greatest respect for them and them for us.
"It's a lesson not too late for the Learnin"

TC

PS...Hope you are well. I am looking up my Caltex/Texaco crew lists.
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