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Can anyone enlighten me as to what happened to all those buff painted Bank Line 20' containers - the BKLU plus numbers - that were seemingly everywhere in the late 70s early 80s? There were quite a few fridge boxes as well but not the very early non-lift types.

Change of subject, I noticed the other day while browsing that Andrew Weir Ship Management is now based at 9 Alie Street, London E1 which lies bewtween Mansell Street and Leman Street, so not too far from the old Bury Street.
 

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Malim Sahib Moderator
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Regarding boxes, in 2012 we required some extra diesel storage capacity on ship and we received two 20' tank containers which had been landed from the St Helena.
I remember their numbers being AWSU0000001/AWSU0000002 and both manufactured in 1976, I suppose real survivors in container terms.
 

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Bank Line ships 1953 to 1968, Apprentice to Master
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BKLU Reefer Containers...

I recall that when Roddie McLeod went to London from New Orleans he ordered 100 20 ft, Integrated Reefer containers from Japan. It might have been 200 but I'm not sure. They were unpainted shiny metal and had a Bank Line flag on the side (1978).

I imagine that the buff painted 20 ft, dry boxes followed.

I was driving in the northern reaches of Houston along a country lane when I discovered a badged buff 20 footer in a sort-of layby. It had been abandoned; it had no chassis and one door was open and the container empty. Clearly abandoned by a trucker too lazy to return it to the container yard. It did not look dirty or damaged in any way.

I went back to the office on the following Monday and asked Strachan's record keepers to search for the unit. It was still in the record as having been landed in Auckland NZ!

Truly, there was quite a long learning curve to handling containers which had nothing to do with stuffing, stripping, loading, discharging and recording the slot location on the ship! Not to mention within the range of the ship's lifting equipment!
 

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Blue Funnel, well Ocean T&T had their own container repair facility and tyre retreading operation. I think that it was called Montag and was operated under the Cory side of things. An engineer that I sailed with, John Banks from Croxteth, brother worked there.

An old mate, Dominic Pisani (RIP), T&J Harrison was sent "up the road" with some other officers to "reposses" T&J containers in Jamaica. As they had been converted to homes, workshops, etc. the new "owners" did not take kindly to their endeavour. After shots were fired, they decided to just go back, empty handed, to the ship! I think it may have been the latter Tactician, thinking back.
Rgds.
Dave
 

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The Bank Line containers would have found a ready market for secondary use - as today.

Many shipping Lines offered ' door to door' shipments in containers without much hope of ever seeing the box again. West Africa was a prime example where the inland roads in Nigeria were littered with roadside snackbars, drink stalls, sheep pens etc etc all in easily recognisable containers with their livery and numbers. Staff in Liverpool, sitting in their comfortable, organised offices would blithely consider calls from shippers wanting a box delivered to Kano, 500 miles plus inland! The learning curve was steep and proved to be too steep in the long run.
 

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The Bank Line containers would have found a ready market for secondary use - as today.

Many shipping Lines offered ' door to door' shipments in containers without much hope of ever seeing the box again. West Africa was a prime example where the inland roads in Nigeria were littered with roadside snackbars, drink stalls, sheep pens etc etc all in easily recognisable containers with their livery and numbers. Staff in Liverpool, sitting in their comfortable, organised offices would blithely consider calls from shippers wanting a box delivered to Kano, 500 miles plus inland! The learning curve was steep and proved to be too steep in the long run.
Echoes of the hallowed "Diesel Fitters"! Mr. Pisani had a mad plan to nick the props off the Duke of Lancaster! After several refreshing glasses, the plans would get more and more ludicrous! He was great fun and a tremendous character.
Rgds.
Dave
 

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Container issues

I dont know what happened to them but I sure recall the frig units. We loaded up several on deck in Hull for outward journey back to the Pacific Islands loaded with lots of yummy food for Tahiti as I recall. But they were DC powered frig boxes and loads of work keeping them going, with the Old Man and Chief always banging on about how we cant afford to lose any of the contents or there would be hell to pay when we got to the Islands. No Pressure! They wouldnt have been around long before being retired as AC powered boxes came on line and the old DC ships were sold off.
 
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