Ships Nostalgia banner

1 - 20 of 774 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Wood decks, open rails, serene quiet progress across the oceans...
stifling heat in the cabins, lucky to have an oscillating fan, or a wind cowel to stick out of the port
steam winches, cracking and banging, draining and jerking
heat your own water, with a steam line in the bath
then there was the wire sounding line! ( only used it once)
followed by an ultra modern wet paper echo sounder - OK if the paper was wet...
D/F - the less said the better

Would put it all to poetry if I had time, but too busy 60 years on...
Cheers/AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
heat your own water,Ah remember it well ,and us poor apprentices having to carry the Fw from the aft peak every morning to fill up all the tanks in the mid ship bathrooms,sinks in the cabins ,but no pipes to drain the water away.
JIM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
And remember the hand pump , on the midship FW tanks, which was kept padlocked and the apprentices had to dole out two buckets per crew member per day and woe betide anyone who asked for more. I had that job under the beady eyes of Capt Hale. Remember how when passing through Panama opportunity was taken to replenish the FW from the lakes. I recounted this fact to several fellow cruisers as we passed through that waterway last year - they shook their heads at this tale saying that we would have all died of dysentery etc.

Thinking back remember the dreaded Water Barge in Kidder-pore and how we sometimes were desperate for pani and had to doctor the water with chemicals from the medicine chest. Did we really go through all this or is it my imagination?
JC
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
83 Posts
Still used to pick up water passing through the lakes at Panama in the 60s.
Sweetest water you could find. Certainly saved on soap.
Probably a lot safer in them days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
577 Posts
Going out on deck and showering in the rain when washing water was limited to 15 mins at the end of each watch. The old Beaverbank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Yes Kris, there was a good reason why we took on FW during PC transit, nothing to do with water qualiy of course. Bankboats also arrived hogged at Cristobal as the ships were always checked amidships , not fore and aft.The Belfast built ships of the 1950's, were in my opinion, the best of Bankline during my time,wood sheathed decks and loads of boatdeck for games and other leisure use. I also remember well, my excitement when,receiving a letter from the Company at the end of my leave,tearing it open, my eyes darting first to the underlined ships name at the top, ''Laganbank'' ''Foylebank'', great a short trip, on the phone to my girlfriend to share the good news. ''Ericbank'' oh no, whats this ?. I also remember enjoying my time as 2nd Mate more than at any other time, chart corrections, cargo plans, medical locker etc, but now I'm getting into the 1960's so I will go and have a cuppa,(Thumb)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
709 Posts
Hurry up with that cuppa, Charlie and get back to the 60's!(Thumb)

And I too remember the excitement of getting new orders, and
wondering what was in store....(Hippy)

Great days, and wonderful memories.

Regards,

Jim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Charlie. Make your self a flask and get back to what you do best and tell those tales of the bank boats,I thought I had good memories of the blue funnel(which I have) but loved the bank boat story.Has anyone put it all down to paper, it was you who made me aware that my elder brother had sailed with the bank line .Kind regards Tony Allen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yes Kris, there was a good reason why we took on FW during PC transit, nothing to do with water qualiy of course. Bankboats also arrived hogged at Cristobal as the ships were always checked amidships , not fore and aft.The Belfast built ships of the 1950's, were in my opinion, the best of Bankline during my time,wood sheathed decks and loads of boatdeck for games and other leisure use. I also remember well, my excitement when,receiving a letter from the Company at the end of my leave,tearing it open, my eyes darting first to the underlined ships name at the top, ''Laganbank'' ''Foylebank'', great a short trip, on the phone to my girlfriend to share the good news. ''Ericbank'' oh no, whats this ?. I also remember enjoying my time as 2nd Mate more than at any other time, chart corrections, cargo plans, medical locker etc, but now I'm getting into the 1960's so I will go and have a cuppa,(Thumb)
Youv'e jogged a few memories there, Charlie....

Would agree that the time as second mate was an enjoyable time, and add that the navigation was also a pleasure.... I had an unusual trip mid fifties on the Eastbank when, for odd reasons, no-one bothered much with sights, and I had the fun and responsibility of 90% of the navigation - making landfalls etc accurately - well, within a few miles let's say! After a run to Japan, we loaded gunnies in the Bay of Bengal ports, and ended up discharging in B.A. before loading grain spasmodically, ( Hasta Munyana) in Enginerio White, for the UK. Spent weeks there in Argentina. Played football in the day, and went on the razz at night. We were exhausted - for all the right reasons! Happy days.

Cheers/AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
Yup,for me second mate on the far east run was the best,must admit getting all the cargo plans completed before sailing westbound was a bit hectic,multi load and discharge ,AND all done in brilliant colour.
somebody mentioned that we should not get too excited about our time in bank Line as there was life thereafter,there certainly was ,I spent 13 good years with ASN/Townsend before being chucked ashore with medical problems,but I think that it was the growing up in bank line that set it all off.
Great crowd of ex bank line on Ships nostalgia AND I never sailed with one.

JIM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
I found making accurate and colourful cargo plans to be one of my most pleasurable experiences. I had kept a portfolio of "Ettrickbank" cargo plans on the Oriental African Line for many years but in a house fire three years ago, they were lost.
The marks details on a cocoa or coffee stow plan from the Pacific islands were very intricate and the end result produced a feeling of great pride in penmanship.

I was never happy with the Kelvin Hughes chart portfolios and rearranged their sequece in the chart drawers as well as the individual chart sequences in each portfolio. I prepared a sweeping review which I took to the Master to send to either Head Office or to K-H direct and he chewed me out! Pretty disappointed as I felt that in particular, the folios covering the regular Bank Line runs were not logically compiled. I still have by revisions from 50 years ago!
It seems we are debating the pleasures of a second mate's regular duties. Yes, it was a good job and I liked the fact that I was largely left alone during the 12-4. It was a time when Master's were comfortable with your professional competance.

But surely the Chief Mate's job was the best? Keeping the ship clean and smart at all times, organizing the cargo stow and keeping the crew gainfully employed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Members of Bank Line will remember the description of the House Flag...
red the blood we sweat...blue the sea we sail on...separated by the thin white line of starvation..I served in the Bank Line from 1963-1973...apprentice to 2/O.

Rgds John.H
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
On this Bank Line Forum, to us older hands, there is one name very conspicuous by it's absence, and that is Captain Scobie. I remember all the letters from Weir's to me ref my application to join the company were signed A Scobie. Superintendents Department. I remember thinking, this must be a very important man, and I suppose he was just that. I don't remember when Capt Gale took over from him but I'm sure someone here knows the story. Extract from one of Capt Scobie's letters to me joining Myrtlebank. ''We enclose a Railway Voucher for your journey when joining, which please fully complete, in accordance with our further instructions, before exchanging for a ticket at the Booking Office.''. No mention of Airports back then, and that particular ticket turned out to be one from Larne to Tilbury Docks, via Stranraer. The telegram that followed these letters usually ended, '' kit readiness join acknowledge'', yes I remember going to bed with those words buzzing around in my head, no chance of sleep, going away to-morrow.(Sad)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
I'm pretty certain Captain Scobie was the Senior Superintendent in Bury Street.Digging back through the old paperwork,he seemed to sign all the letters I had from Head Office.
Charlie's comment "No Airports back then....." summed up the attitude of the Company to repatriation after long trips in the early 50's.The cheapest route,however long it took. Leaving the "Inchanga" in Colombo, after 2+ years away,I moved to the "Myrtlebank",in port at that time.She sailed,so I spent the next three weeks in the old GOH.The "Lochybank" eventually staggered in, and I joined her, eventually getting back to the UK three months after leaving "Inchanga"
Finishing my time in "Forresbank" in Bombay the next year,my return to the UK was an even longer safari. After an initial two week stay in the MN Club in Bombay,I was sent across India by train to Calcutta-a night,day,night trip Joining the "Roybank",I eventually sailed in her to Colombo.Leaving her,I joined the "Weybank" for the final passage home.An interesting ship.I remember the Chief Engineer was on some energy saving drive.Lighting would be normal for a short period after dark-then after a couple of hours would begin to dim and by 2100 reading was impossible.It took ten weeks from the "Forresbank" to the final,welcome,escape in Birkenhead.The next step was to Fyffes,a very different company.
I enjoyed a lot of my time in Bank Line but felt I wanted to move on. A variety of Masters-good and bad,across the whole spectrum. The worst, a homosexual,who targeted the younger Apprentices.The best,Stafford-Watts. The only time I ever saw him loose his cool was in Calcutta during a Hooglhi Bore standby.A particularly violent Spring Bore carried away a forward cable.S-W requested "Slow Ahead".Nothing happened.After a time the phone rang and the J/E on watch asked "Did we mean that movement-if so,he'd better call the Second" A moments silence:B****r shouted S-W,hurling the blancoed topee he wore on duty,night and day, over the side
I suspect that the standards improved in the later fifties, they were pretty basic BOT minimum in my time,even extending to different menus for Officers and Passengers in "Inchanga"-unheard of in Fyffes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
And remember the hand pump , on the midship FW tanks, which was kept padlocked and the apprentices had to dole out two buckets per crew member per day and woe betide anyone who asked for more. I had that job under the beady eyes of Capt Hale. Remember how when passing through Panama opportunity was taken to replenish the FW from the lakes. I recounted this fact to several fellow cruisers as we passed through that waterway last year - they shook their heads at this tale saying that we would have all died of dysentery etc.

Thinking back remember the dreaded Water Barge in Kidder-pore and how we sometimes were desperate for pani and had to doctor the water with chemicals from the medicine chest. Did we really go through all this or is it my imagination?
JC
Greetings John!
I had the pleasure of sailing with Capt' Freddy Hale on the "Ivybank" circa 50-52, a great chap, but you are the first to make mention of him
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
Captain Alec Scobie had been the Marine Superintendent in Calcutta and was replaced by Captain Gale sometime before 1950. Scobie was Chief Marine Superintendent in London when I joined the company in 1953. I don't remember when he retired but it must have been around 1963(?) when he was replaced by Captain Gale. Scobie and John Hawkes (chartering director)were the driving forces behind Bank Line in the 50s and early 60s. They worked very well together, in fact, Lord Inverforth (II), Morton Weir, had to chastise them when they went too far by promoting their own ideas against his on one notable occasion! This caused a row and Scobie and Hawkes were retired soon afterwards! Nevertheless, Captain Scobie is remembered with great affection by all who worked with him. He was strict but fair and his knowledge of Bank Line ships was legendary. In Calcutta, his No.2 was Captain Chalmers who was succeeded by Captain Lidstone when Gale arrived. I can't remember the pecking order in the London office under Scobie. Perhaps someone else can enlighten us?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Capt Scobie had a nephew in the Bankline - Jim Scobbie, who is well and lives in Colchester. He was a superintendent with Sealink for many years after leaving the Bankline as 2/0. We have been friends since the mid fifties when we had a 2 yr voyage on the IRISBANK together 2/0 and 3/0 under Capt. Palmer.

There are plenty of anecdotes about this trip, but one of the best concerns our frequent ' run ins ' with Palmer. Jimmy was hauled onto the bridge during my 8 to 12 evening watch when we were rounding the Cape of Good Hope and a ' new ' lighthouse appeared on the coast, which wasn't on the chart... Palmer found it in the pile of Notiice to Mariners on the chartroom settee, and after the expected dressing down, he shouted at Jimmy, '' If your uncle wasn't Capt Scobbie in the London Office, this would be very serious and I would ask for you to be relieved! ''

Jimmy had a 'so so' relationship with his Uncle, as he had complained about the food to him during a ship visit in a UK port. It caused a slight rift between them.

AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
I sailed in the Tweedbank/GBYC in the fifties, she was built in 1930, typical Bankline trip Cuba/New Orleans/Texas ports/Mexico/Australia/New Guinea/Colombo/Uk. We took a Tissue paper Chart of Kavieng in New Ireland on board in Sydney as none of the Admiralty charts were up to date and can remember margins in the border with such comments as" after passing shed with red roof steer 274 degrees " somebody had scored out "red" with comment shed now painted green, and comments like "dont anchor here or you will have a Japanese Zero on the end of the anchor !! I ended up in the Islands Radio Station working point to point with RabaulRadio as the Islands R/O had done a "wander" into the jungle!!
Ern Barrett
 
1 - 20 of 774 Posts
Top