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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all..............

The coloured ship plaques of the Bankline loading berth in New Orleans were often works of art. Does anyone remember them and helping '' Chippie '' and the apprentices make them ? They were nailed onto the timbers below the wharf deck level, the height depending on the draft and the water level.

The competition on design and appeal of each plaque was keen. It was a regular feature back in the 1950's but not sure how long it continued on.......

I visited the Port Authority on business in the late 80's and some of the old plaques were still there below the wharf level. We were able to spot them from a launch in the river.

Any tales out there?

Cheers // Alan Rawlinson
 

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Alan,
Harmony Street Wharf was eventually demolished and the wooden piles and dock facings were removed as was the wood plank floor in the shed where the load factor was 100 lbs per sq.ft - hardly adequate for the amount of cargo that Bank Line collected between sailings to Australia (every 10/14 days) and New Zealand (monthly).
I can't remember when the demolishing and the reconstruction began but it must have been in the late 70s, early 80s. The dock was rebuilt to 1000 lbs/sq.ft. and eventually used for tramp ship cargoes of steel and aluminium ingots.
Bank Line, by then, had moved to Governor Nicholls Wharf where there was a modern concrete dock and more room for containers. This location had the added attraction of being next to the French Quarter!
As for the plaques, they were mostly thrown away which is a great pity for, as you say, some were very artistic and colorful. I don't know if anyone thought to save any.
 

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This subject brings back happy memories. A lot of them were master pieces!
Cloverbank(Loverbank) Weirbank(Queerbank) Crestbank(Restbank) from the mid sixties.
Cheers,
John Milne
 

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What was the one that always had a ghost atached, it was on the wharf in Lae as well, at least back in the '70s.
 

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I Made A Plaque For The Testbank, And Duly Hung It Up In 1967
Done It All While On Duty In The Engine Room
Happy Days
 

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maplebank 1952,after the fire and subsequent drydocking at todd johnsons we went down the river and loaded sulphur in lower holds ,then it was up to harmony street wharf to load general,we three apps had the job with chippie of making theplaqueand fixing it under the quay.
Nine years later on the forresbank it was the apps again making and fixing,but I can remember they said it was becoming difficult to find a space,I can remember some great works of art.
JIM
 

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I remember helping to make one when on the Inverbank I think? Memory going I'm afraid. It was a green board, like a soccer pitch, with the old man in goal, mate centre and the rest of the crew were in different positions, including the Serang, Cassab, Tindal etcThere were some real crackers.
Late sixties was the date. Or was it the Teviotbank?(Thumb)
 

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I remember seeing part of an article,with pictures,in Life Magazine sometime in the early sixties.Shown to me by Jack West the longtime Strachans stevedore.
Painted a few myself.
Regards,
Ben Masey
 

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Glad to hear someone remembers Jack West as Strachan's nominated Bank Line stevedore superintendent. I had forgotten his name until Ben mentioned it. Jack who kept a bottle of the strong stuff in his desk drawer and was a bottle a day man during working hours, was nevertheless a great guy when it came to winging out Caterpiller tractors over floored off sulphur or china clay in No,2 Hold. Not a square inch of usable cargo space was wasted. Jack retired in 1969 and was replaced by Lloyd diGiovanni who was young and had good leadership qualities as well. He was Bank Line's nominated stevedore superintendent throughout the 1970s and did great work. He was much more approachable than ever Jack had been.

One of Jack's favourite tricks was to take the Mate out to a long lunch so that the stevedores could do 'dangerous' things with the cargo gear like a heavy lift just above the SWL of the gear! When the Mate got back to the ship at about 3:00 PM, the great hulking D9 was safely tucked away in a hold corner. Lloyd was not that kind of fellow.
 

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In the late sixties we used to nail the plaques on the side of the warehouse.
I still have some black and white photos of the plaques nailed to the warehouse. A lot of work went into painting them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Glad to hear someone remembers Jack West as Strachan's nominated Bank Line stevedore superintendent. I had forgotten his name until Ben mentioned it. Jack who kept a bottle of the strong stuff in his desk drawer and was a bottle a day man during working hours, was nevertheless a great guy when it came to winging out Caterpiller tractors over floored off sulphur or china clay in No,2 Hold. Not a square inch of usable cargo space was wasted. Jack retired in 1969 and was replaced by Lloyd diGiovanni who was young and had good leadership qualities as well. He was Bank Line's nominated stevedore superintendent throughout the 1970s and did great work. He was much more approachable than ever Jack had been.

One of Jack's favourite tricks was to take the Mate out to a long lunch so that the stevedores could do 'dangerous' things with the cargo gear like a heavy lift just above the SWL of the gear! When the Mate got back to the ship at about 3:00 PM, the great hulking D9 was safely tucked away in a hold corner. Lloyd was not that kind of fellow.

Ever since the Bankline days in New Orleans, in particular, I have been an admirer of the American way of solving difficult rigging and stowage tasks. Their ' can do ' attitude, backed up with ample tools and equipment make short work of almost any insurmountable ' problem '. It was a breath of fresh air to any Bankline mate, worried about '' how to ''. This admiration was extended later when visiting inland factories producing heavy lifting equipment and farm machinery. The whole feeling I got was one of highly organised efficiency which was very impressive, and in complete contrast to the derogatory comments often heard about the USA. I suspect the same false image exists about their educational system.
AL
 

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Ever since the Bankline days in New Orleans, in particular, I have been an admirer of the American way of solving difficult rigging and stowage tasks. Their ' can do ' attitude, backed up with ample tools and equipment make short work of almost any insurmountable ' problem '. It was a breath of fresh air to any Bankline mate, worried about '' how to ''. This admiration was extended later when visiting inland factories producing heavy lifting equipment and farm machinery. The whole feeling I got was one of highly organised efficiency which was very impressive, and in complete contrast to the derogatory comments often heard about the USA. I suspect the same false image exists about their educational system.
AL
Alan,I can remember going into the tweendecks,tightening up bottlescrews and persuading the waltzing Catterpillars to stop poking holes in the oil drums and carbon black packages.I can also remember helping to clear up the mess.
 

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Testbank Plaque New Orleans

I have posted two pictures of the plaques at Harmony street wharf, one is for the test bank.I took these pictures sometime in the 60's. Posted under Docks and Harbours.

I Made A Plaque For The Testbank, And Duly Hung It Up In 1967
Done It All While On Duty In The Engine Room
Happy Days
 

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For anyone interested I have posted two pictures of the Bank Line plaques in Docks and Harbours.
Taken in the 60's they are Black and white photos , funds did not run to colour film in those days.
 

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John.....
The two photographs of the ship's plaques at Harmony Street in New Orleans are great. Might we ask everyone else if they have any other pictures of the same subject? Otherwise this particular effort at 'nautical artistry' may disappear from the record other than your own photographs. Thank you for them!
 

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harmony street

on the harmony street photos, the testbank plaque is the one i made and hung in 1966
jolts the old memories
cheers for the photos
frank
 

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Could you advise how I can find the Docks and Harbours section to see the photos of the plaques at Harmony Street Wharf. We had one nailed to the warehouse with the name of the Wavebank on a wooden plaque of the Bat Signal from the Batman TV Series at the time (Adam West etc).
 
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