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13 Posts
Now this is Nostalgia!

The Palm Line Man
By Jason Davis and John Seed
Africa Palm.
Takoradi, West Africa 1958

It's always damp and never dry,
around us weirdies always fly.
Mosquitos are the biggest pest,
they give the Palm Line man no rest.

Still, mossies, mangoes work is done,
while the seamen cook beneath the sun.
No relief from breeze or fan,
but care he not that Palm Line man.

We'll soon be safely all at sea,
or else the bows right in a tree.
With sextant, ruler and a map.
But care he not the Palm Line chap.

Away at sea the Kroo boys gone,
we'll soon be home, it wont be long.
The log wharf Hamburg will soon be here.
This Palm Line man's getting out his gear.

But care he not that Palm Line bloke
from jungle mist to London smoke.
And right back to the coast again.
A Palm Line man back in the rain.

But care he not the Palm Line man,
he'll do it again if he can.
Mossies, mangoes, creeks and flies,
he'll be down the coast until he dies

That poor old Palm Line man.

For a fortnight it will rain,
but he'll be down the coast again.
He'll wear his shorts through it all,
this Palm Line man, his brain is small.

Natives from canoes shout 'dash me'
while from the boat deck cries of 'flash me!'
Crews are generous beyond all doubt,
but the Palm Line man gives nothing out.

He's been to Dakar, Lagos, Warri,
now he's really feeling sorry.
We've got another port, Abidjan.
But care he not the Palm Line man

And down the Congo to Matadi,
goes the poor old Palm Line laddie.
Where Belgian pilots scream and bellow
a Palm Line man thinks 'tis the coast, poor fellow'.

Tiko with a mountain high
where in a creek a ship lays by.
Bringing up logs by the score,
a Palm Line man, he wants no more.

The Kroo boys do a lot of work
but we are sure they'd rather shirk.
Where would we be without Kroo boy?
Palm Line man's pride and joy.

In the heat with sugee bucket
A seamans thought 'Ah well, I'll chuck it'.
But soon he'll start the homeward trek,
A Palm Line man, or a nervous wreck.


2,661 Posts
Hallo Ewery Body as Palm Line
I can se there are many freinds from Palm Line.
I will ask you, are there some body,there have some picture, maybee som sites hwere i can se name on ships there was in chartering with Palm Line in the 50-60, because i was on board in a danish Wessel " Nordvest" with Palm Line in the funnel, but i have no picture of he , only that one her ind the gallery, in dry dock after a collision in Themsen .
we was in Takoradi Apapa, Lagos and other places, after we have been in Dakar for more crew, to help on board, and on the trip back to London in Las Palmas for bunkering oil , so to Blue Cirkel Cement an to Africa again, with Big Lorrys on deck i hope there ar some there have a picture.
Regards Benny

442 Posts
Great poem
Joined Palm ship in 1978 at leith LEFT SHIP IN LEITH 1 day only
Think she was past her best
African cooks. Manky cabins.
Left M/N after that .
Would take a year trip on her now if offered though
Didnt know when we we were well off

18,774 Posts
Great poem - brings back a few memories.

"Flash for a Dash" - Quite a lot of Unilever soap ended up on the bottom of the Nigerian Creeks!

John T.

(I tried to attach a photo of a carved teak head from West Africa Industries in Takoradi which is looking down on me now, but it didn't work. Wish I'd bought an elephant's foot umbarella stand now - how would that go with the PC gang?)

2,765 Posts
Great poem that stuck the right memory cells.
Been there but would not say it was a wonderful experience
Caught a few of those wonderful ailment that were rampant down there including malaria. So much for the paladreen? pills we popped every day

6,923 Posts

Hope you're reading - that was a most moving and descriptive poem. Thank you.

I knew Palm Line, but only from the Mersey end. Do you remember/did you know Bill Wilcox, Mersey Pilot? My parents met at his house.

Also, Captain Jack Pugh? One winter night in (about) 1963, he was inward bound for Bromborough. Conditions were so foul that both pilot-cutters were off-station and Pugh steamed into the Mersey on his own. I was an apprentice aboard the Bar Pilot-Cutter which was taking shelter south of Tower Buoy, off New Brighton. As Pugh approached New Brighton with a strong flood-tide behind him, Pilot Jack Dickinson set off to meet him in the boarding-boat (an open punt with an engine). Brian Curry was the coxswain and I was the bow-hand.

We chased Pugh in our open boat from Tower Buoy, all the way between the Landing Stages and past Brunswick until Dickinson was able to get aboard at Garston Bar. Never forgotten. Neither is the passage back to Tower Buoy (about two hours or more) forgotten, pumping and baling for our lives.

2 Posts
HI Memories with changing Pistons. I served as Jnr. Eng and then up to 3rd Eng on the Andoni Palm June 1958 to Sept. 1959 then was shanghaied in Lagos and flown to Port Harcourt to join the Akassa Palm Sept 1959 as 3rd Eng. then left company January 1960 and sailed on the Dame Caroline Haslett a Collier normally Newcastle -upon-Tyne to Thames Power Stations.
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