These are the 18 vessels of a single order made in 1924. Fate dictated that 9 would be lost, mainly in WW2, and the other 9 would each serve well over 30 years each.
The ones lost were: Birchbank; Cedarbank; Alynbank; Elmbank; Weirbank; Larchbank; Oakbank; Speybank; Springbank, plus the Forresbank which was wrecked in the 50’s. The long term survivors were: Inverbank; Glenbank; Comliebank; Clydebank; Nairnbank; Levernbank; Myrtlebank and Olivebank.
Most of the photos are taken in Capetown and the sampson posts aft made the ships easily identifiable. The ships were built at Govan in Scotland, and they were twin screw with 2 x 6 cylinder oil engines made by the builders.
A strange thing was that conditions on board these ships were quite primitive with no mod cons, but they had an appeal to those that served on them which is hard to explain. Maybe it was the endless wandering around the world, and the long voyages of 2 years or more that made it feel a reasonably comfortable home once settled in. Whatever it was, the surviving ships were always greeted warmly when spotted in some far flung outpost. We were maritime gypsies and those ships remaining in the fleet in the 1950’s are remembered fondly by those that sailed on them.