NORTHBANK on the stocks
The NORTHBANK, one of the Firbank class of vessel built at Sunderland in 1957. Sold in 1973 to Greek owners and she then became the AEGIS LION, stranding at the tip of South America the same year…
A loaded Bank Line liberty ship in all her glory- the ERICBANK. She was one of 12 that the Bank Line owned and managed. They were suited to the contract from the British Phosphate Commission to carry Phosphate rock. Hundreds of voyages were made between Ocean Island/Nauru/(Makatea to a lesser extent) and either Australian or New Zealand discharge ports. (See a first hand account of an interesting sistership voyage – the Maplebank, by searching with the ‘Q’ symbol)
The 1950’s Copra run
The special magic of the Pacific Islands – loading Copra sacks at anchor.
It doesn’t seem so long ago,
Joining sometimes in the snow,
But what a life on the Copra run,
Cruising round the Pacific sun!
First, a visit to Gulf Ports,
The hectic loading of all sorts,
Sailing down to the Antipodes
Then island hopping in Southern Seas.
There were those times, – a precious thing,
When island folk began to sing,
The natural lazy way of life,
Free from worry, free from strife.
It was a gift, we never thought,
Just a job that we had sought,
But looking back it was something special
Joining on that Copra vessel.
HAZELBANK Book Photo
The photo on the book cover of ” Any Budding Sailors” – my memoir. It was taken on the coal burning SS HAZELBANK en route from Fremantle to Colombo in 1951.
A pleasing rendition of the 1955 CEDARBANK by ‘junglecat’. See more at https://junglecat.de
Westbank on the Copra run 1957 – pic courtesy of Charlie Stitt. See http://www.banklinenostalgia.com
A newspaper snippet from the time the Southbank was wrecked on Washington Island. ( An interesting account from one of the survivors can be read on this site. Search for Southbank)
An unknown Bank Line ship in a waterway
Completed June 1979 at Sunderland. (See ROMNEY ex RUDDBANK elsewhere on this site)
Discharging Bitumen from Point Fortin
FORRESBANK burning in 1958
The 1925 FORRESBANK burning ashore near Port Elizabeth, S.Africa. ( The full story is on this site, including the enquiry report-search Forresbank)
Man the Braces
A book with true accounts of all the travails at sea when depending on sail alone. Shipwrecks, dismastings, fires, strandings and more. Bankline ships included.
The 1963 built ROYBANK in an island setting. Artwork courtesy of ‘Junglecat’ – see lots more Bank Line ships in interesting settings at https://junglecat.de
Andrew Weir opening a bowling club
The first of the “Fish” class of 6 vessels. Built at Sunderland in 1979. 12,214 gross tons. Powered by a 4 cylinder Doxford engine giving a service speed of 16.5 kts. Part container ship with capacity for 372 teu’s. There was a 60 ton heavy lift derrick and the rest were 35 ton capacity. Sold to the Japanese after 8 years service when she became the DEVO and served for 14 years before scrapping.
The 1892 BEECHBANK
The following extract is from the fascinating book on the sailing era by Alan Villiars. This old book can still be obtained and is a treasure for anyone interested in the real world of sailing ships and their men.
Courtesy of the book titled: “The War with Cape Horn”.
AT SEA – 1950’S
At sea on a long passage with hatch locking bars over the tarpaulins. Open rails, wood sheathed decks, radio shack on the boat deck, lattice type derricks, radial davits with a red band indicating restricted use, wooden boats, the works!
LEVERNBANK – The sailing vessel
The Master, Officers, and crew on the deck of the four-masted bark LEVERNBANK, Puget Sound port, Washington, ca 1904
Alan Villiers, the famous author, ship owner, and Cape Horner wrote about incidents on the Levernbank a year after the above photo was taken. An extract is printed below, courtesy of his book called, ” The War with Cape Horn”.
This beautiful ship was abandoned at sea 5 years later when fully loaded with iron ore. She was in the Western Ocean 300 miles west of the Scilly Isles.
The 1929 FORTHBANK loading Phosphate rock under the cantilevers at Nauru Island.
This photo was taken aboard the Liberty ship MAPLEBANK when fully loaded with phosphate en route from Nauru Island to New Zealand. circa 1956.
At Antofagasta/Chile – photo courtesy of Anthony Williams..
The 1966 SHIRRABANK under the loading shutes in Port Elizabeth. She became the Liberian AL BASEER in 1981 for 3 more years trading.
ROYBANK lightship and loaded