The ill fated Levernbank, built in 1961. She was the home of the author of ” A Tramp for all the Oceans” by Geoffrey Walker. She was lost in 1973, but some years before he had a memorble voyage serving as senior apprentice. See the extract below, or download the whole chapter.
My launch pulled alongside the accommodation ladder and I briskly hopped off taking with me my bags. I was very taken with the ship’s sleek lines. I left the bags with the gangway quarter master and proceeded to the Captain’s deck and respectfully knocked on his office door. Captain Stanton greeted me, sat me down and asked me a few questions about my previous experience. I passed my Passport, Seaman’s and Discharge Book over to him as usual. As I was about to leave, he mentioned that I would be the senior apprentice, the other two having only joined at Belfast and been at sea a couple of months. They needed a leader. I had not expected this but was not disappointed. This meant, being a new ship, as senior apprentice I would have my own cabin. Things were looking up.
My cabin was very comfortable, and reasonably large. The bulkheads were veneered in light Teak; there was a single bunk with drawers below, settee, coffee table, large double locker, writing desk with chair and wash basin. The cabin was also carpeted. A large window opened out and overlooked the port side of the boat deck through which I had an unimpaired view of the sea. The ship was not air-conditioned but was instead fitted with a louvered cooling and ventilation system which was almost as good. I was the first occupant, so everything had that new feel and smell about it. I particularly liked the matching timber work as well as the tasteful curtains and contrasting settee covers all carefully color coordinated. I was impressed. Next to my cabin was the apprentices’ study and adjacent to that a double berth cabin where the other apprentices were bunked. The apprentice’s toilets, showers and laundry were across the passageway. In effect we occupied the entire Port side of the officer’s deck. Forward on the Port side was the Chief Engineer’s suite and office, the Chief Officer enjoyed similar facilities on the Starboard side, also with forward looking windows. Between Chief Engineer and Chief Mate was sandwiched the Radio Officer. The 2nd and 3rd Mates were located on the starboard side. The Master occupied the entire deck above and the engineers the deck below.
The Chief Mate was next on my list; he was on deck when I caught up with him. Ivor Thistlewait was a newcomer to our company and an ex liner Chief Mate. He seemed pleased to have me on board (maybe a bit relieved…) and as we walked aft towards the accommodation he told me that the following morning more or less the same Chinese crew with whom I had recently sailed would be joining. I collected my bags from the gangway where I had left them and followed the Mate to my cabin. The accommodation was very smart and well appointed. He gave me the key to my cabin and said I was to see him later once I had settled in.
I met up with the other two apprentices, “Ginger” naturally so named because of his flaming red hair and Max. Both were from the UK, Ginger from Yorkshire, and Max from London. We hit it off immediately and for the next two hours Max showed me around the ship. I noted she was fitted with the latest electric winches; she did not have hatch boards but instead large sections of hatch slabs that were lifted and placed by derricks. This at least prevented the backbreaking work of opening and closing of hatches. Her decks were much wider, and she had some 16 derricks. Looking fore and aft from the bridge her streamlined hull form became more evident. She was a beauty…through and through.