Church parade in Lagos

The 1937 ESKBANK a stalwart of the postwar fleet

An account by Captain John Campbell

An extract…….

Tabnabs with the Queen

When serving my Apprenticeship on the mv “Eskbank” we, by chance, were berthed in Lagos Nigeria at the same time as HM the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were making their first official visit to Nigeria. My Discharge Book informs me that it was January 1956

We were discharging part cargo of Gunny sacks in bales and a consignment of footwear from Bata. Calcutta, our berth was close to the main road and not far from the Cathedral thus we had a near grandstand view of the ceremonies etc,

Nigeria was still a British Colony and this visit had great significance as Independence was to come within the next couple of years. There was also some civil unrest.

Eskbank was my favourite ship of all I had sailed in. She was kept like a yacht with wooden sheathed decks and shining paint work she was a fine vessel. The accommodation. without AC was comfortable, but her navigational equipment was sparse. No gyro compass and a radar or Decca and steam powered deck machinery. She did 12 knots and was no ocean greyhound The Master then was Capt. Eadie, a New Zealander, who had the misfortune to have been interned, for the duration of the war, by the Nazis when his ship the mv “Speybank” was captured. He served most of his Apprenticeship as a POW. He always looked after his Apprentices, making sure we kept our correspondence courses updated and we got time off to do them.

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3 thoughts on “John Campbell story – Queen

  1. Hello John Campbell. If you see this email I am wondering if you remember Sparks Dennis Emeny from the Eskbank and Texaco. We are looking up his old ships and came across your name. Dad said hello if you do remember him.


    1. yes I remember Denis very well. I was with him on a 21 month trip on the Eskbank and then I was on a Texaco tanker with him. He was a good friend and I went to see his father who had the barber shop in the lovely town of Beauly as I passed through on my way home to Caithness,on the off chance that Dennis was at home.
      Dennis was a very efficient “sparks” and was young enough to interact with the Apprentices who would often go ashore together or gather at the rail for a blether at the end of the day. I knew he was well liked in Caltex/Texaco too and served there for some years.


      1. Hi John, like you the Eskbank was o e of my favorite ships. I did 4 years on her from 52 to 56. A glutton for punishment! I remember our visit to Tristan where we dropped a doctor, his wife and a nurse off. I did meet Captain Eadie in Calcutta also his wife and had dinner with them a couple of times. That was in the late 50’s. Was it the Brisbane where we met in Texaco? I’m 86 pushing 87, how old are you, my daughter is asking? I ended up with 3 kids the oldest is 60 next year, have 6 Grandkids, 4 greats and a new Great great granddaughter and now feeling my age. We ended up living in Grimsby ( where Pat is from) for the last 45 years. Where did you end up staying? I can’t remember if you had kids back then? Hope to hear from you again, Dennis. If you ever fancy a catch up my number is 01472 509659


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