This handsome vessel was built by Russell and Company in 1892 for a Glasgow company called, ” The Isle of Arran Shipping Co ltd”, and bought by Andrew Weir 3 years later. She was on passage from Buenos Aires to Le Havre in 1914 with a full cargo of Maize when caught by a German U-Boat and sunk.
For many years from the sailing era to modern times, Bank Line ships passed through the challenging Straits of Magellan en route to the discharge ports of Chile and Peru, and occasionally sailed back from West to East. (Maritime History shows that few sailng ships used the passage due to the need for expensive tugs throughout)
In 1958 the MORAYBANK had a narrow escape as described below.
This is an account by Captain Geoffrey Walker who had a typical Bank Line apprenticeship, and who later went on to command many other company vessels in a highly interesting and varied career. He is now a successful author and contributor to shipping magazines, with his many articles much sought after.
An aerial view of New Plymouth with Mount Egmont in the distance
New Plymouth, on the north island of New Zealand, was a regular port for Bank Line vessels, either discharging the last of the import cargo from the USA Gulf Ports, or more often as a discharge port for Phosphate.
The Liberty, MAPLEBANK after discharging a full cargo of Phosphate Rock from Ocean Island
Bank Line stalwarts from the Copra run will no doubt remember seeing the Burns Philp vessels that served the area, and the crews that were S. Pacific regulars. The unique atmosphere in the islands, the sights, sounds, and aroma were unique.
Captain Geoffrey Walker who was a long term Master on other vessels in the area has penned this excellent article and fleet history. An extract is below, and the full article is available by clicking on the download button.
This ship, built 1977 in Sunderland, was only in the fleet for 4 years before being sold on. She became the Greek ALKAIOS for 13 years and ended as the GEORGE for a further 6 years – a total life span of 23 years.
This is a maritime site built around the iconic British shipping line – the Bank Line. Just one of the many shipping enterprises that carried on the proud heritage of ships and shipping throughout the ages from the British Isles. The cap badge below shows the company flag. The founder and owner, a man of great vision and ambition built up one of the largest fleets of sailing ships that spanned the world’s ports. Andrew Weir, the Lord Inverforth, then went on to grow a fleet of steam and diesel vessels through two world wars maintaining a fleet of approximately 50 vessels that covered the globe. After his death in 1955, fresh family interests and the rapid onset of containerisation led to the demise of the company after a long struggle to adapt. However, sailing on the vessels and experiencing the ups and downs, visiting ports large and small all over the world on long voyages was a unique something that could not be bought. For many it was a life changing experience, and this dedicated site is an attempt at a tribute to that incredible story.
A nostalgic look at the Maritime world.
Welcome to – Bankline- Plus. This is a site for mariners everywhere, old and new. Modern seafarers face the same perils but with vastly different resources and tools. It is full of photos, articles, accounts, and much more. It was started to celebrate the achievements of Andrew Weir, the Lord Inverforth, between 1885 and recent times, but now includes interesting posts from all around the marine world. Please explore the site and enjoy all of the material. Use the ‘Q’ symbol to search for a particular item or vessel. Grateful thanks go to all of the contributors.
A book detailing 1950’s life in the Bank Line. Available on AMAZON
“Voyaging with Icons” is the title of an inexpensive ebook available on AMAZON . It describes several long voyages back in the days without air conditioning or bars on board!
Or visit my bookstore where you can buy directly a range of titles. click on the link below
Not BANK LINE material, but the beginning of original and informative articles written by an ex Bank Line Apprentice who went on to command a variety of ships for many years. His published works include ” A Tramp For All The Oceans” and his numerous articles are in demand by the shipping magazines.
Please click on the button below to download the full article
Mombasa in Kenya was a regular and popular port for Bank Line ships. It was on the round trip itinerary of the INCHANGA and the ISIPINGO between Durban and Calcutta. The harbour of Kilindini and the creeks beyond were ideal for sailing or motoring around in the ship’s lifeboats for pleasure.
Apprentices and an engineer on a lifeboat trip to Port Reitz hotel 1952