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Pinebank built 1959

Harland and Wolff

Pinebank was sold by the Blue Funnel Line
in 1976 and renamed Newark and was broken up in 1978

Callsign GBLU

14th April 1972 – Fly to Nairobi from Heathrow on an overnight flight. In-flight terrorism was unheard of then. I expressed an interest and was invited into the cockpit of the aeroplane just as dawn was breaking over the great African Rift Valley. I was able to watch the sunlight spilling into and filling the Rift Valley, it is a sight I will never forget.

We landed at Nairobi about six in the morning, I was starving! The airport was very small and there was a tiny cafe that opened at 7a.m. The cook arrived and cooked me a breakfast of eggs, bacon, kidneys and toast. There was nobody else around at the time and breakfast was delicious.

The next part of my journey was to go on to Mombasa and this was in a Fokker Friendship which gave me wonderful view of Kilimanjaro! As we flew around the mountain at about 4000’ on our way to join Pinebank.

Pinebank was of the older style, a tramp cargo ship, hatches and derricks and all DC power. This played hell with the stereo but my little valve radio worked fine. It was capable of working off DC having ‘U’ series valves with 100mA heaters.

The Marconi kit was all the usual, Oceanspan and Atalanta. I think the emergency transmitter for 500kHz was a much older model.

This was to be a short trip for me, Bank Line had a reputation for 2 year stints!

The trip included Dar-es-Salaam, Mtwari, Beira, Lourenco Marques, Durban and back via pretty much the same ports to Nairobi.

17th June 1972 – Leave Pinebank in Mombasa and return to Heathrow via Nairobi.