Author Topic: 1950s/docks  (Read 1995 times)

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Offline Will.B

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1950s/docks
« on: 24 February, 2013, 05:59:34 PM »
In the period 1950-1975 West Ham and Newham were well known throughout the world because of their Royal Docks, even when shipping companies like Blue Star and P. & O starting having their new Tonnage built abroad, their Fire Equipment was still being supplied to the new ships by a Newham company and sent out to Germany, Japan, Korea and other places around the world, this company was the one I worked for, L&G in Caxton Street North.E.16. That was when it was considered best to buy British manufactured goods not just the cheapest.
 I was once told then by the captain of a greek ship that most people round the world thought that you could not do better than buy British goods.

 When I first started work in the Royals the shipping company Elder Dempster Line Ships uses to berth there, they had offices in with Glen Line in Southside K.G.V and ran a number of liberty ships with names, Zini, Zungon and Zungarew these ships use to bring in Enormous large tree trunks from West Africa that just fitted into the ships holds, when they were being unloaded from the holds by the winches,  the wires were so taut I use to think they would be sure to snap, but as far as I know they never did .I often wonder if they now still come into our country like that today, for I can’t imagine them fitted into  containers.

Next week my Wife and I have been happily married for 59 years, when we married most people got married in the first week in March because you got back all the income tax that you had paid in during the year. And boy did we need it.

Will,

Offline Lengthofwire

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #1 on: 24 February, 2013, 07:13:37 PM »
Yes, there was a similar tax-break when one had a child.  In '59, when my son was born, the critical date was April 10th, the very day he was due!  He arrived on the 3rd   Like you, we needed that money!
Len

Offline ed styles

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #2 on: 26 February, 2013, 11:08:39 AM »
Will,
Couldn't let this oppotunity pass without " stikin 'n' me to pennarf " about our Wonderful lost Royals.
Although I lived near the River and Docks, to most people it was an area of Mystery behind its high walls and Fences and the only way in by land was through massive wooden gates, guarded by the P.L.A.police .. It had it's own type of language and customs sometimes called Dockology
Will I dare say you will remember more than me but these are the phrases and words I can think of at present : Linklater,dunnage,cribb,ghoster,mobile,wicket gate,shipworker,cluster,golden rivett,cabbage, greenacre,coffee shop,half a turn,give yer eyes a chance, these are some common working words that all ex dockworkers will recognise, and like the British language have now taken on possible different meanings.   Enjoy..
 All the best Ed

Offline Will.B

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #3 on: 27 February, 2013, 02:50:58 PM »
Hi Ed,
           Thanks for the Dockology it was great to hear some of those old sayings again, I don’t think I know more of them than you do, I may have started in the docks a little earlier than you, but you went away to sea as well,  so I am sure you know more than me.
All the best Will.


Quote.

‘If there is anything more wonderful in London than dawn coming up over the tangled shipping of the docks, I would like to know it’

H.V.Morton
Journalist & Travel Writer. 1925.

Offline Albert

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #4 on: 28 February, 2013, 01:03:53 PM »
Hi Ed,
It's amazing how much you forget until someone jogs your memory. You got me thinking and I came up with tophand, pitch hands, chinese wall and bangwally not sure how to spell it but it means when two gangs are working one hold and combine their piecework earnings. Pro ratas were extra men taken on for various reasons like working in cupboards,tanks or long runs.
Of course who can forget the call, the stones,casuals, perms,the pool and dabbing on.
I was a casual but worked in a regular gang at the Glen Line and then Southern Stevedores after decasualisation having previously worked at nearly every shipping line in the Royals even the banana boats.

Albert

Offline EX CUSTOM HOUSE

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #5 on: 28 February, 2013, 02:14:02 PM »

   Hi all posting re Docks,

   Unable to join in with anything useful re "lingo" etc., but those that have got to know me over the last couple of years,
   know I cannot let the words Docks, Shipping & Seamen pass me bye without putting in my two-pennyworth.

   Those Funnels in such lovely colours above the fence and the "Blowing off", and me being taken aboard just once on my
   Dads ship that he had been on and seeing the men unloading the hold, shall never be forgotten.

   Ta for letting me join in :)

   Louise

 
   
   

Offline ed styles

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #6 on: 28 February, 2013, 04:43:46 PM »
Louise,
Good on yer, you always make a useful contribution to a Docks posting , and I always remember your Dads very sad service with the Merchant.
All the best Ed

Offline ed styles

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #7 on: 28 February, 2013, 05:05:58 PM »
Albert,
It's nice to meet a fellow Docker. I did about 10 years around the Docks as you probably know then about 69-70 my family ticket came up and I was one of the last intake from Devlin phase 2 and I to was drafted to Southern Stevedores and was floating around with varios Gangs.My Uncle was Jimmy Evans sadly he died just over a year ago but we often used to come back when we went to East London Cemetry.In 72-3 I left the Industry and worked in Auckland New Zealand for 3and a bit years, but am now retired.
The few years I had loading and discharging ships were very happy ones and what characters we all were, let us know a few of your gangs you were with and I'll try this end.

All the best Ed

Offline Albert

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #8 on: 01 March, 2013, 12:57:14 PM »
Hi Ed,
We must have just missed each other as I left the docks in 1970. I was on a C book after an accident and was offered a pay off which I took. My dad, brother and brother in law were all docker and still there after I left.
I was in Freddy Copsey's gang and we stayed together after Devlin. Others in the gang were Billy Love,Kenny Radley,Alec Campbell,,Charlie and Ted Rigby,Bob Fulton, Brian Alpress, pitch hands Ted Last and Henry Jaggs and two others whose names I can't recall.
It's funny how when you live in the same area so many of us have similar lives and experiences. When I left school I joined the Merchant Navy with the Union Castle and sailed on the Rhodesia Castle around Africa on the East to West route.
When I started as a docker like all greenhorns I had to find my own way around as a casual with a bit of help from family. I worked pretty well everywhere except the top of the docks on the beef boats. I worked on the quay with my dad at the PLA but preferred working on the ship loading or discharging.
It's funny that you should live in NZ because I was able to retire early ten years ago and have been living in Perth, Australia ever since after following our kids out here.
My brother Joe had his own gang at Southern Stevedores although I only worked with him when we were both casuals and we were both with regular gangs when decasualisation took place and both our gangs were allocated to Southern Stevedores.

Albert

Offline MickG

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #9 on: 22 February, 2019, 10:02:38 PM »
This is an old topic, but I once recall Will B mentioning he worked for L&G Fire Appliances in Caxton Street North, Canning Town junction Nelson Street. Just in case Will still views the board, I came across a picture of his old workplace below.


Offline harry

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #10 on: 23 February, 2019, 08:41:25 PM »
Just a thought what was the story regarding Henry "harry"Kennard who I believe was in Mr Daveys class in Shipman Road School.??? Regards Harry.I.

Offline KenM

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #11 on: 24 February, 2019, 11:40:11 AM »
Hi Harry, where have you seen a mention of Henry [Harry] Kennard?
Harry Kennard was not in Mr Davey class when I was there, I believe he was in the B stream.
Ken.

Offline harry

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #12 on: 24 February, 2019, 12:32:45 PM »
Hi Ken I believe I saw a story re Harry somewhere in the past on the earlier old forum I have tried going over the old posts to see if it was possible to pick up the thread . I seem to recollect the story involved something about a mysterious disappearance or something along those lines ,its possible someone somewhere might remember something about it .
Regards Harry.I.

Offline ed styles

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #13 on: 01 March, 2019, 10:15:59 AM »
Hi all,  just picked the original post up from dear old Will , not sure if he is still with us , but heh like me he loved talking about the Docks and Ships and was very knowledgable about them , reason for posting ,  Micks photo ,was that Ronan Point flats to the right in the photo ,68 I think they came down  .

All the best Ed

Offline MickG

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Re: 1950s/docks
« Reply #14 on: 01 March, 2019, 11:45:21 AM »
Ed, Ronan Point is forever a place etched in my memory. I went to that incident, not on the original call but I relived the crew that was there when I came on duty at 9 am. They were well and truly knackered. At that time it was not known if anyone was still trapped in the rubble, but once it was established everyone was accounted for, the fire service left the scene. It was a giant clear-up job after that.