Author Topic: love to find out about dockers victoria dock  (Read 8557 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lynn boddy

  • Helpful user
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« on: 19 October, 2013, 01:56:02 PM »
My grandad sam tull was a old docker...big man loved a drink or ten lol..raised in canningtown moved to custom house then plastow had 4 daughters ...he drank just about everywhere but I remember greengate when I was young walking up there with my nan and goung to chip shop on the corner then popping into working mans club in grange road trying to get my grandad home...my nan tells me stories about old dockers being driven home drunk in back of van and the driver would knock and say this one belong to you ..and then placing him in the doorway lol ...love to here from people with simular stories ....
Old fashion with a modern twist :)

Offline Essexgirl

  • Helpful user
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Orignally from Hornchurch. Have East End ancestors
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #1 on: 30 July, 2015, 10:38:05 AM »
Lynn I can't help you I'm afraid, just in the same position and would love more information on life as a Dockworkers family. My Mums Father's family were all dockworkers and I'd love to find out more also.
My Gt Grandfather apparently liked a drink or two and they had 7 children (6 girls and one boy) and grew up in Canning Town. Father in law was also a Dockworker but they originally lived in Mellish Street, Millwall. I would like to know which Docks they actually worked in etc. I know of the Docklands Museum but don't know how much info on ex employees they hold?
My Grandmother and Gt Aunts didn't have happy memories I'm afraid. They were quite poor I think. :(

Offline ron copus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 457
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #2 on: 02 August, 2015, 10:53:17 PM »
My old dad bless him  where ever he is,, was a docker worked for the PLA for thirty six years.mosly in the albert.
he used to leave home at 6-30 every morning to go to work..could never make out why he went out so early.. I used to work all over London,, Toshing..the slang name that was used for rough painting ..Dock  cranes,, gas omiters. anying that moved really..

I used to leave home after him & he was only going a twopenny  bus ride away. down the prince regent lane & I  had to go to the other side of london .

I didn't find until later in life that the conaught pub which was adjacent to the dock gates opened early & that he had a few pints before he went to work..

He did this regular. & never got home until 7 oclock in the evening ,,stopping of at the nott.. on the way home.
A grand old boy he lived until he was 88.

My mum used to say to me sometimes if I was home from work early..go up the corner & meet your dad.there he would be  three sheets to the wind,, coat wide open walking towards me.
Fond memories of a great dad & a  London docker
« Last Edit: 24 September, 2015, 07:27:56 PM by ron copus »

Offline GEORGIAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 758
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #3 on: 02 September, 2015, 03:18:02 PM »
Hello, Lynn,

My grandfather was a docker, and he worked in a gang of fifteen or so, and I think many many families in custom house . west ham, area,  and elsewhere virtually had some connection or other to one of the three docks, being, the  (albert, Victoria, and king George the fifth, ) well I have a good friend who, is in his nineties, and he had several brothers, and sisters, and his dear old mum, bless her  did (as many mums did then and for years afterwards  did a fantastic job of bringing up her children, feeding and clothing them with little or no money, )  and as you see im going back to the early 1900.s my friend related to me,  as to how his father would like many men have to get up early and wait virtually for best part of a morning, with literally hundreds of other men all waiting around hoping they would be picked for a Days Work, yes thats right, one days work, and of course it was the same old story every day, and so it baffles my mind, how on earth these lovely people ever survived at all,  literally living from day to day, sometimes  with a little money, and  many times not having any, at all, ??

so family life for mums, and dads, and children, must have been very very tough indeed, god bless them all,

many regards to you,

GEORGIAN,
 
 

Offline Alf still

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 240
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #4 on: 02 September, 2015, 08:47:02 PM »

  Hihttp://www.docklandsmemories.org.uk/

   Hi Georgian
                     Click onto the above, very interesting site.

                                                     Regards    Alf

Offline Alf still

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 240
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #5 on: 02 September, 2015, 08:57:01 PM »

    http://www.docklandsmemories.org.uk/

                 Sorry about the dodgy link try the above, if that's no good ,I give up

                                       Alf

Offline ron copus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 457
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #6 on: 03 September, 2015, 07:20:52 PM »
Yes Georgian you  are right , my dad & brothers who were all  dockers were classed as casual labourers .& had to stand on the steps every morning.hoping to be picked for a days work.

It was mostly the blue eyes that got regular work. or the ones who would buy the foreman his pint of beer.
If they never got any work. they signed on. which they called dabbing on.& in the fifties I remember my  father saying. a dabbing on was worth 13 shillings. not much to feed a family on.

No benefits then!

Offline GEORGIAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 758
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #7 on: 22 September, 2015, 08:08:50 AM »
Hello to both Ron, and Alf,

Thank you both,  for your comments, and yes Alf I did read your web site address. and very interesting, too,.  without doubt, the  times then, were indeed tough, I can recall boys I knew then, at shipman road school, telling me that when they were about to leave school ( they had jobs already mapped out for them in the docks, working alongside uncles, and brothers  and so on.)
 
as many Dockers were family orientated, or connected in some way with each other,( so by and large the Dockers were a friendly group of men, either knowing each other, or knowing someone else from a different group ,) or living in nearby streets,   many usually ending up in a local dock pub, on a Friday night after being paid , the railway tavern springs to mind,

so the three docks, the albert, Victoria, and the king George the fifth, employed thousands of people and even whole families  being associated with the docks . and some families inter marrying,
even the daughters of  some of these families were also employed in the docks ,employed as secretaries or office workers, I knew one boys sister who did just that, so yes without doubt the docks then certainly employed many thousands ,of workers and from surrounding area's,  I remember hearing of men travelling up from Kent, and southend ,  and elsewhere seeking employment ,

and of course all the factories that sprung up the three docks, at that time .being almost subsidiaries,  or connected in some way to dock life,

many regards to you all.

GEORGIAN,

Offline cockney gel

  • Helpful user
  • **
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #8 on: 23 September, 2015, 04:08:26 PM »
Hello All,
 Ron, l can remember my granddad, who was a docker [way back] saying that the 'tallyman' would come to the gate and just throw the tallys[?] down, and the men would be scrabbling on the floor. The lucky ones got that days work. Don't remember him saying what happened if they were unlucky though, something else l've learned, thanks. All pre Jacky Dash!!
 Georgian, every house round our way had at least one man who worked in the Royals, and as you say any younger males knew where they were going to be working in the future. lt was word of mouth. Mind you, my dad was a printer and as far as l can remember, the only one around. Maybe it was because he was from Poplar,[outside the area] and already printing when he moved there.
Not only was it the Royals that employed so many, there was also Silvertown Way, which in it's day was full of all kinds of factories making anything you can think of. At the start and end of the working day Silvertown would be chocka with the thousands of workers spilling out, either walking or on bikes--not many cars around then.  Then the Labour Govt had the idea of getting companies to move out of the area/south east, and spread some of the jobs around the Country, by making offers such as  building new factory estates with more space and giving a year rate free etc. That was when Silvertown began it's journey into what it is today, a virtual ghost town.
l know l've already said it before, but it's funny how once the cogs start moving, all sorts start coming to mind. When l was younger [many moons ago!!], whenever we got off the bus at the Connaught and walked through, there were a pair of big brown gates on the left, nearly opposite the pub. There was always a strong, funny smell from whatever was in the building/shed behind them. l can smell it now, but couldn't tell you what it was but it was an 'earthy' smell. Any ideas? The other strong smell in that area, was the urinal outside the pub! As a little 'un, l used to wonder what went on in there as a man would disappear inside this round thing, but l could still see his legs and feet for a while, then a different man would come out from round the other side. Wasn't that going to be preserved and put somewhere as part of the Docklands memories.

Offline ed styles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #9 on: 23 September, 2015, 06:33:18 PM »
As an ex Docker in the ' Royals' 1970-73 I came in on the last intake of the Devlin phase 2 scheme to keep the numbers up when our older chaps left, but let me just say that some of these posts portray Stevedores -D

Offline cockney gel

  • Helpful user
  • **
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #10 on: 23 September, 2015, 07:06:55 PM »
Hello All,
 Apologies Ed for my ignorance. l've heard the two names [Dockers & Stevedores], but having grown up amongst them, always thought they were two names for the same job. What were the differences between them?

Offline ed styles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #11 on: 23 September, 2015, 08:11:23 PM »
Whoops    Stevedores and Dockers as a hard drinking always in the Pub crowd. This was not always the case.
My Grandfather who was killed in the School bombing and his brother were not drinkers and his 4 sons my Uncles 2 of them that I remember did not drink.My Grandfather had his own gang . In my neighborhood there were at least a dozen Stevedors and Dockers that I reember and they were not always tipping out the Pub. Stevedores belonged to the Stevedores Union the Blues, they had a blue subs book, and the much bigger T.G.W,U. with Dockers were called the Whites , the subs card was white.
My 70s intake did not have to stand on the 'stones' every day, as by then every Docker had a Employer ,mine was Southern Stevedores others were Scruttons , Wallis's.etc and each had specific Shipping Companies to unload and load their Ships.It was a 2 shift system 7-2 and 2-9 and importantly no Picework , we had a guaranteed wage about £40 but not sure well it was 50 yrs ago.
The old problems were still there tough,Stricking, and in my spell picketing various Wharves and outside the Docks Container Terminals.This was the time of the Industrial Relations Bill which was trying to ban picketing, and amongst this the Pentonville Five, mainly Royals Dockers who were banged up for breaking the Govmnt ban on picketing.
Despite all this the writing was on the wall ,Stevedoring Companies broke up and I got transferred to Chobham Farm the then brand new Container Depot in Stratford Railway Yards only for a short time then back to the Docks.At this time there were many leaving , and I went from there to a job in New Zealand, and I stayed there for 3  and a half years . The Royals hung on a few years more but closed down in 1980, and the rest is history as they say.
 All the best Ed


Offline ed styles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #12 on: 24 September, 2015, 12:30:16 PM »
Brenda,
well to be honest, I was no stranger to the Roundhouse, Cundy's, Graving Dock, Standard, Cally, but I began my working life in the Royals at15 in 1959 as a young Apprentice up and down the Docks so I new of old traditions and workpractices , and I wasn't disagreeing with anyone, just saying that there were others who did not drink like some of my family, now other Grandfather who was a Lighterman, well that's another story, he was partial to beer.

 All the best ed

Offline ed styles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #13 on: 24 September, 2015, 05:33:07 PM »
Brenda, and Cockney Gel,
                                This is purely my interpretation, many years ago a Stevedore was a very skilled Docker, who would have his own Gangof Stevedores to mainly load ships ,being that this was the most important operation of a ship before sailing,i.e. making it safe for stowage., whereas unloading took a lot less skill, we are talking about the time when sailing ships were still carrying goods.
the P.L.A. employed dockers to mainly deliver cargo from the warehouse  (Sheds ) to the pitch where the conracting gang of dockers would handle it either in a sling or into a set, this was then picked up by the crane driver and hoisted into the ships hold to be loaded.
The average size as I remember was about 12 .A crane driver, Top Hand ( directing the crane load into the hold )2 on the quay (pitch )and 8 in the hold .
As I have said I did not consider myself a Stevedore but then over the years I'm sure the interpretation of both has mingled into one, that is of loading and unloading Ships .  The camaraderie amongst us was second to none. If one of us fell sick the Gang would cover  i.e. you got paid, and if thre was a fatality on board the Ship working, I seem to remember both shifts forfeiting a days money to the Family .It's a pity my Dad & Grandad & Uncles are not around to put me right on some points , but there are not many of us left now and these are my memories, others my differ .       Phew  got there

ALL THE BEST eD

Offline cockney gel

  • Helpful user
  • **
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #14 on: 24 September, 2015, 05:48:24 PM »
Thank you both for all that information, really interesting. As they say, you're never too old to learn!!
Going off on a bit of a tangent, through doing family research, we found that one of my Great Granddads' family were from Lancashire and were mostly farm labourers. Along the way, he moved to Liverpool where he became a dock worker. ln the early 1880's, when the Royals were built, he brought his family down to Custom House to work in them. As has already been discussed, that is probably how my Granddad came to work in them too, through his Dad. Just think, l might have been a Lancashire lass instead of a Cockerney gel. Nothing against anyone from the north-west, but l definitely got the best deal!!