Author Topic: love to find out about dockers victoria dock  (Read 8999 times)

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Offline ed styles

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #15 on: 25 September, 2015, 09:58:11 AM »
To everyone who has been posting on this Link, there is a brilliant old book I found on Amazon called Holding On , by Mervyn Jones. It was published in 1973 and is a story about a Canning Town family of Dockers from early 1900s to present 1970s , years ago I did write about this book on this Forum , although I wasn't around in 1900 all the discriptions of the area and everyday life seem very familiar to me . Try it .I seemed to remember in the 70s they made a T.V. series based on the book.  Enjoy

 All the best ED

Offline nemoscenic

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #16 on: 25 September, 2015, 10:13:42 PM »
Ed..Relating to your mention of the tv show back in the seventies that portrayed scenes from the book written by Mervyn Jones,I can't say
I ever watched it,but was hoping to enjoy this new sit-com by Danny Baker "cradle to the grave" starring Peter Kay so I recorded the
first one and sat and cringed when playing it back,what a total load of rubbish,I feel sorry for anyone watching it who hasn't experienced
dock life,and more for those that have..
I was leaving the Albert same year you came in, spending it with the PLA on the NW Dept mostly at 25/27 berth.
Hope I haven't spoilt this show for fellow dockers,but watching with a grandson was slightly embarrassing!!

Offline cockney gel

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #17 on: 28 September, 2015, 09:15:59 PM »
Hello All,
 While doing my family research, way back, some of my relatives had come over from Ireland and settled in Limehouse. On the Census it had 'coal whipper' down for some of the brothers as their employment. l found out that the description of that job meant that the men would have been climbing up and down ladders into the coal colliers, using a basket on their back to unload the boats. As they would have got lower into the holds, the coal dust would have got really thick and they wouldn't have been able to see very much.  This got me wondering when cranes were first used in Docklands. 
Just looking back on a website for old occupation names, for DOCKER/WALLOPER, it has Stevedore, Dockworker who loads and unloads cargo. Walloper? The mind boggles!!

Offline ron copus

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #18 on: 29 September, 2015, 01:52:16 PM »
The name walloper..was also used in painting.. it was a distemper that was applied with a brush, & was called walloper..
Don't ask me why,, I think it was because as you slapped it on the wall. with the six inch distemper brush, it made a slapping sound..

Offline Essexgirl

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #19 on: 29 September, 2015, 04:58:34 PM »
Think I'm gonna treat myself to that book Ed.

Offline cockney gel

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #20 on: 29 September, 2015, 06:48:37 PM »
ed styles and Brenda B.,
Thanks for that. Looking on ebay though, there were 6 different book covers for the same title, and one mentions politics. l plumped for the only cover that had a woman and a man wearing a flat cap because they looked like East Enders! lt was the only copy, hope l've got the right one. Perhaps they're all the same but different issues.

Offline ed styles

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #21 on: 04 October, 2015, 05:10:41 PM »
Well just got back from a week away and picked up these posts, I hope your well into the book and enjoying it , it worked for me.
As yet haven't seen the Danny Baker Cradle to the Grave series, but will av a butchers at some time .
Nemoscenic : yea I remember 25 27 29 berths the " Albert" its where the New Zealand Shipping Line Boats discharged Meat and Shaw Savill Boats loaded for Aus and N.Z . Happy times working there as Carpenter on those Ships and casual Carpenter work on Ships up and down the Royals .Then got my family ticket and changed my Hammer for a Hook as a Docker in 70 .
All the best Ed

Offline cockney gel

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #22 on: 04 October, 2015, 08:47:43 PM »
Thanks ron copus. Thinking about it, 'walloper' could be a job description for my mum. She was always threatening to give me a wallop!!
Thanks ed styles for the mention of 'Holding on'. My copy arrived yesterday and l couldn't put it down. Anyone know where Steadman road was? ln the book it says that it came out onto the Barking Rd at Canning Town.   

Offline ed styles

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #23 on: 08 October, 2015, 05:12:36 PM »
cockney gel, I have 2 very good original road maps of that Canning Town area one dating 1902 and another 1923 and I cannot find our Steadman St on either, so must be a made up name ( to protect the innocent ) as they say .

All the best Ed

Offline nellanhoj

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #24 on: 08 October, 2015, 05:47:45 PM »
Cockney girl;
I found this on a geneology site:

Docker / Dock Walloper  Stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
 

Publicans used to shout: "Time. Gents please. Drink up yer Wallop."

Offline Albert

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #25 on: 23 October, 2015, 03:02:04 PM »
Hi Ed,
I 'm amazed there are not more old dockers or stevedores on this site other than you and me. I was a Docker before Devlin and although I was a casual I was in a regular gang that worked at the Blue Funnel and Glen Line we were allocated to Southern Stevedores under recapitalisation.
I was a member of the blue union although I was a docker like my father and brother. The main difference between dockers and stevedores was that stevedores only worked on the ship loading and discharging but dockers did the same but also worked on the quayside and in the sheds. Over the years the stevedores lost work to the dockers which I think was the reason the stevedores union the National Amalgamated Stevedores and Dockers took dockers into their union.
There were many more dockers than stevedores and most ships were worked by dockers rather than stevedores also dockers did all the quay work. There were two separate calling on areas for dockers and stevedores. The dockers was just inside the gates of the Albert and the stevedores was inside a gated compound  next to Morgans cafe.
Regular gangs were more like families and looked out for each other and often went to functions together and the longer they worked together the closer they became.
Some gangs specialised in loading or discharging but we did both often unloading a Glen boat at 13 shed in KGV and then loading the same ship at 14 shed KGV.
Decasualisation and containerisation was the beginning of the end for a way of life that many dockworking families had led for generations.
There was obviously a fair amount of bad times but generally most dockers were content with the status quo but you can't stop progress and in the end were powerless to do anything about it.

Albert

Offline nemoscenic

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #26 on: 26 October, 2015, 02:30:51 PM »
Albert,like yourself working along side thousands of fellow dockers it puzzles me that there are only a couple that trouble to use this site?, or have they all 'bomped' on with facebook !
My ole' pop worked the Blue Funnel with southern/s,always down no.1 hold,always cement,same gang of characters, one of whom gave
regular renditions of opera that could be heard clearly on the quayside,don't know if you were around at that time ?
I joined the PLA in 49' as boy messenger up in the head office,and like dozens of other boys failed our exams (not wanted to go into offices )
done our national service,then dockers,I stayed in the Albert till going over to Victoria Deep Water Terminal in 70' (best move I made!!)
All a long time ago,looking back...Vic

Offline ron copus

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #27 on: 26 October, 2015, 03:38:44 PM »
MY dad worked for the pla for thirty six years.
Allso my three brothers worked their when they came out of the army after the war...I could have gone in as well.. but stayed as a painter.
My dad took early retirement, ..& my three brothers all  took severance pay.

My nephew went to tilbury working on a crane ,when they brought containers in.

Offline ed styles

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #28 on: 26 October, 2015, 10:21:45 PM »
Albert,
          Nice to hear from another Southern Stevedore , as a post Devlin in take I didn't have a regular Gang but was a Floater ,now trying to remember some of those Gangs difficult, but how about Joe the Nose, Teddy Parkes , Dad's Army , Catweazle Sparks, Tank Corps,and loads Ive forgotten . Remember 13 the George well with its unique Tea Smell. And the Pen were we Dabbed on .Do you remember Jimmy Evans he was my Uncle, a good ole Custom House lad sadly went a couple of years ago .
Hard to imagine the old sheds and wharves of yesterday with the Airport and Excel bbut got loads of books and internet access to remind me .
All the best Ed

Offline Albert

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Re: love to find out about dockers victoria dock
« Reply #29 on: 01 November, 2015, 12:15:46 PM »
Hi Ed,
I think I do remember Jimmy Evans but memory isn't what it was but I worked with Ted Parkes and his brother when we were all floaters. I can't believe Ted Parkes had his own gang but I think I know who Joe the Nose was. After working with several regular gangs at the Star,the Port Line, the B.I. and Union Castle I settled into Freddy Copsey's gang at the Blue Funnel and Glen Line where did loading and discharging.
Some great memories such a working on the Rhodesia Castle the boat I first sailed on as a laundry boy in 1961 and so many others but unfortunately  modernisation caught up with us and destroyed a way of life.
Hi Vic, I'm probably ten years younger than you but no doubt our paths must have crossed because as you know gangs were more often than not composed of men of different ages.
There were good times and hard times but I'm glad I had the experiences.

Albert