Author Topic: lord sugars the apprentice  (Read 263 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ed styles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
lord sugars the apprentice
« on: 09 November, 2018, 09:12:58 PM »
Hi ,
    watched the show last night  8 nov regarding the hopefuls branding a suppose new Airline . The opening of the episode saw Mr Sugar standing on a runway , and I did a double take at the view , it was London City Airport and where he wasstanding was the original middle road running east to west between the King George v and Royal Albert Docks . Over the years 59 -72 I slogged up and down that now runway never imagining that an Aircraft would be landing and taking off from this spot . I could tell Lord Sugar some stories of those days in the Docks if he fancied a Pie and a Pint my treat  .
 All the best Ed

Offline KenM

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: lord sugars the apprentice
« Reply #1 on: 10 November, 2018, 11:20:43 AM »
Hi Ed, your recent post brought back memories of my time in the docks.
Gazing into the hold watching the Dockers playing cat & mouse with the cargo watchers was a real education
Just to listen to the Dockers cockney banter was always good for a laugh.
The dockland was bristling with humour & you had to be in tune to appreciate it.
Another mystery, what went into the PLA canteen cottage pie that made it so stodgy?
For such a vibrant industy to decline so quickly surprised so many, bloody containers!
Keep posting,
Ken.

Offline MickG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,412
    • View Profile
    • Mick's Muses
Re: lord sugars the apprentice
« Reply #2 on: 11 November, 2018, 12:38:50 PM »
When I first left school, for my first year until I could ride a motorbike, I was a telegram boy on a push bike based at Poplar. The area I covered included the East/West and Millwall docks. I was frequently in the docks delivering telegrams, and for a newly left schoolboy, the language was certainly an education. A few years later when I joined the fire service I was based at Plaistow which was a docks station covering the Royals. I can certainly remember the docks being busy and full of life and I seem to recall seeing two ships berthed abreast of each other.

Busy and big as they were, the docks were certainly not a 'public' place with every possible way into them guarded by police. I always found that made them something of a closed society, and I found it very difficult in my own mind when they closed, to be able to accept it was then possible to walk into what had been the dock area without some sort of guard on a entrance.

The last two years of my career I spent in a new London Fire Brigade Control Room which had been built alongside the Millwall Dock. That building too has now been demolished in the ongoing transient nature of building in that area. It's ironic in a way that I started and ended my working life in the same area. Sometimes I used to change from the Underground to the LDR at Canary Wharf, and I could never stop thinking that like Lord Sugar on the runway, I was standing in the middle of what used to be the West India Dock.

It also took me a long time to come to terms that the Isle of Dogs dock area which I had know like the back of my hand, had been completely erased as if someone had drawn a rubber across a piece of paper. I have not been to what was the Royal Dock area for many years, but I expect I would have a similar feeling if I did pay them a visit. In some ways I think I would prefer not to go and retain the memories of what they were like.
« Last Edit: 11 November, 2018, 12:43:22 PM by MickG »

Offline KenM

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: lord sugars the apprentice
« Reply #3 on: 12 November, 2018, 03:18:35 PM »
Hi Mick, as you say so many memories of a vibrant industry with its unique brand of humour & workmen.
I do believe that many books have tried to capture this special feeling.
But this forum is a splendid platform to relate at first hand the many goings on practiced in the docks.
It always amazed me how the dockers were employed, bit like a cattle market, with back handers flowing freely just for the privledge to work bloody hard.
Oh well, must get off my soap box.
Ken.

Offline ed styles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: lord sugars the apprentice
« Reply #4 on: 12 November, 2018, 07:51:41 PM »
Ken no don't get off yer soap box ,only a few of us left to tell what it was like ,I really would like to put it all down in a small book but where do I start , I've been a Blacksmiths Lad at Harland & Woolf ,my first entry into the colorful world of the Docks ,was offered an Apprenticeship there but really wanted Woodwork  then tried almost all the Ship repairers as a Shipwright but no vacancies , then one of the biggest Shipping Lines in the Docks ,Shaw Savills offered me an Indentured Apprenticeship with them as a as a Ships Carpenter/ Joiner and after 5 years going to sea with them. After mooching about the Docks plying my trade meeting unbelievable characters in 69 was told my family Ticket as a Docker was avilable te me. The Dock labour system of casuals was now gone due to Lord Devlin proposals and all Dockers woild now have an Employer ,I went to Southern Stevedores, again more humorous stories and have to say that it was not striking at the drop of a hat and stealing from cargo , yes it went on but over done in the media .The feeling of part of a family hit home to me when on one Ship Iwas loading one of the gangs working one of the 5 hatches ( holds) a gang member was fatally killed. There was no question of walking off the ship , instead the 5 ship gangs carried on till their end in the evening and all the days wages were automatically paid to his widow , how many people working today wouil give a days wages in memory .
Oh and before you ask why I gave up askilled job to be a Docker ,in short, money .The dockers now had secure employment and regular money where as the casual carpenter and jobbing joiners in the docks had no security ,so I chose the former .

All the best Ed



Offline KenM

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: lord sugars the apprentice
« Reply #5 on: 13 November, 2018, 04:30:35 PM »
Hi Ed, yes I agree the media did get their fingers very dirty publishing the goings on in the docks.
The Jack Dash era was over when I entered the docks, but I can remember the column inches he got just to sell newspapers. You mention stealing, another mystery, where did the items go that were confiscated by the PLA police?
Go ahead & write you book, I am sure it will sell. Memories of London Dockland, warts & all not a polished version,
like so many on the market.
I was lucky enough to have a permanent job working on the Blue Star ships, but being expected to work around the clock weekdays & weekends could be a pain, so I left & moved to Bnmth for a quiet life.
The memories of the good times & super colleages in London Docks keep flooding back.
Ken.