BNC Text H5H

Suffolk Sound Archive: interview. Sample containing about 14479 words speech recorded in leisure context

3 speakers recorded by respondent number C315

PS22E X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS22F Ag5 m (George, age 77, retired) unspecified
H5HPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 093301 recorded on 1987-03-02. LocationSuffolk: Ipswich () Activity: interview

Undivided text

(PS22E) [1] This is old history project tape number two of Mr of Ipswich, in Suffolk.
[2] My name is the date is the second of March nineteen eighty seven.
[3] This is interview number five of Ipswich Docks.
[4] ... Do you remember anything happening during the war down the docks?
George (PS22F) [5] Yes we had er ships wh we, they call erm these liberty ships come in from America loaded with bombs and when they moved them up there, well they call them down here they call them liberty ships and er the bombs were loaded, so they used to erm put all timber between each layer of bombs and they had proper carpenters who would fix all these and when the dockers went down, they put these bombs out, cos they weren't detonated, [clears throat] the detonators were in the fore end of the ship, right down the lower hull and erm the bombs were loaded into open trucks [...] loaded into, well the dockers they thought it was dangerous, cos we had the Fire Brigade, that's the fire service down there and standing by with the fire engines and dockers they wanted the, they want a shilling, I think it was a shilling a day extra, well a shilling extra something like that and there they got it the shilling or extra pound [...] , cos us crane drivers we weren't on the same par as them, so we asked for a shilling.
[6] Oh no, no, no, we couldn't. [...] up in the crane, the dockers on the ground, they wouldn't give it to us, right we say we ain't gonna take any more out, they, we got the shilling.
(PS22E) [7] You got it?
George (PS22F) [8] [clears throat] Yeah, we got it [clears throat] and another time you see, when we wer when we used to be crane drivers, when we first started crane driving, the job for a crane driver was to do anything, you were a crane driver but if your crane wanted painting you would paint it yourself, chip to paint it.
[9] If a docker, you got to help the dockers down the hold, if you ain't got the crane driving to do, you had to go in the warehouse if there ain't nothing to do.
[10] But course now the present day they don't do none of that, they drive the crane and only the crane, they don't even clean the crane.
(PS22E) [11] And you actually had to maintain your own
George (PS22F) [12] And we had to maintain our own crane.
(PS22E) [13] crane paint it?
George (PS22F) [14] Paint it, yeah, chip and paint off the top of the jib.
(PS22E) [15] What [...] ?
George (PS22F) [16] Chip and paint up the top of the jib.
(PS22E) [17] Chip it?
George (PS22F) [18] Yeah, chip all the rust off.
(PS22E) [19] Oh, I see.
George (PS22F) [20] And red lead it and then [...] used to be off the top of the jib.
[21] Well you, you got on the cranes down there, you go up fifty feet and then you had to go up another fifty feet to your top of your jib.
[22] So you can say you're about one hundred and five feet up in the air.
(PS22E) [23] Needed a head for heights. [laugh]
George (PS22F) [24] And you never had no, no, no safety belts or nothing, just stand there and paint and stand on a piece of angle [...] , if you only want the laugh out of it, cos the cranes down there are the swan lift cranes.
[25] Yeah and y
(PS22E) [26] What do you mean by swan lift cranes?
George (PS22F) [27] Well the cr the jib went up and then it came down like that, well that swan neck on the cr that used to be what they call level oven, cos as y as you lift your crane out, so this part would come up.
(PS22E) [28] The end?
George (PS22F) [29] The end would come up and, and keep your load level on the ground you see, otherwise if you were a straight jib, they'd come down and further you come down the further, the lower your load get.
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [30] Oh that, that was a lovely crane.
[31] Otherwise what they got some of the latest cranes out down there, [...] you had to come off the barrel, go up the jib [...] , come down again, then up again.
(PS22E) [32] Why was that?
George (PS22F) [33] Well, cos that's to keep the level oven, you see, what they call a level oven crane, but the swan neck crane, that was one wire right from the barrel, right over to your load.
(PS22E) [34] So the jib was disjointed?
George (PS22F) [35] That's right yes, yeah that bit that was just like what they call a swan neck, just like the swan and that was like that and so it kept me at load level, they were built by and some of the best cranes I've ever known on the dock [...] .
(PS22E) [36] What were they used mainly for?
George (PS22F) [37] They were [...] , they were for grabbing stuff out for and stone cold general cargo, anything.
(PS22E) [38] What sort of cargoes came in though?
George (PS22F) [39] Oh we used to have phosphate and sulphur [...] , potash, coal, granite ... you name it anything, general cargo we've had, loaded everything, even dead bodies, we sent, there was one young, one young person, he got drowned up the coast there and they ... and he had to go back to Holland and they brought that from out the warehouse and put it on the stern of our ship, his coffin, they sent that back and they erm export er pigs to Poland, all live pigs, pedigree pigs.
(PS22E) [40] How were they loaded?
George (PS22F) [41] Into these, just a crate, and they used to get the old pigs and they used to shove 'em in there, shove the trap down, and they used to load them on the ships, they went back to Poland.
(PS22E) [42] Did anybody travel with them to look after them?
George (PS22F) [43] Oh yes, they were all fed properly, looked after alright, but they all, they told me they were all pedigrees but I doubt cos I don't know whether that's the truth, but they reckon in Poland when things were bad, when they unload them, they'd make some excuse that one of these pigs got out and run away and course they used to catch it er, somewhere they used to catch it and that was their fee then.
(PS22E) [44] For food? [laugh]
George (PS22F) [45] Yeah, they would, let the bake it we used to [...] Danish foods and cos we used to have a Danish er, we used to have erm Polish ship come in one week and an English ship come in the next week and the, the bacon was just [...] pigs were all killed, wrapped in sacking and tied with string, [clears throat] and they used to be laid in the hold like that.
[46] Well after you [...] discharged the ship cos all the blood was there and erm they used to have to wash them holds all out then and this bacon was put on open lorries and taken to London, put in the refrigerator.
[47] Now today, cos they all, and all come over in container, refrigerated containers.
(PS22E) [48] How did they keep it cool on the boat?
George (PS22F) [49] Pardon?
(PS22E) [50] How did they keep it cool on the boat?
George (PS22F) [51] Well they refrig like refrigerate the hold, the hold was refrigerated, but after handling the smell was re terrible.
(PS22E) [52] Was it?
George (PS22F) [53] Yeah.
(PS22E) [54] Did you ever have any of the bacon?
George (PS22F) [55] No, I didn't, no.
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [56] Never could fancy it, never could fancy it.
[57] I know some people did but [clears throat] no.
[58] See during the war we had, we had a lot of er minesweepers down here and they were all in these trawlers, fishing trawlers that's all they were and they used to go minesweeping off the coast, from here to Yarmouth and then, and Yarmouth and Lowestoft they had theirs, they used to like meet and ... cos they used to be out four days minesweeping and in four days.
[59] Cos they [...] they used to come in here for water and bunkers you see.
(PS22E) [60] Water and?
George (PS22F) [61] Bunkers, coal, they all coal furnace you see, [clears throat] and we er they'd come in and we used to fill them up with coal, whatever they wanted [cough] lot of that went over the side [...] coal, beautiful coal that was.
(PS22E) [62] How did it go over the side?
George (PS22F) [63] Well when you had your grab, you used to lower it on the deck of the, deck of the erm trawler and when you open your grab, that much, a lot of it hold up in the grab you see, you couldn't get [...] so of course when you did take your grab up, lot of it went over the side. [clears throat]
(PS22E) [64] [laugh] Did they get charged for that?
George (PS22F) [65] Oh, no ch that was government money weren't it?
(PS22E) [66] Government?
George (PS22F) [67] All government money and when my father was, after the, after the war he had a little old dredger, little grab dredger and they went along the quay dredging it all up and er, course they took so much out the hole, scrubbed it, all good coal again.
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [68] What they done, ooh they had one or two bags of that.
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [69] Yeah.
(PS22E) [70] [laugh] What other cargoes would you have to unload as a crane driver?
George (PS22F) [71] Crane driver, television tubes, light bulbs, do you know these bulbs er, they used to come er, we used t they used to be made here, they used to be sent over to Holland and the brass bit used to be put in and the element inside and they used to go over there in cardboard boxes all loose and there used to be hundreds of them broken, they didn't, they didn't worry about it, as long as they, they reckon that as long as they get twenty five percent a hold they were satisfied and they were just in ordinary boxes, no paper in or nothing, just all loose.
(PS22E) [72] And they went over just to be fitted with the
George (PS22F) [73] Just fitted with the brass, that was that was.
[74] All stuff, cos then we, they imported a lot of er razors and erm all different television stuff and we had a lot of beer come in from erm Germany, lot of beer come [...] the that stuff, that's a Dutch beer .
[75] I can't think of the name of the other German beer but the roll-on roll-off'll be out in the dock, cos we had a roll-on roll- off in the dock at all
(PS22E) [76] When did that come into use?
George (PS22F) [77] Well I would say er about ten year ago, cos I was stevedoring then [...] stevedore and erm I used to go up there, and I was very friendly with the old skipper there.
(PS22E) [78] I was going to ask you about your crane driving, how long were you a crane driver?
George (PS22F) [79] Well I was a crane driver from nineteen thirty two till I went stevedoring, what time would that be, oh about nineteen fifty five I reckon.
(PS22E) [80] Now stevedore, what did you have to do as a stevedore?
George (PS22F) [81] Well I used to do, what you're doing see, you're in charge of loading the ship, see but they did, first of all they, they, we had er, we had a foreman stevedore, then we had, and then erm we had the stevedores [...] and the dockers they went away on these courses, down to ones, they used to go to Southampton and some went to Hull, but when they came back, they called theirselves stevedores, so course our harbourmaster, he say that's not right, they're stevedores, well you gotta be all called foremen stevedores, so Captain come to me, he said, what are we gonna call you ?
[82] I decided we better call you chief foreman stevedore, and that's what they call me, chief foreman, so that's what they call 'em today, [clears throat] chief foreman stevedore.
(PS22E) [83] And what did that involve?
George (PS22F) [84] [...] involve me I used to get out in the morning, get up in the morning and be down there at six, see how many ships [...] and see how many what [...] I want, so many dockers on each ship, sometimes they'd want say six, sometimes eight.
[85] There might be another house foreman want a man who would stand on the house and [...] and they [...] want a checker, so I'd go [...] all these men for these different ships, that was my job, being chief foreman stevedore.
(PS22E) [86] Where would you draw these men from?
George (PS22F) [87] From the, from the pool, see there used to be a, there used to be a pool, near lock gates, that's where they used to be.
[88] One time that used to be further in the dock and I used to be ... let the erm, the manager know, the pool manager, cos at one time before the war, dockers were erm casual and when the war started, then they thought theirself, right we're gonna make er dockers more or less permanent, so they all come under the Ipswich Dock Commission then.
[89] Instead of having [...] they had to come through the Dock Commission all of the men, they wanted so and so men for that boat, they used to come through to me.
(PS22E) [90] Before that though, and [...] had their own men
George (PS22F) [91] Had their own men
(PS22E) [92] unload the boats?
George (PS22F) [93] unload the boats, yes.
[94] They [...]
(PS22E) [95] They were employed directly by
George (PS22F) [96] That's right but they all came
(PS22E) [97] ?
George (PS22F) [98] They used to work say one week and have about a month off or go on the dole for a month.
(PS22E) [99] So then what happened was, did the Dock Commission say you can't have your own men any more?
George (PS22F) [100] That's right they had to go on a rota.
(PS22E) [101] Run by the Dock Commission?
George (PS22F) [102] Run by the Dock Commission.
[103] See the dockers then all got together and they said right so many men for that job, so many for that job and that didn't matter who they were, they had to [...] their job, all the way round the dock.
(PS22E) [104] Whether they wanted to go on that job or not?
George (PS22F) [105] Whether they want to go or not, they take their turn and the employer had to pay a percentage into the pool what those men earned, so when those men hadn't work at all they drew their money from the National Dock Labour Board.
(PS22E) [106] Is this where the National Dock Labour Board came into existence?
George (PS22F) [107] That's how how they come into existence, yes he was a man what introduced that.
(PS22E) [108] When was this?
George (PS22F) [109] Oh that's er, I would say about nineteen forty roughly [clears throat] I'd say about nineteen forty that came in, might have been before that.
(PS22E) [110] Before that then if they were ill
George (PS22F) [111] They get nothing.
(PS22E) [112] Could they not get any welfare benefit?
George (PS22F) [113] No.
[114] No they get nothing, they'd get, all they went [...] on the dole, well they used to get, they used to get erm, say yeah well you would get welfare benefit [...] what we call the club, you go on the club and you see used t I, my, apparently had a private club, you could have both you see [clears throat] you had the private club and you got so much from the government, the National Health.
[115] The dockers even today, see they're still got the, still got the erm National Dock Labour Board but now the employers wanna do away with it.
(PS22E) [116] Do they?
George (PS22F) [117] They wanna do away with that now making these men redundant.
[118] Now they're not doing so much that many thousands of pounds, that lot 'em took it some didn't.
(PS22E) [119] But they'll still need men won't they?
George (PS22F) [120] They'll still need men, yes.
(PS22E) [121] They can't do away with them altogether?
George (PS22F) [122] They won't do away with them, no but cos they, they're trying to do away with the National Dock Labour Board and come back to the old system.
(PS22E) [123] What just the having casuals again?
George (PS22F) [124] Casuals or employing their own men, [...] what they want I suppose [cough]
(PS22E) [125] Why did the work, why was the work so casual, was it because boats
George (PS22F) [126] Well you could never, you could never rely on shipment, cos one time you'd get a lot of shipment and the next time you might be six weeks and get no shipment, so who's gonna pay them their money?
(PS22E) [127] Mm
George (PS22F) [128] That's the reason they brought in this here, decasualized the docks.
(PS22E) [129] But, why did the Dock Commission decide to make it compulsory for the men to be employed by them and not by the firm?
George (PS22F) [130] Well no, this was, this was a government thing.
(PS22E) [131] That was the government [...]
George (PS22F) [132] It was a government thing it wasn't the Dock Commission.
[133] See they said righto, the employer has gotta be the Dock Commission.
[134] They, they haven't gotta be or or .
[135] No [...] of the port is the Dock Commission.
(PS22E) [136] And what was the reaction to the Dock Authority over this?
George (PS22F) [137] Oh, they didn't mind.
(PS22E) [138] They didn't mind?
George (PS22F) [139] Oh, they didn't mind they were getting their money they, they were getting paid for when they were going home.
[140] See they used to get the, they used t what they call [...] they used to report for work at say quarter past seven in the morning and then they be at work at half past seven, but now of course they don't now, they, I think they start about eight o'clock now.
[141] If there's no work for 'em they can go home for the day.
(PS22E) [142] And they get paid?
George (PS22F) [143] And they get paid, they say about [...] used to, used to be seven and six pence [clears throat] , something like that, but er course today that's different altogether.
(PS22E) [144] So really that was an improvement for the dockers, wasn't it?
George (PS22F) [145] Oh, goodness, yes.
(PS22E) [146] Dock paying for them.
George (PS22F) [147] That was, yes.
[148] Big improvement.
(PS22E) [149] So when you say you used to go up to the pool.
[150] The pool is where everyone used to collect?
George (PS22F) [151] That's right, yeah.
(PS22E) [152] What would you do then?
George (PS22F) [153] I'd, I would go through to the pool man and say right, I want so many men for the Rotterdam, I want six men for [...] purpose.
[154] Cliff Quay, I want four men South West Quay on the coal boat for [...] boat.
[155] I want eight men on a coal boat at [...] Quay.
[156] He'd send them then, he [...] every dock was numbered from one to hundred and thirty and he'd say righto, number one so and so, number five so and so and of course when they come back to the pool, they'd go on the end of the rota.
[157] See so after men finished they would, there'd be a steady turnround all the time.
(PS22E) [158] So they all have to be quite adaptable [...]
George (PS22F) [159] Yeah, they can do anything.
[160] Carrying timber, making timber, carrying bags or [...] today.
[161] None of it.
(PS22E) [162] Did any of them ever resent having to do particular jobs?
George (PS22F) [163] Some, yeah some did.
[164] Oh yes I know one man there now, well he's so dumb he'd rather go down the hold, than he would do marking the pencil and paper.
[165] Course he can't do pencil and paper.
[166] He's so thick, you know he'll say right I'll go down the hold, I'll do the humping, what they call humping, he'll do that, loading these slings or bags, rather than him standing there and say well ten bags in that sling, put ten down, he couldn't do that, so he'd rather go down the hold [clears throat] that's happened.
(PS22E) [167] Did you prefer, prefer being a stevedore to driving the crane?
George (PS22F) [168] Oh, yes I did, oh yes, it was more of a job, it was, [...] .
(PS22E) [169] In what way?
George (PS22F) [170] I had more responsibility.
[171] [...] you u u use your brain a bit more, see now if er they used to come to me, my brother was one, he'd come to me and he'd say, right I've got a heavy lift, so will you come up here and sling it for me but we had to put the slings round the heavy lift, say, I say right I'll come up and another time we had a railway carriage come down like that'll be shipped abroad, old railway carriage.
[172] Well we had er, we took out all the gear for that, so I knew a lot, being a crane driver I'd know what gear I wanted but a lot of these stevedores what are on there now, they were lorry drivers and they ain't got a clue what they do, so there part of my job meant I'd go round and give advice.
(PS22E) [173] Oh, I see, now you would draw the men you need productively and go off and get the job done?
George (PS22F) [174] That's right, yes.
[175] See like erm l l l lorries and all like that, caravans, I mean I, caravans, we used to load the small ones and er we used to have two bars go underneath with a bit of wood on top and we used to have one hand on one end while they [...] cos that was a damn nuisance.
[176] So I thought, in my wisdom I thought, there was easier way than that,wh at one bar and I had one rope come under the draw bar with a tow bar, so I said right one bit of rope, one bar, so all the docker gotta do now is take the bar out, take the rope off, that was alright and you could stow 'em on the, on the deck [...] .
[177] They were all happy about that.
(PS22E) [178] And the Dock Commission didn't mind you changing the
George (PS22F) [179] [...] more I did I never got anything for but that was easy for the dockers and easy for me.
(PS22E) [180] Mm mm.
George (PS22F) [181] I mean, one time, [...] for gear, then they don't, we don't make [...] slice ropes at one time.
[182] They don't slice 'em now.
(PS22E) [183] And you had to that yourself?
George (PS22F) [184] We had to do that, the stevedores had to do that, my first [...] of stevedoring.
[185] Make rope strops.
[186] We used to get a collar of rope, manilla rope, put it on to a truck and used to stretch it out first and then cut off the lengths.
[187] We always stretched the rope first, before you spliced it.
(PS22E) [188] And what was that used for?
George (PS22F) [189] Well for slings, getting bags out of the hold ... see the whole job was so interesting, when you were doing these jobs that was interesting all the time.
(PS22E) [190] Did that take you on to different boats from
George (PS22F) [191] Pardon?
(PS22E) [192] Did that take you on to different boats from
George (PS22F) [193] Oh, goodness yes
(PS22E) [194] different parts of the world?
George (PS22F) [195] [clears throat] I used to, no I only went away on er, we only went to Rotterdam once, that's all.
[196] I had to go over there just to see how dockers worked over there, to see if I could improve it here, well I couldn't because dockers wouldn't do what they, they were doing in Holland.
(PS22E) [197] Why was that?
George (PS22F) [198] Well they had one man in the hold and they used to have a fork lift in the hold, in Holland, with one man and he could do that job and they sent one man ashore, well over here we had four men in the hold and two men ashore.
[199] Well the dockers wouldn't have it here.
[200] No, had to keep this four men instead of two.
(PS22E) [201] Why wouldn't they?
George (PS22F) [202] They wouldn't do it, no.
(PS22E) [203] Why?
George (PS22F) [204] Oh, well er doing away with four men weren't it?
(PS22E) [205] Mm
George (PS22F) [206] You see well they were employing two over in Holland, we were employing six.
(PS22E) [207] Have things changed these days?
George (PS22F) [208] Oh they changed on account of all containers you see.
(PS22E) [209] Yes.
[210] So eventually the they had to give in in the end.
George (PS22F) [211] Oh they do yes, well because nowadays, because they got more men on each job now than they really want.
[212] I mean that there's half of them go down the dock now, they don't do anything.
(PS22E) [213] Don't they? [laugh]
George (PS22F) [214] No, but they, they get the money for it. [clears throat]
(PS22E) [215] In the early days, back to the early days, what sort of boats would come into Ipswich Docks?
[216] Would they be sailing or steam?
George (PS22F) [217] Er
(PS22E) [218] Going back to
George (PS22F) [219] sails
(PS22E) [220] your early days down the docks.
George (PS22F) [221] Sails, well we had one or two sailing ships in my early days come up but the majority are steam.
(PS22E) [222] What sort of sailing ships were they?
George (PS22F) [223] Well three masts, four masts, ships
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [224] but we didn't have many of them, we only had about two or three come up and they came from Australia
(PS22E) [225] Did they?
George (PS22F) [226] for a week, and th that in the holds then they were all, that was, we was hauling sacks, what they used to call erm and they used to bring 'em out, out of the hold on a, on a winch, and put them on the scale and weigh 'em and that's what they used to call catch weights.
(PS22E) [227] Catch weights?
George (PS22F) [228] Catch weights, so don't matters what it was but that man who was weighing them he got no brains, if [clears throat] one was overweight and go down, the next one gotta be underweight and he'd take that off that and put it on that, he was so quick,wh that's what he, he was a good checker, they were good men then [cough]
(PS22E) [229] [...] did you say?
George (PS22F) [230] [...] job they ever done.
(PS22E) [231] That was the only thing he ever did?
George (PS22F) [232] That's the only thing he ever done to go and catch weight on all [...] wire.
(PS22E) [233] Catch or ketch?
George (PS22F) [234] Catch, catch, catch weights.
(PS22E) [235] [spelling] K E []
George (PS22F) [236] No I think [...] you'd call it a C
(PS22E) [237] catch
George (PS22F) [238] catch yes
(PS22E) [239] [spelling] C A T C H []
George (PS22F) [240] Yeah
(PS22E) [241] catch weight
George (PS22F) [242] Catch weights
George (PS22F) [243] And it was up to him to adjust the weight [...]
George (PS22F) [244] Adjust the weight from one to the other, one sack to the other.
(PS22E) [245] Would they be unloaded quickly?
George (PS22F) [246] Well, pretty fair, because then they used to go down Botterman's Bay and where they used to er, the dock was in the hold, that was all loose grain and they used to put four bushels to the [...] , so they used a bushel skip like that,wh which was a wooden one with a handle each side and they'd go into the wheat
(PS22E) [247] Was that about two foot four?
George (PS22F) [248] That's right and they'd do into the wheat and they'd [...] on they'd smoothed off, one man'd had a big sack there, they hold her in, they had this one they build one in, he'd go one in, he'd go one and he'd go one, four, four bushels of the corn and they used to tow it up, heave it out on the scale and they used to have a little old hand basin like that, with a handle on, take a little out or put a little in, [...] and then them men down the hold, them ones, then he'd do so many on the left and they'd change over, he'd do that way.
[249] They never kept the same place twice.
(PS22E) [250] Why d why did they change over?
George (PS22F) [251] Well that was a lot easier I mean you'd get used to doing one way and that man, so that's the reason they changed over, so it was more equal.
(PS22E) [252] Mm stop the shoulders aching I would think.
George (PS22F) [253] Well [...] it used to be carried on the back and [...] .
(PS22E) [254] They'd carry the sack on their back?
George (PS22F) [255] On the back, the bushel, yes
(PS22E) [256] The bushel?
George (PS22F) [...]
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [257] The corn.
(PS22E) [258] Do you know what the equivalent of [...] is today?
George (PS22F) [259] Not now I don't no.
(PS22E) [260] No, I don't perhaps the children [...] [laugh]
George (PS22F) [261] I don't.
(PS22E) [262] [...] much the same now erm, what do you call it now, [...] in that big [...] all the rest of it now well.
[263] I mean [...] looking at a book and see the distance between, in there they give you the distance between Leeds, Ipswich, Leicester and Scotland and then you come to kilometres and
George (PS22F) [264] That's right.
(PS22E) [265] [...] that's hard job to find out what to do [...] it is for me any rate
George (PS22F) [266] Mm
(PS22E) [267] I'm too, getting too old for that.
George (PS22F) [laugh]
(PS22E) [268] The grain that came in was that heading for the mills?
George (PS22F) [269] That all, that's all for the grain and then of course we used to import a lot at locust.
[270] Locust, locust beans they'd be about that length, they used to be just like a brown bean, they were dry.
(PS22E) [271] Who imported those?
George (PS22F) [272] Er they used to import that.
(PS22E) [273] Do you know what they used them for?
George (PS22F) [274] Locust beans they used to be animal feed I think.
(PS22E) [275] Mm mm.
George (PS22F) [276] And there's children going to school [...] yeah, [...] that be lovely, used to eat this locust.
(PS22E) [277] Was it sweet?
George (PS22F) [278] Well it was in a sense.
[279] You take this erm, that's like [...] that's like er corn flakes.
[280] I've known when they used to deal with the flake, what they call the Flake Mill, that's er down at erm Eagle Mill down near the lock gates when they were making this here [...] which were like corn flakes for the, for the animals and [...] and they were dropped like this, be nice and warm and [...]
(PS22E) [281] You were allowed in the dock with children?
George (PS22F) [282] Yeah, well that, that was all open you see that was all open
(PS22E) [283] It still is today isn't it?
George (PS22F) [284] It is still open today it ain't in some docks.
(PS22E) [285] No.
George (PS22F) [286] No, but it is in the fish dock.
[287] Oh dear oh dear.
[288] No the experience has been very good you know, going through life all that time.
(PS22E) [289] What sort of changes are you aware of in the dock?
George (PS22F) [290] Changes?
(PS22E) [291] Over the years?
George (PS22F) [292] Oh dear, well I could say er work has got a lot easier for a start, a lot easier and they ain't as, they ain't as, there ain't so much night work as there used to be.
[293] I mean er scrap iron, I mean I've done that erm where we've loaded scrap iron ships but they don't do none of that now and when you load scrap iron [...] put so much in on the floor and then dockers would pull it apart and then there'd [...] then, [...] mean you gotta go and pull a lot of that scrap iron out, load that off, well that the stevedore would say.
[294] Do you want a couple of hours overtime tonight?
[295] So we'd go and work a couple of hours overtime or [...] all night [...] the scrap iron.
[296] It all depends on the scrap merchant, like they used to send a lot of scrap iron erm from Ipswich to Germany just before the war, well they used to send they reckon they send to Danzig
(PS22E) [297] Mm
George (PS22F) [298] and then try and ship again into Germany.
[299] That's what they reckon they used to do but he, I mean he was an old Jew, he was but he was, he was [...] to the Germans.
(PS22E) [300] Did that stop then during the war?
George (PS22F) [301] Pardon?
(PS22E) [302] That stopped obviously during the war?
George (PS22F) [303] That stopped, oh yes and the last, the last erm scrap iron we loaded was er I think the, the Japanese they bought the ships, these old tr old tramps, they bought them.
(PS22E) [304] Tramps?
George (PS22F) [305] Tramps, yeah, yeah old car
(PS22E) [306] Why did you call them the tramp ship?
George (PS22F) [307] Well they was an old cargo boat, that weren't like a naval boat, they don't call it now, they don't call a naval boat a tramp, well the other ones cos they're faster and th th the old tramp, tramps it was like an old tramp on the road and erm because we used to go very slow, well th the Japanese after the war, they bought these old ships up, we loaded them with scrap iron and they took the whole lot over to Japan, and cut the whole ship up [...] scrap iron.
[308] Do you know we had bales of, bales of til tins all pressed together as big as that machine, yeah and they'd dump into the ship and they used to have magnets, put 'em into a net and these er bales of tins, any old tins, they used to find, used to go in there, we used to tip 'em, we used to tip them into the hold [...] they cut the ship right up and that that's what we're getting back in motor cars now.
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [309] Shouldn't be a bit surprised, and the amount of er stuff that used to come from er these ordnance places in the army.
[310] Cor, there was boxes of brand new tools come down there, spanners, and they used to be the, like these, like a big chopper, well they used to have couple of [...] all with erm breezed up with erm like greaseproof paper over 'em, bag 'em up into the holds, guns, there was guns, what done with the guns they hit the er, just near the barrel or the trigger,th they used to flatten them out so they couldn't use 'em but they all went in the ships [...] bombs, or little shells they used to find in there, all scrap iron.
(PS22E) [311] And this was all being shipped out of the dock?
George (PS22F) [312] Shipped out out of to Japan.
[313] They went to
(PS22E) [314] Mm mm.
George (PS22F) [315] and I reckon we now getting them back into motor cars
(PS22E) [316] Motor cars
George (PS22F) [317] shouldn't be a bit surprised.
(PS22E) [318] When you were talking earlier on about the bombs and the detonator coming in, where were they stored, at the docks or were they
George (PS22F) [319] No they [...] right away.
(PS22E) [320] They went straight off?
George (PS22F) [321] Yes, straight off, yeah,
(PS22E) [322] Where would they go to?
George (PS22F) [323] I don't know where they went, to these aerodromes or not, I should think so
(PS22E) [324] Mm
George (PS22F) [325] Cos I mean they were, they were, they had so many [...] you know, that was a lot [...]
(PS22E) [326] Were there are lot [...]
George (PS22F) [327] Oh oh cos I mean they use [...] today they haven't got these what they call are common users on the railway now.
[328] A common user was er, just an open truck with two doors one each side and they used to put a tarpaulin over the top.
(PS22E) [329] And then was, is the general way of transport [...]
George (PS22F) [330] Oh yes on the railway oh yes it was.
(PS22E) [...]
(PS22E) [331] Was the railway used a lot for that?
George (PS22F) [332] Eh?
(PS22E) [333] Was the railway used a lot for that?
George (PS22F) [334] Oh it was then, yes, now it ain't that's not used once a week now, cos you got all these containers, see it's still the railway and [...] Felixstowe cos you got these here big freight trailer go on now.
(PS22E) [335] The the engines that pulled the trucks, were they steam?
George (PS22F) [336] Yes, steam then they got over to diesel.
(PS22E) [337] Mm, so it sounded quite a dangerous place to be with cranes moving about and trains all over the place.
George (PS22F) [338] Yes.
George (PS22F) [339] Oh yeah I mean you take now the erm, you could say nineteen twenty six [...] bloke, I remember an old union bloke, he was on the railway and er, when they cleaned the fire out [...] , cos he used to get all the [...] out, and er these here firemen on [...] cool it with a that's when they first started to nationalize the docks and he said well, they er, he said [...] waste that he said when nationalization come in, well there was a lot more wasted then after that.
(PS22E) [340] Was there?
George (PS22F) [341] Yes.
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [...]
(PS22E) [342] So when was it nationalized?
George (PS22F) [343] Oh I don't know, just wouldn't know, just after the war, or during the war, yeah during the war, nationalize the railways.
(PS22E) [344] Mm
George (PS22F) [345] Yes, now it's al all back the same way again now.
[346] Now the boatmen they used to erm [...] the name, the family of a name of , and the old man, the grandfather his name was and then they had three sons who were boatmen, one was called Arthur John, one had a nickname of Snowball, the other one's name was George and they used to er, some of them at times used to row from the lock gates out to the Cork Lightship together to get a boat, so they made sure of roping that boat in at, at er in the dock or at Cliff Quay and course they used to get the captain of the ship to sign er a bill and they used to take that to the, to the shipping agent and then he'd pay 'em the money.
[347] Course they got away with income tax out of that because they weren't, they weren't much erm to do with income tax that time, I mean my tax at that time of the year was about, at that time was about four pound a year when I was erm, when I was working and you only paid income tax once a year.
[348] It weren't, it weren't pay as you earn then.
(PS22E) [349] How did they collect it once a year?
George (PS22F) [350] Well they used to send you,th they used to get the returns from your employer and then they'd send you the demand note in, so then
(PS22E) [351] [...] put that to one side did you?
George (PS22F) [352] so you had to put that to one side.
(PS22E) [353] Do you think anybody ever spent too much [...]
George (PS22F) [354] That's in the oh a lot of people did, oh yes, lot of people spent the money but I was one of the fortunate ones I had a little bit left because I mean I was, er I was very lucky myself, I mean I had a decent job at that time from time I left school and when I was on the dredging plant, I mean you take er in nineteen twenty five when er a schoolboy left school, his money was about ten shillings a week as an errand boy but I was one of the fortunate being a cabin boy on the dredger, I was getting thirty five shillings a week which was a lot of money and then after a few months they, I, they wanted another deck hand, so of course I went on there on four pound a week and then [...] I was well off.
[355] That was, that was what the crew were getting four pound a week and course my father that time he done away with a cabin boy so I had to do more or less two jobs, see if I weren't working on deck I'd go down and clean the cabins and that's how, that's how we kept the money going course then after a few years when they got to the finish about nineteen thirty one then the harbourmaster turned round and he ruc reduced our wages five shillings a week, so we were getting three pound fifteen a week.
(PS22E) [356] That was three pound fifteen shillings wasn't it?
George (PS22F) [357] Three pound fifteen shillings yeah and that's how, that's how the work went at that time but as I say these boatmen erm they used t they used to sit down on lock gates day in and day out and didn't have a ship to come in but I've kno kno known them to row down the river at high tide or it's before high tide and there'd be another erm, there'd be other boatmen there, one was called , he went down, he used to go down and get 'em going, there used to be a race between these two families or the and the first one got the boat, the first one [...] roped it in you see, or wh what we call roping in,moor mooring the ship up, that was
(PS22E) [358] Did they actually have to bring it up the estuary?
George (PS22F) [359] What they, yes, what they done, they used to have a large long pull with a hook on and attached to a rope and as the ship was coming up to the river, they would throw this here pole on to a ship with a hook and then pay the rope out and then get towed up to the quay, the ship wouldn't stop for them to pick them up, pick that boat
(PS22E) [360] [...] the boat would tow them?
George (PS22F) [361] Yes, the st the er cargo boat would tow the small boat cos the small boat was only about twelve foot long, twelve to sixteen feet, all different sizes rowing boats then.
(PS22E) [362] But the boatman's job was to moor the the
George (PS22F) [363] To moor the ship up into th th the quay.
(PS22E) [364] ship?
[365] So they used to know how to get there before [...]
George (PS22F) [366] That's right, yes
George (PS22F) [367] The only people what did have a motor in that, at that particular time was the harbourmaster of Pinn Mill cos they always used to call er er er one bloke down there who used to moor the ships up at Bottoman's Bay and er th th th he used to get a retainer from the Ipswich Dock Commission and all he w all he had to do was make sure that [...] was clear of, for shipping, if there was a yacht in the way he'd go and tell them to move and he was what the we used to call him Pinn Mill Harbourmaster.
[368] His name was er his name.
[369] Then after him they had an, a fella come from I think he finished up as Pinn Mill Harbourmaster, whether they got one now I don't know.
(PS22E) [370] And he would organize the boats in, just in Bottoman's Bay and [...] ?
George (PS22F) [371] He would he'd moored ships up in Bottoman's Bay and that's when, yeah he had a motor boat then to do that job.
(PS22E) [372] Who would pay him?
George (PS22F) [373] Well the agent, that be either or any agent who, who the ship belonged to, see they'd, they'd get through, no doubt they'd get through to the merchants and er they'd find out who the agent is and once they knew the agents well it was plain sailing wasn't it?
(PS22E) [374] Mm so they were all
George (PS22F) [375] So tha tha at that time, I mean they might get as much as three pound for mooring one ship up.
(PS22E) [376] Really?
[377] But that had to be shared between the number of men
George (PS22F) [378] Exactly oh yes that was shared between the men what erm, there used to be two men so they'd get er share the three pound between them or five pound whatever it was.
(PS22E) [379] And did they, they must have had lean times if they sat around and waited for a boat, one didn't come in some days may be.
George (PS22F) [380] They didn't get anything at all.
(PS22E) [381] But they all sat down there waiting?
George (PS22F) [382] All sat down there waiting for a for a ship to come in.
[383] I knew men old he was a chain smoker, he always used to smoke Woodbines and as one went out he'd light the other one er ou on it, he wouldn't use matches, no he'd, he'd light one cigarette off the other.
(PS22E) [384] Would have been cheaper to have used matches.
George (PS22F) [385] It would have done but he, he used to be what we called a proper chain smoker, oh he must have smoked hundreds of Woodbines in a week, must have been hundreds, that was his life.
(PS22E) [386] And did they have any other form of income other than
George (PS22F) [387] No, [...] they might be on the dole or what they used to call the Board of Guardians something like that.
(PS22E) [388] So they looked forward to a boat coming in?
George (PS22F) [389] They looked, they looked forward to a boat coming in.
[390] I mean I know in my time when I was a crane driver if they, if one of them didn't turn up dow down at Cliff Quay they'd come along to a crane driver and they'd say, take a rope for us will you.
[391] Cos they used t what they used to do in the small boat, they used to coil so much in the [...] then they'd row to the quay and then the they'd run ashore hid past the line [...] and pull a river and put [...] the bollard for 'em and then cos they'd turn round they might give us a quid for a drink you see
(PS22E) [392] Oh I see
George (PS22F) [393] so then they'd be about three pound or four pound in pocket and that's how they, that's how we used to help one another but once they get one rope ashore they could do it, the job [...] see but of course there's no boatmen today now, they call theirself boatmen but there ain't one of the buggers going in a boat, I don't suppose they could row a boat now.
(PS22E) [394] They still, they still moor them though do they?
George (PS22F) [395] They s moor them but they're employed by the Ipswich Port Authority, the boatmen, these other men weren't.
(PS22E) [396] So they had to,the they were purely working for themselves?
George (PS22F) [397] I mean the man, the man what introduced that I think er was Captain the deputy harbourmaster I think, he introduced that.
(PS22E) [398] When was that approximately?
George (PS22F) [399] Oh that was approximately about erm, well I'm talking about now in my time it must be over twenty year ago, when he introduced that and the simple reason was there was an argument between the deputy harbourmaster and the boatmen which are the cos they used t it all happened over a ship called used to be a collier, used to run here regular and that used to discharge so much coal at Cliff Quay, then it used to go into the dock at Tolwells Quay and finish unloading because it used to bring two or three different lots of coal, it was a four hold ship, she had four holds, and there'd be one hold for the [...] chemical works and perhaps there'd be three holds for ... and that se
(PS22E) [400] Wh what happened over that one then, you said th
George (PS22F) [401] Well cos I [...] letting the ships go and they, that was a night time and course I don't know what happened over, over the argument but anyhow these boatmen they lost their job, they n never been happened since cos the then the Dock Commission took over the erm roping the ships in, come under Ipswich Dock Commission.
(PS22E) [402] Were they paid just for tying the boats up or for bringing them up the estuary as well?
George (PS22F) [403] No just for tying the boats up, that's all
(PS22E) [404] [...] tying them up but when they went out to the end of the estuary that was just a case of get there first to get the job?
George (PS22F) [405] Oh yes, I mean if they were going out [...] to let go of the ropes.
(PS22E) [406] [...] Oh would they, they'd have to
George (PS22F) [407] Yes, they'd, they'd get paid twice, oh for letting 'em go and roping 'em in, I mean when a ship was swinging there's somebody, I mean when a ship was swinging at Cliff Quay, there's somebody gotta let go of the erm, the spring what they're swinging on.
(PS22E) [408] The
George (PS22F) [409] When the ship was swinging round, they'd go down the river,th that here rope was still on the bollard so [...] to throw it off
(PS22E) [410] Oh I see
George (PS22F) [411] when the ship was swinging round and that's what they do tod still do that today.
[412] If the ship was leaving the port [...] the boatmen have gotta be there to let go of the ropes.
(PS22E) [413] But they're now employed by the I P A?
George (PS22F) [414] They're employed now by the I P A, now, so they're on a regular basis,th th th boatmen today what they call boatmen today, as I say they're not boatmen, they're just ropemen I call it.
(PS22E) [415] Did, did the boatmen more or less live with their boats?
George (PS22F) [416] Oh no, no, no, no the boatmen they used to g they used to be go home [...] one stay there the other lot, others go home, they knew within reason when the ship was due.
(PS22E) [417] Oh I see [...] but th they live in the dock area?
George (PS22F) [418] Well as I say dock area, they might live about half a mile away that was all.
(PS22E) [419] [...] so they could hear a boat coming in [...]
George (PS22F) [420] They'd hear it th th they wouldn't erm [...] they'd know through the agent, when the ships were coming they used to make it their business to go and find out you see but today th they even got telephones on the houses now so they can call 'em out.
(PS22E) [421] So just go down there as and when they're needed?
George (PS22F) [422] There was, there was no telephones then, I mean t
(PS22E) [423] Must have been a bit haphazard for you [...]
George (PS22F) [424] Oh it was yes, I mean y when you take now erm er a boatman, I mean, and he, he like today well they ring up, I mean today I know the Ipswich Port Authority they lay the phone on the houses and they pay for it for 'em
(PS22E) [425] Do they?
George (PS22F) [426] see so if th if they get time off and they want extra men, they phone 'em up or somebody with a boat got [...] bloke in the erm radio tower, cos you got a radio tower on the dock now which every ship that come into port or leave the port have to go through the radio tower and that man's employed twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
[427] I think it's about, I don't know whether it's three or four, these men in the radio tower which at that day cos you'd never had a, a radio tower.
(PS22E) [428] How did they used to get the messages in then that they were coming in?
George (PS22F) [429] Pardon?
(PS22E) [430] How did they get the message down to the port here that a boat would be coming in?
George (PS22F) [431] What years ago?
(PS22E) [432] Mm
George (PS22F) [433] Well because they used to know through the agent and of course them, them would have to hang, row down the river and hang about
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [434] and would hang about for two or thr I mean when I was on the dredger them men would st they would come aboard the dredger and wait there, do nothing until the boat came up the river.
(PS22E) [435] And they'd come on your dredger and wait with you?
George (PS22F) [436] And they'd come up and wait them but I'd make them a cup of coffee or a cup of cocoa or something like that, there weren't coffee then cos we couldn't afford coffee we used to have cocoa or make them a mug of tea.
(PS22E) [437] It's the other way round now cocoa's more expensive than coffee [laugh]
George (PS22F) [438] Yeah it is yeah that's right, that's what used to happen, yeah.
(PS22E) [439] Were the agents based at the dock?
George (PS22F) [440] Oh no they were based in the town, at buildings, used to be at the buildings.
[441] Then they
George (PS22F)
(PS22E) [442] Mm buildings, where's that?
George (PS22F) [443] Well that's at the top of ,
(PS22E) [444] Oh I know it yes
George (PS22F) [445] and
(PS22E) [446] yes
George (PS22F) [447] their office used to be there, now they got a place on the dock
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [448] near the lock gates.
(PS22E) [449] Were they the only agent or were there other agents?
George (PS22F) [450] No there's they were, they were called but they were agents for their own ships.
(PS22E) [451] Mm, were they on the dock?
George (PS22F) [452] And they were on the dock.
(PS22E) [453] These ones up in the town, did the boatmen used to have to go up the town to find [...]
George (PS22F) [454] Oh yes yeah the skippers, the skippers would go up the town cos every time a ship used to come in they got, they got to take the their papers up to the agent, what the papers were I don't really know might be a manifest or something like that, what they used to do I mean then you had erm and you had different agents now there's more agents than ever now.
[455] There's so many different things changed today as well, it's impossible really to erm keep up with it now today I would think.
(PS22E) [456] Would you say it's better?
George (PS22F) [457] Well I would say it's, yes, better, cos mean with th with th these erm containers you see now I mean, we had about say ten years ago we had a man here he used to deal with the all general cargo, all loose cargo from Beirut and all the Mediterranean ports but course now you got the trouble there now that's a, that's a cargo that's, what's fell away.
(PS22E) [458] Going back to the agents up in the town, the boatmen to get information about a ship coming in they would have to go up to the town
George (PS22F) [459] They would have to go up to the town, yes
(PS22E) [460] and find out?
George (PS22F) [461] and find out, yes.
(PS22E) [462] So was there very often a race up to the town to get there first?
George (PS22F) [463] No I think they'd got to a point where, you know, if you, if you were about erm, they made sure they were the first ones there like the and they, I think they more or less recognized by the merchants they, they were the boatmen.
(PS22E) [464] Yeah, in the know.
George (PS22F) [465] In the, in the know in my time and right.
(PS22E) [466] Were there any other rival boatmen, people trying to get in on the scene?
George (PS22F) [467] Oh yes, they, I say there was one man and the , they used to try and get in if they could.
(PS22E) [468] Was there any erm aggression between them?
George (PS22F) [469] No, never, no.
(PS22E) [470] They just
George (PS22F) [471] I mean at that time say perhaps go in the pub [...] the or the or the , I mean there used to be so many pubs round the er, the dock area then, I mean you take the , and erm then there used to be the erm there was all them pubs round the dock then,noth one or two more but I can't re oh the was another one.
(PS22E) [472] And they were situated on the dock?
George (PS22F) [473] They were all situated on the dock and the is now what they call the
(PS22E) [474] ?
George (PS22F) [475] They call it now they just er they just made into er erm another pub, a posh pub.
(PS22E) [476] Oh yes I saw that in the paper.
George (PS22F) [477] yeah.
(PS22E) [478] In the Evening Star
George (PS22F) [479] Well it used to be, that's where the , that's where the used to be.
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [480] And the used a little further past the and then there was another one further up near Cranfield well I can't remember the name of that.
[481] I can't cos they used to use that a lot.
[482] I mean men at the dockers that day they used to drink and drink heavy.
(PS22E) [483] Did they?
George (PS22F) [484] They did, I mean the docker at that time of day he'd take a gallon o beer into work with him.
[485] In a in the old stone jar.
(PS22E) [486] They were allowed to drink at work?
George (PS22F) [487] Oh yes, there weren't no argument about that, if they didn't they won't do the bloody work.
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [488] They wouldn't, I mean they were old men
(PS22E) [489] Bet it was thirsty work anyway wasn't it?
George (PS22F) [490] Yeah that was I mean them, men, men were working like we was talking about a little while ago about head bags
(PS22E) [491] Oh yes, what's a head bag?
George (PS22F) [492] see but we had a head bag where they used to fold a sack in half or put one part through the other and put over the head.
[493] A lot o lot of these here dockers used to erm have 'em made out of calico.
(PS22E) [494] And why did they do that?
George (PS22F) [495] And tha when they were carrying er sacks of er fertiliser, corn, anything like that.
(PS22E) [496] For a bit of padding or protection?
George (PS22F) [497] No it used to be just the sacks stop the dust and go down the back and I've known the time what er, when they needed a regular gang of dockers, if they went to work on er, on er Monday morning with a dirty head bag on made of calico, they'd have to buy the beer cos they had, if they ain't got a clean head bag on or a cl clean skullcap, there used to be a little old calico skullcap they used to put on just to keep the dust out the hair and all like that.
(PS22E) [498] Did they make these themselves?
George (PS22F) [499] They made them themselves or the wives did.
(PS22E) [500] Yeah, and it was their tradition was it that if one turned up with a dirty
George (PS22F) [501] If, if one turned up with a dirty one they have to buy the beer ... that's how they used to be.
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [502] Then, course then they used to hav when the man stood in green, I knew a fella named which we was talking about a little while ago and he had a pair of lady's stockings which he used to put over his shoes to stop the grain going in and some of these people in the and , they used to have erm, like er string soles with like calico boots and they used to tie them on tight.
(PS22E) [503] String soles?
George (PS22F) [504] String soles.
(PS22E) [505] Wh wh [...]
George (PS22F) [506] Well they used to be like er, used t as you used to braid your hair, they'd braid a bit o rope and they'd, they'd make a sole out of that.
(PS22E) [507] Why, why did they make soles of it?
George (PS22F) [508] Well the they'd, then they'd sew it on to the calico or the firm would do it for 'em.
(PS22E) [509] Well why did they do it?
George (PS22F) [510] Well they were a lot easier, pliable.
[511] That's what they used to have f for, for grain.
(PS22E) [512] [...] for walking in the grain?
George (PS22F) [513] Walking in the grain, yes.
[514] I mean once you get er in the, say you get on in grain and you got leather shoes on, well you'd roll but th when you got, when you got rope, these rope soles, cos they used to grip on the grain, they wouldn't slip about.
(PS22E) [515] And they made them themselves?
George (PS22F) [516] And well they, some of them made them themselves, some of them, they were supplied by the merchant.
(PS22E) [517] Mm
George (PS22F) [518] Lot o think a lot of them were made, supplied by the merchant and they were made properly by the erm, you can say sh you can say er er any shoemaker perhaps or they'd be a factory what made so many pairs like.
(PS22E) [519] When they, when they stopped using them do you think anybody kept them as
George (PS22F) [520] Oh goodness I don't think, I [...] think they stopped using them during the war and I cr see that used to be like the gasworks, the gasworks you always used to have clogs, they used to have wooden soles, did the gasworks and then they used to have erm like a steel bar underneath or round the sole
(PS22E) [521] Why was that?
George (PS22F) [522] and that, well th well that was cos there used to be all hot cinders you know like coke, red hot coke and they always had clogs then with leather tops.
(PS22E) [523] To protect the feet?
George (PS22F) [524] Yes an I mean and I mean in winter time a wooden sole and a clog they wer they were nice and warm cos I mean you only used to polish 'em you used to put oil on them.
(PS22E) [525] Did you?
(PS22E) [526] I mean I bought one or two pair of clogs when I was on the dredger and we'd take the iro iron piece off underneath, that's just like a, a shoe what a horse have, like go round the [...]
(PS22E) [527] Oh yeah.
George (PS22F) [528] They use t they used to put th the band round the bottom of the wooden shoe
(PS22E) [529] What on the front or the back [...] ?
George (PS22F) [530] No unde right under on the sole.
(PS22E) [531] On the sole?
(PS22E) [532] Yeah, right on the sole and cos we used to take them off the iron and put a bit of leather on and grease the uppers with neat's-foot oil and they were really lovely and warm in the winter.
(PS22E) [533] Did many people wear clogs?
George (PS22F) [534] Oh yeah a lot of people, lot of people wore clogs then.
(PS22E) [535] Working on the dock?
George (PS22F) [536] Working on the dock yeah.
[537] I mean the they're a lot better than other shoes.
(PS22E) [538] What sort of people wore them?
George (PS22F) [539] Anybody, anybody [...] pair of clogs from the gasworks.
(PS22E) [540] Mm.
George (PS22F) [541] Cos they use t they used to supply them.
(PS22E) [542] They supplied them?
George (PS22F) [543] They supplied them t to their employees cos if they got an old pair they want to wear, they'd flog another one for about five bob.
(PS22E) [544] Oh I see [laugh] they'd put in for a new pair and sell the old pair?
George (PS22F) [545] They would, yes.
[546] That's what used to happen.
(PS22E) [547] [laugh] But where did the gasworks get them from, do you know?
George (PS22F) [548] No I don't know, they were made by some factory.
(PS22E) [549] They weren't made locally?
George (PS22F) [550] Oh I sh I suppose they might have been but where they were made I, cos I mean you get like they used to b they used to deal in all shoes, no doubt they got them from them.
(PS22E) [551] I believe they still do trade don't they?
George (PS22F) [552] I mean yeah somebody just retired, cos is down on the now, that's where is.
(PS22E) [553] Were they trading round the dock area?
George (PS22F) [554] No I don't know, no co cos they ha they had a shop in I mean that's not far from the docks.
(PS22E) [555] Did the did the port supply you with any protective clothing at all?
George (PS22F) [556] The port they didn't supply you with anything, my father was captain of the dredger [...] Dredging Plant and they didn't even supply him with a hat.
[557] Now they get everything [...] .
[558] That's the truth that is.
(PS22E) [559] So you had to buy your own stuff then?
George (PS22F) [560] You had to buy your own stuff, I bought a pair of thigh boots and they were all made with leather and he and I used to put neat's-foot oil on them and I could roll them down just like a b just like a boot.
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [561] [...] they were so s the leather was so soft and they didn't put nails in the soles, they put wooden pegs.
(PS22E) [562] To hold the soles on?
George (PS22F) [563] Wooden pegs in your sole, they used to drill 'em and they used to put wooden, and them wooden pegs would n they'd never come out, cos if you put nails in, the nails would rust.
(PS22E) [564] What was this because you were standing in water a lot?
George (PS22F) [565] That's right yes and th the Corporation had to sewage out four ways to s supply 'em.
[566] I think that's where they got the idea and they used to be all leather, thigh boots.
(PS22E) [567] Was that the salt water
George (PS22F) [568] Salt water
(PS22E) [569] rust them?
George (PS22F) [570] and [...] was taken out o the [...] they don't do, they don't do the work now they used to do and years gone by.
[571] I mean I've seen men work underneath the sewage and now of course that's all manica mechanical.
(PS22E) [572] Where was the sewer outfall?
George (PS22F) [573] Sewer outfall was down at erm Earth Point near the Power Station is now and th and the
(PS22E) [...]
George (PS22F) [574] Yeah and the sewage is still down there.
(PS22E) [575] And that still comes out the same place?
George (PS22F) [576] That's, that's still down there just so that was all mech mechanical ... me
(PS22E) [577] [...] further down the river then?
George (PS22F) [578] No [...] sewage outfall is just the other side of the Power Station, that's where it is.
(PS22E) [579] In the olden days, what did they used to have to do down there?
George (PS22F) [580] [...] there, I mean in the older days they used to have a li little railway and they used t used [...] more or less take all the sewage on to his land and there used to be couple little trucks where you tip over and they'd be one down and one up, on and he, old he used to, used to be his, put on his land.
(PS22E) [581] What fertiliser?
George (PS22F) [582] Fertiliser.
[583] They weren't such thing as, as er fertilizer what there is today, liquid fertiliser none like that there was all human fertiliser.
[584] He used to u used to use tons and tons of that at the sewer outfall.
(PS22E) [585] was on the foreshore.
[586] Was it?
George (PS22F) [587] No is near the where the is now.
(PS22E) [588] Mm
George (PS22F) [589] Where the is that's where used to be.
(PS22E) [590] What they had a railway run down from there?
George (PS22F) [591] And they used t they used to have a little, they used to have a railway from the sewer outfall, a little one, narrow one, there used to be, as I say used to have a machine up the top of the hill and they used to pull one down and one up.
(PS22E) [592] To the farm?
George (PS22F) [593] Farm yes, that's how they used to do it.
(PS22E) [594] Were they the only people that used to use it like that?
George (PS22F) [595] That's about the only people that I know of and then, cos later years I would say that they used to cart so much into the erm, into the other farms round here.
[596] I mean I've known lorries to go down and get out the human manure
(PS22E) [597] Did they?
George (PS22F) [598] from there and now course they got shipped out and then they used to be a ship as well, used to take it to sea called the
(PS22E) [599] Did they?
[600] Go from Ipswich?
George (PS22F) [601] Used to go from Ipswich, they used to be the number one and they had the number two and the number two, she got blown up in Harwich Harbour.
(PS22E) [602] What during the war?
George (PS22F) [603] During the War, Second World War number two.
(PS22E) [604] [laugh] Was she carrying anything at the time?
George (PS22F) [605] Yeah she was.
[606] Yeah I know, I don't know whether she was going out or coming in but they got one there now and I think they th the one they got there now I don't know whether the Corporation, that's theirs or whether that's put out to contract and I think that's put out to contract now.
(PS22E) [607] What th they still take it [...] do they?
George (PS22F) [608] Oh yes, they, oh yes, yeah it's all pumped in and pumped out now.
(PS22E) [609] Mm.
[610] How was it put in in the olden days?
George (PS22F) [611] Well that was p that's was through the tube I suppose.
[612] I know what when we were dredging down there, we used to have er what we call our safe chains and when we were first dredging down there you'd put your chain in, hands were all purple.
(PS22E) [613] Purple?
George (PS22F) [614] All purple.
(PS22E) [615] Why?
George (PS22F) [616] That was the mud, cos they used to put so much sewage into the river ...
(PS22E) [617] W why did it make it purple?
George (PS22F) [618] And course that used t that used to go down on the bed and when you pulled that be there so many years, your hands all went purple and that'd be days before that went off.
(PS22E) [...] [laugh]
George (PS22F) [619] Days
(PS22E) [620] Did you eat your sandwiches? [laugh]
George (PS22F) [621] Yeah, true, yeah
(PS22E) [...] [laugh]
George (PS22F) [622] Yes yo your hands used to be purple an and the brass work on the dredger cos we had, we had a little bit of brass work they all used to turn green and [...] to clean it, used to turn green.
(H5HPS000) [623] They used to say the brass is on the other side of the river used t [...]
George (PS22F) [624] Well yeah th well that used to turn green, tell you that now.
(PS22E) [625] And it was all to do with the sewage?
George (PS22F) [626] All to do with the s I mean th the Dock Commission they claimed a lot of money off the Corporation I think over that cos they
(PS22E) [627] Did they?
George (PS22F) [628] they came down with a lot o little bottles and they filled all them bottles up with the mud and they took 'em away and anal analyzed 'em and proved that it was erm human manure you see.
(PS22E) [629] Contaminated?
George (PS22F) [630] Sewage.
(PS22E) [631] Wasn't that how [...] ?
George (PS22F) [632] Well I suppose it was then but course at that time of day well what we used to suffer with, you suffer with diphtheria and scarlet fever and yo you don't hear that today do you?
(PS22E) [633] No that's all gone now.
George (PS22F) [634] You don't hear scarlet fever, diphtheria like that.
[635] That's all gone, done away with.
(PS22E) [636] I suppose in that way it's an improvement isn't it?
George (PS22F) [637] Oh it is an improvement, oh yes.
[638] Definite, I mean there's not the sewage go in the river now, I don't think anyway.
[639] Cos that was about, that must have been about erm er I'd say [...] time about, yes I should say about nineteen, nineteen thirty four and they built a pipeline out from the sewer outfall and they put two dolphins out there, and they reckon that the water, when it's purified just to go into the river was really clean water.
(PS22E) [640] When you say dolphins, what do you mean by that?
George (PS22F) [641] Well they like little, they were like little concrete stages, they was two and the they were in the river off, off this side, they were this side of the Hall Bridge.
(PS22E) [642] And what did they do?
George (PS22F) [643] But they, they wanted to protect this here erm, the pipeline what went into the channel.
(PS22E) [644] Oh to stop the ships from
George (PS22F) [645] That's right yes.
(PS22E) [646] going over [...] to it, I see.
[647] When you were talking about your dredging earlier on, you used to take th the soil that you dredged up in the mud, in your dredger out t employ the hoppers out to sea.
[648] How did you dispose of it [...]
George (PS22F) [649] Well the point was you see, we had a dumb hopper, the dumb hopper was towed by an old tug, they had to tow that dumb hopper to sea, what was called dumb cos they ain't got no engines and so that was towed to sea and then course the er the dumb hopper ha had four winches, hand winches and then they, cos they had the chains on the [...] but the steam hopper
(PS22E) [650] What are the [...] ?
George (PS22F) [651] The [...] are on the side of the hold.
[652] Now the sides of the hold and the, the chains used go down, they didn't have wires they had chains go down and with a big ring on the top and then when you'd the door out, knock the pin out and the door would drop down [...] the mud and cos the ship would come up because she got two side tanks on er a tank each side to bring the ship out of the water.
[653] Now
(PS22E) [654] What with water from the tank?
George (PS22F) [655] just air, air was in the tanks [...] the hot water in [...] sea weren't it?
(PS22E) [656] Mm [laugh] true.
George (PS22F) [657] So if y if you if you er what did happen.
[658] I mean if you fill a, fill a tank with water that's gonna sink and now the steam hopper had a strong back on
(PS22E) [659] A strong back?
George (PS22F) [660] a, a, a strong back which was er er say a, a what we call a back in the centre of the ship and course the d n th the steam hopper could heave their own doors up by the steam winch.
[661] They could put the hook in there and they could lower doors away so there's no need for the, cos many a time in the dumb hopper when you knock that pin out, they go down with the force and it'd break and it'd break the er the chain, the chain link.
[662] Then we had to then fiddle about and get the chain up with a big pole and heave that up and we always knew that if a dumb hopper come back and they'd what we used to call they'd lost a door, one of the doors used to break, used to be about I would say erm eight doors in the hold, separate doors and if one of them broke they'd fiddle about with a big, what we would call a pole with a hook on trying to get hold of the chain and we'd see that there pole sticking up out of the hold, we knew they lost a door so what they used to do they used to leave [...] with the dredger and we'd finish that off before we load it, had to.
(PS22E) [663] What you had to fix the door?
George (PS22F) [664] We had to fix the door then then of course the [...] with the big tow on the other dumb hopper to sea.
(PS22E) [665] Crikey!
[666] Could you fix the door from inside or fr or did you have to do it from outside?
George (PS22F) [667] No you have to, you'd, you'd, you'd do it in the middle in the hold, not in the middle of the hold on the side of the hold, where your, where your air tank was.
[668] Once you've got that you could fiddle around with that and we used to lower a station down, tie the end, we'd do the best we could to do it.
[669] We'd always get one, we never lost one yet.
[670] And course they were on hinges, the doors, on er the hinges on in the centre hole under the water and course you always knew where then to, where to fit what we used to call fish for th fish for the chain.
(PS22E) [671] So [...] with the pole?
George (PS22F) [672] With the pole and a big hook on.
(PS22E) [673] And how did [...]
George (PS22F) [674] And when we got and once we got that then
(H5HPS000) [675] I don't know [laugh]
George (PS22F) [676] we'd, we'd tie, we'd tie a wire round the pole and heave that up you see so far but you couldn't pull the chain up.
(PS22E) [677] So you, you heaved it up by winch?
George (PS22F) [678] We heaved it up on hand winch, yes.
[679] That's how the work used to be.
[680] Cos we used to swear like hell if they'd lost a door
(PS22E) [681] [laugh] Made a lot of work for you.
George (PS22F) [682] That made work for us.
(PS22E) [683] And you say these doors were in the water?
George (PS22F) [684] The, the d doors were in the water [...] right low, they were, they were low say you wouldn't have had say about three foot of water in the hold.
[685] Because once the ship come up that's still a certain amount of water in the hold which that must be, cos then once you heave your door up then of course you load your ship again and then cos your ship was going down the more mud you put in, course mud is heavier than water
(PS22E) [686] Yes
George (PS22F) [687] that's why I reckon we, we got a river bed because erm they say mud is heavier than water.
(PS22E) [688] Mm.
[689] Was there a lot of mud on the river bed?
George (PS22F) [690] Pardon?
(PS22E) [691] Was there a lot of mud on the river bed?
George (PS22F) [692] Oh goodness yes there's mud, there was like Cliff Quay you had, you had your mud and when you come to chalk and further down the river you come to ballast near, near Al near the Albridge and further down you come to peat, then you come to green clay, then you come to Cattoes you c you start to dredge ballast again, Pinn Mill you'd dredge ballast and then right away down to the sea you'd dredge ballast.
(PS22E) [693] Where was the peat?
George (PS22F) [694] Peat was Al Alfreston
(PS22E) [695] Did they use it for anything?
George (PS22F) [696] and when we and when we were dredging that up, that used to be all like er er trunks of trees and you could, I mean you could see it when they come up it was very light.
[697] I mean you could never load er, you could never load a hopper down to its plimsoll mark with peat, that was so light and cos you couldn't put any more in so [...] you used to have to take it to sea perhaps we we well you would call it half loaded.
(PS22E) [698] Yeah.
George (PS22F) [699] Bu but your hopper was full.
(PS22E) [700] But with only half the weight on there?
George (PS22F) [701] And only half the weight.
(PS22E) [702] So when you had peat on, were your doors in the water then?
George (PS22F) [703] Oh yes
(PS22E) [704] The hopper door?
George (PS22F) [705] Yes they were in the water.
[706] Cos they we yeah
(PS22E) [707] They were right on the bottom of the boat [...]
George (PS22F) [708] They were on the bottom of the boat, you see.
(PS22E) [709] We when you say on the bottom, sort of was the bottom put on the side slightly?
George (PS22F) [710] No no, cos e on the bottom of the ship used to have your, a, your keel of your boat so that is in the centre of the ship
(PS22E) [711] Yes.
George (PS22F) [712] so therefore then your doors were connected by hinges to the keel and from the keel to the cones, that's where your door was, so that'd swing on the keel and then your chains were fixed to the other end of the door and you hauled that up on your cones.
(PS22E) [713] Mm
George (PS22F) [714] Then put the pin in, then you could load your hopper.
(PS22E) [715] Yes.
[716] ... wonder who designed it?
George (PS22F) [717] Pardon?
(PS22E) [718] I wonder who designed it? [laugh]
George (PS22F) [719] Well I don't know that must have been some clever fella to do it didn't he?
[720] Like there is today, I mean things are altered when you get a ship now, when you get the dredger what was in the East Anglia Daily Times er yesterday, where a ship open in half, so th they load it with a grab and that go to sea and [...] ship open in half, drop it down so there's no doors.
[721] There again you see they can still muster out the air tanks, keep it afloat.
(PS22E) [722] To keep it clear of the water when they empty it now?
[723] Yeah.
George (PS22F) [724] Yes
(PS22E) [725] Moving on from the, the dredger back to when you were a stevedore you used to sort out the different work for the, for the men, where did you used to congregate first thing in the morning?
George (PS22F) [726] Well I used to have me own office down at Cliff Quay.
(PS22E) [727] Whereabouts was that?
George (PS22F) [728] That was at er was near factory.
(PS22E) [729] And would all the men come to your office?
George (PS22F) [730] No they'd go to the Pool Manager.
(PS22E) [731] And where was the [...] ?
George (PS22F) [732] The Pool Manager what lo he at the finish, where he is now, he's at the lock gates.
(PS22E) [733] Do they still meet there today?
George (PS22F) [734] And they still meet there today and they get er
(PS22E) [735] Is it a covered building or do they just meet outside?
George (PS22F) [736] Er no there's a covered building and he [...] reallocate the men right away, quarter past seven in the morning.
(PS22E) [737] In your days did they have the building then?
George (PS22F) [738] Oh yes they, that was further in t that was further in the dock
(PS22E) [739] Whereabouts was that?
George (PS22F) [740] and that, that Pool Manager wasn't employed, there's a Pool Manager now but he only give the information to the National Dock Labour Board.
(PS22E) [741] Mm.
George (PS22F) [742] But the man what was Pool Manager is employed by the I P A now.
(PS22E) [743] Mm.
[744] Whe where did, in your day where was the, the pool?
George (PS22F) [745] The pool was just bel just beside the harbourmaster's office just a little further where it is now, cos what we had, what we call the yard, that's where the engineers' workshops was, the carpenters' shop, which is still there and then little further up th up the Newcut East there was the pool place for the National Dock Labour Board.
(PS22E) [746] Oh The National Dock Labour Board is still there isn't it?
George (PS22F) [747] That's still there, yes
(PS22E) [748] Oh I know where you mean, [...]
George (PS22F) [749] That he'd do that in the morning as a little part time job for 'em, and all he'd do is erm, the Pool Manager, which is at Lock Gates, he know what ships come in the day before and he really know the man and then in the morning they'd say well so and so ship has arrived but perhaps he might know it, then he'd send, he'd know what men to send and this, cos I, I used to get the latest information, they didn't worry him, they worried me about lates latest information ... and of course we knew what ships was due for the next day so we knew what allocation we wanted.
(PS22E) [750] Did you ever have not enough work for the number of men you had?
George (PS22F) [751] Oh goodness yes, they have today.
[752] Today I mean they, I mean when you take, years and years ago when there used to be man handling everything same as timber, I mean we had about three hundred dockers then.
(PS22E) [753] Good many then?
George (PS22F) [754] Yeah, three hundred, now today you only got hundred and thirty because they [...] the manual work.
[755] That's all mechanical you see.
(PS22E) [756] When you had ... too many men for the jobs that needed doing, did the men get paid?
George (PS22F) [757] They get paid through the National Dock Labour Board.
[758] What they call stand-by money.
(PS22E) [759] Stand-by?
George (PS22F) [760] What they call stand-by mo they do today, they still guarantee a day's, it ain't much mind you but they still get guaranteed so much a day.
(PS22E) [761] On flat rate?
George (PS22F) [762] Flat rate.
(PS22E) [763] And then they got more if they worked [...]
George (PS22F) [764] If they, they got they got piecework or they got th th the, they get either piecework or they get so much for the job so much, an hourly rate for the job.
(PS22E) [765] Was there a time when they didn't get paid if there was no work?
George (PS22F) [766] Well, before the National Dock Labour Board.
(PS22E) [767] Mm mm.
George (PS22F) [768] See he was the man what brought in decasualization during the war.
(PS22E) [769] Mm.
George (PS22F) [770] That's when you had a coalition government and erm then course he, they denationalized the docks then and course now ther one or two docks the they're putting 'em, making 'em redundant because I said there's not the manual work today, that's like London, Liverpool.
[771] See dockers are only protected, when they say they go on strike, they're only protecting their own jobs in my opinion.
[772] They're protecting their own jobs.
[773] Why should we have bloody machines doing work when human beings should be doing it?
[774] I mean a machine,d well they do, they do carry timber but you gotta have the men there haven't you?
(PS22E) [775] That's true, yes.
George (PS22F) [776] I mean y when th I mean a gang on a timber boat, they'd be ten men and one hatch man and that's eleven men.
(PS22E) [777] Hatch man.
George (PS22F) [778] Ha er a man on the hatch,t to tell the crane driver what to do or where to go, well you w you would have four men in the hold making up slings of timber.
[779] Then you would have six men ashore that carry it away and stack it but course now today they don't do that.
[780] That's come already in lengths, already slung so all the dock you got, you ain't got so many dockers there.
(PS22E) [781] So you just need your crane driver really to un to unload the [...] ?
George (PS22F) [782] That's all you want the crane driver and about three or four dockers, that's what you want, instead of eleven dockers.
(PS22E) [783] When you said they used to carry it away, to stack it, on dock.
George (PS22F) [784] They used to stack it on the quay.
(PS22E) [785] On the quay?
George (PS22F) [786] Yeah.
[787] And then course that used to be different, er used to be different size timber two by sixes, four by twos, inch by one, er inch by ou I mean inch [laugh]
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [788] inch by two and you had to tell these dockers what size it was and they'd take it out of that particular stack.
(PS22E) [789] Mm and then what happened [...]
George (PS22F) [790] And then after that when the ship was finished, then they used to sort that all out, the timber, different sizes, then y and then or were there, their own people to stack the timber and when they stacked it, they stacked it and they used to put splines between each layer of timber and that was to season the timber.
(PS22E) [791] Oh what to let the air through?
George (PS22F) [792] Let the air through.
(PS22E) [793] Mm.
George (PS22F) [794] But now they don't even do that.
(PS22E) [795] What happens to it now?
George (PS22F) [796] That's all bundled up and [...] that's why half the bloody stuff is rotten
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [797] before you get it.
(PS22E) [798] [laugh] Didn't last very long.
George (PS22F) [799] Well tha that is so today.
(PS22E) [800] Was everything that was unloaded off the boats stacked on the quay?
George (PS22F) [801] Not everything.
[802] I mean we import but we imported once erm, like lemon peel and orange peel
(PS22E) [803] What is that?
George (PS22F) [804] in, in barrels.
[805] Now that was er, it was er or they were oranges what had been cut in half and they had the centre taken out so it was just the orange peel and that was pressed into these barrels, filled with water and that was then brought up on to the quay, left on the quay and [...] that used to go to .
[806] Every so often they'd come down and they'd take the bung out and put more water in.
(PS22E) [807] Why did they do that?
George (PS22F) [808] That was your candy peel.
(PS22E) [809] Candy peel?
George (PS22F) [810] Candy peel what you eat.
[811] Cakes, you we that's lemon peel and that's how all these oranges were cut in halves, scooped out the orange and then all put in, one bit in the other.
(PS22E) [812] Why did they keep adding water?
George (PS22F) [813] Well to keep, keep it all, keep this candy peel moist, well keep the peel moist.
[814] I mean once or twice when we unload it the beer barrel break and when they, be surprised you'd never get it back together again.
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [815] Never.
[816] Cos they s cos that's compressed in, these barrels, and that was all done abroad and once these barrels broke, well you couldn't do nothing about it but we never, they never, there was none of that wasted, never.
[817] They always used to cart it away I suppose to wash it and use it.
(PS22E) [818] Did they?
George (PS22F) [819] That was candy peel. [...]
(PS22E) [laugh]
George (PS22F) [820] We had, I think we had about two ships of that, that's all.
(PS22E) [821] Yeah.
[822] Did you ever get any cargoes that split or broken? [...] [laugh]
George (PS22F) [823] Oh goodness yes.
[824] Yeah, I mean they, even wool, we had begin th f beginning the war.
(PS22E) [825] Wool?
George (PS22F) [826] Wool we had big bales of wool come in and once wool was packed together and banded, that was heavy.
(PS22E) [827] Did it ever break open? [laugh]
George (PS22F) [828] [...] some of it did, yes.
[829] The bands'd break, cos they never used to worry about it.
(PS22E) [830] What happened to it then?
George (PS22F) [831] I don't know they used to cart it away.
[832] I mean er down the dock now they got a, one big warehouse there now.
[833] In my time they erm, the sugar beet, sugar beet pulp.
[834] We exported that, now you don't see so much sugar beet pulp now.
[835] I think that's animal feed.
(PS22E) [836] Yes it is.
George (PS22F) [837] Sugar beet pulp.
[838] Well y it always used to be stowed down at, come from er Sprawton and stowed on the dock,
(PS22E) [839] From the sugar beet factory?
George (PS22F) [840] From the sugar beet factory.
[841] Cos I mean sugar beet pulp was very light
(PS22E) [842] Mm it was dried wasn't it?
George (PS22F) [843] Yeah dried, that's just like little pallets.
(PS22E) [844] Yeah.
George (PS22F) [845] That's what it used to be.
(PS22E) [846] And who did they used to export that for?
George (PS22F) [847] Well we loaded one ship for America ... and we put so much in
(PS22E) [848] But when stuff came down the dock to people off, on to a boat, would that be stored in a warehouse first and then go on to the boat or would it be
George (PS22F) [849] No they come with the lorries and we'd load it direct.
(PS22E) [850] Direct?
George (PS22F) [851] Direct, the same as erm fertiliser coming in, a lot of lorries would come down there and get the fertiliser, different say merchants, different farmers, they used to go through the agent and they'd buy so much off the agent, this different fertiliser if couldn't supply it, what they wanted.
(PS22E) [852] So the men had to be there at the right time you had t [...] ?
George (PS22F) [853] Oh well, you you'd be waiting.
(PS22E) [854] So it all had to be organized really didn't it?
George (PS22F) [855] Oh it did, yes.
(PS22E) [856] To make it work.
George (PS22F) [857] Yes.
[858] You had different, different companies do the, do the job so you used to get say I mean th you get a receiver for that cargo, well it, perhaps he got so much for receiving that cargo, then that was his job then to allocate it to different people ... but he, cos that was another job for him which you don't do now.
[859] There ain't receivers now.
(PS22E) [860] How do they work it now?
George (PS22F) [861] How they work I don't know.
[862] How they work it now.
[863] I don't know.
[864] Things have altered so much now.
(PS22E) [865] So i years ago then there was a lot of smaller jobs for a lot more people really?
George (PS22F) [866] Oh yes.
[867] See I me [...] so many agents, you got a lot of agents today now so ...