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Thread: Liverpool Dockers 1945-1950

  1. #1
    Newbie BerylB's Avatar
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    Cool Liverpool Dockers 1945-1950

    My father Albert Stewart worked on the docks after the war. I remember him coming home with sores and blisters

    thorugh working on bag or black ash. Does anyone know what was in the cargo that caused the problem?. Asbestos or chemicals maybe. He was paid extra as

    this was termed a 'dirty' carge. Wet hides was another job in this category.

    I now live in Australia but am writing as much as I can remember

    about growing up in Liverpool, for my family. . I want my grandchildren to learn what a happy time I had despite the war and poverty that we all

    shared.

    It's a fascinating exercise.

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    There are three children in our family. Don, born 1934, Joan 1935 and me. Beryl in 1937. We lived in

    Aintree and attended Hall Lane Infants, Rice Lane Juniors and Alsop High School or Queen Mary High School. Please ask your parents or grandparent if these

    facts ring a bell.

    Re: Queen Mary High School, I am trying to find out what has happened to Jackie Borrows, Bunty Lawson, Lynette Williams, Fay

    Dinwoodie

    Regards

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    A warm welcome Beryl, thanks for your message. It's a small world and I'm sure our members can provide

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  3. #3
    Junior Member Fergie's Avatar
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    Default Liverpool Dockers

    Hi Beryl
    The cargo your Father worked on was Carbon black yes they got extra pay and it was a very dirty and dusty job also it was transfered of the ships on to barges at the dock it did not matter how many baths or showers you had it would still be in your pores for about a week after you worked on it I only worked on the docks for about 6 months in the early 60s and it was still comming in then i worked on dry hides and that was hard work also bales of cotton.
    Fergie

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergie View Post
    Hi Beryl
    The cargo your Father worked on was Carbon black yes they got extra pay and it was a very dirty and dusty job also it was transfered of the ships on to barges at the dock it did not matter how many baths or showers you had it would still be in your pores for about a week after you worked on it I only worked on the docks for about 6 months in the early 60s and it was still comming in then i worked on dry hides and that was hard work also bales of cotton.
    Fergie
    Many dockers were hurt badly. My Dad was always in and out of hospital. I recall a bale of rubber broke from a crane and bounced all over the place with all scattering eventually getting him. Bales of cotton dropping was common.

    There was cargo swinging about continuously and vehicles moving continuously: trucks, bogies, mobile cranes, trains. A very dangerous place.
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    Help find Madeleine Sloyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergie View Post
    i worked on dry hides and that was hard work
    Which carried the further hazzard of likely containing the anthrax spore. I well remember bringing a cargo of hides back aboard a Blue Star ship from Fray Bentos, Uruguay and our carpenter (chippy) died enroute to Liverpool and as we were in the middle of the South Atlantic with no land for days he was buried at sea. Upon arrival at the bar we were quarantined. The quarantine lasted for 48 hours then we came into port and the dockers proceeded to discharge the ship. How the couple of port health officials who came on board could discern whether or not a man who died of respitory problems and was buried at sea, did not die of anthrax, i'll never know. I was glad I wasn't a docker.
    Last edited by Sloyne; 11-12-2006 at 03:40 PM.

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    Member merseymay's Avatar
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    If it was carbon black - wasn't that the stuff used in dunlops tyre factory? It was pretty toxic stuff and was linked to an increased risk of cancer. They did a survey of people working in tyre manufacturing many years ago and identified the increased health problems from people exposed to it. My dad has the cancer that is most linked to working in the industry. He worked at dunlops in the 60s and 70s.

    I will read your message to my folks, they are the same age as you.

    Good on you for writing about growing up in l'pool back then! It is very important history and will be treasured by generations to come.

    all the best
    MM

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    Default bag ash

    Quote Originally Posted by BerylB View Post
    My father Albert Stewart worked on the docks after the war. I remember him coming home with sores and blisters thorugh working on bag or black ash. Does anyone know what was in the cargo that caused the problem?. Asbestos or chemicals maybe. He was paid extra as this was termed a 'dirty' carge. Wet hides was another job in this category.

    I now live in Australia but am writing as much as I can remember about growing up in Liverpool, for my family. . I want my grandchildren to learn what a happy time I had despite the war and poverty that we all shared.

    It's a fascinating exercise.

    There are three children in our family. Don, born 1934, Joan 1935 and me. Beryl in 1937. We lived in Aintree and attended Hall Lane Infants, Rice Lane Juniors and Alsop High School or Queen Mary High School. Please ask your parents or grandparent if these facts ring a bell.

    Re: Queen Mary High School, I am trying to find out what has happened to Jackie Borrows, Bunty Lawson, Lynette Williams, Fay Dinwoodie

    Regards
    this cargo was bag ash (soda ash) which was a chemical which usually came by barge from ICI ,if you had any cuts this made them sting and it also made your nose run.this was just one of the many obnoxious cargoes dockers worked (hooves& horn<carbon black,asbestos,etc)Iworked on the docks from1968-95 when conditions were better than my father and yours worked under.

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    Have any of you been to the catalyst museum at Spike island?

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    Yes, I didn't even know it was there but was having my car serviced at some units down by the Widnes/Runcorn bridge and stumbled upon it, only went in initially as I needed a sarnie and soup - it was approx 23rd/24th Dec 2004.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Senior Member SteveFaragher's Avatar
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    Default Garston dock tales

    My dad was a garston docker from 1930s toi 1970's he was a contemporary of the Union leader jack Jones who went off to the Spanish Civil War.

    My Dad used to unload Sulphur (he would come home covered in this smelly yellow powder, not very healthy or hygenic), bananas (we used to live eat and breath bananas in the 1960's either side of the fireplace we had cupboards filled with ripening bananas, complete with tree frogs and the odd tarantula....cur Harry Belafonte deyyyyyyyyyyoooooo) oranges and peanuts. He had a sling of timber drop on his foot and broke it, with the over 100 compensation was spent on our first telly in the late 50's (I was born in 56)

    We used to live off King Street just a stones throw away, me dad also had his "dog" with him all the time, his dog was a sort of long handled thing with a metal point at the end he also had a range of dockers hooks.

    Every Sunday me Dad would dress up and take me for a walk aroudn the docks, on one of these walks I remember an old fashioned diver being lowered into the docks looking for a docker or a seaman who had fallen and drowned.

    My Dad like his ale and would often spend the afternoon on the "welt", a sort of drinkign session which was condoned by the unions and bosses. He would often go for a drink with Soviet Captains of the Timber Ships and bring home
    metallic russian badges wiht pictures of Lenin and marx.

    The dockers also all had nicknames, cant remember me dad's. Anyone else got stories of garston dock.

  11. #11
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    Steve, cracking read mate.
    Thanks

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    Help find Madeleine Sloyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFaragher View Post
    Anyone else got stories of garston dock.
    Not really, I sailed into and out of Garston a few times aboard skin boats (Elders & Fyffes). Matina, Chicanoa, Chirripo and Tilapa mostly to the West Indies, places like Barbados, Jamaica, Dominica, Antigua, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Cuba etc. Probably carried the bananas you ate. We didn't always return to Garston, sometimes we would sail into Avonmouth, Southampton or London. I would usually have a pint in a Wilson's house near the Garston docks on sailing day.
    Last edited by Sloyne; 03-12-2007 at 10:50 PM.
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    Member munchkim's Avatar
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    Does anyone remember any of the dockers nicknames. I saw a list recently but for the life of me cannot remember where but it did make me laugh.

    My Uncle Jack was known as the sweaty sock because he was always in The Boot (a local pub)

    Anyone got something to add.

    Munchkim

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    tommy hogo tommy hogo's Avatar
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    has anyone got information on my grandad his name was joe hogan he was a docker in the 50s 60s his nickname was joe the blow.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFaragher View Post
    My dad was a garston docker from 1930s toi 1970's he was a contemporary of the Union leader jack Jones who went off to the Spanish Civil War.
    The MDHB docks were in Liverpool and Birkenhead. The dockers had their "pens". They would work on ships local to their pens, howebver if needed be they would go anywhere, south to north end, or to Birkenhead.

    Although in Liverpool Garston Docks were not owned by HDHB. Was was the situation with movement there?

    Also when rating tonnage, etc, Garston Docks were never taken into account with Liverpool Docks.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
    Rapid-transit rail: Everton, Liverpool & Arena - CLICK

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