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Author Topic: Re: Severe Weather in 1963  (Read 323 times)

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Medway Buoy

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Re: Re: Severe Weather in 1963
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 17:09:52 »
The only thing I can remember about 1947 is walking from Luton, Chatham to Rochester gas Works with my mother and my brother who was in a pram. The reason, there was a shortage of coal and there was a rumour in our area that you could by some coke from the gas works. When we got there it was just a rumour and there was nothing and we walked back home again. Money was also scarce and the shoes I had on, for the trip to Rochester, had holes in them and a cardboard inner sole in them to try and keep my feet dry, which it didn't. To this day i can still remember how cold my feet were as well as my hands.
For me 1963 was the worse. There was little or no public transport. I was courting at the time and had to walk from Chatham to Strood. I was working on the tugs at Rochester then and before any dockers and stevadors could start work we had to do ice-breaking with the tugs in the Port of Rochester to allow the smaller wood boats get around without being damaged by the ice. We had to tow a tank barge loaded with fresh water to the oil tankers at the Isle of Grain because the fresh water pipes on the jetties were frozen. Before we could pump the fresh water we had to ask the tankers engineer if they would put our hoses in the engine room for about half an hour to thaw them out. There were also ice-floes with yachts perched on them floating around the river where the weight of the ice had broken the moorings. That was just some of the inconvenience.
Oh, and it was cold.!!!!

Medway buoy

Offline peterchall

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Re: Severe Weather in 1963
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 11:48:26 »
The severe winter of 1946/47 caused whole swathes of industry to shut down, due to lack of fuel and the clogging up of transport. I can't remember if it was normal practice or if it required a special government regulation, but if the firm closed down you went on the dole.

As a junior apprentice I think my unemployment pay might have been more than the pay I would have got for working; I can't swear to that, but it's a nice story to tell. :)

I think I was off work for about two weeks, and that time was added to the end of my apprenticeship so that I served for the full 5 years.
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