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Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
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Author Topic: Dockyard personalities  (Read 2054 times)

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Offline CDP

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Dockyard personalities
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 21:11:07 »
Personalities in the Royal Dockyard circa 1945,
Many workers were unable to get to the hairdresser owing to their work times. Sewell was the crane driver by No.1 dock .He was also one of the unofficial barbers for the Dockyard. When you required a haircut it involved climbing up the ladder to the crane cabin and hoping it would not take long as should his crane be required you would have to very quickly slide down the ladder and hope that Sewell would be able to finish your hair cut before it was home time.

Bob Bloomfield lived in Sittingbourne and would cycle each day to the Dockyard. If your cycle required any repairs Bob would fix it .When the dockyard had finished with its 8ftx8ftx8ft wooden buoys, part of the removed boom they stored them in one place and these buoys finished up stacked two blocks high and they were arranged as a maze and minature streets with little cubicles. Bob had one of these - cubicles/shops - where he would repair the cycles. He was very cheap.
In the cold weather and as there was never any room around the oil drum burners, Bob would fill his mouth with petrol, get as near as he could to the warm fires, and then spit the petrol into the flames, everyone would then rush away and Bob would stroll up and take the warmest place by the fire

Another cubicle in the streets of buoys was occupied by a watch and clock repairer, that was his real official job so he was very good .He was also very cheap

Another cubicle was reserved for another hairdresser.


Working on the submarine gang as a labourer was Jack Hibben an extremely strong man,
As apprentices we would tease him, for example we would line up to form a barricade but he would just walk on through us as though we were not there. He was deaf which caused a few problems. I saw him pick up an apprentice by his lapels who had been teasing him, and very easily tossed him up about 6 feet onto some toolboxes. But he was a lovely man to work with. A relation of Jack told me that during the First World War he actually ripped the head from a German soldier. UGH !!!

At one time my Instructor was Tom Weightman who in his spare time was the Trainer for Gillingham football club. What a comparison to todays Trainer

In the first year of my appenticeship our Instrutor was Frank F  and when we had a theory lecture Frank was always the last one out from the room and we never saw him again for an hour or two.
Two of the lads Brian Buckwell and Alan Taylor hid in a cupboard in the Theory Room and watched Frank fall asleep then then made a lot of noise and woke Frank up. He was very embarrased .

The foreman started us doing piece work where you were paid extra for every "piece" that you completed. The completed work was stored at the end of the workshop. Some of this work was secretly removed by the night shift and then claimed as there own .this was stored at the end of the workshop ,and some of this work was secretly removed ?...............etc etc etc
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

 

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