Working in London's docks in the 1960s

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  • Interviewee name: Les Dawson

  • Les Dawson worked in London's docks from the beginning of the 1960s until the demise of the riverside industry in the early 1970s. It was very difficult to actually get into the industry and it was never a permanent job. Men worked from wharf to wharf depending on how many men were needed for a shipment. The Dockmaster would choose workers from a line-up depending on whether they were liked and in good shape, causing a lot of competitiveness between workers. It was very hard work and workers were paid by what tonnage they moved. but there was always a strong sense of camaraderie. Les recounts his personal experiences working the docks in a very positive light until the demise of the industry in the early 1970s after workers were moved into enclosed docks and the riverside began to be transformed into modern appartment buildings.

  • london 1960s docks riverside

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