Docker Frank Drew puts us right over picture captions from 1960s

DOCK YARD WORKERS GREAT YARMOUTH JANUARY 1965 P6695

DOCK YARD WORKERS GREAT YARMOUTH JANUARY 1965 P6695

Reader Frank Drew was keen to set the record straight after leafing through the second part of the Mercury’s Scenes of the Sixties supplement last week.

GREAT YARMOUTH DOCKERS STANDING BY HAVEN BRIDGE DATED 1965 PLATE P3727

GREAT YARMOUTH DOCKERS STANDING BY HAVEN BRIDGE DATED 1965 PLATE P3727

The 87-year-old from Cobholm found much to interest him, but was perplexed by some of the wording attached to familiar pictures where it seemed to him all too clear as to what was going on.

Three pictures show dockers although there is no mention of them in the captions - words and pictures somehow parting company in the intervening fifty years.

The first on page six proclaims to show timber yard workers “keeping warm.” In fact they are dockers. Mr Drew remembers from left to right Tony Jeffries, Roy Symonds, Percy Chesham and on the far right Albert Turner. The names of the chap with glasses and a cap and the smiling fellow to his left escape him.

Then on page eight is pictured “a group of men standing by Haven Bridge in 1965” and the readers are asked “What’s going on?”


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Mr Drew, himself a docker for 30 years, recalls the men, all dockers, were involved in a dispute involving “the fruit guard” who were regulars whereas most of the dockers were on a rota system.

“Yarmouth was famous for its rota system,” he said. “But it worked against us at the end of the day.”

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Finally on p11 there are more dockers unloading gas pipes at East Quay.

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