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Page 25 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1 (1151 reads)
 

Working on the Sydney Coal Piers i'mm'-" Sandy MacLennan, Whitney Pier: There's very few people, except people that had relatives employed there, who know about it. Now, you go down and look at the Pier today, you're not shipping coal like it was 40 or 50 years ago. Because Number 1 Pier's gone. Number 2 Pier's gone, and Num? ber 3 Pier's gone. And now they've got that gear there now. That's not like we shipped coal. I even loaded schooners at Number 1 Pier--it was all condemned, it was falling apart. That would be away back in 1922 or so. When I was on the Pier, I shipped coal for I don't know how many years--20 years, I guess. I trimmed coal. I worked on con? struction in the winter. I worked on haul? age, on the north side of Number 3--what they call the side-loaders. I worked every place down there that they could. I had my job, but my jobs were different at times. Jimmy Gallivan was interested in the job. His father before him was interested in the job. With me, I was just that for that shift, you know. I was there for that shift, get the work done, and get the hell out of it. Because it was hard work. I'll tell you, when you got into a car of coal, and it's blowing maybe 40 miles an hour or so, and the dust up into your face--you wouldn't be too anxious to be there. But still, it was a good job, in other ways. (How?) Well, when you went and you had a bad shift today. When you went home, you'd think you never worked. You forgot that you had worked that day, you felt that good. And trimming coal--when you've got Above: Steamer "Liverpool " coming into Coal Piers (Sydney) to stand and throw coal 40 feet or so, in a hot bunker. About 40 feet--10 spaces--a space is about 4 feet. And you're to shov? el that all night, for 8 hours. I tell you, you didn't feel too much like staying there if you could get away from it. (Abbie Neville, who was superintendent there,.talked to me about the coal ship- (25)
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