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> Issue 44 > Page 29 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers

Page 29 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1 (255 reads)

side. If they ran short of coal, 4 days out, they're in trouble. That's what hap? pened in the old days, to a lot of ships. They would perhaps run out of coal bunkers, and they'd have to be towed in. And that was only right up till just before the war, there were so many ships used bunker. Many of them would have to take extra coal on deck, just to make sure they'd have it. We'd load some ships doxvTi here that were going to Australia. They'd take 2000 ton of coal on their deck, to make sure they'd have enough coal to get to where they were going. (Because if they ran out..'.) There was no? where to go. In the middle of the ocean. So if they ran out, they're dead ships. Many a ship would burn their furniture, any? thing wood, just to try to get enough steam to get into port. If a trimmer left a space for another 20 or 30 ton--that was a day's steaming. So the chief and engineers in the ships at that time, a lot of them used to go down with flashlights, and make sure that all spaces were full. So that's why the trimmers worked very hard. On their knees, yes. You start trimming a ship, you might have 8 trimmers down in the bunkers. The 8 would be working together, getting the coal back, back. The next thing you'd be only down to the one man. Then the one man'd be trying to even fill in the space, even where that man came out--they'd stand up and fill that space, too. So that when she was done, there was no room to get in. She was full. Check out Alktate's discounts on auto insurance BLAINE NEWCOMBE / Multi Car / Retired Adults / Low Mileage If you qualify for any of our disc('unts we could save you money on your auto insurance. Call or drop by for a quote* /lllstale %uVe in good hands. Allstate Insurance Co. of Canada • Allstate Insurance Company 288 Welton St., Sydney, N.S. B1P5S2 539-1105 IN WELT9N PL/'g/' David B. Lewis, Edwardsville, Shipper: Coal shippers--there's a little distinc? tion between shippers and trimmers. The shippers, we'd take the coal out of the cars and we'd put it down into the boat, and then the trimmers would level it off. (You were a farmer. Why did you even start working there?) Well, I started working there for the simple reason: a job is a job. In those days, just like it is today. You couldn't go pick a job. (But going to the Coal Piers--how did it fit into your life as a farmer?) Well, right around here, all the men--it was kind of traditional, I suppose, to work at the Coal Piers. There were about 30 men a- round, probably in my time and before my time and after my time, that had worked at the Coal Piers. They all had little farms, they kept a couple of cows, and they had their own milk and butter, and they were raising their own vegetables. It was only a summertime job. The way it was, by Christmas, you had to have your meat and your fish and your vegetables and every? thing in for the winter. Because the men, in the wintertime, they wouldn't be work? ing at all. And no unemployment (insur- LLOYD MacDONALD SALES Our 27th Year KINGS ROAD - SYDNEY Toll Free 1-800-565-9427 "Service Is a '87 Pathfinder 4x4 NOW IN STOCK Not a Promise" (29)
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