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Page 34 - Working on the Sydney Coal Piers

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/1/1 (272 reads)

started at 8 o'clock in the morning. You knocked off 4 o'clock in the evening. If you started at 4, you knocked off at 12, Started at 12, you knocked off at 8 in the morning. You took 20 minutes for lunch. Well, sometimes it'd be a way more than 20 minutes. But that's what you were allowed. Somebody else would step in your place and do your work while you were gone for the lunch. (The work never stopped?) Oh, never stopped. Oh indeed no, no. (You were on the International Piers dur? ing the Second World War, I guess you were busy then.) No. No cargoes getting shipped at all then--very, very seldom. All bunker boats. It was great for the shippers. Bad for the trimmers down below, trimming the coal--they were kept going. If you've got a bunker boat, you've only got one place to put the coal. One place. Probably you'd dump a couple of cars there into that hatch, that little hatch they had in--that was filled. And the trimmers had to trim that. God, they'd have to trim that coal from here, from this end of the house, in some of them, to the other end out there. Put two heaves on it, like of that, filling that bunker up. Hector Devison, Louisbourg, Trimmer: When I went there first, they blocked the boat up--the hatches of the boat, they blocked them up. And then we'd have to go down be? low and trim full where the coal wouldn't run. (What do you mean, they blocked the hatches up?) They'd fill the hatch enough for you to get down into it. The way they used to get the coal to go down to you then, they put plates on--steel plates-- and run the coal down the plates to where you were shovelling. When you'd cut it out, well, they'd block it up again. That's the way they used to keep feeding the coal down to us. You'd have to have the hatch blocked up for to get into it. See, because those hatches were about 40 feet deep on those boats. (When you say the coal comes down and it blocks the hatches, how does the man get in there if the hatches are blocked?) They just leave room enough in the comers of the hatch. When all the rest of the hatch is filled, there's al- Vays a space in the comers for to get down. You'd slide down there, go down there then, and put the plates on. The plates would be about 8 feet long by 2 feet wide. They'd have a rope in the end of them. And you'd drive a peg down in the coal, and tie the rope onto the peg. And then you'd take the other one down on top of that again, so the coal wouldn't hook JA / O O ' Warm Cape Breton Welcome . A. Young CX oOn to ah the Athletes in the 1987 Jeux Canada Games Sydney 539-4800 TRAVEL SERVICES Business & Personal 181 Charlotte Street (34) Lunchtime, dinnertime, partytime, anytime, it's finger liclcin' good. No matter what you're doing or how many you're with there's nothing that tastes so good when you're hungry as... u The Colonel's Taste is Best D STERLING MALL Glace Bay, N.S. Telephone 849-6689 D SYDNEY SHOPPING CENTRE Prince Street, Sydney, N.S. Telephone 564-6322 D 7 BLOWERS STREET North Sydney, N.S. Telephone 794-3534 D CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA Sydney River, N.S. Telephone 564-6646. D PLUMMER AVENUE New Waterford, N.S. Telephone 862-2111 Jeux Canada Games'87 K??.?S??5:
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