Gordon belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
Gordonís grandfather Ambrose and father Robert worked at Bartramís shipbuilders. Gordon served his apprenticeship at Doxford's between 1955 and 1961. After his apprenticeship Gordon went to sea on the MV Tactician, built by Doxford's. He finished his working career as a school technician in 2005.
Gordon was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 9 March 2006. The interview took place at Sunderland Museum and lasted 35 minutes and 1 second.
Safety at Doxford's
"Safety? Well, letís put it this way"
Safety? Well, letís put it this way, safety, I suppose, I suppose it was in one sense. They didnít give you helmets, and you didnít get industrial shoes and it was a case of get on with the job, like it or lump it. I know that when you worked on the engine, you sometimes, really, young boys, we used to climb up on the nuts and the bolts, the big headed bolts, climbing up, you know, we used to climb up there instead of putting staging up. But that was just the way they worked then.
But the asbestos carry on, which I thought was bad. At the time we didnít know, Iím sure the industry knew, the owners knew the dangers of asbestos, but when we were young, in the boiler rooms they were all lagged out with asbestos. And if we had our meals our baits on the ship, we used to sit on the asbestos, make a little seat and just sit on the asbestos bricks. And then the fellows used to come on and used to lag all the side of the ship, no masks were ever given because we didnít know the dangers. So yes, safety was really lacking.
It was only really I would say since we were nationalised by British Shipbuilders that they became more safety conscious, when they issued helmets, boots and other things. So yes, I would say safety was lacking there. But, the thing was they wanted a job doing, you had to get it done. And if you didnít like it there was always somebody else to take your job over.
Gordon has 13 memories in the memorynet:
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