Non-industrial Workers

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Non-industrial workers

The non-industrial jobs in the Dockyard provided administrative support. Every morning when Dockyard workers arrived they clocked in. They could clock in onboard ships or at clocking in stations around the Dockyard. It was imperative they clocked in at or before 7 o'clock; failure to do so would affect their wages. If they were late, and clocked in at 7.01 they would lose 15 minutes pay. If they did not clock in until 7.10 they would lose 30 minutes pay. If the workers arrived later than 7.30 they reported to their chargehand who could have sent them home for the day or half day. The pay office docked the appropriate amount of money from a worker who was sent home.

Clocking in station
Clocking in station (PRDHT)

This oral history clip explains the procedure for entering the yard and collecting a brass token. The clocking system superseded the brass token method.

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"That was 3 gates, Main Gate, Marlborough Gate and Unicorn Gate, they had a bell which was rung by a policeman. It started tolling, dong, dong, dong at quarter past, quarter to 7 in the morning or quarter past 1 in the afternoon. And when it got to 5 minutes to 7 in the morning, then it would go double, ding ding ding ding ding ding so that you could begin to shuffle up. Then the method of coming in then you had these recorders which record all the people coming in and about 50 or 60 yards from each gate there was a little toll house, and then you were given a number, like you were number 512, for instance if you were in this gate, perhaps if you were up at Marlborough Gate you were 800 and something what ever it was. There was a thousand and something because there were 10,000. So you go in, you go through and you pick up this brass ticket with this number on. And you just go away with it. And then when you got to your place of work you gave it to your charge hand who would dock it there."

Brass token
Brass token (PRDHT)

The finance department worked out all the wages. They would use the clocking cards, and reports from recorders and measurers. Recorders would man the clocking stations, and record the amount of work people had done. Measurers measured the amount of piecework completed by a worker. The finance department calculated the wages factoring in overtime and piecework. Craftsmen who had been promoted to recorders ran the department. Women worked in the finance department working on these figures. They would do the bookwork and keep the ledgers updated.

Finance Department
Finance Department (PRDHT)

The personnel department handled things like leave, deaths and retirements. There was also a telephone exchange and mailroom. These were all essential to the smooth running of the Dockyard which at times had upwards of 20 000 workers.

Mailroom (PRDHT)