A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 3.—Water Transport Workers

749.—Other Workers (not elsewhere enumerated)

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barge searcher
a dock police constable q.v. who inspects barges for stolen goods.
blacksmith (on board ship)
carries out all smithy work needed in repairs on board ship; as for blacksmith (190).
boat house keeper
lets out rowing and sailing boats, punts, and canoes on hire from a boat house; runs boats down slips to water, and hauls them up to boat house when not in use; cleans and keeps them in repair; cf. boat keeper (738).
cargo brander
see marker.
is in charge of chain stores and responsible for care, issue, stowing, etc., of chains, which are used in connection with work of cranes, etc., on quay or wharf, or for work on a dredger or hopper; collects chains periodically and forwards them to chain testing department; receives and re-issues them on return; cf. gearman.
checker, cargo checker
ship's counter-off, ship's dock tallyman, tallyman; takes tally of and examines goods in and out of warehouses, on and off ships, and signs for their receipt; endorses bills of lading, and notes any incorrect weights or quantities, which do not tally with consignment as shown in bill of lading; detects damage or pilferage of goods occasioned in transit; usually further designated according to cargoes, e.g. timber checker, wool checker.
checker, wharfage
a checker q.v. acting on behalf of wharfingers (732) q.v. or of dock or port authority, who observes arrivals of goods on wharf, or removals of goods therefrom (noting discrepancies as compared with owners' statements) and calculates wharfage charges.
checker and deliverer ; deliverer and checker
a checker q.v. who checks goods as loaded on carter's drays on quay or in dock shed; receives consignee's order to deliver to carter (719) q.v. and accepts carter's receipt for load before removal.
check weigher, check weighman
during weighing operations by weighman q.v., takes record of weights and ensures that weighing is properly done; later compares own record with weighman's record; sometimes checks weights of cargoes with ships' bills of lading, or with weight, stamped or written, on outside of case.
clough keeper ; dock gate man
raises or lowers, as required, steel trap in centre of dock gate, and is responsible for adjustment of water level in dock.
coal waterer (at staithes)
a labourer detailed to pour water on coal, lying on staithes (coaling banks), by means of a hosepipe, to prevent dust rising during loading and unloading operations.
counter-off, ship's
see checker.
counter, slate
a checker q.v. who counts slates as they are unloaded from ship, keeeping [sic] a separate record of quantities of each size and description of slates loaded.
crewman, dock crewman
a labourer working in a gang at a dock, etc.
deliverer and checker
see checker and deliverer.
dock gate man
see clough keeper.
dock police constable ; dock policeman
member of a uniformed police force, organised and maintained by dock authorities; patrols harbours, docks, etc., and guards property against theft or damage; watches persons entering and leaving dock premises and excludes unauthorised persons; examines carter's pass or authority at dock gates when conveying goods off dock premises.
dock police detective
a dock police officer in plain clothes who makes detailed enquiries to discover wrongdoers, usually cargo-pilferers.
dock policeman
see dock police constable.
electrician, electric light man (seagoing)
under supervision of chief engineer (734) q.v., fits up and repairs electric lights and fittings, electric bells and other electrical appliances on board ship, and performs other duties, as for electrician (307).
foreman lumper
is in charge, under ship's officer, of scratch crew, taken on board a vessel to move her from one part of quay or dock to another.
gasman (dock)
is responsible for maintenance of gas-pipes, fittings, etc., on property and premises of a dock authority.
gearman (dock)
has charge of all gear (chains, dogs, crowbars, slings, etc.), in use in docks and sees to its issue and return.
greaser (coal drops)
keeps machinery of coal drop (apparatus at quayside for discharge of coal) properly oiled.
ladder man
has charge of bucket ladder on a dredger; regulates movements of ladder by a switch-lever; together with dredger master (733) q.v., directs dredging operations.
lamp-man, lamp trimmer
has charge of lamps used on dock or harbour premises; cleans them, and keeps lamp fittings in good order; where oil is used, fills lamp reservoirs with oil, trims wick, cleans lamp chimneys, etc.
marker ; cargo brander, stenciller
marks name of port of destination and other shippers' marks on goods for shipment, with paint brush and stencil or with hot branding iron; in marking timber, uses punch and hammer; often further designated according to material worked in, e.g. timber marker.
measures, with a foot-measure, calipers, or other device, cases, bales and packages upon which freightage is charged by cubic contents; records measurements and hands to principal measurer (740) or to master stevedore (732) q.v.
measurer, pitprop; prop measurer
measures, with calipers or foot-rule, diameter of pitprops as unloaded from ship to quay, to check quantities with bills of lading; records measurements and numbers of props unloaded.
measurer, timber
measures timber after unloading, to compare quantities with those stated in ship's manifest; furnishes record of measurements to timber importer or to shipping company, that amount of timber or freight charges may be calculated.
meteorological reporter and signalman
receives telegraphic reports from meteorological office on expected state of weather; hoists cones as a signal to shipping; usually done by harbour master (731) q.v. or one of his staff.
mooring man
attends to moorings in dock or harbour, directs ships to their moorings, and sees that all is made fast.
pier labourer
performs any odd manual labouring work on a pier under direction of pier master (731) q.v.
pipe man (on dredger, etc.)
operates levers of winches used in conjunction with crane, in raising, moving and lowering of suction pipe on sand pump dredger; signals to craneman (736) q.v., during raising and lowering of pipe, to indicate all is clear.
printer (sea-going)
prints menus and news-sheets, etc., on board large liners, with platen machine or hand press; cf. printer (529).
pumpman (on dredger, etc.)
under supervision of engineer (734) q.v., opens valves which set in motion sand pumping machinery on sand pump dredger; oils and greases machinery and cleans periodically or as required, usually at conclusion of pumping operations.
a checker q.v. responsible to wharfinger (732) q.v. for receiving goods to be exported out of dock, as distinct from being received into dock from abroad.
reservoir attendant (canal) ; water tender
regulates water supply from canal reservoir into canal, by raising sluice gates (turning handle operating cog-wheels working in ratchets); during excessive rainfall, liberates excess water from canal into back-water, by opening sluice gates; keeps ground of reservoir free from weeds by dragging periodically with hand rake.
runner (drifters)
assists ship's husband (drifters) (739) q.v. running messages, ordering stores, etc.
salvage rigger (salvage company)
rigs derricks and other lifting appliances on board a salvage boat; arranging tackle to meet difficult and constantly changing conditions.
a marker q.v. specially skilled in marking casks, barrels, etc., which cannot be branded with stencil; makes marks on woodwork of casus, indicating weight and volume of contents (usually bonded goods), with a steel cutting tool.
places and secures tarpaulin sheets over loaded railway trucks or stacks of goods on quays or sidings of dock or harbour premises; is responsible for collection of sheets and for their return to store after use.
ship's boiler tube sweeper ; tubeman
sweeps tubes of ships' boiler, when vessels are in port, with long wire brushes; may also chip off corrosive scale with hammer and chisel.
ship's cleaner
is engaged in cleaning ship in port, e.g. works inside vessel scraping sides, removing accumulations or dirt, slime, etc., from between outer iron and inner wood casings, and sweeping and cleaning holds after discharge of cargo.
ship's sweep
as for sweeper (924), sweeping chimneys, flues, etc., of galley, saloon, etc., fires in ships lying in harbour or dock.
ship's tank cleaner
removes corrosive scale from ship's water tanks by hand, with metal scraper, while ship is in port.
shore boatswain
in charge of shore gang of seamen (735) q.v. for sweeping of ship's hold, painting ironwork therein, cleaning ship's water tanks (see ship's tank cleaner), painting woodwork and ironwork on deck, splicing ship's ropes and generally cleaning and overhauling ship in port.
shore steward
under instructions from victualling superintendent (739) q.v., removes perishable stores from ship entering port, and stores them in shore catering depot stores; assists victualling superintendent in assembling supplies needed for next voyage.
signalman, civilian (Admiralty)
as for signalman, Lloyd's, engaged by Admiralty at a Port War Signal Station, working semaphore, searchlight, telegraph, telephone, etc.
signalman, Lloyd's
is stationed at a point of vantage on coast' to receive signals from passing vessels giving their name and destination; advises Lloyd's Register of Shipping thereof, by telegraph or telephone, and also keeps them informed as to weather conditions.
see marker.
in Australian and East Indian waters; is in charge of cargo on board ship; is representative of owners of cargo and superintends all commercial transactions connected with it (e.g. selling or exchanging) during voyage.
survey sounder (dock or harbour authority)
takes soundings, with a lead swung from a boat, of depths of water in different parts of harbour or dock, working under instructions of marine surveyor (731) q.v.; records soundings and furnishes reports thereof to surveyor.
a gearman q.v. who is in charge of tackle and blocks by which goods are raised in docks.
tallyman, ship's dock tallyman
see checker.
tide gauge attendant
keeps records of heights of tides as shown on tide-gauge; cleans gauge of seaweed; repaints gauge when necessary; constructs tide charts and makes comparisons with previous years by plotting curves; often also takes temperature of water, observes directions of wind and carries out other simple meteorological observations at port or harbour and keeps records thereof; reports to marine surveyor (731) q.v.
see ship's boiler tube sweeper.
water bailiff (dock)
acts as guardian or watchman in dock, harbour, pier, etc., in interests of owner; prevents use of dock, etc., by unauthorised persons or breaches of regulations, obsolescent.
water tender (canal)
see reservoir attendant (canal).
weighbridge man
weighs on weighbridge, records and checks weights of carts, lorries, railway trucks, etc., entering or leaving premises of harbour, dock, etc., company; furnishes weigh slips to carters (719) q.v.; hands-in records for use of company's office staff.
weigher, weighing machine keeper, weighman
weighs, in dock shed or on quay, goods before loading into vessel, or after unloading; keeps records of weights (where weight taker q.v. is not employed) and checks quantities of goods weighed against ship's manifest sometimes calls-out weights to weight taker; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. grain weigher, jetty weigher, pitwood weigher, weighman at coal staithes.
weight taker
stands by weigher q.v. and, as latter calls-out weights of goods, loaded into vessels or unloaded therefrom, records weights of each class of goods.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.