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

731.—Harbour, Dock, Canal—Officials; Pier Masters

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ballast master ; ballast inspector
is responsible to ballast contractor (732) q.v. for supervision of ballast heavers (745) q.v.; sees that ballast is securely stowed in ships so that it will not shift during voyage, and, in discharging ballast, supervises shifting from ship's hold to quay side at end of voyage; sometimes also does work of ballast contractor.
bank ranger
see inspector, canal.
berthing master ; landing stage master, master of landing stage, quay master
has control pf landing stage or quay from which vessels are moored for discharge of passengers and cargo; allocates berths for vessels at landing stage or quay and issues instructions for movements of other vessels, if necessary; in case of larger vessels, attends on landing stage or quay, and himself directs landing stage men (741) q.v.; superintends embarkation and disembarkation of passengers' luggage, or of cargo, mails, etc., by porters and labourers (745) q.v.; keeps records of vessels berthing at landing stages or quays, and of number of passengers and of quantities of luggage, mails, or cargo landed on each occasion, and sends in returns to dock or harbour authority so that proper dues may be collected for use of landing stage or quay.
boarding foreman, boarding officer
is responsible to harbour or dock authority for seeing that ship's papers, etc., are in order before allowing her to enter dock or harbour.
buoy agent
is responsible to port authority for letting of buoys for mooring vessels, pleasure boats, etc.
buoy master, buoy yard foreman
is responsible, to river, port, or conservancy authority, for maintenance and upkeep of buoys marking channels leading to or from a harbour; receives reports as to condition of buoys and periodically makes an inspection of all buoys in district; issues instructions for removal of buoys, when necessary, for removal from channel anchorage to buoy yard for repair; controls repair shops, and, on instruction from marine surveyor q.v., orders new buoys to be placed in channel to mark channel alterations, position of wrecks, etc.
canvasser (dock)
calls on shipping companies to represent advantages of a particular dock or port, and thus secure increased traffic.
cargo receiver
under supervision of wharfinger (732) q.v., receives cargo delivered for shipment from carting agents, etc., in dock warehouse; issues instruction as to disposal of cargo in warehouse until ship is ready to be loaded; supervises counters-off (749) q.v.; signs carters' (719) and lightermen's (738) q.v. delivery notes in acknowledgment of receipt of goods, and issues a dock receipt, whereon he notifies irregularities, e.g. frail containers, shifting contents, signs of tampering with packages.
cargo superintendent
is employed by shipping company to supervise handling of cargo being loaded and unloaded at clock; is responsible to marine superintendent q.v. for seeing that loading, etc., is carried out expeditiously, so that vessel is not delayed in port; issues instructions to master stevedore (732) q.v. as to disposal of cargo in ship's hold or dock shed.
chief collector (dock) ; principal receiver of rates and dues
is responsible to dock, port, or harbour authority for collection of dues, rates, or rents owing to them, and directs and controls collectors q.v. engaged in this work.
chief traffic manager (dock)
is responsible to dock, port or harbour authority for regulation of traffic on their premises, and directs and controls staff engaged in this work.
coal derrick manager, coal derrick master
is employed by coal contractor or colliery agent at coal staithes on dock or quay used by vessels for loading or unloading coal; controls cranemen (736) q.v. and generally supervises handling of traffic and coaling operations; executes coaling orders, allocates vessels to appropriate derrick and instructs railway companies as to number of wagons required in coal sidings at quay.
collector, harbour dues and rates
collector of dues, port dues and rates collector; receiver of dues, tonnage dues and rates collector; collects, on behalf of harbour or dock authority, dues and rates owing from traders or in respect of vessels using port, e.g. port or harbour dues, dock dues, landing charges, warehouse charges, demurrage, etc.; controls indoor and outdoor staff of rates and dues department.
collector, toll (canal)
collects tolls for canal authority, at lock or toll offices, from masters of vessels passing through canal; keeps records and remits monies collected, with statement of account, to canal company's office; frequently also does work of lock keeper (741) q.v.
collector, tonnage dues and rates
see collector, harbour dues and rates.
comptroller (dock)
controls financial side of dock authority's business; is responsible for collection of dues by collector q.v., collection of rents for use of dock estate, etc., payment of wages and dock accounts; supervises banking arrangements and signs cheques on behalf of dock authority or delegates such work to a responsible official; is responsible for keeping of company's share register and for payment of dividends to shareholders; sometimes also acts as registrar (930) q.v.
computer of dues (dock)
assesses dues owing by traders to dock or port authority; fixes dock and warehouse dues in consultation with board of management of authority; publishes, from time to time, printed list of charges; revises lists of charges periodically, and fixes charges for new commodities not appearing in lists; informs collector of dues q.v. as to variations in assessment or alterations of dues.
dock master, dock superintendent
has general administrative control of a dock and its operation; as for harbour master.
dredging master, dredging superintendent
is responsible to port, dock or harbour authority for-carrying-out dredging operations; on instructions received from marine surveyor q.v., orders dredger captain (733) q.v. to dredge channels alongside quays, or to remove banks or shoals impeding channel; instructs dredger captain or hopper captain (733) q.v. to dispose of dredged material at prescribed dumping grounds; controls staff operating dredgers and hoppers.
dredging master and marine engineer
a dredging master q.v. who is also responsible for engines in tugs, dredgers, and other vessels belonging to dock or harbour authority.
establishment officer (dock)
is responsible for engagement and discharge of staff of dock authority, and for compilation and preservation of records concerning each person employed.
examiner, chain
examines and tests in workshop, chains used on derricks, cranes, etc., in loading and unloading vessels; stands at bench along which chain passes on runners; taps chain with hammer to detect faulty links; marks same with chisel for cutting-out and replacing with new links by smith (190) q.v.; places chains, examined or re-linked, on hydraulic testing machine and sets testing machine in motion to test chain considerably above its required lifting capacity; finally again examines with hammer for faulty links, and returns chain to stores for reissue.
harbour master, harbour superintendent ; port master
in charge of docks, wharves, landing stages, etc., under jurisdiction of port or harbour authority; is responsible for care and upkeep of dock property; controls movement of shipping into and out of port, harbour or dock; decides general policy in connection with quay space apportionment.
haven master
as for harbour master
term found only in small harbours.
horse superintendent (canal)
is in charge of horses used in towing boats and belonging to canal authority; supervises stablemen (725) and horse drivers (719) q.v.; fixes journey stages; makes periodic inspection of horses and stables; is responsible for purchase of fodder, litter, etc., and for sale of stable manure; purchases horses and sells them when no longer fit.
inspector, baggage
is responsible for passengers' baggage being properly put on board or landed; sees that it tallies with list supplied by shipping office, and (in loading) that it is taken to right part of ship.
inspector, ballast
see ballast master.
inspector, ballast ground
superintends men working on ballast ground, unloading ballast from railway trucks, barges, etc., or loading it for conveyance to ship's side.
inspector of barges
(i) periodically examines barges to ascertain whether they are sea-worthy and otherwise in good condition, and reports any repairs that may be necessary;
(ii) an official of local authority, who inspects barges, and sees to their correct registration, their compliance with regulations, their sanitary condition, and their freedom from infectious diseases.
inspector, boat loading
see inspector, cargo.
inspector, building (docks)
inspects, externally and internally, buildings belonging to or occupied by dock authority, and arranges for any repairs, etc., that may be necessary; examines dock warehouses and certifies maximum load for storage on each floor; examines cases of strain in warehouse floors or supports, reported to him, and arranges for repair.
inspector, canal ; bank ranger (canal)
periodically examines a specified length of canal or canalised river, takes soundings in canal channel, and at quays and landing stages; reports as to general condition of canal bottom and recommends removal of weeds, cleaning of bottom, dredging, etc.; examines banks and towing paths, reports condition, recommending repair, etc.; investigates complaints as to shallow parts of channel.
inspector, canal lock
periodically examines lock gates, by opening and closing, to ascertain whether appliances work efficiently; inspects lock pit walls, woodwork and ironwork of lock gates, notes leakages and defective parts and recommends repair.
inspector, cargo ; surveyor of cargoes, boat loading inspector
inspects loaded vessels to see that cargo is properly trimmed i.e. level, and evenly distributed and taut, or tightly packed, and not liable to shift in heavy weather and thus become a danger to stability of vessel.
inspector of chains, hoists, ropes, etc.
examines cranes, chains, hoists, wire ropes, slings and lifting appliances used on dock or canal to test condition; recommends necessary repairs to dock or canal engineer; orders withdrawal of defective chains, etc., and sends to testing department.
inspector, dock
makes periodical visits to various parts of docks to see that work is being properly carried on, and notes irregularities.
inspector of flats
examines fleet of "flats" (square-ended, hold-less lighters of shallow draught, used for certain kinds of cargo, e.g. coal, iron ore) belonging to dock, canal or harbour authority; reports defects to dock or canal engineer and recommends necessary repairs.
inspector, outdoor (dock)
is responsible for inspection of docks, dock gates, bridges, quays and other outdoor premises and plant belonging to harbour, dock, or port authority; supervises inspector of chains, etc., dock inspector q.v., allocates duties, receives their reports and recommends repairs to chief engineer.
inspector of shipping
is responsible to dock authority for inspection of ships berthed in dock or harbour to ensure that regulations regarding, e.g. erection of gangways, lighting fires, waste disposal, are observed; patrols docks during loading and unloading operations to ensure that tackle dangerous to public or to dock property is not used; warns unauthorised persons off dock premises.
inspector of stores ; stores supervisor
is responsible for maintenance of stores (gear, ropes, chains, lamps, etc.) in good condition.
inspector of timber
is responsible to dock authority for safe stowage of timber unloaded from vessels; supervises placing of timber in timber ponds, sees logs or timber rafts securely lashed together and anchored in pond to prevent damage to timber; supervises erection of timber standards, built of sawn-up timber; satisfies himself that they will withstand gales.
inspector of tugs, etc.
inspects tugs, etc., in dock or harbour service, to ensure that they are fit for work and in good condition, and reports if repairs are necessary.
inspector of weighing
periodically inspects weighing machines on dock or premises, testing accuracy by check scales and standard weights; rejects inaccurate machines and weights and notifies keeper of weighing machines and materials q.v.
keeper of cranes
is responsible to dock authority for maintenance of cranes on authority's premises; supervises inspectors of chains, cranes, hoists, etc., and directs work of crane repair shop; allocates cranemen (950) q.v. in accordance with work in hand; orders movement of portable cranes about dock as necessary.
keeper, Trinity buoy
has charge in a district of buoys belonging to Trinity House (lighthouse authority for England and Wales); sees that they are painted as often as required, and that they are always in correct position.
keeper, warehouse
has charge of warehouse belonging to dock authority, and is responsible for goods stored therein; controls and directs warehouse staff.
keeper of weighing machines and materials
has charge of weighing machines and materials (weights, etc.) and weighing machine parts in stores and on dock estate; is responsible to dock authority for ensuring that these are kept efficient and accurate; supervises inspectors of weighing q.v.; keeps records of machines allocated and details of their use when rented by master stevedore (732) q.v.; furnishes to collector of dues q.v. statements of machines and weights rented.
labour master
engages and discharges casual labour (unskilled or semiskilled) employed by dock or harbour authority; despatches as required to work on dock estate; in charge of pay office, including payment of labourers and compilation of wage sheets.
landing stage master
see berthing master.
manager, dock and warehouse
is responsible for business arrangements in connection with storage, etc., in warehouses or on dock premises.
manager, traffic (canal)
records entry of boats into canal and departure therefrom; issues instructions regulating entry, to avoid congestion; usually keeps map to mark volume of traffic in canal at any given time; observes rate of boats' progress, number of boats berthed at wharves, etc.; in general, facilitates easy progress of canal traffic.
manager, traffic (docks)
is responsible to chief traffic manager q.v. for regulation of shipping, rail and road traffic in large dock, dock estate, or section thereof; decides time of vessels' entry to suit berthing accommodation; regulates road and rail traffic to prevent congestion in dock-sidings, quays or roads leading therefrom.
marine superintendent (dock), marine supervisor (dock), marine surveyor (dock), marine surveyor and water bailiff ; surveying officer
conducts surveys of banks and channels of dock estate, or of port or harbour; prepares port or harbour charts; directs dredging operations; has charge of buoys, beacons and sometimes of lighthouses and lightships showing harbour entrance and marking channels; has charge of dock or harbour authority's craft, i.e. dredgers, tugs, ferries.
master of landing stage
see berthing master.
pier master
as for berthing master.
pilot master ; superintendent of pilotage
on dock or harbour authority's behalf, has charge of pilotage arrangements giving access to port; arranges pilot roster in accordance with tides and traffic entering and leaving port; keeps pilotage record and forwards salary sheets of pilots (733) q.v. to harbour authority.
port master
see harbour master.
principal receiver of rates and dues
see chief collector (dock).
quay master
see berthing master.
receiver of dues
see collector, harbour dues and rates.
shore officer, night
combines duties of inspector of shipping, traffic manager (docks) q.v. etc., during night when volume of work does not justify attendance of these officials or their deputies; is responsible for supervision of dock quays, wharves and night loading and unloading operations.
staith master
N.E. coast term; a coal derrick master q.v. in charge of a coal staith (landing stage specially equipped for loading or unloading of coal); is responsible for care and upkeep of staith.
superintendent engineer (dock)
is responsible to dock or harbour authority for maintenance of docks, and of buildings, engines, cranes, loading and unloading apparatus, tugs, dredgers, and other plant belonging to that authority; directs and controls maintenance staff.
superintendent of pilotage
see pilot master.
supervisor, stores
see inspector of stores.
surveying officer
see marine superintendent (dock).
surveyor of cargoes
see inspector, cargo.
traffic agent (canal)
represents a canal company in a particular town; solicits and books orders, and makes arrangements for traffic.
water bailiff (dock)
a highly qualified technical man employed as harbour master q.v. or on harbour master's staff, or as marine surveyor q.v.; cf. water bailiff (749).

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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.