Postby teesships » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:34 am

.... I started work .... for Tees Conservancy Commissioners (T.C.C.) at their Head Office in Queens Square, Middlesbrough.
It doesn't happen so fast these days but I was interviewed late on the Monday afternoon and started the very next morning, Tuesday, 11 August 1964. My position was Junior Establishment Clerk and, at 18 years of age having just completed my A levels (not very successfully!) my salary was the princely sum of £375p.a. (per year!) for an average 37.5 hour week (35 hours Monday to Friday, plus two Saturday mornings out of 3).

I was to stay there for 35 years, rising through the ranks to the position of Personnel Manager before I took early retirement on 1 December 1999. During that time there were, of course, many changes:
January 1967 - TCC absorbed into the new trust port undertaking of Tees and Hartlepools Port Authority;
September 1967 - decasualisation of dock workers;
1989 - abolition of Dock Labour Scheme;
1992 - privatisation of former Trust Port to become THPA Ltd. (now PD Ports after I left).

For myself, already having an interest in ships, the purely co-incidental appointment to work for the port authority was a "job with benefits". In the early years, as a junior clerk, I was expected to occasionally join the weekly wages run to visit the river craft and Graving Dock. My notebook and sometimes my camera accompanied me on those trips (you have seen some of the results on NEM). As a Trust Port (a not-for-profit organisation as such) river trips were organised a couple of times for pensioners and other interested parties and I went along as a "guide". For many years I was on call-out in the event of serious industrial accidents so through this and the course of my regular work there were frequent visits to the local docks. Following privatisation I was also expected to visit associated port activities on Humberside and Immingham giving more ship-observing opportunities (again normally after I had finished my work commitments). It was only after I retired that tighter legislation restricted access to dock properties.

The main benefit was having ready access (out of hours, or so I say!) to current Lloyd's Registers to keep my shipping records up-to-date and, over the years, cast-offs of such publications joined my home library. I still regret the day I found there had been a clear-out of the Queen's Square basement storage rooms and a whole lot of old LRs had simply been chucked out!!!

Ah, well, those were the days. Just thought you'd like to know!!

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Location: Middlesbrough


Postby Keelman » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:08 pm

An interesting read Ron. Thanks for posting.
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