Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

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Volume Four - An Era of Change, Uncertainty, Depression & War - Frederick Riden's contribution . . .

"By Order" of the Railway Executive in 1922 - a sign warning of the dangers of injury and damage in propping-up doors of wagons.

My eldest brother, Peter recalls within his extensive memoirs [040] that Frederick Riden, our grandfather, was no longer repairing and building coal wagons in Ferry Road but had taken up residence in a basement office at Churchill Way, Cardiff:

“He ran the Vacant Register for the Boilermaker’s Union for a period including the General Strike of 1926. The many engineering firms of Cardiff’s docklands notified him of vacancies, and he acted as a clearing house for employment permanent, temporary or for one day, as it became available. For a small weekly payment, whilst in employment, they were insured against unemployment for a time in the form of a small payout; absolutely a life saver in those days before the Welfare State. Aneurin Bevin’s new National Health Service was not operative until the late 1940’s, so Fred had insured against ill-health and disability as well. So many, many workers had cause to be grateful to my Grandfather and his work.”

A book entitled "Below the Bridge" [222] chronicles the history of Cardiff's docklands and a contributor, Mr. Bill O'Neil recounts two significant situations from the period:-

"I remember ships lined up, especially in the East Dock, for ten years. They'd go red with rust. The owners couldn't afford to pay the dues so the company took them over."

"In 1926 there was the General Strike. At that time the Transport and General Workers Union was only a few years old . . . At that time they didn't have many funds, and during the first week of the strike the dockers were paid one pound. In the second week they were paid ten shillings (50p), and that was the end of the union funds so the dockers had to go back to work."

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150 years of Penarth Dock History and Heritage

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