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Unloading raw sugar at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery wharf, Birkenhead, 1938

Gang of men unloading bags from an unidentified sugar boat to a 'rake' on the Chelsea Wharf, Birkenhead.Noted on reverse of photo: a reference to an interview with Mr Goode, who helped his father looked after the horses when Mr Goode was a child. The interview may have been part of the research carried out for the book 'Sugar workers, sugar town : an oral history of Chelsea Sugar Refinery, 1884-1984' by Peter Luke (Auckland, N.Z.] : New Zealand Sugar Company Limited, 1984) ,p. 14 or The Chelsea Sugar-Works : an oral account by Grant Watson (Auckland, N.Z. : University of Auckland?, 1979). Historical note: Auckland wharfies were ferried to Chelsea each day and unloaded the raw sugar in gangs. Each gang of fifteen men had eight below, two winchmen, the hatchmen and four landing on the wharf..... the sugar bags would be winched from the ships hold and loaded on to 'rakes' - double-bogeyed trucks running on the railway line along the wharf. The Queensland bags were 160 pounds, the Fiji two hundredweight; and the Cuban was three hundredweight ... each rake might have up to three tons of sugar. Loading the rakes required skill. See- Luke, Peter. Sugar workers, sugar town : an oral history of Chelsea Sugar Refinery, 1884-1984. Pub. [Auckland, N.Z.] : New Zealand Sugar Company Limited, 1984. Page 13.
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