Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

Chief Mechanical Foreman George Jones, Swansea Docks

We were surprised and delighted to receive an e-mail from Australia in 2008. It was from Angie Smark, granddaughter of George Jones, who was Chief Mechanical Foreman at Swansea Docks until his retirement in 1972 after 48 years service. George was a well-known figure on the docks at Swansea, and is fondly remembered by all his former colleagues.

George’s children and some of his grandchildren – including Angie – were born on the docks where he and his family lived, firstly in Dock House adjacent to the old Prince of Wales Dry Dock and, later, in the Bungalow on the north side of the Prince of Wales Dock. Upon his retirement George emigrated to Sydney, Australia where, Angie tells us, after many happy years, he passed away in 1984.

George’s retirement was quite an occasion, and was celebrated with friends, family and colleagues at a function in the Railmen’s Club in Wind Street, Swansea. George was presented with an album containing photographs of various locations on Swansea Docks, and of many of the people with whom he worked. These photos, taken by our colleague Viv Howells, are still in the family’s possession, and Angie has kindly e-mailed us the following selection:-

Bessie Bevan presenting flowers to George's wife Vi.

Charlie Grey,  Anon, Tony Harrison, Anon, Hopkin Hopkins, Des Burns,
Wally Evans, John Ware and Roy Jefferies.

Includes Left to Right :- Ken Hughes, Gareth Evans, Gwyn Nicholls, Ernie Tovey, Harold Hardy,
Tommy Lloyd, Cyril Allen, John Ware, Billy Owen, George Copham, Jack Taylor, John Grey,
Cliff Harvey, Dennis Grant, Phil Davies, Albert Wastell, George Jones, Hugh Bevan,
Frank James, Joe Banfield and George Morgan.

Harry Dalling ( Driver ) and Ray Vaughan.

Colin Dyer, John Ware, Hugh Bevan, Dennis Davies,
Albert Wastell, Tony Harrison, John Doel and Ray Black.

Anon, Jack Charlesworth, Phil Davies, George Morgan and John Pilot.

Bill Lewis mechanical engineer and George Jones.

The main entrance to Swansea Docks.
On the right the Immigration Building and behind the police box the main Police Station.

Bill King presenting a cheque to George Jones on his retirement.
Left to right :- Bill Lewis Mechanical Engineer, Bill King Docks Manager Swansea & Port Talbot,
Keith Langdon Docks Engineer and George Jones.

Gwyn Nicholls and George Jones.

The Signal Tower at the Kings Dock Locks.
In later years it was fitted with clusters of red and green signal lamps
 to inform shipping whether the access to the locks was
available and if the Lay by Jetty was free or occupied.

In the photo Angie and her brother on J Shed Wharf.

Almost the same view as the photo above taken today. ( 7/7/2008 )

Train going over the Communication Passage Bridge. In the background G Shed.

Ronnie Payne and Dai Thomas.

Standing L to R :- John Godden, Emmett Molloy, Cyril Davies, Harold Twells, Charlie Grey and Viv Howells.
Seated Lto R :-
Dick Jones, George Jones, Jack Taylor and Norman Jenkins.

George Jones (2)