PortCities London

Many hands: Trades of the Port of London, 1850-1980

Deal Porters

Carrying timber

Deal porters unloading a lighter.
View full size imageDeal porters unloading a lighter. © NMM

The work of the casual dock labourer relied on raw strength. Whether lifting, carrying or pushing, the work was physically demanding but involved little skill. Some dockers, often the men with permanent employment, did however specialize in particular jobs that required certain skills.