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   Back to London declines as a whaling port

Unemployed men gather outside the West India Docks.

Unemployed men gather outside the West India Docks.
Unemployed men gather outside the West India Docks.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: H4982
Description: Because much dock work was unskilled, requiring brute strength to fetch and carry goods, it was open to anyone seeking employment. Sometimes people worked in the docks for a short period at particular times of the year or if their own trade was in depression. In this image, unemployed labourers gather outside the West India Docks, hoping to be taken on for a day's work.
Creator: Unknown
Date: 1886
Credit line: Tower Hamlets Local History Library Collection
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