The hefty deal porters of those days would carry two and even three planks on their backs up the long, sloping runs without turning a hair.
After a fire at James Latham’s Curtain Road premises in the 1890’s – land on the canal at Grove Road, Bow was purchased and sawmills built that later transferred to the River Lea, Clapton site.
See more on James Latham and site developments at the River Lea here.
“Apart from American lumber, there was store here the extensive stocks of Quebec Pine Deals…The hefty deal porters of those days would carry two and even three planks on their backs up the long , sloping runs without turning a hair…The men worked for fifty minutes each hour, and in the interval refreshed themselves from large two-gallon stone jars of beer, which were cared for by a special attendant, usually an old deal porter past active work.”
Reference: Bryan Latham in Timber its Development & Distribution, published 1957, George G Harrap & Co Ltd, pg xi in Story of James Latham.
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Sawmill and Wharves once stood at Old Ford next to Victoria Park.
Information on James Latham Ltd – photographs and books can be found at Hackney Archives.
This item is now housed at the Hackney Archives. You can visit it here.