The rather less glamorous side of the era of steam

In 1910 Royal Navy stokers are seen here engaged on one of the other unpopular tasks ' raking out the boiler in an unknown ship in Portsmouth Dockyard.
In 1910 Royal Navy stokers are seen here engaged on one of the other unpopular tasks ' raking out the boiler in an unknown ship in Portsmouth Dockyard.
Two clerks on duty in James Taylors offices in Old Portsmouth. 			 (Robert James collection)

BOB HIND: How ways of doing business have changed from the old days

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One of the most demanding jobs in the old Royal Navy, before the days of fuel oil, was coaling the ships’ bunkers.

As this 1904 picture from Portsmouth dockyard shows, this filthy process employed virtually every member of a ship’s company.

This dockside picture dating from 1904 shows sailors and Temperley's Transporter Haulabouts hard at work.

This dockside picture dating from 1904 shows sailors and Temperley's Transporter Haulabouts hard at work.

The vessel’s superstructure and guns were shrouded in canvas as a protection against choking dust.

Some of the battleships held up to 3,000 tons of coal and when steaming at high speed they used supplies at a fast rate.

The 1904 dockside picture (below) shows sailors and Temperley’s Transporter Haulabouts hard at work.