Interviewer: Marilyn Clayton
Recorded at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard, Richmond, B.C., October 2, 1991
(Project) Tape No. 112:1
FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF TAPE - NO RESTRICTIONS
MC: What we understood was that the water came up over, up over the boardwalk did it?
IB: Yeah, yeah.
MC: And then just...
IB: It came right in here, yeah. I think it was about up to the hub caps of our cars that were parked here. There was just the one bad year, that year. I don't even know, remember what year it was.
MC: What year it was.
IB: No. Yeah, it did flood.
MC: So what happened with your vehicles, did they all start?
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: No problem there.
IB: Oh yeah, it was just about up to the, mid way on the wheels there.
MC: Okay, yeah.
MC: Were there any funny stories that day about...?
IB: Not really, no, no. Other than wearing gum boots or using a row boat to get into work, you know.
MC: Is that what you did?
IB: Well, no, but almost.
MC: You could have used one of the skiffs.
MC: Okay, well that's great.
IB: Yeah, we used to store all the boats here, all the gill netters.
MC: Right in front.
IB: Right in this area here yeah.
MC: Okay. Now....
IB: Side track them with the winch out of the shed here, it runs to a little cradle.
MC: That small winch shed there?
IB: Yeah, yeah.
MC: That was called side-tracking?
IB: Yeah, we used to put them on, there were, there were beams like you have there. They were quite high and we'd drag them along on rollers.
MC: Oh right, up on dry land here.
IB: Right on the, right on, there was like runners here, like beams. Oh, big huge ones, 12, 14 inches.
MC: Similar to on that side there?
IB: Similar to that. Basically the same.
MC: Is that right? Okay.
IB: Yeah. We used to run little short pipes on there and then a plank and then pull them and they'd run on the pipes and roll. We used to store them up here, line them up.
MC: Okay, so you stored the boats that you were working on.
IB: The gill netters. Well a lot of them were stored just over, for storage during the winter time.
MC: Okay. Do you remember the names of any of them?
IB: Oh, good heavens, no, I don't.
MC: Yeah, we've got some records.
IB: Have you? Yeah I forget. There's so many, eh.
MC: Exactly. Gee, look at the heavy dew last night. So we'll head out into the boatworks and.... TAPE TURNED OFF
MC: There. Well, do you know anything about this winch shed here, when it was put in?
IB: Oh good... Well it was here when we came here.
MC: Okay, and that was...
IB: There was a few of us that worked at Todds for about, almost eleven years, at the foot of No. 2 Road. And then they closed down and then Canadian Fish offered us a job to come here and work at Britannia.
MC: Okay, now what did you work as when you were here? What was...?
IB: I was a welder and blacksmith eh.
MC: Okay. A blacksmith. Did you take over for, there was some one by the name of George (Sturgeon)? Do you remember that name?
IB: George, you mean the foreman?
MC: No, there was a blacksmith, long time ago, named George?
IB: Oh, he might have been here before I was.
IB: It could have been, yeah.
MC: Okay. Now does this all bring back memories now? Seeing this old building.
IB: Yeah. In fact, well you used to be able to go around that corner, there was a bit of a wharf there with net racks on them and we used to go around there.
MC: Is that how you got in sometimes?
IB: No, just a lot of the guys tied their boats up down here. We had floats. Basically what they've got over there only just more of them right.
MC: Well, that sign up there, see parts of it are crossed out underneath. Do you know what used to be written on that? It says Britannia Shipyard. (sign on the front of the Shipyard building)
IB: What the heck it was now.
MC: We were wondering if we could get a picture to find out. Do you have any old photographs at all?
IB: No, I don't, no.
MC: A lot of people say, why would I take a picture of where I worked.
IB: Well, we never, we never took any pictures as a matter of fact. There was something there too, and I just forget what it was.
MC: Maybe it'll come back to you. If we find out we'll share the knowledge with you. John's in the process (John Foster) of, you know, getting the machinery back into, some of it into working order anyway.
IB: Into working order, yeah.
MC: Some of it he's just cleaning up so that it, on our display day. On the 14th of October (1991), we're going to be launching that skiff that they're working on.
IB: Are you?
MC: Yeah, and so on that day we want to have areas open and displays and everything.
IB: You should put it down on the small cradle there actually. You could lower it down.
MC: I think they might even be going to do that they...
IB: Yeah, yeah, you wouldn't need the winch for that, just some rope and some blocks and tackle.
MC: This is, do you remember George Shorey?
MC: That might be a name you'd be familiar with.
IB: That's a long, that was just before we got here.
MC: Oh, look there's a little shell casing, isn't it?
IB: It is. Somebody's been shooting pigeons or something.
MC: Well George Shorey, he's no longer living, but his wife Dorothy, she's going to come down and launch the boat for us.
IB: Oh, is that right.
MC: Yeah. Do you want to look down in, have you been in here at all? You could show me where you used to work.
IB: Well that's where, that's the stock room there.
MC: That's right. And this was the...
IB: Carpenter's shop. Yeah, they had a big band saw here.
MC: Did you?
IB: Yeah. Lunch room up above, up stairs. This used to be what we called the gas shop. Where all the, all the smaller engines were taken out and over hauled and re- done in here. We used to store the batteries in these two shops here. One was the paint shop, one was the battery shop. And the washroom.
MC: And the washroom. Now, this would be...
IB: This where we worked, yeah. Machine shop here. We had the lathe right in here. The lathe was sitting there and the pipe threader was sitting over here. And we had, oh machinery, a key cutter, a shaper, and I used to have this corner over here. They, we had a forge in there at one time. For forging, you know, heating metal up so you could bend it, or twist it, or whatever. We had a work table here. This is prime area where I worked, right in this area here.
MC: Okay. See on the wall, there's a boarded up hole, was that a window or something?
IB: I'm not sure now, whether they had a window in there or not.
MC: Somebody told us that, there's a hole somewhere where pipes were put through I guess when they were working on them. Or was that down further?
IB: Actually the only pipe tool in the forge, it had a cowling like, like what you see in a kitchen or anywhere for smoke. It goes out right through here. Your forge would be about in here. In this area. You stoked it with coke, with coal, you know. We had a fan on it, anything you wanted to heat or bend, you stuck it in the forge. So.
MC: Were you responsible for keeping the coal up and things?
IB: Oh yeah, yeah. We had a storage bin just outside here. I don't know if its still there. No its gone now.
MC: Okay, well look, how about if you come over here. I've got some pictures and maybe in one of the pictures you'll be able to identify what some of the things are in the background. Now Doris (Forsyth) was able to give us a... These are all pictures of people we've interviewed. Doris had pictures of the last crew that worked here on the site. This is the last grouping.
IB: Oh yeah. Well I wasn't in here (the picture), I left. We could kind of see the writing on the wall, what was happening here. I went to work for another outfit and then after that I started my own shop in Steveston. (8 Ball Marine Ltd.)
IB: Now there's Birkedal, Leif (looking at the photos) Jack Deagle. There's Doris, and there's Jack Weinrauch, that's Ruddy Baker, Shin Nakade, that's Harold Grahn. There's Adrian (Allegretto).
MC: That's, that's Allen Steves' son, Terry.
IB: Oh, is it?
MC: Yeah, Terry Steves. Now this, this, see this thing in the background. What was that, do you know?
IB: There's your crane. That was against...
MC: It would be against this wall.
IB: Yeah. I think it was just a tank stored here. I don't think had, it served any purpose as far as the running of the....
MC: Okay. So would it have been just sort of in behind where Jack Deagle is that the coal bin was?
IB: Actually, here's your crane.
MC: We're down at the opposite end of the building so... So we're down almost ....
IB: So actually you'd be standing right here to take that picture.
IB: Now wait a minute, where are we?
MC: Up there.
IB: The other side, yeah, the other end of the building. It's on the other side of the crane, yeah. I don't think there was any purpose for that.
MC: Well, probably that coal bin was in around in there somewhere.
IB: Yeah, it was in around there, yeah.
MC: Okay. This is a picture of a boat on the ways. Or on the hoist.
IB: Oh, on the hoist here, on the elevator, yeah. Used to call it the elevator. All the power skiffs, they used to be all tied up down in here.
MC: You remember all that do you.
IB: Yeah, oh yeah. Well there's Jack Weinrauch and his wife Ann.
MC: Ann. So you've seen him recently have you?
IB: I haven't seen Jack for a while.
MC: Okay. And this is Jack helping John (Foster) go over some of the old blue prints, to tell us where the pieces of machinery were.
IB: Oh yeah. That's not Al Nesbitt is it?
MC: No, that's Harold Grahn.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: I think this was sort of one of the last parties.
IB: Oh yeah. Oh, there's Doris.
MC: There's Doris and what the stock room used to look like.
IB: And there's Jack from the stockroom. This here's your elevator here, this is over this side. There's Jack Weinrauch, Harold Grahn, and that's Elmer MacKay.
MC: That's right. Was he a fisherman?
IB: Yeah, he has a boat called the ""Knight Rider"". He's fished here for quite a few years. [Look at that] there we are.
MC: Doris.... Now that's an aerial photograph that Buster McKenzie sent to us. Now this is down the other way, this is Phoenix Cannery. Okay but it does give you a view of the old buildings there and I think this area here was the Shorey's home. You can see a little bit, some, just a little bit of our site but not too much. But it gives an idea.
IB: That's Phoenix.
MC: These are just some of the people, some more of the people we've interviewed. This is Lanky (Mizuguchi). (Looking at photographs).
IB: That's Lanky.
MC: Do you know Lanky? Yeah, he was here yesterday. And this fellow grew up on the site, his name is Kobayashi, Yutaka Kobayashi. He was here from Toronto, and he came out and had a visit with us.
IB: Oh, yeah. Boy this is old.
MC: Yes. You can see, that's the, this is the Phoenix Cannery and that's a bit of Britannia sticking out at the end. And you can see it is really old, you're right. And these are some of the last photographs of one of the parties. (Britannia Shipyard workers)
IB: Yeah it is so, yeah. There's Jack and Doreen. Is that Adrian (Allegretto) again?
MC: I don't know who that is.
IB: Gordie Baker. That's our daughter Kelly.
MC: Oh really?
IB: Yeah, there's Kelly, Doris (Grahn), Harold Grahn. That's Doris there. Yeah, for goodness sakes.
MC: See that's Ann and Jack (Weinrauch).
IB: Jack there.
MC: And this is Shin's wife, I think.
IB: I think so, yeah.
MC: Shin Nakade's wife.
IB: God you're going a way back.
MC: Well, that's what's fun though.
IB: Yeah, really.
MC: Getting little bits of history. And this is, this was an article that was in the Richmond Review, about just what's going on here. I've put you on our mailing list, so you'll be getting our newsletters as they get published.
IB: Oh you're going to launch that....
MC: That's on the 14th (October, 1991). So its an open invitation, we'd love for you to come and ......
IB: Oh, is that right eh?
MC: Yeah. On, about noon time on Thanksgiving Monday.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: Hopefully all these people we've interviewed are going to come down and take a look.
MC: Be like a real win-ding party here. Okay. I haven't got a bunch of specific questions set out because I wanted to let this be, you know, just a real natural kind of thing. Whatever you can remember, you know about working here. When you came to work in the morning, what would you do?
IB: Well, it could be a number of any, you know anything at all because like when you're in a smaller shipyard such as this. One specific job is pretty hard, you wouldn't, you wouldn't be able to do it. You couldn't weld all day because there's was not that much welding to do. So if you weren't welding, you'd be helping someone else. You'd be repairing or helping, maybe the mechanics with engines, or even painting or anything.
MC: First thing in the morning when you came in, what would you do first off? Like did you have a meeting area or...
IB: No, basically we used to just go into the stock room and whatever duties we had to do, the foreman would let us know. Or if you were working on a vessel, you know, through the week or anything you'd just continue on that same job until it was finished.
MC: Who was your foreman?
IB: Al Nesbitt.
MC: Okay, so he'd have...
IB: Well, Harold Grahn was the foreman and Al NEsbitt was, I don't know what you'd call him, a superintendent or whatever. He was the main boss over the yard and Harold was the foreman over the working men.
IB: So, they were both bosses.
MC: So you'd check in at the store room.
IB: Usually, yeah. Or you'd know what you had to do and just carry on and go about your business, you know.
MC: We understand there was a big old stove or something.
IB: There was, a big heater, yeah, yeah.
MC: Would that be a gathering point?
IB: Not necessarily, it was, well it was pretty cold in here much of the winter time.
MC: I bet.
IB: You wouldn't be hanging around the heater at all, I mean lazing around. You still had your work to do, your chores to do, so you had to do that. But yeah there was.
MC: Was it a good group of guys to work with?
IB: Oh yeah, oh yeah. We did a lot of work, did good work, and we did a lot of work. A lot of it was hard and dirty, but what the heck, its work, you know no matter what it is, its a job. And everything, all the machinery was all belt run, all these shafts and everything. You can, like these wheels here would be where the belts [ran on those wheels] and over to where the lathe was here. I don't know if there's any here or not, no these have been taken out.
MC: Yeah. And these screens would be just for protection, would they?
IB: Ah, more or less, yeah. That and the belts used to get loose. In the winter time they'd shrink and the summer time they stretch. But one way or another we always managed to keep them going.
MC: So what, you'd have to go up there and tighten them up?
IB: Yeah, basically what we'd do, we used to heat tar on the forge in a bucket, then you'd go up and just pour it on to the belts and that in turn would stick and grab.
MC: Oh, okay.
IB: An old, old trick.
MC: Who figured that trick out?
IB: Well, I don't know. Knew that was the way to do it at that time. It worked fine. It worked good.
MC: Did it really?
MC: Necessity is the mother of invention isn't it?
MC: So I guess when you're standing here you can see, can you just remember where everybody was standing?
IB: Yeah, I can see everybody.
MC: Who'd be in that corner?
IB: No one in particular. We used to, whatever you had to do, you'd use the bench that was available.
IB: And right here used to be what the pipe threader for, threading big pipe. Used to stick the end of the pipes through that hole in the wall.
MC: Oh, that's the hole I was trying, that's the one.
IB: That's the hole, yeah. Well, the pipe threader would be about here, in about this area. And if you had a twenty foot pipe and you were threading the end of it, you'd stick it through the other end of that, outside the building.
MC: And make the, make the people out on deck be careful.
MC: Were there ever any accidents here? I mean did, it seems to me there must have been so much going on.
MC: No, everybody was pretty careful?
IB: I can't ever remember anyone getting seriously hurt, other than maybe a bump here and there. Nothing serious.
MC: Do you remember any...
IB: No broken bones or legs or arms or anything like that.
MC: Were there any funny things you can remember happening?
IB: Oh everything was funny. Yeah.
MC: Did you play... Oh, I guess you wouldn't have time to play tricks on one another but.
IB: No, not very, not very often.
MC: It was just a natured group.
MC: How about nicknames? Anybody have nicknames for one another?
IB: No, not really, I don't remember. No, pretty well straight forward actually.
MC: Yeah, yeah. Like when the work day was over did you guys ever get together or socialize together or just hang out?
IB: Pretty well headed for the gate at the end of the ordinary day. But there was occasions that we'd, you know, go up and sit down yak. We'd have a party for a birthday or something like that. But...
MC: Up in the coffee room?
IB: Yeah, up in the coffee room. It wasn't very often. Christmas time we'd have a get together. The employees, you know people who worked here. Had a few goodies and a few drinks and that was it.
MC: Back to work.
IB: Nothing spectacular or anything like that.
MC: No, no. Just a good crew. I guess standing here you can just sort of visualize people.
IB: Yeah, oh yeah. Busy place. Oh, there was a waiting list all the time. Especially for the, for the hoist out here, the elevator. And also for all the ways and the number 2 ways, the little one over here that was going into the other shed. There was always boats waiting to get up to have work done. Everybody missed it too you know. This place shut down it was just a disaster. There was no where else, they had to go to Trites Marina that was the only place they had.
MC: Well, you said that you sensed that things were slowing down. Did you towards the end?
IB: We could see it yeah. We could see it slowing down. It was just a second guess, I guess. So...
MC: You decided to relocate?
IB: Yeah. I hadn't been very long, after I left it they actually shut the place down. There was a space of a year or something like that.
MC: Do you remember when you left, Irvin?
IB: I think it was '79.
MC: Okay, that would have been....
IB: I'm not sure, I think it was '79, '80. Might have been '78 too.
MC: Yeah, I think it was '79 when it did close down.
IB: Yeah, I think it was '78 when I left here.
MC: Did you ever work out on the, on that what you call the elevator out there.
IB: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
MC: Did you? Okay.
IB: Yeah, basically, well being right here all the time I was the handiest too. The other guys would be on the ways working or working in the shop or working all over. So if a boat had to come up I usually ran the hoist to take them up and let them down.
IB: And also if we had seine boats came in, we used to take the masts down with a big crane. Take the masts down and lay then on the dock 'cause you couldn't get the seine boats up the ways because of the roof. The big one, I mean the big cradles over here.
MC: Let's walk out there. The old crane is still out there.
IB: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
MC: Did you operate that crane?
IB: Oh yeah, yeah. I ran that for quite awhile. This was our storage in here, had all of our materials. Metal, was usually not too much aluminum in those days, it was mainly steel.
MC: Is that what these pipes were for then?
IB: That's right, to lay all your rods and stuff like that in. The paint shop there and battery shop in there.
MC: Okay. Was that all organized? And what, you take the stuff out? Did you have to sign it out when you....?
IB: Not really, no.
MC: No. Just pretty well.
IB: That used, used to be a box here with a big lid on it. That was our, storing sacks of coal.
MC: You can almost see where something used to be on the deck there. And I guess this swung open?
IB: Swung open, yeah.
MC: Have access in and out. So when you were operating this elevator (hoist), what did you do? Where did you stand there?
IB: Well, we'd just drop it down and bring your boat on and kind of just bring it in and then keep it tight to the stanchions there, that are here, right.
MC: How did you do that? Did you just tilt it or did you sort of tie it?
IB: Oh, put it, tie a rope on it from the vessel itself. And then your switch is here and you just hit your switch and up she'd come very slowly. You had a big bull gear in here, big brass bull. (Takes cover off) See.
MC: Oh yes.
IB: That, these are all brass.
MC: Are they?
IB: And they're bathed in oil. (Puts cover back on)
MC: That's just the old cap.
IB: Yeah, they would just turn very, very slowly. Your vessel used to just come up like this. So.
MC: I guess, you know that, when as you say, when this all shut down the men around, the boat owners and men, must have really missed it. It was easy access for repairs.
IB: Yeah, they really missed it. Yeah, they really missed it.
MC: Did this thing make a lot of noise when it was going up and down?
IB: No, not really. Pretty quiet, just the motor running that's all.
MC: Right. See the speckles of paint all over, that's, was that from doing repair work?
IB: Well, that's from when they'd paint their boats. Scrape the [bottoms], put the copper paint on, what ever they had to do. Check their net guards and stuff like that. It was needed.
MC: So like how many in a...? Would a boat come in here and be on this elevator for a day, and then gone or?
IB: Sometimes a day, sometimes two, three days, sometimes a week. Depending on what had to be done to the boat. Whether they had to have new planks put in or anything done to it other than the normal every, you know, maintenance sort of thing.
MC: Well, were you working on independent boats or were you working on boats that belonged to a company fleet?
IB: Well, pretty well all, all independent boats alright. Lot of company boats, lot of power skiffs, you know and things like that. But basically the owners would come in themselves.
MC: Sure. Now you were saying that the power skiffs. Lets walk around the other side. I can see on the deck there, where there, it looks like there used to be something bolted down at the end.
IB: That was a ramp.
MC: That was ramp? Okay. So there would be a ramp going down to the...
IB: Down to the float.
MC: Similar to that one?
IB: There was another float here.
IB: There was a ramp down to there and then a float on to there and that joined on to the rest of them. Although there's a little ramp there now. But that used to be here.
MC: Okay. And that would be like, where we see in the photograph, all those power skiffs.
IB: They were right here.
MC: They were right in here, were they?
IB: In this area here.
MC: Sure. Well, the tides out a long way, sometimes....
IB: Oh yeah, its way down now.
MC: Its, you know its amazing just to see how much variance there is. See that big glob of stuff there?
IB: That's from the lathe.
MC: Is it?
IB: Yeah, that's all filings and what have you.
IB: Plus a lot, bunch more junk.
MC: So what kind of junk would you just toss out that hole?
IB: Oh God, if you got in there, good heavens, I don't know what you'd find. You'd find anything and everything in there.
MC: Mostly metal things?
IB: Yeah, basically metal.
MC: Look at that, look at that turn thing there, with a, that looks like it was a, I don't know, what does that look like? Looks like a giant can opener?
IB: Looks like it was some kind of a wrench or something doesn't it. I don't know what that would be.
MC: Gee, its like looking down into a puzzle isn't it.
IB: Yeah, it is.
MC: Well, who knows what you might find.
IB: If you could break into the middle of that you'd find lots of goodies I guess.
MC: Break in? That's all like soldered together is it?
MC: Somebody told us that the slag heap got higher and higher and they had to knock it over cause it was right up to the hole.
MC: That happened did it?
IB: Oh yeah. In fact I think that's part of it over there.
MC: Look at all the little screwy wires in it and everything. There's a lone weed growing at the top. That's a bit of a brave weed. Its great being out here on the deck. Let's go take a look at the old crane. So did you operate that sometimes too?
MC: And that's, that's how you would have taken the masts...
IB: Taken the masts off or sunken boat came in, you'd put the slings under it and kind of raise it out of the water.
MC: Okay now, that intrigues me, a sunken boat. What, would it be towed in then?
IB: Ah, sometimes along side. We couldn't get it on the elevator, the elevator wasn't low enough. We'd just put a big sling around it then pick it up a little at a time until we could get it dried out and pumped out and then swing it around and put it on the elevator to be repaired.
MC: What would cause a boat to sink.
IB: Hitting something, rocks, anything like that.
MC: Now the time, you know, you were telling me at the very beginning about when the tide came up so high it was up over the boardwalk and everything. Was it up here on the deck too then?
IB: Oh yeah, oh yeah, the lunch room, the stock room all through, yeah.
IB: Very little, maybe that much is about all. But it was there all right.
MC: It was there.
IB: Oh yeah, yeah.
MC: So you had to slouch around with rubber boots. Climb inside if you want a feel of what it used to be like. Isn't it neat! Too bad....
IB: (inside the crane) You could probably still operate it.
MC: Well, I think John's looked at the motor, it needs a little bit of help.
IB: Yeah, the battery's there, but its dead I guess.
MC: I would think. So there was many a time you operated this was there?
IB: Oh yeah. Picked power skiffs up and everything with it.
MC: Is that right?
IB: Good winch.
MC: Buster McKenzie was here one day last week. Do you remember Buster?
IB: Oh was he. Oh yeah.
MC: Yeah, great fellow. And he sat out here on the deck talking with another person, Gerry Miller.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: Do you know Gerry Miller? Okay. Buster was here for oh about an hour or so. Now he's going to come on the 14th.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: There'll be a lot of people out here so hopefully, hopefully all the past workers feel welcome to come. Midday, midday on Thanksgiving, on the 14th there'll be a.... And as I say Mrs. Shorey will be here. Did you ever work out here on this ways?
IB: Oh lots of times.
MC: Did you?
IB: [Most] of the seine boats were brought up here.
MC: Would you walk on this little boardwalk?
IB: Yeah, this lift up. You had a, its gone now. These here used to just, we'd just pick them up. Used to be a block and tackle up here, you'd pick them up and the whole thing would come out of the, come out of the way. Take your, take your little , these would all come out.
MC: Oh, I see, sure.
IB: And then you'd pick them up. This was just to get back and forth. You'd usually have the seine boats up to about here. The stern of your seine boats would be in this area.
MC: Okay. And so by standing on this little cat walk then you could do paint work.
IB: Yeah, you could do anything on it.
MC: Sure. I guess they would have been up pretty high. See up top in the rafters, there's remnants of old boards and...
IB: Oh, we would alright, yeah.
MC: The bulk are probably left over pieces from doing repair work, are they?
IB: It could have been. Yeah, it could have been.
MC: Were there work benches in here?
IB: Ah no, not really. There was one huge band saw here. Oh there's a planer, the band saw was over inside. Used to have a planer here and the steam box was in here. A long one.
IB: I don't know if that's the hole for it or not.
MC: Okay, so that would have gone into that carpentry shop on the other side?
IB: It ran right, right in, right through. Yeah, yeah.
MC: Who worked in the carpentry shop when you were here?
IB: Oh, Al (Allen) Steves, Jack Weinrauch, Adrian (Allegretto), Fred Amor was here for a while, oh good heavens.
MC: Adrian had a dog didn't he? Do you remember that?
IB: I don't remember.
MC: Okay, somebody mentioned it.
IB: Yeah, he did, Adrian did. Yeah he used to come down all the time with him, yeah.
MC: Bounce around. Well, Adrian's going to come today and I'll have to ask him about his little dog. That looks like it was a window.
IB: That was a window there, yeah.
MC: So you could see into the carpentry shop?
IB: Yeah, that covers the hole where the steam box was.
MC: Steam box was, okay. So who would be responsible for keeping the steam up in the...
IB: Ah, well, they had the boiler in the other room there in the carpentry shop. Oh anybody, Shin Nakade, Jack himself, or Al Steves or any of them. Well they were shipwrights actually, we didn't call them carpenters.
IB: A carpenter is a house builder. A carpenter on a boat is a shipwright.
MC: Okay, got to get my terms correct. That's okay. Lets go look inside the old stockroom here.
IB: The old stock room, yeah.
MC: The old stock room. Okay. Some of the shelving is still here.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: You know always there is vandalism when things are left unattended but hopefully we're going to be able to recapture a lot of it. The wonderful thing are those pictures that Doris (Forsyth) gave us. We'll be able to....
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: Evidently, looking in those photographs you could see that she had everything so organized.
IB: Yeah, yeah.
MC: That's wonderful.
IB: Well, there was another room back there too, that was, it was all stock.
MC: Okay. And so she'd keep a tally of what pieces went to what boats.
IB: Yeah, there was quite a few these here. When you took anything for a boat that was marked down because that had to be charged.
MC: So that would be a big ledger book and did you just tell Doris?
IB: Ah, basically just write it down on a piece of paper or a piece of wood or something and give it to her and she'd write it up.
MC: A piece of wood?
MC: Now did you have to make reports about what work you were doing on what boats?
IB: Oh yeah, they had to be taken care of. You know, you'd have to, you'd have to give your hours of what you did and how long it took you to do it because each boat had to be charged for what work was done. Plus any material or any parts that were used during the job.
MC: Okay. So what would be a for instance, was it a standard form that you'd be given or...?
IB: Not, not really.
MC: So say you just finished working on a boat, what would you write down?
IB: Well we'd, basically Doris looked after that, if we looked after like, a boat that was on the ways and we'd say well, I need this, I need that and who'll get it and who's at it. [We'll charge it down]. She'd kind of keep a running tally. And every time we came in and got a part or a pipe or anything like that, give it to her, she'd write it down. Then when the job was finished, she'd total the whole thing up and that would be.
MC: So if you had to do some paint work or something, would the amount of paint be charged?
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: Okay. And there'd be specific paints too, wouldn't there? I mean whether it was...
IB: Well, a lot of copper painting, was mainly, but...
MC: What's the copper painting for?
IB: That's what you put on the bottom of your vessel.
IB: Yeah, to preserve it. So. And other types of paint but like the people that would own the vessels they'd basically do their own painting and what have you. So. [Other than that everything] was pretty well taken care of. Doris did a lot of work. She was responsible for most of that.
MC: That's right. She said to us that it took her a little while. Look at all these big spikes up there, what on earth?
IB: Oh anything that you could hang up, fan belts, or anything, anything at all. It's hard to say.
MC: Did she keep you guys in line, Doris?
IB: Pretty well, yeah, pretty well.
MC: Did she?
IB: Oh she was good, she was good at her job. We all liked her here.
MC: Be a little bit tough being the only female employee in this whole place.
IB: I think she enjoyed herself.
MC: I think she did too.
IB: I think she did. I think she had fun working with us.
MC: Now this, this is a specific room, was that for storage?
IB: Where in the heck did. I build her, oh here yeah.
MC: Did you build her....?
IB: I built her washroom for her.
MC: You built it?
IB: Well, Jack and the boys did it, I just did the plumbing.
MC: Oh yeah.
IB: I remember we had to put that in for Doris.
MC: Was that a bit of a giggle.
IB: It was yeah.
MC: You tease her about her own private bathroom? I think that was one of the stipulations that she couldn't work until there was a private washroom.
IB: Well, its only fair.
MC: That's true. Close by too. Well, actually the other one's quite a distance away if you were sitting in here working and she'd be responsible for the phone and everything too wouldn't she?
IB: And this was hers. And this was hers here. Actually it would be about out here and it had a sloped lid that you could raise like this and that's where she kept track of everything.
MC: Okay. And what about that big desk there, who?
IB: I thought it was Al Nesbitt, I think that used to sit over here.
MC: In this corner.
IB: He used to sit in this corner. [As I say is here].
MC: Okay. From the pictures it looked like she had everything all lined up.
IB: Oh yeah, yeah. Everything you could imagine.
MC: Now these books, I don't think they're part of what used to be here, I think they might have come out of an old sunken boat.
IB: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
MC: That's the kind of stuff that we are looking for, some of the old, you know, parts, books and things.
IB: Yeah, it would be [alright to get at some of them].
MC: Sure. Keep your eyes open if you hear of anything available.
IB: [I'll do that, yeah.]
MC: Now that you see what the project is going to involve, anytime you think of something.... I've got to go back down and get my books. Anytime you think of something that might, be a worthy addition to our display.
IB: Yeah, all our brass and stainless steel were on racks in here.
IB: Because well, because of the cost of everything, they were really expensive. We had a little door on here and we used to haul them out through here. But the old regular iron and what have you, would all be stored back in there.
MC: Okay. So some of the stuff was more highly protected was it?
IB: Well, yeah, because of the cost of the material. The old time clock used to sit there.
MC: Oh right here? This red thing? You punched in did you?
IB: Heh? Yeah, we punched in.
MC: Punched in every.... Heh, great.
IB: That pump there is a salt water pump, this was used for the hoses to, when we picked the vessels up, the seine boats, then we'd have to wash the copper paint off right away. Soon as we had them secured then we'd turn the hoses on cause they were so easy to do at that time, when they were still wet.
IB: If you let them dry then you'd have a heck of a time washing them. So this was our pump for picking up.
MC: So that would be the first procedure, is give them a good wash down?
IB: Oh yeah, yeah.
MC: Okay, now you were talking about the old steam box.
IB: That's the boiler. That's the old, the old furnace used to be there.
IB: Yeah, that steam box ran right through here.
MC: So I would imagine that this little area would have been one of the warmer ones, was it?
IB: It was, well basically it was, yeah.
MC: Now that's open up there right now, is that the...
IB: Yeah, its all storage. We used to store, take all the mattresses, all the gear off the boats and put them in boxes and store them up along in here.
MC: And all labelled, were they?
IB: Yeah, oh yeah, all labelled, all numbered.
MC: Okay. What's this support hanging down there? Do you know what that was? It doesn't seem to have a counter part.
IB: No, I don't know what the heck that is. Something was here. I just forget now.
MC: Look at that old metal box thing there, does that?
IB: Probably some electrical thing, or a steam box, or header, header tank or some darned thing stored up there.
MC: It'd be great to find the old time clock wouldn't it? Bet you felt like kicking it sometimes.
IB: We shattered it once.
MC: You shattered it, how?
IB: Well, we were cutting out a bow stem for a boat. Huge thing, be about that deep, you know, the stem of the bow. And we were all here, there were about six or eight of us. This thing was heavy and we were running it through the band saw and we were bringing it back and it got the time clock.
MC: So you all had extra hours that day?
IB: Yeah, we all had a good laugh.
MC: You all had a good.... Anybody have to take the blame or?
IB: No, it was just one of those things.
MC: One of those things. Sounds like it was happy working here.
IB: Actually it was.
MC: Was it?
IB: Yeah, good gang. [ ] or garbage, sweep the floor and pick it up. Now there's a pile see.
MC: Oh boy.
IB: There's a pile down there.
MC: I bet there's some treasures in that one. Well, like the men, were they allowed to smoke?
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: Not the same kind of restrictions that you find now.
IB: Basically all this area, you can see the difference in colour, these were all steel plates here.
IB: Because I had the welding bench here. So there was no, no problem with cigarettes.
MC: Okay. Gather up our.... (Unable to understand this section, bad sound)
MC: So you'd come in, in the morning, and hang up your jacket or whatever and set to work.
IB: Get to work, yeah.
MC: Get to work and then did you all take coffee break at the same time?
IB: Oh yeah, ten o'clock and then lunch hour and then ...
MC: Doris too?
IB: Oh sure. She wouldn't, not very often come up stairs, but she usually had her coffee down below.
MC: Okay. I've been in garages where there's lots of questionable pictures and calendars hanging.
IB: Oh well, there used to be a few of them around.
MC: A few. You didn't have to take them down?
IB: No, other than the area where she was around.
MC: Okay, yeah. She was a good sport was she?
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: They were filming a movie in here, just last week. This often gets used for, as a set for different things.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: So it's kind of exciting. Now there was a, we heard a funny story, Jack Weinrauch told us a funny story about a boat that got launched far too quickly. It was called the Pine Leaf.
IB: Oh yeah.
MC: Did you ever hear that story?
IB: Yeah, yeah.
MC: Were you here at that time?
IB: I think so.
MC: That was one of those laughable things that you could get a kick out of now, but I'm sure at the time it wasn't too funny.
IB: No, scary.
MC: A little scary. Did you ever work this winch?
MC: You did, did you?
IB: Yeah. Jack Weinrauch usually was, basically running after this. Ran the winches.
MC: See there's a couple of brass handles there that John's just, you know, trying to get cleaned up. It's a lot of work to get things in order.
IB: Oh yeah. It's been there a lot of years.
MC: Any idea where it came from?
IB: Humph, I couldn't even begin to tell you, I don't know.
MC: And it operated both of the ways did it? It operated both of the ways?
IB: Yeah, you just switch your cables through the blocks here.
MC: Okay, sure. Over in the corner there Irvin, there's a box, you know, with a slanty lid. Just around the corner. See that? Was that a storage box for gear?
IB: It could have been, there used to be a little out house here at one time.
MC: I think its that doorway right there.
IB: Oh, is that it?
IB: Well, that was for the outs, I think that was for the outside guys. I'm not sure [which any more].
MC: I want to show you, its so funny.
IB: Is this the one?
MC: I don't know, you tell me. Its not something I'd want to go into.
IB: Yeah, that's it. A little shaky right now.
MC: It is a bit shaky, yeah. (Unable to understand this section, bad sound)
MC: Looks like there used to be a door [way]. We've heard that....
IB: Stored something in here.
MC: Yeah. We've heard that it could be like storage areas for when they're working on the individual boats. See this one says ""Alaska Queen"", on it. And that would have been the name of a.
IB: That's one of the seine boats that was here.
MC: And it also says that up on that, that one up on the stilts too. So the outside workers used the outside washroom? Good heavens.
IB: Well, [lets say you were down here working on the day time,] you couldn't get into the yard, so you had to.
MC: Oh, I see.
IB: Get into the sand box, that was your only outlet, at least you were hidden from.
MC: You'd ""go to the sand box"", is that what you called it? Well, that's one way. Oh dear. Okay, when you were here, now was there a boardwalk that extended down?
IB: Ah, it pretty well ended where it is right now actually. Yeah. [You see] a trail used to go around here.
MC: See that big pile of concrete there, any idea where that may have come from?
IB: No, I don't. I don't know where, that's been dumped since. We used to come down here and pick black berries at one time, all black berries along in here.
MC: You still can do that.
IB: This is strange, I don't know where [in the world that came from.]
MC: Yeah, we've only just recently found those. Okay, just a minute, I'll switch this off.
END OF INTERVIEW