Picture Gallery

Bag Lads

Our thanks go to Roger Eaves for providing this photograph taken in 1957 which pictures workers in the Raw Sugar Silo of Tate & Lyle.

On the photo are: Joc Woods, Jimmy Sagster, Matty Donnolly, Joc Burns, Joc Duffy, Frank McMahon, Joc Brennan, Phil Gannon, John Wignall, Ronnie Fulton, Alec Gregory, Jimmy Mulhall, Billy Atkins and Roger Eaves.

A reader writes...

Dear Scottie Press,

I recently received your December issue and feel that I have something to contribute to your 'Tate & Lyle' photo from the past, sent in by Roger Eaves. The job title of the boys in the photo was officially known as 'bag lad'. Our main function was to turn the raw sugar bag inside out and shake the excess sugar from it. The bag then went down the chute and dropped into a waiting 'three wheeled Scammel', which then took them to the bag wash house in Vauxhall Road, where they were steam washed.
There was one bag lad to a gang of five men who trucked and shipped the bags of sugar from the deck of the trailer. In busy periods there would be up to 14 gangs working input to the silo, they were a great mischievous bunch of lads to work with. You had to be quite hard skinned to survive. Once a lad attained the age of 18 he went into National Service and was then replaced by another unsuspecting raw recruit, he soon toughened up, you had to. Just to give you some background into where I am at present, my wife and I emigrated to New Zealand in 1974 with our two children. If any of the 'bag lads' wishes to drop me a line I have given my address.

Matt Donnelly of 95 Webster Avenue, Mount Roskill, Auckland 4, New Zealand

If you are on the photo or remember any of the faces we will be very pleased to print your memories on this page.

Send your contributions to ronformby@scottiepress.org

Return to Gallery