Havering | Barking & Dagenham | Greenwich | Newham | Bexley

What is work?

Lesson Objectives:

  • To understand where and how people used to work
  • To explain how people work today

2 minutes

  • What work do your family do?
  • Where do they work?
  • Do they wear special work clothes?

Samuel WIlliams & Sons


Watch and listen carefully to the video clip


  1. What is a foreman?

  2. Can you think of a reason why ‘Oggie’ would watch over the docks from a tower?


This is a photo of Fred as a young man in the 1950's with his workmate (Fred is on the right).
The paper in the picture is money.

This was after a week when Fred received lots of overtime pay.

What do you think overtime means?

Dagenham Dock

This is from a company brochure of Samuel Williams and Sons from 1975

What does it tell us about:

  • What goods were handled on the docks?
  • How goods were transported?

Ship Through Dagenham Dock

  • What do you think the word dock means?
  • Can you name things which are made in other countries?
  • How do they come to Britain?

Dagenham Dock 1950

Click Here to download the fullsize map

Plenary  •  Write a story

Imagine you work at the Docks

Each table will write a story using one of the five senses:


What Happened To The Docks?

The Barking Reach Redevelopment

Homework  •  Take a look in your fridge!

Look at the items in it – If it has a label find out where it was produced.

Make a list of each item and where it is from.

In class:

On a map of the world mark where each item came from.