A Life of Crime in Birkenhead Docks
- Len Burnett
15th May 2011
'I stood in the dock looking at the judge's expressionless face. My two partners in crime had just been sentenced to three years imprisonment each, and had been taken down ...He then sentenced me to three years, and I joined my partners in the cells below. So ended my career on Birkenhead docks; thirteen years in all. I suppose it had to come sometime, but somehow, you think you can go on forever. I make no excuses for stealing from my employers. But I must impress upon the reader that this was my first and last venture into larceny ...' In Rogue Docker: A Life of Crime in Birkenhead Docks, Len Burnett unveils the gripping story of his time as a docker in the 1960s and 1970s, how he succumbed to temptation, and the daring exploits that followed. Having witnessed men pilfering all around him for about three years, he eventually joined in, taking objects that he could sneak past the policeman on the gate - whisky, cloth, cigarettes and toothpaste. However, after a while he got bored of pocketing small items and moved on to large vans and eventually twenty-ton trailers to remove heavy cargo. Stories of daylight robbery, close shaves and running from the police are related with candour and colour within the pages of this fascinating book. But it wasn't all stealing. Burnett lets the reader into a treasure trove of memories of hard work, poor conditions, working the welt, diverse cargo, and the humour of the men with whom he worked.