Docks tribute

A NEW statue commemorating the Royal Docks and their workers has been praised by a 96-year-old former docker. John Maloney, who worked at the Royal Docks from 1945 until their closure in 1980, attended the unveiling of the sculpture, which depicts three d

A NEW statue commemorating the Royal Docks and their workers has been praised by a 96-year-old former docker.

John Maloney, who worked at the Royal Docks from 1945 until their closure in 1980, attended the unveiling of the sculpture, which depicts three dockers moving goods from a hoist to a barrow during the 1950s.

Mr Maloney's daughter, Rose Smith and her husband Bill, who own Boleyn Transport, in River Road, Barking accompanied the pensioner to the event, held outside the ExCel centre.

Mrs Smith said her father thinks the statue is a wonderful tribute.

She added: "He also feels it's a great way of showing younger generations how the dockers worked in those years.

"These were hard men who worked in adverse and primitive conditions to feed their families."

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The three figures in the statue represent real people who worked at the docks - Johnny Ringwood, Patrick Holland and Mark Tibbs.

It was Mr Ringwood who came up with the idea, and along with Mr Holland and The Royal Docks Trust, raised the �250,000 needed to pay for the sculpture.