Occupations Gone by the Wayside: Knocker-Up

Back before there were affordable and reliable alarm clocks, the occupation of a knocker-up made a few pence a week in England and Ireland by using a long, lightweight stick, often bamboo, to tap on their clients’ upper floor windows and wake them up so they could get to work on time.

Any comments from Ireland? 

Images: At left, East End (London) knocker-up, Mary Smith, wielding a pea shooter in 1931; at right, waking the mill workers up in Accrington, Lancashire.

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Tags: Ancestry, Genealogy

Comment by Patricia Normanly on July 5, 2014 at 5:06am

My mother grew up in Wigan in Lancashire and remembered the knocker up when she was young.  The job was usually held by an injured miner who was unable to work in the mines.  The other miners paid him sixpence a week and he came around with a long pole to knock on the windows for the early morning shift.   He would also shout out the name if he didn't get a response.   

Comment by Bernard Raymond O'Brien on July 17, 2014 at 6:11pm
Dee may have reached a bit of hyperbole there, but I do believe she is better looking than Gerry Regan.
Comment by Karen Backhouse on January 12, 2015 at 10:24am

Hi Patricia i dont know if you remember me but i was in touch with you years ago on Wigan World and we used to email each other about my Moran family history 

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