Locals got the opportunity to see ‘some wonderful boats, the Peron boats Eva Peron, the Star boat […] I can remember the Rangitiki came in had typhoid on board and they moored it up by the locks flying the yellow flag because it was under quarantine’ (Victor Pardoe). The ships filled the yard with lively sounds and smells, but what you really had to look out for was the funnels of the ships blowing up the dirt. ‘You would not dare let your washing out when it rained because it would be spotted’ (Gertie Duffy and Mary Davis).
At ‘12 o’clock you wouldn’t put your head outside that door because there would have been a stream from Harland and Wolff’s going to their lunch‘ (Gertie Duffy). The same could be said for dinner time, the place was packed with people ‘coming in and out going to the bakers' shops for their rolls and the cafes and the fish shops’ (Gertie Duffy and Mary Davis). However, some places were saved for only the workers. With theft being a common occurrence on the docks, high stone walled barriers protected the yards with dock police guarding the entrance.
Despite this the community felt very safe, ‘you could leave your door open and on Sunday's people used to sit on the windowsill and talk to each other’ (Victor Pardoe). And there was no stealing between the houses as ‘you had nothing to nick anyway’ (Fred Bowyer). Many people in the community didn’t feel poor, ‘because everybody was the same, I mean nobody worried about a pair of curtains as long as they were clean’ (Doreen Harvey).