This is what Walter Wears wrote about the Pit Knocker up'. Walter lived in Quality Row close to the 'Banks of the Tyne' Pub, but was the 'Ellison Arms' in those days.
When my father was on ‘backshift’, which meant he started at 2am, the ‘knocker up’ used to knock you up. You had to chalk a 2 or 2x2 or 2x2x2 on the cottages shutters and depending if you were a light or heavy sleeper he knocked according to what was on the shutter. One ‘2’ meant you were a light sleeper so only required a gentle knock, while 2x2x2 meant you were a deep sleeper so the ‘knocker up’ really knocked loudly numerous times. The ‘Knocker up’ was an ex-miner who had either lost an arm or a leg in the mine, so that was the job he was given.
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