Charles Nelson of East London worked as a knocker-up for 25 years. He woke up early morning workers such as doctors, market traders and drivers. 1929.
The knocker-upper profession started during and lasted well into the Industrial Revolution when alarm clocks were neither cheap nor reliable. A knocker-up’s job was to rouse sleeping people so they could get to work on time.
They would be paid a few pence a week to make the rounds and rouse workers, banging on their doors with a short stick or rapping on upper windows with a long pole. The knocker-up would not move on until he received confirmation that his drowsy client was up and moving.