Context: an old (70+ years old) Londoner is being interviewed about his past as a lighterman on the River Thames and says the following:
Three big wharves there, they've flattened, all gone. One of them we called the stinker wharf. They made bones. It used to pen and ink when you went by there.
Webster's Third defines “to make bones” as “to show hesitation, uncertainty, or scruple,” but it doesn't seem to fit here. Partridge Slang says that “bone” could mean a marijuana/tobacco cigarette in the US; but it would be odd if an old Londoner used American slang terms.