A Londoners London Pt 3


Docklands

In Part 3 we travel East to London’s Docklands, an area that was once the largest commercial Port in the world. The original docks were established in Roman times but their biggest period of growth came in the early 1800’s.

During WWII the docks were hit by an estimated 2,500 bombs with 380,000 tonnes of timber destroyed in a single night.

The post war years saw a period of resurgence for the docks until the 1960’s – 1970’s when the adoption of container ships led to their decline and by 1980 all of the docks had closed leaving 8 square miles of derelict land and a legacy of high unemployment and social problems.

The area was marked for regeneration in the 1980’s leading to the building of London City Airport and a thriving financial & commerce centre built around Canary Wharf.

As this series is concentrating on the lesser known areas I thought I would portray some less well known views of the area starting with the image below.

Dockside Lifting Gear

Next to the Thames by the Woolwich Car Ferry on the Isle of Dogs sits various artefacts from the docks hey day including this old crane and the ships propeller and anchor below.

Ships Propeller

Marooned Anchor

The decline of the docks also brought associated decline and subsequent closure of supporting industries such as the branch line of the underground.

Silvertown Station

However, as the old dockland of wharfs and commerce gave way to finance and leisure industries so the railway gave way to the Docklands Light railway the new  high level monorail tracks crossing the abandoned tunnels of the old underground line.

The Old and New

In the next couple of instalments we will look further East into the land of TV’s Eastenders and the upcoming Olympics

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39 responses to “A Londoners London Pt 3

  1. Good Lord, sir, what a fabulous series. REALLY great photos here to accompany this compelling story you’re unfolding for us, Chris! We’ve all seen the typical iconic images from your part of the world, but it’s these half-forgotten and neglected areas that provide the most interest. What are the stories of those who used to work here? Where are all the ships? All the artifacts left behind produce the most incredible series of subjects to fully take in and enjoy. This is a smash-up job, what a great blog post today! I’m off to Tweet this to everyone….

  2. Thanks Toad, I got caught up in researching and kind of went off on one maybe. I think I need to do some follow up blogs looking at some aspects in more depth

    • The background details are incredibly alluring in terms of the story Chris, I sure do appreciate all the time you spent on this. I do that, too, sometimes. I can honestly say I would LOVE to see some more in depth looks at some of your subjects, Chris.

    • I really appreciate that, thanks Edith. There is more to come, I was hoping to make this a daily series but time constraints have conspired against me, however I plan to shoot some images this weekend and have a few lined up for next week as well, so please drop by when the blog is up.

    • Hi Mark, yeah we did the tunnels fantastic to do but I did not get many usable images, although I may go back to the RAW files and see if I can improve them.

  3. Chris, you’ve captured the moody, hopeless atmosphere of this place so effectively. I am particularly intrigued with the image of the Silvertown Station; love the menacing clouds hovering above the gloomy disrepair. Fascinating story, beautifully portrayed.

    • Thanks Barbara. I need to return here soon, there’s so much more to capture : a derelict mill, a sugar plant that is in use but looks Abandoned and a run down housing estate that is still lived in but shows the true dereliction of the area.

  4. Sweet spot you found there. Could be fun to go explore more at that the rail station. Great series.

    • Thanks dude. I don’t normally process so heavily I prefer a more normal effect but felt the scene needed it as it felt very post apocalypse. The station and railway deserted, the remaking industry decrepit, the few people either drunk or drugged up appearing like zombies now and then. Not I place I was comfortable in during the day and it was getting dark when I left.

  5. Chris – These photos are really awesome man! I especially love the lighting on the second shot! I am adding you to my reader and I look forward to keeping up with your work!

    • Hi Jason, thanks for the comments really appreciated and so glad that you like what I’ve done. Thanks for adding to your reader, I’ll try to keep producing good stuff.
      I have more planned for this series but have not had the time to get out and take the shots.

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  7. Wow, this is a great series of images. Really awesome stuff!
    I always enjoy a great story with historical significance, and your processing here is outstanding.

    I have to catch up to the entire series now. 🙂

    • Thanks Jimi, got some more posts planned on this series just lack of time to take the shots. Hope to get some in the can this week so I can get a post up later in the week. Looking at the Olympic park and it’s surrounds.

  8. thanks Nicholas. I commute through Shoreditch daily, love the area and the street art, I plan to continue this series into the East End and also run a day on Shoreditch as well

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  10. Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I
    was wondering which blog platform are you using for this
    site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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