Posts Tagged ‘Jubilee Line’

Canary Wharf Workshop 2004

Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Canary Wharf Workshop – On Sunday May 9th 2004 I led a small workshop group of photographers on a walk which started at Canary Wharf and then went to Canning Town and the River Thames. Although photography is theoretically banned on the Canary Wharf estate we had no problems with security, probably because we kept to obviously public areas and I had asked those taking part not to use tripods.

Canary Wharf Workshop

I was never a fan of the redevelopment of London’s docklands under Michael Heseltine and the London Docklands Development Corporation set up in 1981. Of course development was needed after the docks became redundant, but we should have seen a development that was made for the interests of the population of London, not simply for the mates of the Tory Party.

Canary Wharf Workshop

The area needed some kind of overall planning authority, but one that worked with the local authorities in the area rather than against them, ignoring their priorities.

Canary Wharf Workshop

Of course there were gains from the work of the LDDC, perhaps the main ones being the Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Line Extension to Stratford. Certainly by the time it was wound up in 1990 it had changed the whole area significantly. But many of those changes had sacrificed local needs to business profits.

Canary Wharf Workshop

The piece that I wrote about the day reflected my political views about what had taken place. A year or so later London won the bidding for the Olympics, leading to yet more development in the area by an authority that disregarded local needs and led to inappropriate development, still proceeding, in East London. I’ll reproduce what I wrote in 2004 here, with minor corrections, particularly to capitalisation and spelling.

May 9th 2004 found me taking a group of photographers for a walk around some parts of London’s docklands. We started at the centre of this ‘crime of the century’. I still don’t quite understand why a Conservative government felt so at odds with the City of London that it decided to set up offshore competition in the Enterprise Zone.

The feeding frenzy that ensued, trousering public property and tax breaks into the private pocket at an unprecedented rate was inevitable.

The long-term consequence has been a distorted development with few real buildings of distinction but some expensively finished tat, and a lack of overall planning. I’m not sure that London would benefit from gaining the Olympics for which it is currently bidding, but if it fails, probably part of the reason will be the Docklands debacle.

We started below the obscene gesture towards the old city, at least clear about its symbolism, then took the DLR down to Crossharbour with its silly bridge, walking back to the Wharf and taking the Jubilee to Canning Town.

Then back alongside the Lee (still waiting for that riverside walkway) to East India dock basin and along by the Thames, where a galleon appeared in front of the dome.

The River Lee is here better known in its tidal section as Bow Creek, and we are still waiting for parts of that riverside walk to be opened if they ever will be. There was a competition for a new bridge across Bow Creek with a wining design named, but money disappeared and it was never built. But a few years ago we did get a different new bridge higher up by Canning Town station and the development of the industrial site of Pura Foods as London City Island.

A few more of my pictures from the walk on My London Diary

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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
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Surrey Docks & North Bermondsey 1988

Monday, June 13th, 2022

I can no longer remember whether the short excursion to Greenland Dock from Rotherhithe came at the end of my previous walk or a few days later at the beginning of my walk on 28th October 1988, though of course it doesn’t really matter. The story of my previous walk began at Greenwich and Deptford Creek October 1988 and ended with Deptford to Rotherhithe October 1988.

I’m unsure now whether I took the fist few of these pictures at the end of my previous walk or at the start of my next one, but it hardly matters as they are in the same area and within a few days of each other.

Lifting Bridge, Dockside sheds, Redriff Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-03-Edit_2400
Lifting Bridge, Dockside sheds, Redriff Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-03

This is one of the two bridges that linked the riverside areas of Rotherhithe and the Surrey Docks to the area around Lower Road and Surrey Quays station, then on the East London which ran between Shoreditch and alternately to New Cross or New Cross Gate, linking to the District line at Whitechapel. Both have been preserved, though not in working order and this one a short distance from it former site.

At the centre of the picture you can see the curved lower end of the bridge and below it the flat rail on which it rolled back to raise the bascule, with a heavy counterweight above so very little power was needed to raise the bridge.

Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-12-Edit_2400
Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-12

Several relics from the working docks, including this capstan are still present at the east end of Greenland Quay.

Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-13-Edit_2400
Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-13

Four people in kayaks link up and stop to talk to each other in Greenland Dock. I was standing at the end of Greenland Quay and looking towards the tower blocks of the Barkantine Estate on the Isle of Dogs across the Thames.

Southwark Park, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-62-Edit_2400
Southwark Park, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-62

My next picture was made in Southwark Park, which I think I walked through to Jamaica Road. I’m not absolutely sure what the building in the background was, and I think the area it was in has now been re-developed. Somewhere in the north-east corner of the park it was probably a part of the former St Olave’s Hospital which closed in 1984 and was demolished and replaced by Ann Moss Way in the 1990s.

I seem deliberately to have tried to make this picture mysterious, taking three near-identical frames, an unusual number for me at the time when film was relatively expensive.

Major Works, James Jackson and Co, Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-65-Edit_2400
Major Works, James Jackson and Co, Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-51

This works was next to Major Road, though I’m not sure if it took its name from the road or gave its name to it. It was demolished to build Bermondsey Underground Station on the Jubilee Line Extension which opened at the start of 2000. According to the text on its frontage the company was ‘Established 1827’ and made ‘Flooring Adhesives, French Polishes, Wax Polishes, Varnishes, Seals, Staines – Etc.’

Jamaica Rd area, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-51-2-Edit_2400
Jamaica Rd area, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-51-2

Relatively few streets in the area aspire to a No 90 and none that I can find that look anything like this now. This was a part of a terrace of 5 similar houses starting at a street corner, with two pairs of doors on the street and one around the corner as another frame (not digitised) shows. It appears to be later Victorian and I suspect has been demolished. The gate was perhaps a 1930s addition.

Lockwood Square, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-52-Edit_2400
Lockwood Square, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-52

Lockwood Square was a 1960’s addition to the council’s Southwark Park Estate with flats around a central grass area. There had been a Lockwood Street here and it was probably badly damaged by wartime bombing. The buildings are bounded by Drummond Road, Clements Road and Southwark Park Road. Some of the ground floor is garages and there are a few shop units. To the north is a play area and Saint Crispin with Christ Church Bermondsey and the similar block of New Place Square.

To be continued…