Posts Tagged ‘South Dock’

North Pole & Heron Quay

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

The North Pole, Manilla Street, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-22-positive_2400
The North Pole, Manilla Street, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-22

Continuing my walk around the West India Docks I walked down from Marsh Wall to Manilla St, where I think you can still find The North Pole, a beer house built in the 1860s, on the corner at No 74. It closed as a pub in 2014, and I suspect the building’s days are numbered.

Cuba St, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-23-positive_2400
Cuba St, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-23

Nothing, or almost nothing in this picture of Cuba St has survived the redevelopment of this street on the fringe of the West India Docks. In the far distance you can just make out the distinctive frontage of the building on the corner of Cuba St and Westferry Road, the first few feet of which have been incorporated into a modern red-brick block and is now an Indian Restaurant. It seems to be much more than the usual facade, with the older building integrated into the development, Regatta Point, which is on a rather smaller scale than much of the new building, only 5 storeys of shops with flats above.

Docklands Enterprise, Wendy Ann Taylor, Sculpture, Heron Quays, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-24-positive_2400
Docklands Enterprise, Wendy Ann Taylor, Sculpture, South Dock, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-24

Wendy Ann Taylor, born 1945 claims to have been as one of the first artists of her generation to “take art out of the galleries and onto the streets”’ and has made a number of sculptures around London and in several of the new towns. This sculpture was commissioned by the LDDC and the Docklands Business Club and dates from 1987. It is still in place, although everything in the background of this picture has been replaced by newer and much taller developments. I took the shape emaphasised in my picture and repeated at right angles in her work as representing the river around the Isle of Dogs and the vertical as enterprise reaching for the sky.

Heron Quay, DLR, Middle Dock, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-14-positive_2400
Heron Quay, DLR, South Dock, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-14

You can still just about see the DLR as it goes across South Dock here but Heron Quay station is now completely engulfed in tall office blocks, the water now looking enclosed rather than open as it was. The distant gasholder at right at Greenwich has also now gone, though long invisible from here.

Heron Quay, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-63-positive_2400
Heron Quay, South Dock, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-63

I think it is a long time since any boats were moored here.

Heron Quay, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-65-positive_2400
Heron Quay, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-65

This picture is looking along Middle Dock, with the north side of the buildings, long demolished, of Heron Quay at right.

I continued my walk to the North Dock – and a few pictures in a later post.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album. The pictures there are largely ordered by my negative reference numbers, which do not in detail reflect the order in which the pictures were taken used in the posts here.


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West India Docks 1988 (2)

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

SS Robin, South Dock, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-44-positive_2400
SS Robin, South Dock, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-44

SS Robin is a 350 gross ton steam coaster built by Mackenzie, MacAlpine & Co at their Orchard House Yard in Bow Creek in 1890 and the only complete Victorian steam ship in existence. She still has the original steam engine fitted in Dundee by Gourlay Brothers & Co.

In 1900 she was renamed Maria and spent the next 74 years working around Spain for several Spanish owners, and in 1966 some extensive alterations were made. When about to be scrapped in 1974 she was bought by the Maritime Trust, her original name restored and treated to an extensive restoration in Rochester before coming to St Katharine’s Docks in London and opened to the public as a part of their Historic Ships Collection. After this closed in 1986, along with several other vessels from the collection Robin was laid up here in the West India Docks. You can see the stern of the Yarmouth Steam Drifter Lydia Eva at the right.

In 2000 Robin was sold for £1 and later the SS Robin Trust was set up to restore the vessel, an expensive and lengthy process and eventually it was decided necessary to put the vessel on a pontoon. The SS Robin museum, theatre and educational centre is now in the Royal Victoria Dock.

DLR, BT, Quay House, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 198888-6b-45-positive_2400
DLR, BT, Quay House, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-45

Quay House, a three storey office block built in 1986-7 was occupied by BT. Empty for some years, planning permission was obtained in 2020 for the 40-storey Quay House waterfront development including a 400-bedroom hotel and 279 serviced apartments alongside dockside leisure facilities.

South Dock, Heron Quays, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-46-positive_2400
South Dock, Heron Quays, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-46

The Survey of London describes these low rise buildings as “high-tech ‘cabins’ or ‘Swiss chalets’, with light steel structures, covered with red, purple and blue-grey vitreous enamel panels, while the monopitch roofs are clad in aluminium” and says they were part of a large scheme for the area begun in 1981 and built in 1984-9.

I think this is now the site of 1 Bank Street, a 28 floor office block completed in 2019.

BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-31-positive_2400
BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-31

The front of the BT Business Centre on South Dock.

DLR, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-32-positive_2400
DLR, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-32

Taken from more or less the same place as the previous picture and that below, this is where the DLR crosses the South Dock of the West India Docks, looking towards Heron Quays station. It shows how little development there was here in 1988.

DLR, BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-33-positive_2400
DLR, BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-33

Looking back at the curve of the DLR around Quay house towards Marsh Wall.

London River Man, John W Mills, sculpture, Ensign House, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-35-positive_2400
London River Man, John W Mills, sculpture, Ensign House, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-35

London River ManJohn W Mills ARCA FRBS 1987. This sculpture salutes all London river workers – toshers – bargees – dockers – ale tasters – coalheavers – ferrymen” and is rather hidden now on Marsh Wall. It is rather less than lifesize. John Mills (b1933) is better known for his Whitehall memorial to the women of World War II.

Admirals Way,  South Dock,  South Quay, Tower Hamlets 88-6b-36-positive_2400
Admirals Way, South Dock, South Quay, Tower Hamlets 88-6b-36

This is Waterside, where these buildings, described as small-business apartments were built in 1985-6. They are still there, looking much the same, though probably for not much longer.

BT,  Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-21-positive_2400
BT, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-21

A final picture of the British Telecom Business Centre – and what was presumably its main entrance.

More from around the West India Docks in a later post. Click on any of the pictures to see larger versions of any of them in the album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse other images.


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London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.