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Another Day in London - Docklands Explorer

By Chris Allen

Following on from a very successful trip in July, our gang of four asked Richard Albanese TQ3778 : Portwey coming alongside Masthouse Terrace Pier by Chris Allen if he could arrange a trip to Docklands to see what little was left that might interest keen industrial archaeologists.

Richard planned it all in about three days flat and we met up just after 10:15 0n 28-8-11 at the former London Hydraulic Power Station at Wapping, now a pleasant cafe with machinery among the tables TQ3580 : London Hydraulic Power Company, Wapping Pumping Station by Chris Allen TQ3580 : London Hydraulic Power Company, Wapping Pumping Station by Chris Allen TQ3580 : London Hydraulic Power Company, Wapping Pumping Station - machinery by Chris Allen. After a coffee we had a mooch around Shadwell Basin and its two Scherzer rolling bridges TQ3580 : Former entrance to Shadwell Basin by Chris Allen TQ3580 : Scherzer rolling bridge, Garnet Street, Wapping by Chris Allen before heading for the Museum of London Docklands TQ3780 : Museum of London Docklands by Chris Allen. This is an excellent museum, although perhaps a little short on large artefacts and we had nothing like enough time to do it justice. A few minutes were also spent dashing around the area looking at interesting buildings TQ3780 : West India Dock by Chris Allen TQ3780 : Cannon Workshops near West India Dock by Chris Allen TQ3780 : Former PLA police station by Chris Allen.

We then made a quick stop at a former hydraulic pumping station by what little is left of East India Dock TQ3880 : Former East India Dock hydraulic pumping station by Chris Allen before dashing to the far end of the Royal Docks on an abortive attempt to reach Gallions Reach impounding station TQ4480 : A Docklands survivor by Robin Webster - we were defeated by redevelopments and closed roads.

At this point Richard realised we had forgotten to do the East India Docks entrance basin with its hydraulic jiggers in below ground chambers and we needed to be there before the tide. So we made a disappointing trip back to discover weeds and close spaced gratings made it impossible to photograph the equipment TQ3980 : East India Dock entrance lock by Chris Allen TQ3980 : East India Dock Entrance Lock by Chris Allen. However we had a nice bonus at Trinity Buoy Wharf with the only lighthouse in London TQ3980 : Trinity Buoy Wharf by Chris Allen TQ3980 : Experimental Lighthouse, Trinity Buoy Wharf by Ashley Dace.

It was then back to the Royal Docks to look at items around the Royal Victoria Dock TQ4080 : Chimney by Royal Victoria Dock by Chris Allen TQ4080 : SS Robin - high and dry by Chris Allen TQ4180 : Remains of the Connaught Road swing bridge. by Chris Allen. We then did a slew of hydraulic pumping stations and accumulator towers working along the north bank of the Thames - Blackwall TQ3880 : Hydraulic pumping station, Duthie Street by Chris Allen, Poplar Docks TQ3880 : Accumulator tower, Poplar Dock by Chris Allen TQ3880 : Poplar Dock by Chris Allen, Limehouse TQ3681 : Hydraulic accumulator tower, Limehouse by Chris Allen, Hooper Street TQ3480 : Hydraulic pumping station (former), Hooper Street by Chris Allen and Mansell Street TQ3380 : Hydraulic accumulator tower, Mansell Street by Chris Allen.

It was now crowding 18:00 and there was still much to do. A quick trip across Tower Bridge TQ3380 : Tower Bridge with a London bus by Chris Allen via a stop to see St Saviour's dock TQ3379 : St Saviour's Dock by Chris Allen brought us to the former entrance to Surrey Docks with yet another Scherzer rolling bridge TQ3580 : Scherzer rolling bridge, Surrey Dock entrance. by Chris Allen. Our next stop was the Nelson Dock, now part of the Docklands Hilton Hotel and home to an amazing hydraulic slipway engine TQ3680 : Former ship repairers, Rotherhithe Street. by Chris Allen TQ3680 : Nelson Dock, hydraulic slipway winch. by Chris Allen. It was 19:20 by now but Richard rallied us on with the promise of a spectacular sight yet to come. Indeed, Greenland Dock entrance lock had some of the finest and most visible hydraulic jigger(y) to see in London TQ3679 : Greenland Dock entrance lock - swing bridge by Chris Allen TQ3679 : Greenland dock entrance lock - gate mechanism by Chris Allen. The light was going fast and we were just able to see and photograph the remains of a swing bridge at Greenland Cut TQ3679 : Bridge mechanism, Greenland Dock Cut, Redriff Road by Chris Allen. It was too dark to photograph the converted remains of Rotherhithe London Hydraulic Power Company pumping station but we had a look in the dusk TQ3579 : Former hydraulic pumping station (1) by Stephen Craven.

After swift refreshments at the Mayflower TQ3579 : The Mayflower Pub, Rotherhithe by canalandriversidepubs co uk it was 21:00 and time for the long journey back to the West Midlands. It had been another fantastic day and we sure saw some stuff.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 at 21:14
Chosen Photo

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