Another Day in London - Docklands Explorer
Following on from a very successful trip in July, our gang of four asked Richard Albanese 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 . After a coffee we had a mooch around Shadwell Basin and its two Scherzer rolling bridges before heading for the Museum of London Docklands . 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 .
We then made a quick stop at a former hydraulic pumping station by what little is left of East India Dock before dashing to the far end of the Royal Docks on an abortive attempt to reach Gallions Reach impounding station - 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 . However we had a nice bonus at Trinity Buoy Wharf with the only lighthouse in London .
It was then back to the Royal Docks to look at items around the Royal Victoria Dock . We then did a slew of hydraulic pumping stations and accumulator towers working along the north bank of the Thames - Blackwall , Poplar Docks , Limehouse , Hooper Street and Mansell Street .
It was now crowding 18:00 and there was still much to do. A quick trip across Tower Bridge via a stop to see St Saviour's dock brought us to the former entrance to Surrey Docks with yet another Scherzer rolling bridge . Our next stop was the Nelson Dock, now part of the Docklands Hilton Hotel and home to an amazing hydraulic slipway engine . 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 . The light was going fast and we were just able to see and photograph the remains of a swing bridge at Greenland Cut . 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 .
After swift refreshments at the Mayflower 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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