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Dunbar Wharf in the 1920s by Barry Ashworth and Michael Murnoir

Credit – Barry Ashworth

Recently, I mentioned Barry Ashworth and his long career at Dunbar Wharf, when he first started work at the wharf in the 1960s he came across a number of documents and photographs from Dunbar Wharf’s previous owner, Francis Vernon Smythe.

I am publishing a couple of these remarkable photographs of Dunbar Wharf in the 1920s, I have taken a couple of pictures recently in roughly the same place and was amazed that the facade of Dunbar had changed very little in the pass 90 or so years.

Credit – Barry Ashworth

In the photo the coastal schooner is the Plymouth registered ‘Alfred’ offloading alongside Open Wharf. Michael Murnoir in conversation with Barry Ashworth guessed it had offloaded the pile of staves which can be seen on the wagon. Vessels such as schooners could settle in the mud without damage because they were shoal draft or very shallow keeled.

Credit – Barry Ashworth

The photo is posed as you can see from the group standing on the wharf (Smythe with a very dapper boater) and the workmen in the lofts. Both Michael and Barry guessed the photograph was taken in the 1920s and the oak staves came from Germany and Spain mainly, but also from America, and the schooners cargo was a transhipment. Staves were transported a short distance to the cooperage on Ropemakers Fields which had a frontage to Narrow Street right opposite Duke Shore Wharf and ran through to Ropemakers Fields.

In the background on the left looms the much larger Barley Mow Brewery building, since demolished. It is unlikely it would have backloaded beer or barrels because the railways carried most of beer and there were plenty of local brewers. Oak barrels which left Limehouse full of beer, port and sherry could return to the Port of London from all over the globe refilled with juices, preserved vegetables in brine, rum or molasses.

Many of the original warehouse doors and fittings are still there, although the buildings are now used for residential use.

Credit – Barry Ashworth

Both Barry and Michael believe this is Dunbar Wharf between 1920-30. The guy in the light grey suit, legs apart is Cyril Legge, Wharf Superintendent until at least 1970. His father was before him.

Credit – Barry Ashworth

The guy in the gabardine raincoat is Francis Vernon Smythe, owner of Dunbar Wharf.

Once again the original layout of the wharf are still recognisable with still the same doors and fittings.

Creeks: Sailing barges packed into Limekiln or Limehouse Creek in October, 1930 by Albert Gravely Linney ( Museum of London )

I have also managed to find a picture of Dunbar Wharf from roughly the same period by well known Thames photographer Albert Gravely Linney.

Many thanks to Barry for permission to publish the photographs and to Michael and Barry for the information about one of the most interesting parts of modern Limehouse.

May I wish the readers of Isle of Dogs Life, A Merry Christmas  and a prosperous New Year.

 

A. G. Linney photographs of the Isle of Dogs 1926 – 1935

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Millwall Dock; Traffic queuing in the Westferry Road as a ship enters the Millwall entrance lock in September, 1926.

A few weeks ago I published a post about the photographs of Albert Gravely Linney who in the 1920s and 1930s took thousands of photographs  of the Thames and the riverside.

Albert Gravely Linney was a writer and journalist who in 1925 became  the first editor of the new Port of London Authority Monthly Magazine  which gave him full access to most of the docks and wharves along the river.

Wherever he went, Linney took his camera. He also published a number of books featuring stories and the history of the Thames,  his most popular books  being  Peepshow of the Port of London  and The Lure and Lore of London’s River .

In the following photographs we follow A.G. Linney on to the Isle of Dogs where he records views that would be drastically changed within the next ten years.

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Street view in Ferry Road off West Ferry Road. Above the terraced houses the masts and yards of the barque Killoran can be seen under repair in Britannia Dry Dock.

A.G. Linney ,1928 (Museum of London )

 The name Britannia Dock dates from 1863,  The dock later formed part of the Millwall Iron Works . Too small to be financially viable in the 20th century it closed in 1935. The filled-in site became a timber-yard, known as Britannia Wharf.

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Britannia Wharf near to Napier’s Yard on Westferry Road

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Draw Docks: The Newcastle Public Draw Dock, Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs on 24th March, 1935.

A.G. Linney ,1935 (Museum of London )

Built as part of Cubitt’s initial development of the riverside in the 1840s, the Newcastle Public Draw Dock  still exists and has a Grade II listing, as have the four original bollards in the dock entrance on Saunders Ness Road.

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Millwall: West Ferry Road, near Regent Dry Dock. 1926. View down West Ferry road near Regent Dry Dock, the masts of a ship visible over the wall at the end of the road.

A.G. Linney ,1926 (Museum of London )

Regent Dry Dock had a considerable history constructed between 1813 and 1817 on a site with a river frontage of some 200ft, in the 1860s the dock was expanded to accept two ships at the same time.

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Towards the end of the 19th century it was in decline , although occupied between 1916 and 1930, the dock was  filled in 1932 and the site taken over by Lenantons.

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Miscellaneous Views: A barge lying on the foreshore at the Napier Yard, Millwall, on 18th July, 1931. In the distance a large dredger is lying off the Royal Naval Victualing Yard at Deptford.

A.G. Linney ,1931 (Museum of London )

See the above map to see where Napier Yard was located.

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Miscellaneous Views: An impressive shot of J.T. Morton’s Wharf at Millwall, on 8th May, 1932. A really excellent shot showing the barges lying on the chalk bedded campsheds beside the river wall.

A.G. Linney ,1932 (Museum of London )

Morton’s became famous in the 19th century for its canned and preserved foods. The Millwall factory was opened about 1872 and became one of the largest employers on the Island. Another claim to fame was that Millwall Football Club originated with a team formed by workers at Mortons in 1885.
At the end of the 19th century the Mortons riverfront was redeveloped which included the laying down of a barge-bed to facilitate loading and unloading.
In 1945 the company was taken over by Beechams who gradually run down the site which was virtually derelict until the 1980s when the site was redeveloped for housing and is now the location of the Cascades development.

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Fighting a fire on a barge off Island Gardens, Isle of Dogs, on 28th August, 1930. The barge, in the centre of the picture, was loaded with copra. Firemen in brass helmets can be glimpsed through the smoke, standing on the barge.

A.G. Linney ,1930 (Museum of London )

London Bridges Past and Present

Hybrid Image: Lower pool with Tower Bridge under construction, l

Unknown photographer Lower Pool, with Tower Bridge under construction Glass lantern slide c. late 19th century © Museum of London

In recent weeks I have published a number of posts about London Bridges centred around the Bridge Exhibition in West India Quay.

As part of the promotion for the exhibition , the Museum of London took some of the photographs from the exhibition and added the modern view.

These then and now hybrid photographs are very popular at the moment, so I thought I would share some of the best ones.

What is perhaps most noticeable is that in the older photographs , that the Thames was a working river filled with ships and with cranes and warehouses dominating the riverfronts.

The modern photographs seem more dominated by the large buildings that have multiplied in the City in the last few years.

Hybrid Image: A windy evening on London Bridge, 1937, by Henry T

Henry Turner (active 1930s) A Windy Evening on London Bridge c. 1937 From Wordsworth to T S Eliot, the crowds streaming across London Bridge have always attracted attention. Turner was a photographer and General Secretary of the Empire Press Union (later Commonwealth Press Union). He made this image for E Arnot  Robertson’s book Thames Portrait (1937).© Henry Turner/Museum of London

Hybrid Image: Charing Cross Railway Bridge, late 19th century

Unknown photographer Charing Cross Railway Bridge Glass lantern slide c. late 19th century Taken from South Bank. © Museum of London

Hybrid Image: Tower Bridge framing the dome of St Paul's Cathedr

Albert Gravely Linney Tower Bridge framing the Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral c. 1930  Taken from the river, looking west. © Albert Gravely Linney/Museum of London

Hybrid Image: Southwark Bridge, 1935, by Henry Turner

Henry Turner (active 1930s) Southwark Bridge  c. 1935 © Henry Turner/Museum of London

Hybrid Image: Beginning the demolition of Old Waterloo Bridge, 1

Albert Gravely Linney  Beginning the Demolition of Old Waterloo Bridge c. 1934  Taken from Hungerford Bridge. © Albert Gravely Linney/Museum of London

Hybrid Image: Looking north across London Bridge, 1920s, by Geor

George Davison Reid (1871–1933) Looking north across London Bridge ) c. 1920s Taken from inside on the 5th floor of No1 London Bridge.  © George Davison Reid/Museum of London

Hybrid Image: Waterloo Bridge from Embankment, 1903-10, by Chris

Christina Broom (1863–1939) Waterloo Bridge from the Embankment c. 1903–10 Taken from the North Bank of the Thames. © Christina Broom/Museum of London

 Museum of London Docklands – Bridge exhibition

27 June – 2 November 2014,

FREE exhibition,

For more information visit  the Museum of London Docklands website here

A G Linney Photographs of Trinity Buoy Wharf 1927 – 1930

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Miscellaneous Views: The north bank of the Thames between Blackwall and Trinity Buoy Wharf, on 3rd February, 1929. To the left is J.W. Cook’s Orchard Wharf, Orchard Stairs and causeway. The lighthouse on Trinity Buoy Wharf is in the centre distance, and to the left of that the towers of the Thames Ironworks building at the mouth of the River Lea.

A.G. Linney ,1929 (Museum of London )

In a recent post on the Bridge exhibition, there were a  couple of photographs  by Albert Gravely Linney ,  although he was not a professional photographer, his work is now considered very important because he captured all aspects of the River Thames  just before the destruction of World War Two.

Albert Gravely Linney was a writer and journalist who in 1925 became  the first editor of the new Port of London Authority Monthly Magazine  which gave him full access to most of the docks and wharves along the river.

Wherever he went, Linney took his camera. He also published a number of books featuring stories and the history of the Thames,  his most popular books  being  Peepshow of the Port of London  and The Lure and Lore of London’s River .

The Museum of London holds thousands of  Linney’s photographs and over the next few weeks I will do a series of posts showcasing his work in relation to the Isle of Dogs.

First of all is the photographs that Linney took at Trinity Buoy Wharf in the years 1927 – 1930, what is really fascinating about this series of pictures is to see Trinity Wharf as  a working centre.

For nearly 200 years, from 1803 to 1988, Trinity Buoy Wharf was occupied by the Corporation of Trinity House, initially for storing buoys and sea-marks, but in the 19th century took over the responsibility for testing chains, anchors and cables which led to the building of number of workshops and a lighthouse for testing, repairing and making equipment.

In the 1930s that work was still being undertaken, so we have pictures of men painting Buoys and the mountains of chains and cables. We also have next to Trinity Buoy Wharf , the famous Thames  Ironworks which closed in 1912 but a few buildings at this time still remained.

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Miscellaneous views: A Trinity House vessel moored alongside the Trinity Buoy Wharf, Blackwall, in August, 1930. Bow Creek, the entrance to the River Lea is on the right. A.G. Linney ,1930  (Museum of London )

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Miscellaneous views: Buoys lined up on the quayside at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Blackwall, in March, 1929. In the background is the Engineering Department building of the Thames Ironworks, which was demolished around 1948. A.G. Linney ,1929 (Museum of London )

trinity 4Miscellaneous views: Mooring chains awaiting tests at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Blackwall, in July, 1927. The man in the foreground is the Superintendent of the Trinity House Depot, Mr Reynolds. A.G. Linney ,1927 (Museum of London )

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Miscellaneous views: Painting buoys at the Trinity Buoy Wharf, Blackwall, in July, 1927. Linney did not take many photographs of people actually at work. A.G. Linney ,1927 (Museum of London )

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Miscellaneous views: The experimental lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Blackwall, in June, 1929. Built in 1864, the lighthouse has survived although Trinity House sold the site in the late 1980s.A.G. Linney ,1927 (Museum of London )