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Life on the Isle of Dogs 1981 – 88 by Chris Hirst (Part Two)

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Glengall Grove Xmas 1984 (photo Chris Hirst )

Last week, I published a piece about Chris Hirst living on the Island in the 1980s. By the reaction to the article it seemed to bring back a few memories. In the second part, Chris is beginning to see signs of redevelopment especially with the building of the DLR. But there were far more important developments closer to home.

Christmas 1984 was a cold one. This picture above from Skeggs House shows snow on Glengall Grove, and you can also see that the Glass Bridge has now gone.

We still travelled everywhere by bike, despite the new addition that arrived in November 1984.

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Skeggs Balcony 1985 (photo Chris Hirst )

 By the summer of 1985, construction of the DLR was well underway.

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DLR South Dock 1985 (photo Chris Hirst )

In early 1986 (February I think) it was cold enough to partly freeze Millwall Dock. There are more signs of redevelopment now, including the DLR although it was not yet open.

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Millwall Inner Dock 1986 (photo Chris Hirst )

 The cold winter didn’t stop some from enjoying their water sports. This next shot is from the bottom end of Millwall Inner Dock looking south west towards the Outer Dock. You can just see the remains of the McDougall’s silos near the centre of the picture, demolished but still recognizable on the ground.

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Millwall Outer Dock 1986 (photo Chris Hirst )

Skeggs House was renovated in early 1987, with new double-glazed windows, central heating, and new kitchens and bathrooms. This was a massive improvement. They did all the work on our flat in just a few days, and we didn’t have to move out.

The DLR opened in August 1987. The following pictures were all taken on the opening day. The first one has Skeggs House in the background.

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DLR Crossharbour 1987 (photo Chris Hirst )

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DLR Crossharbour 2 1987 (photo Chris Hirst )

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DLR Crossharbour 3 1987

 The final picture shows the original elevated platforms at Island Gardens. 

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DLR Island Gardens 1987

 We moved away from the Island in 1988. Every couple of years when we visit London we almost always take a look around the old neighbourhood. Despite the huge changes with Canary Wharf and the other developments it’s nice to see at least some parts of the Island are still recognizable, including the Mudchute and most of the old estates (at least for now).

Many thanks to Chris for his memories and the amazing photographs, the DLR transformed travel around the Island and it is really interesting to see the original elevated platforms at Island Gardens which used the old London and Blackwall Railway viaduct.