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   Back to London declines as a whaling port

The Penang in the Britannia Dry Dock, Millwall.

The Penang in the Britannia Dry Dock, Millwall.
The Penang from West Ferry Road
© National Maritime Museum, London
Description: Taken from a house in West Ferry Road Millwall, the Finnish Barque 'Penang', built in 1905, is in Britannia Dry Dock undergoing repairs. Built at Bermerhaven as the 'Albert Rickmers', she was bought and renamed by Laeisz of Hamburg in 1910. In October 1923 she was bought by Gustaf Erikson and put on the Australia wheat trade. In December 1940 she was torpedoed by a U-boat and lost with all hands. A fascinating picture with the ship providing the back drop for the slum housing in the foreground. Although the Dwellings Improvement Act, introduced in 1875, aimed to remove slums and put new low-cost housing in their place, progress was slow. The difficulty lay in implementing slum clearance, as the onus lay with the local authorities who not only had to remove the slums but replace them with better dwellings. Nevertheless, in time, this policy was accepted and in the 1920s and 1930s, slums housing some 200,000 people were cleared.
Creator: Russell Westwood
Date: July 1932
Credit line: Copyright NMM, reproduced with kind permission of the Estate of Russell Westwood.
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