The port in 1901
|The West and East India Docks|
The West India Docks
The West India group was heavily used at the time of the 1901 census, with over 50 vessels present. Some were large liners, but most were elderly sailing ships. There were also many curiosities, including a cable-laying ship, several pleasure steamers and the hulk HMS President.
In the South West India Dock was the cable-laying ship Amber (1888), owned by the Eastern Telegraph Company.
This business had been formed in 1872 through the amalgamation of several pioneering cable firms.
Thames pleasure steamers generally operated only in the summer and autumn. During the winter, many were laid up in the South West India Dock. Those present in March 1901 included the popular Koh i Nor (1892), known to many as the 'Jewel of the Thames', the Victoria, the Alexandra and the Southampton.
The East India Docks
This old set of docks was relatively underused. There were only six vessels there at the time of the 1901 census. They included the Thompson Line's Benlawers (1886), trading between London and China and Japan.
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