The 20th-century port
|Port of London Authority (PLA)|
An important step taken by the Authority was the reduction and fixing of docking charges. This was a great help to merchants and ship-owners.
Control of the river
However, the PLA did not take over the wharves, which were left in private hands. The 'free water clause' remained, but lighters had to pay a registration fee to the PLA.
Another Royal dock
The most important change was the construction of a new dock, south of the Royal Albert Dock, which could take very large ships. The new King George V Dock was completed in 1921. The Royal group of docks together formed the largest area of enclosed water in the world.
The maximum loaded draught of vessels using the dock was 10 metres (nearly 33 feet). This photograph of the George V Dock was taken from the air. It also shows the Royal Albert Dock.
The dry dock was the largest in London and on the Thames only Tilbury had a larger one.
This is the King George V Dock in October 1955. At the quayside is the P&O cargo/passenger liner Corfu, built in 1931 for the far east service.
The quay at which the ship is lying is now part of the site of the London City Airport.
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