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Port pastimes

River trips
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River trips


Woolwich Ferry.Part of the Russel Westwood Collection.
View full size imageWoolwich Ferry. Part of the Russel Westwood Collection.

Traditionally, both commercial vehicles and pleasure cruisers used the Thames. The river was a key mode of transport for local families and tourists visiting the city.

Dockworkers would often take their children for a boat trip at the weekends up to London Bridge or out to Southend in Essex.

Peg remembers catching a boat from Greenwich pier:

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You'd go to the pier, get your ticket… wait for the boat… Golden Eagle, it would come in and you'd get your ticket on the pier and you'd go down the steps and then up and
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onto the boat and you had a lovely ride down to Southend.


Millenium Dome from the River.
View full size imageMillennium Dome from the River.

Today, pleasure cruises on the Thames are still a highlight for many tourists visiting London. South East London is now connected with tube lines and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

But for some the river still remains a pleasant and interesting way to get around the city. As the roads become more blocked and the tubes busier, perhaps it will become more widely used.

Chris has taken a river trip from Greenwich to the Thames Barrier at Woolwich:

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As you come from Greenwich you have all the penthouses, then as you come a little more further out you have all the wharves and quays… then as you come further out
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you've got all the old docks, and then you've got the Millennium Dome…


Find out more
GalleriesVideoThe 20th century port video gallery
From 1914 to the present day
StoriesThe 20th-century port
The changing fortunes of Docklands and the port
Related Resources
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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