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Signs from the past

A digital video project
Childhood
Going to work
Free time
The changing docklands
The British Deaf History Society
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The changing docklands

Video File Tobacco Docks
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The last of London's docks closed in the 1980s, so the memories of the working docks are still fresh. Some family connections go back a long time…

 

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My great grandfather came from Ireland
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to work in the tobacco docks.
St Katharine's Docks from the Basin. Plate 158.
View full size imageSt Katharine's Docks from the Basin. Plate 158. © NMM

Video File The Royal Albert Docks
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The Royal Albert docks in North Woolwich were built so larger steam ships could be unloaded. Dock workers had direct contact with people from all over the world…

   

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My grandfather, his brothers and my father all worked in the Docks. I remember as a child, my father used to swap foreign money with others. He collected a wide variety of different currencies… he worked with ships from China and
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managed to collect several Chinese buttons.
King George and Royal Albert Docks.
View full size imageKing George and Royal Albert Docks. © NMM

  Dock workers would queue for work on a daily basis... 

Video File The hungry brothers
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There were
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crowds of them all waiting to go to work...
Dockers presenting themselves for work.
View full size imageDockers presenting themselves for work. © NMM

 During the 1950s, London was polluted by smog. This was partly caused by the heavy industry of Docklands… 

Video File London smog
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In the old days we used to cough a lot when the
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smog reached our lungs.
Men gathered around a beacon in thick smog.
View full size imageMen gathered around a beacon in thick smog. © NMM

 Although the closure of the docks marked the end of an era, some Docklands families welcomed the improvements… 

Video File Regeneration
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A view down the River Thames.
View full size imageA view down the River Thames. © NMM

 

 

 

 

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Look at all the new buildings
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on the old docks. It's wonderful – so smart!

A digital video project
Childhood
Going to work
Free time
The changing docklands
The British Deaf History Society
Need help with the video?
*
Send this story to a friend Send this story to a friend
Printer-friendly version Printer-friendly version
View this story in pictures View this story in pictures

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Related Resources
Related Galleries 2 Galleries
Related Images 177 Images
Related Video 3 Video
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Find out more
StoriesThe 20th-century port
The changing fortunes of Docklands and the port
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GalleriesVideoThe 20th century port video gallery
From 1914 to the present day
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Glossary
Dock

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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund  
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