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The working river

The river as it used to be.

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Riverside wharves

Riverside wharves

Before the docks were built ships had to be loaded and unloaded on riverside wharves. I think this picture shows us how cluttered they became and highlights the need to build enclosed, ordered docks.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (artist & engraver), 1859
© National Maritime Museum, London


Barges

Barges

I love the way the barges and their masts are lined up. You can see men loading the goods into lighters to be taken to warehouses along the river. The warehouses have now been converted into housing.

Waldo McGillycuddy Eagar CBE., 1916
© National Maritime Museum, London. Eagar Collection


Dockers at work

Dockers at work

This picture really shows the teamwork involved in unloading ships. These oranges have been imported for christmas and teams of dockers are carrying the crates off the ship and into the warehouses.

The Illustrated London News, 1874
© National Maritime Museum, London


Pollution

Pollution

This picture reminds us of how polluted the river became. The boats in the distance can barely be seen in the fog.

Unknown, 1920
© National Maritime Museum, London


Masts

Masts

I love the masts in this picture. The boats are crowded in to the dock in what appears a frgaile set up. The lighters at the front hold the goods being delivered.

Unknown, c.1880
© National Maritime Museum, London


Posing for the photograph

Posing for the photograph

I think its great that the men in this picture are actually posing for the shot. There seems to be lots of activity on the river with the steamer coming in and all the lighters in the foreground.

Unknown, c. 1940
© Greenwich Local History Library Collection.


Dicken's London

Dicken's London

This is one of my favourite pictures on the website. To me it suns up Dicken's London with the busy river and crowded housing.

Unknown, c.1856-1860
© National Maritime Museum, London



National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund