I have long wanted to visit the Museum of London Docklands as the various docks around London have always held a fascination for me.
The history of London Docklands is the history of the city itself. London exists because of the River Thames and the docks that have been constructed along it. Without the docks London would never have been able to generate the wealth that it did and, arguably, Great Britain wouldn’t perhaps have been so great.
Originally the “docks” would have simply been moorings along the banks of the Thames where ships from around the world would have offloaded their cargos. As trade increased the docks themselves were constructed to make the offloading of goods easier, more efficient and therefore more profitable.
As the Empire grew so did the need for bigger docks in London. London was the largest port in the world and as such the docks were by far the biggest, most impressive and most modern in the world. Many were constructed using private money and were named according to the origin of their goods; West India Docks, East India Docks, Greenland Dock and so on.
Not only are the docks of huge interest in themselves, but the people who lived and worked in the area are also fascinating, from the dockers to the Krays. Plus you also have one of the greatest unsolved mysteries by virtue of “Jack the Ripper”.
The Museum of London Docklands does a brilliant job of walking you through the story from the cities Roman origins to the Blitz and the eventual economic collapse.
If you find yourself in London head out to Canary Wharf via the Docklands Light Railway; enjoy the museum and the surrounding area. It is also a short hop over the river to Greenwich.
I really enjoyed my visit today and will be heading back as I found that there simply wasn’t enough time to take in all the information, exhibits and stories which were on offer.
If you are interested in London and it’s docklands this is an absolute must.