London's Docklands - A History of the Lost Quarter, by Fiona Rule
Published by Ian Allan in 2012, 336 pages. Paperback (N5772PE)
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: London's docklands and its people were hugely influential not only in shaping the commercial destiny of the capital, but also in the development and social structure of the entire eastern side of the city. Today, at this uncertain and precarious point in their history, it is important that their story is told before all remnants of their illustrious past are erased forever.
Two or three generations ago, the London docks provided employment for over 100,000 men, yet this way of life has vanished for good. In its heyday, the area was dominated by the Port of London: a sprawling network of quays, ancient wharves, deep canals and high-walled basins that stretched along the River Thames from the City to Tilbury.
The demise of the London docks in the late 20th century finally ended a waterside industry that existed in London since Roman times. Yet the largest docks still stand defiant in the face of property developers who consider them too expensive and expansive to redevelop. For the foreseeable future the dock lands will remain part of London - a visual reminder that, for a time, Britannia did indeed rule the waves.
London's Docklands chronicles the rise and fall of the city's lost quarter via the wealth of evidence left by people who worked and lived in the area. From census returns to personal interviews, the lost docklands are rediscovered through fascinating tales of medieval mercers, river pirates, shipbuilders, merchant adventurers, mud larks, dockers, socialist agitators, brothel keepers and opium eaters...