The Great Liners (Episode 11)


Port of London

There will be many people who remember the River Thames as it once was the highway to the world’s busiest seaport This latest video in The Great Liners series turns back the clock to a time where giant warehouses stood on what is now office blocks and luxury apartments. And for those who are too young to remember those days, the video provides a fascinating and entertaining insight into the Port of London when it was the nation’s larder.

The video, entitled The Great Port of London, goes back to the time when London’s docklands stretched for 11 miles along the Thames. Much rare archive material has been used to bring back the days when 60,000 ships used the port every year and thousands of people worked with 1,500 turning cranes to load and unload cargoes of every description to and from every corner of the world.

Ships in the countless quays bore funnel livery marking them out as P&O or BI or Blue Star, Union Castle, Shaw Savill, Cunard, Ellerman Lines and many more.

Somehow this video manages to bring back all those long lost scenes. You can almost smell the fusion of malty cargo and industrial smells so uniquely characteristic of that London dockland scene.

The video, which runs for 60 minutes, is something that will be selected from the video cabinet for viewing time and time again. Never before have so many ships appeared in one video – absolute magic.

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