Monday, 10 March 2014

Canary Wharf

Hubby and I have just returned from a very lovely weekend in London.  You may remember that we had a brief impromptu visit just before Christmas, and that really whetted my appetite for a longer and more in depth trip - so off we went.  I am totally captivated by "Call the Midwife" and I have also recently read a book by living members of the Kray family, and so I particularly wanted to have a look around the east end of London, and the docklands area.  Most of these area's though now look nothing like they did back in the 1950's and 60's - but there are still some snippets left, and I am very interested in how they have regenerated these often run down area's.  We had never been to Canary Wharf, so just 4 stops away on the Docklands Light Railway from our hotel, and we we there.

 I thought at times it looked like Toy Town with the block style offices and apartments, with trains and buses riding through.  It is one of the financial districts of London now (since the 1980's) but most of the old docks have been retained and it is lovely to walk around.
 A very nice man handed us a map of the area and told us that all the shops and some restaurants were underground.  It is quite an amazing place.

 I love the way that they have left some of the relics from the when the docks were in full use though.
 The purpose of our visit was a trip to the Docklands museum housed in one of the only warehouses left after the London Blitz.  It is a brilliant little museum that tells the tale of London and especially the Docklands area from Roman times right up to present day.

 It is heavy on reading materials and not so much on exhibits, but we found it fascinating and spent hours in here.
 Apparently they built the docks because the Eastender's were very light fingered and they were losing too much money through thefts - I don't think building the warehouses made all that much differnce though!

I find the social history of area's like this very moving.  Life must have been incredibly hard.  I'm always interested to read about the philanthropist's that made life that little bit better for the working families through the ages.
 I did manage to eavesdrop on this lovely lady who was a publican's wife telling a group of school children about her life in the dockland pub in "sailor town" .  I thought she had a fab job - on some days she is Florence Nightingale in another museum!

We enjoyed our morning in Canary Wharf submerged in all the history, learning about a place that was alien to us.  I wish I could have stepped back in time here (I do that a lot don't I!).  So where did we go next?


Curtise said...

You get about, you do! I have never been to Canary Wharf or Docklands, and as usual, Diane, your post and fabulous photos have made me want to visit. Look at all that glorious sunshine! I find social and industrial history really interesting and moving too. xxx

Vintage Jane said...

It's an area we have never spent much time in either, but you have made me want to pay a proper visit next time we are in the city.

Amy at love made my home said...

I've never been there, but it sounds and looks very interesting! Glad that you had such a good day out. xx

Young at Heart said...

In the late 80s I met a friend for lunch in a classic old school cafe in the east end with black and white photos of boxers on the walls, the sort of place the Krays might have frequented, I remaked, nodding at a grey haired bloke and his mates sitting adjacent .....2 days later I saw the same bloke on the news, it was Charlie Kray talking about the film being made about his brothers!! Glad you had a fab tripx

Rosie said...

Wonderful photos, Diane looks like you had a super weekend. I love that model of the old London Bridge:)

greenthumb said...

Looks like a great day out, you must have walked and walked.

Lisa said...

I've just read all your London posts. You've seen parts we've not been near yet and I'm looking forward to when we can get and see them though!
The sunset in your latest post through the trees is just so pretty. I thought the lice cream you treated yourself too sounded scrummy. Last time we were in London we walked past Borough market, I wanted to go in for a nose but was over-ruled! We had a picnic lunch sat on the steps of St Pauls. Did I ever tell you that the Centotaph in Southampton is by Lutyens?
Love what you did with the hen party photo and highlighted the colour of the balloons. Bet DQ would approve of those editing skills too!
Lisa x