The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 34 The East End and the Docks


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At Blackwall, + miles below the West India Docks, are the East India Docks (68+ acres), comprising two main basins, opened in 1806. This dock system has recently been much improved and developed and now admits liners of 8000 tons. On a much more extensive scale are the Royal Victoria and Albert Docks, lower down, which extend over a distance of nearly 3 miles. These docks, opened in 1885 and 1880 respectively, were extended in 1921 by the opening of the King George V. Dock, 800 feet long (to the south of the Royal Albert Dock), which admits all but the largest ships afloat. The area of the docks is now 1100 acres (252 acres water). Tobacco, grain, frozen meat, wool, and flour are the chief imports here. The tobacco warehouses at the Victoria Dock, the only bonded warehouses for tobacco in London, accommodate from 15,000 to 20,000 tons; vast granaries and two flour-mills deal with the cargoes of grain; and there is cold storage accommodation for 1,358,000 frozen carcases. The steamers of many of the chief companies berth in these docks, including the P. & O. and the White Star. The Royal Albert Dock Hospital, near Connaught Road Station, is a branch of the Seamen's Hospital at Greenwich. From near the railway station of North Woolwich, to the south of the Albert Dock, Woolwich Tunnel, a subway for foot-passengers, leads beneath the Thames to Woolwich. The subway, consisting of an iron tube 327 yards long and 11 feet in diameter, was opened in 1912 to supplement the Free Ferry, which is liable to be suspended by fogs. Tilbury Docks, which conclude the series, lie considerably farther down the river, 26 miles below London Bridge by water and 21+ miles by rail from Fenchurch St. Station.