Review : ‘Shipping on the Thames and the Port of London during the 1940s–1980s: A pictorial history’ by M. Batten and R. Batten,

By Hugh Murphy, published June 2023


By the end of the nineteenth century London was already the world’s leading port, handling more cargo by weight and value than any other UK port. A Royal Commission of 1900 published its findings in 1902 recommending a single, unified public authority to run the docks, act in the interests of port users and provide navigational facilities as necessary. It took another seven years before the inception of the Port of London Authority (PLA) in 1909 responsible for administering docks and shipping on the tidal River Thames from the North Sea to Teddington Lock, a distance of 95 miles. By July 1921 the ‘Royal’ group of docks, the largest enclosed docks in the world, had been completed with the opening of the King George V dock. The royal docks comprised over 11 miles of quays, three dry docks and had rail connections. A new passenger terminal opened at Tilbury in 1930 with a new railway station adjacent…

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Filed under: English Channel | Other (Twentieth C)
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Merchant Marines

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