Sunday, 9 October 2011

St Katherine's Dock

St Katherine's Dock
In the heart of London and literally within the shadow of Tower Bridge is St Katherine’s Dock. The docks were constructed in 1828 on the site formerly used for executions, with gallows situated here up until the sixteenth century.

As with all docks it was once a dark, dangerous place surrounded by high walls to protect the cargo inside. River Police would regularly visit local schools to warn of the dangers of playing around the docks on the barges or river banks, using early cloth flip charts (very low tech) to display how dangerous the river could be.

The Dicken's Inn
Concerns were raised when the dock closed in 1968 when it became apparent that the area would become a marina along with apartments, restaurants and a shopping area. Wanting to dispel fears of elitism the developers promised a school and amenities for the locals but this was soon forgotten after a hotel was built and the yachts started to arrive.  Despite this the area is now open to the public and a broken, dilapidated and dangerous industrial area is now a new centre of urban life. If you have not got a boat to moor you can at least have a pint in the Dickens Inn.

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