London Vacation Day 2, Docklands Museum, Slavery…….

Day One click here

Oh My God where to begin sharing Docklands history in one short Blog? (All photos taken by me).

Absolutely impossible but I’ll share with you photos taken on day 2 of our family’s London Vacation.

Docklands, situated at the mouth of the River Thames is very close to Greenwich Royal Observatory also the Emirates Cable Car and mirrors London’s history through the centuries, they are intrinsically entwined, from Bronze age discovered artifacts excavated from the area, to Roman settlements this small area of land divided by the Thames Estuary has a history like no other place on earth………………………

…………….a Bold claim indeed, but as a visit to The Docklands Museum situated in a preserved West India Company warehouse revealed, for centuries Britain a seafaring industrial powerhouse plundered ‘booty’ from across the Globe all returning through the Port of London. Troops sailed from here to fight wars in far away lands such as the Crimea, South African Boer War, two World Wars, and a disturbing fact I’d either forgotten or simply not realised, Ships bound for Africa transported Slaves to the West Indies, later retuning with crystalized Sugar, Tobacco (the Cotton went to Liverpool feeding Lancashire cotton Mills). In the days prior to containerization trucks and cargo planes, ships sailing from Docklands created an Empire, later servicing ‘her’ Colonies.

Below The Docks Museum, I recommend you visit this wonderful resource if you have the opportunity, both educational and also brilliantly presented Docklands was the highlight of my stay in London.

(Below) Recreated shop fronts from the eighteenth century, you peer through the windows to gaze and wonder at businesses of the time, pubs, animal emporiums, Dockside offices.

Today in the Twenty First Century, Apple, Chinese Tech Companies, Tesla……. are the World’s industrial powerhouses, great wealth is generated, politicians bow to their every desire and whim, well just so as you know, the direct descendants/equivalents would be Britain’s ‘West India’ also ‘East India’ Companies see below.

London’s wealth paid for many buildings of note also Royal Palaces……………………..so I ask you this, if the construction of Buckingham Palace was paid from the profits of Slavery, seriously does the Queen have compensation to pay?

Wandering around the museum you’re first introduced presented to Docklands Bronze Age also Roman history, history both my Brother and I knew a little of…………………HOWEVER naively we forgotten, or simply not realised (we’re both white skinned), London Docks has a grim awful disgusting charge sheet of shame, ships sailed from Quaysides Wharfs and Piers named Canada Water, Royal Victoria Docks……………………… many sailing to Ports in Africa to transport enslaved Africans to the Americas and Caribbean, later returning laden with Tobacco and Sugar, a shameful past indeed!

A. Shepherdson 2021

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