On the north bank of the Thames, at the heart of London's Docklands, sits the ancient area of Wapping. The construction of docks at Wapping was completed in 1815, replacing many of the area's houses and wharves.
The Blitz of WWII devastated Wapping including extensive damage to the church of St Peter. Father Fox, the parish priest, campaigned vigorously to have the church restored, and the work was completed within four years. Wapping's children celebrated St Peter’s Day on June 29th, 1948, with a parade through the specially decorated streets.
Working on the docks was insecure and poorly paid for many. Although new modern housing was constructed to replace buildings lost in the War, poverty returned in the 1960s with the inexorable closure of the docks. The arrival of the global containerisation system relied on ships too large to navigate the Thames as far as Wapping.
A small number of physical features have survived both the 1815 redevelopment and the Blitz - the old steps down to the edge of the Thames, and the pub, 'The Prospect of Whitby', which backs onto the edge of the river. Today, the warehouses have become apartments.
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Text and curation: Amanda Uren