Another interesting website

My friend Alan sent me this link to a site full of information about the River Thames and London’s docks. It contains plenty of history – text, photos and even videos.


“You showed me nutmegs and nutmeg husks,

Ostrich feathers and elephant tusks,

Hundreds of tons of costly tea

Packed in wood by the Cingalee

And a myriad drugs which disagree

Cinnamon, myrrh, and mace you showed

Golden paradise birds that glowed,

More cigars than a man can count

And a billion cloves in an odorous mount”

The poet John Masefield, after a visit to the Cutler Street Warehouses


Landing tapioca at Butler’s Wharf, c. 1910.

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9 Responses to Another interesting website

  1. Matrin says:

    My Granddad was born in Vine Street Buildings and I have been trying to locate the exct spot wher it once stood. My Mum and Dad visited the area 60 years ago but couldn’t find Vine street then. I would dealy love to see any old photographs of Bermondsey round about the late 1800′ to early 1900 to look for myself as to what the area was like where my Granddad played under a railwat brige. he used to tell me that as a boy his gang stood under one particular bridge shouting up to the passengers (I doubt if they could hear through the racket though) to throw down their mouldy pennies! His Father was a well known music teacher and together with Granddad’s six or seven daughters played the Violin in one of the West End major theatres. I hav never been able to trace any records of them other than on the census reports and in Granddad’s war records with the 7th Bedford Regiment. Their surname was Raper.

  2. Matrin says:

    Should have read Sisters not Daughters. Sorry about some of the spelling mistakes

  3. thebarrowboy says:

    If you haven’t checked it out, try the website. There are a lot of old Bermondsey folk who can probably help you with more information.

  4. Matrin says:

    Thanks, I will and get back to you if I come up with any leads. Granddad like all WW1 servicemen was very secretive about his past and of his experiences in France which is more than understandable.

  5. thebarrowboy says:

    I’d be interested to hear more, especially as I went to school right there.

  6. Matrin says:

    Pleased to have made your acquaintence. Will certainly keep in touch as his background until he joined up as I say is a very dark area. Even mu old Mum, his daughter now 92, never really knew his family.

  7. thebarrowboy says:

    My grandad talked about the places he went – the Western Front (briefly), then Salonika, Egypt and Palestine, and Germany. But never about the horrors he saw. Oh how I wish I had talked to him more when I was young but I was too busy getting on with own life.

  8. Matrin says:

    My Granddad was with the Expeditionary Force to France (7th Beds).
    None of us could get him to even start talking about his youth. Maybe the horrors he encountered wiped his mind clean and also maybe because he lost an arm in the trenches.. My Mum (by the way I’m now 70) but still with a very sharp brain at 92 said that once one of his sisters came to visit him in Torquay but when my Nan answered the door he shouted to her to not let her in so she went away and all further contact was lost. Which sister it was will never be known. I have tried through the site Curious Fox where messages for particular towns, places etc can be posted to locate decendents of his sisters but have drawn a blank! Who ever said Genealogy was easy!!
    Keep searching and maybe someday something will crop up, you never know.

  9. thebarrowboy says:

    People (especially English people) just didn’t talk about the things that had gone on. If life can be difficult now, I can’t even imagine what it was like back then. Victorian London must have been a living hell for many folk.

    A great-grandad of mine was a road sweeper in Bermondsey. Great-nan worked in Hartley’s jam factory in Tower bridge Road. Several members of the family lived off Tanner St., in old terraced houses.

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