Port of London Authority






> Safe paddling guide

> Ready Mercury – new
   MBNA Thames clipper

> Visiting Indian frigate
   draws a crowd

> Dockland artefacts and a
   mummified cat – The
   Museum of London

> Stand-up Bill’s a
   stand-up guy

> Round-the-world yacht
   visits London

> Thames Skills Academy

> Tilbury

> London Gateway


If you've braved a shopping
trip amid the skyscrapers of
east London's Canary Wharf
– without taking a proper look around – you could be missing
a historical trick.

Tucked away in one corner of
West India Quay, not far from the towering One Canada Square, is a treasure trove of tidal Thames history: the Museum of London Docklands.

“The hardest part of the job is also the best bit really, that the collection is so big and full of information that
it attracts interest from all sorts of visitors, from family historians to architects, historians and novelists.
I don’t know all the answers to the questions I’m asked, but I can usually find something in the collection to help an enquirer.”

The museum’s newest gallery,
No.1 Warehouse, opened last year.
It looks at how the capital’s docks and warehouses operated at the height of their success. Packed
with fascinating photos, artefacts

Based in a 200-year-old warehouse, that was once a prime destination for ships bearing goods from Africa and the West Indies, the museum is a fun, family
friendly collection of artefacts
and exhibitions that offer an illuminating insight into London’s maritime past.

Vicky Holmes has been port and river archivist there for almost four years. Overseeing the many thousands of artefacts,
documents, photos and works
of art (many of which belong to
the PLA), she admits it’s a huge and rewarding job.

She said: “One of the
strangest things we have is a mummified cat and rat that
was found in the 1890s. There
are also some very large
volumes, the biggest being an index to the Thames Naviation
Committee minutes
(1770-1857). I’m always
worried I might drop it on
my foot.

and testimonies in
one of the museum’s many roomy
exhibition spaces, No.1 is as welcoming as it is attractive. There’s also the London, Sugar & Slavery gallery, launched 10 years ago – the only permanent exhibition in London which takes a square

look at the city’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

Just as absorbing is Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail, an interactive display that includes 500 finds, unearthed during the Crossrail project, an eight-year plan to improve London’s commuter network. This exhibition finishes at the beginning of September.

With at least 4,000 items on display (and over 100,000 more in storage) and a gallery just for kids (Mudlark Children’s Gallery, featuring a soft play area with model making) there’s something for everyone at the Museum of London Docklands.

“Everyone would benefit from a visit to the museum,” says Vicky. “It’s free to get in andwe have regular events for kids and their families. There’s also a great café for visitors to take a break from the hustle and bustle outside.”

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