On August 8, 2012, as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike — and also to fully understand, both physically and mentally, the scale of the city and how its various neighbourhoods join together, I cycled down to Greenwich from my home in Brockley, and then along the River Thames through Deptford to Surrey Quays, and back, inland, to Deptford and home.
I was not alone on this journey, as I also took my son Tyler along as a bit of an adventure — for both of us — and we began by checking out the Olympic screen in the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, and then cycling through Deptford, partly on the Thames Path along the river, which I first recorded here, through the Pepys Estate (formerly part of Deptford’s extensive docks) to the remaining docks of Rotherhithe – the South Dock and the colossal Greenland Dock — which are the last of the docks that once covered the whole of Rotherhithe.
A peninsula facing Shadwell, Wapping and the Isle of Dogs, Rotherhithe, like those areas, was redeveloped in the 1980s onwards as part of the Docklands development initiated by Margaret Thatcher. Most of Rotherhithe’s docks were filled in and refashioned as residential areas, and only two other remnants of the docks survive at Surrey Water and Canada Water. I will be looking at more of the history of Rotherhithe in other photo sets to follow.
On my bike ride with my son, I took a few evocative images of the towers of Canary Wharf from Greenland Dock, and we then cycled through the Surrey Quays shopping centre, past Surrey Quays station, and along the main inland road that runs roughly parallel to the river, the A200, known as Lower Road at the Rotherhithe end, which becomes Evelyn Street as it passes through Deptford, and becomes Creek Road on the approach to Greenwich, where it terminates, to be replaced by the A206, Trafalgar Road, which heads out to Woolwich and beyond.
Just past Deptford Park, we took a side road, cutting through the back streets of Deptford to return home at the end of a short but fascinating little tour around Greenwich, Deptford and Surrey Quays, and I hope you enjoy the photos.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, Jaq White wrote:
Lovely set of photos there Andy – the lighting on some of those is stunning!! And the silhouettes of the tall ships against the sky.. just beautiful You even make the Deptford Tunnel look stunning! I’m too scared to ask how old your son T is now… so I won’t, as I’m a granny twice over now and it will just make me feel ancient!
Thanks, Jaq. Great to hear from you. I do hope we’ll actually meet again one of these days, although Facebook, at its best, is like meeting up. Your grandma news is so shocking that I feel compelled to let you know that Tyler is 12! Wow, how did that happen?
Bill Fisher wrote:
Wonderful photos, Andy.
Thank you, Bill. That’s very lovely to hear.
Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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