Forgotten Stories: Whale meat again…

Forgotten Stories: Whale meat again…

Local journalist and historian Colin Grainger recalls the childhood song that dates back to the day in 1899 when a 30-ton whale met its grisly end on the banks of the River Thames in North Woolwich. There’s a long tradition in East London both for children and adults of putting your own lyrics to popular songs…many of us still do it. In the age of phone apps, YouTube and social media, an industry now seems to have grown out of that tradition. Comics use it in their stand-up routines as well. The alternative verse we used to sing as children and teenagers and still do as adults to the wartime classic We’ll Meet Again from East Ham’s own Dame Vera Lynn. The ironic ‘Whale Meat Again’ used to echo round the dinner hall at Silvertown’s Drew School. It recalls the day a giant whale lost her way in the River Thames at North Woolwich, only to be rammed by tugs and attacked with hatchets and crowbars until she was killed. Current North Woolwich resident Joan Plant, who will soon be 91, said her mother and father passed down the story to her from the previous generation. “It created a bit of local history and apparently many locals went down to see the beached whale and some took souvenirs and posed for pictures on top of the animal,” she said. Former Silvertown resident Lottie Lowry, who passed away in 2012, often told her family stories of the event, passed down to her by her father. “I can remember being told stories of the whale being washed up on Bargehouse shore...
Royal Docks projects nominated for award

Royal Docks projects nominated for award

London’s Royal Docks are featured prominently in the shortlist for the Architect of The Year award 2017. JTP and Fletcher Priest have submitted entries for their work on the Brunel Street Works development in Canning Town and the Silvertown Quays regeneration project respectively. Both have been nominated for the Masterplanning & Public Realm Architect of the Year category.Now in their 14th year, the awards will be held at the ExCel Centre in London on March...
King George V lock refurbishment

King George V lock refurbishment

London’s Royal Docks boasts a proud 145 year history of incredible stories and change but to keep the docks operating and in good shape for the future is a major task. This responsibility falls on RoDMA and its maintenance team who carry out daily tasks to keep the assets across its vast estate in good working order. These assets include five bridges (three of which have opening sections for vessel movements), four sets of lock gates and associated systems, an impounding station with four giant pumps that pump water into the docks from the river to keep the level of the dock constant, as well as many other systems and areas, many of which date back to when the commerical operation of the docks. As a not-for-profit organisation, RoDMA must rely on the service charges paid by those who occupy the area to fund its works. However, in 2011 it was identified that the scale of investment in the docks needed to be stepped up considerably to maintain the integrity of the estate. As a consequence RoDMA has had a major focus on generating commercial income by using the docks more intensively for events, activities and encouraging As a consequence RoDMA has had a major focus on generating commercial income by using the docks more intensively for events, activities and encouraging use of its wharf areas for projects. Over the past five years, around £900k has been invested to repair and replace old infrastructure, as a consequence of the commercial income received. 2017, however will be a landmark year for the docks as RoDMA starts to benefit from the...
‘World’s most spectacular ‘ Good Hotel

‘World’s most spectacular ‘ Good Hotel

The Good Hotel in London’s Royal Docks has been named one of the world’s most spectacular floating hotels by CNN Travel. Launched in Amsterdam in 2015, the hotel’s mission is to provide a premium quality service to customers while giving the opportunity for long-term unemployed people in the area to be trained for work in the hospitality sector. It also looks to source local food and drink to give visitors a flavour of East London life. Whenever you book directly with the hotel, £5 of your room charge per night goes directly to the education of children living in poverty in Antigua de Guatemala.  Good Hotel is a profit for non-profit, which means all profits are re-invested. In education, local communities and the stimulation of entrepreneurship. But with the donation when you book direct, you have as a guest already an immediate impact on the future of kids living in poverty.  The 148-room floatel opened in London’s Royal Victoria Dock at the end of 2016. You can watch a remarkable time-lapse video of its journey from Amsterdam to the Royal Docks and visit the CNN Travel site to read the full article.      ...
London City Airport 30th anniversary

London City Airport 30th anniversary

London City Airport celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017 in the wake of its busiest year and the start of an ambitious £340 million development plan. It’s also released a number of photos from its archive, illustrating just how things have changed around London’s Royal Docks over the past three decades. This news follows January’s announcement that a record 4.5million passengers used the airport in 2016, a five per cent growth on the previous year. London City Airport CEO Declan Collier said: “More people are travelling and making the right choice by opting for London City Airport. Our offer of a speedy and efficient passenger experience, just six miles from the City of London, means less time in transit and more time for the purpose of your trip.” 52 per cent of passengers used the airport for business purposes and in summer 2016, the UK Government approved planning permission for the £344 million City Airport Development Programme (CADP), construction for which begins this year. The development will enable 6.5 million passengers to travel through the airport’s doors by 2025 and add 29,000 additional flights per year. In addition, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines started a new service between London and Amsterdam earlier this month, the first time the Dutch airline has flown from City Airport in eight...
Benefit night at Brick Lane Music Hall

Benefit night at Brick Lane Music Hall

A benefit night for local charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve takes place at Brick Lane Music Hall on May 6, featuring the Best of British Music Hall show with Master of Ceremonies, Vincent Hayes MBE. The event is at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm) at Brick Lane Music Hall, 443 North Woolwich Road, Silvertown, E16 2DA. The evening includes a three-course meal with tea or coffee, a raffle and auction. Tables for between two people and groups of 12 are available. and all proceeds to Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, which works with disadvantaged, vulnerable and at-risk children and young people. Thanks to the generosity and kindness of Brick Lane Music Hall, the full ticket price of £49.95 will be donated to the charity. Early booking is advisable. For further details, contact Kevin Jenkins OBE. kevin@theaaazone.com or phone 07860...