Mind the gap

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My great (x4) grandfather was a coal merchant in Wapping. The family lived within the parish of St George-in-the-East, but went to the Presbyterian church in Stepney which is where all 6 children were baptized. St George’s was hit during WW2 and only the exterior remains.

A new church was built inside the external walls (which had been designed by the celebrated architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor) in the 1960s (below).

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On to Wapping. I knew that the coal merchant’s premises no longer existed because they were demolished to make an entrance to the London Docks in about 1800. So there was a gap between the properties fronting the Thames near the Old Wapping Stairs which used to house the Morrisons.

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I don’t imagine it was quite so glamorous as the gentrified area is today, nor was the view of the river (a stinking sewer at the time) quite like today’s view.

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Most of the old London Docks have been filled in to make way for Rupert Murdoch’s printing presses, but some bits remain, and are very peaceful.

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No doubt a vast improvement on life in the 1790s.

2 comments

  1. Sam

    where are all the people though???

  2. They were all at work, I suppose. It was very quiet wherever I went.

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