Port of London Authority archives to be catalogued and made available

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Access to the Port of London Authority archive – said to be one of the most significant in London – is set to be unlocked in a three-year cataloguing programme.

The archive covering 250 years of London’s water-borne history is to be catalogued by Museum of London Docklands staff. The work is expected to take at least three years and will give historians, river lovers and members of the public easy access to the archive.

The PLA was created through an Act of Parliament overseen by Lloyd George and Winston Churchill to bring order to the chaos of the busy and congested port of the early 1900s. It came into existence on 31 March 1909.

The archive includes 30 boxes of documents relating to the 19th century dock companies; 120 boxes of documents relating to the early years of the PLA; 140 boxes of documents relating to post-war PLA activities; 50 boxes of post-war PLA personnel documents; architectural drawings relating to all aspects of the docks; and a range of PLA river charts. It adds up to a lot of material.l

An entertaining historical presentation telling the story of the PLA is already available can be found on the organisation’s website at www.pla.co.uk.

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5 thoughts on “Port of London Authority archives to be catalogued and made available”

  1. Hi all, looking for any info on a reported Thames Sailing Barge named George Murray now a wreck just off the River Lynher in Cornwall, lying in Forder Lake. I'm thinking that this may not be a Thames Sailing Barge at all, images available … Help!

  2. The pic of bobbies jumping into the dock really demands an explanation – looks like a staged ballet…

    Jan's request for info on a Thames barge seems to be in the wrong place??

    Bob

    1. The photo was sent out without an explanation by the PLA folks. I think it's likely they were testing their ability to swim in their greatcoats and lifejackets. Judging by the shadows, I think this may have been a summer day…

      You're right – I'll ask Jan where his enquiry was meant to go.

      G

  3. My dad was a Bobby at the PLA at Tilbury in the 60’s. I remember living in a house near the Hospital? His name was Ronald McDUFF. Any info or photos of his service would be appreciated.

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