Long ago film and photos of London, the Thames, and the Thames Estuary

Thames film

A 1928-9 river travelogue from Tower Bridge, through London’s busy docks, past famous downstream landmarks at Greenwich including sailing barge moorings, all the way down to Canvey Island, Hadleigh Ray to Benfleet’s The Hoy pub, and then to Southend Pier where the cameraman lands at Southend Pier heads towards town on one of the pier’s famous trains.

If that’s not enough, check out these fabulous photos of the London River published by the Standard.

PS – While we’re dreaming about the Thames, I gather that in April the Bodleian Library’s publishing arm is set to publish a new book, Writing the Thames, that collects together writings and pictures of the Thames going back to the time of Julius Caesar, and includes the 55BC story of the Chertsey elephant, lots of well known authors, drownings and dead bodies.

Excerpts from  American Henry Wellington Wack’s 1906 account In Thamesland, Being a Gossiping Record of Rambles through England from the Source of the Thames to the Sea is included,  as well as Steffan Hughes’s Circle Line recording his 70-mile epic journey around London’s waterways.

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2 thoughts on “Long ago film and photos of London, the Thames, and the Thames Estuary”

  1. Wonderful stuff, an Amphicar and a motorbike crossing the River. Does anyone know of any film of an Amphicar towing a Caraboat?

    I hope ‘Writing the Thames’ includes this but perhaps it’s too obvious.

    At sundown, a pleasure ship called the Nellie lies anchored at the mouth of the Thames, waiting for the tide to go out. Five men relax on the deck of the ship: the Director of Companies, who is also the captain and host, the Lawyer, the Accountant, Marlow, and the unnamed Narrator. The five men, old friends held together by “the bond of the sea,” are restless yet meditative, as if waiting for something to happen. As darkness begins to fall, and the scene becomes “less brilliant but more profound,” the men recall the great men and ships that have set forth from the Thames on voyages of trade and exploration, frequently never to return. Suddenly Marlow remarks that this very spot was once “one of the dark places of the earth.”

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