Old shack on a pier

Michael Faraday and Trinity Buoy Wharf


Did you know that the first ever practical use for power was developed in East London? Professor Frank James explains how.

Scientist Michael Faraday spent three decades as scientific advisor for the Corporation of Trinity House – the authority for lighthouses in England and Wales – during the mid-nineteenth century. It was at their depot at Trinity Buoy Wharf that he carried out pioneering tests on the electrification of lighthouses and on the use of Fresnel lenses, the former the first time that power had been used for a practical purpose.

Street view or warehouse at Trinity Bouy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf: Then and Now


Since 1998 Trinity Buoy Wharf has become a centre for arts and culture in East London under the leadership of Urban Space Management. However, the site’s history goes back much further.

While today Trinity Buoy Wharf is filled with artists and other creative organisations, from 1803 until 1988 it was home to the Corporation of Trinity House – the authority for lighthouses in England and Wales. They were the ones who built many of the buildings that Urban Space Management have now repurposed for the arts. Find out about what they were used for and why they were built in this short film incorporating archive material dating back to Victorian times.

An old style diner from outsdie

Fatboy’s Diner


What is an American Diner – built in Massachusetts, USA in the 1950s – doing sat on the river Thames? Join John and Les to find out more.

Fatboy’s Diner, originally known as Georgetown Diner, has been at Trinity Buoy Wharf since 2003. However, its history goes back much further. Built in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1956, the diner found its home in nearby Georgetown where it was eventually renamed Randy’s Roast Beef, where it specialised in sandwiches and pizza. It was restored in the late 1980s before being brought to London in the 1990s to be part of a chain of diners. Eventually it found its way to Trinity Buoy Wharf. Find out how this happened and what the diner is like today in this short film.

These films were produced by Thames Festival Trust and filmed and edited by Fotis Begklis. They were made with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust and the Royal Docks Team.

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