The Pool of London and the docks brought a heaving, exotic life to the East End. Trade gave rise to industry and employment. A diversity of seamen of all nations introduced curious cargoes and told stories of faraway places with strange-sounding names. Though that life has long since ceased, there is much to see which bears witness to those days of adventure and danger.
The Thames was the cause of London’s growth, but also the pathway that brought Blitz bombers to their dockland targets. The people who sought to help stranded seamen contrast with ruthless planners who destroyed London’s old Scandinavian quarter. On this tour we explore both the infrastructure of maritime trade and the experiences of the merchant seaman ashore.