1975 London

440. London 1975 – Festival of Sail

Hello – Welcome to WDEOD, a site full of Doris’ photographs!

Its purpose is to share the shots she took in her 50+ years of travel. I’m trying to do a post a film – so one tour may have many posts.
To see what I’ve put up so far, use the menu (three lines up there ↑ if you are on a phone or tablet) to go to a place or a year.


If you want to follow the route Doris took, start under the north span of Tower Bridge and walk down river into St Katherine’s Dock, back again to the Bridge, back again into the Dock and then over the Bridge to see the Tower from Southwark. Very circuitous.

The occasion was the August 1975 Festival of Sail at London Pool, which is the stretch of river below London Bridge.

For those of you who do not know the geography of London, the Thames flows through it from the west and into the North Sea about twenty miles east. Until the 1970s there were a series of huge docks between London and the sea. These were made redundant by huge terminals in Kent (south bank) and Essex (north bank) and the docks were renovated into offices, bars, cafes and investment opportunities for offshore companies.

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To the right is a beach or foreshore, below the Tower of London. Traitor’s Gate is around there. Upriver is London Bridge and beyond that is Blackfriars. Under Blackfriars railway bridge is the exit of the Fleet, one of London’s ‘Lost Rivers’

In 2002, we had a family trip to the foreshore as part of an archeology day. We found hundreds of broken clay pipes, some ornate, many cheap and cheerful, and absolutely hundreds of bones. Speaking to the Museum of London people there, the pipes were dropped in from London Bridge by people smoking there when they broke. The bones were washed down from Smithfield which was on the River Fleet. The butchers dumped the corpses into the Fleet, which became so disgusting that the authorities covered it, and washed up where the river slowed – the Pool of London.

My wife and I left the kids to their own devices whilst we looked for interesting things. I got bored and went back to look at my collection of pipes (and a rather interesting bowl which the MOL person laughingly told me was the base of a circa 1988 broken Champagne bottle) and found them dumped out of the rucksack on the floor. My delightful children needed the space for all the cow bones they had collected.

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Nowadays The Shard dominates this view. The tower to the left is Guys Hospital and that lump at the top is a lecture theatre which juts out.

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