The Birth of London Gateway Port
Quite a coincidence that I should be writing about life on board container ships when this Saturday’s Times should present an article on the very same subject. The arrival of the first vessel to unload containers from South Africa in this new port is indeed significant, as there was some danger that the Thames would miss out on this extraordinary growth in UK container business. Felixstowe, Liverpool and Southampton have all extended their facilities to serve the larger ships being introduced which require cranes with a further reach.
Likewise in the City of London, two new skyscrapers have hemmed in the renowned Lloyds building which was once a major player on the City skyline as viewed from the South Bank. I can well remember watching this extraordinary building by day and by night from my hospital bed while having a knee job! Both the Walkie Talkie (‘Scorchy’) and the Cheese Grater have half obscured the Richard Rogers masterpiece, as well I know because I have just finished a commission highlighting its Thameside aspect. Fortunately my client shared my enthusiasm for its original river aspect. I do enjoy a challenge!
Another landmark building, this time in Docklands, has been got at. The top floors with the HSBC logo have been rebranded on the upper facades. Citybank had the same treatment earlier. A newcomer to Bank Street has just been cleared of its cranes. Judy and I both enjoy cross river watching over our tea and toast – the tideway and light is always on the change. No wonder that both Henry and Elizabeth loved the scene as craft scurried on their way to and from the oceans of the world.