Keeping our river port open
The second phase of essential refurbishment was signalled by the removal of the downstream brow which bridges the gap between the shore line and the floating pontoon. A giant floating crane barge was required to do the lift and take it to a suitable wharf – perhaps the PLA facility at Denton just downstream from Gravesend where ‘Gloriana’, the Queen’s Royal Barge winters. The following day the downstream pontoon followed its twin to be refurbished – either at Denton or at Devrills floating dock facility just downstream at East Greenwich.
News of a new pier to be installed on an existing facility at the Intercontinental Hotel together with a café will provide tourist and river path users with another attraction, giving exciting views of Canary Wharf’s new high rise towers now under construction. The top floor of that hotel provides even more exciting panoramic views which I recommend to one and all. To have an evening drink up in this luxurious environment gives an overview of the fast-developing quarter around the O2 down towards the Thames Barrier and up to the City – best before dusk to see the illuminations brighten the sky in Docklands and later the river reflections.
Across the tideway immediately to the North at Leamouth is Trinity Buoy Wharf, an arts centre with the only lighthouse in London and the depot jetty of Thames Clippers. Close by at Good Luck Hope is another riverside residential development by Ballymore built in traditional dockland style overlooking the O2 and the dramatic Blackwall Reach and once the entrance to the historic East India Docks.
Further up the Lea, a multi-block development at City Island provides a self-contained ‘village’ formed by the oxbow of the tidal river which runs up to Stratford and beyond.