Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Flying High

Click on pictures to enlarge

19th February 2013

I recently attended a lecture by Engineer David Cooper, who told us about the London cable car project he had been working on. The brief was to create something that would be higher than any ship using the River Thames on a very high tide, but lower than aircraft taking off or landing at London City Airport!

It is now up and running and known as The Emirates Air Line. It is available to the public to board at Royal Victoria Docks on the north side of the River Thames or at the south side at Greenwich Peninsula; both points are near the London Underground or Docklands Light Railway systems. On a sunny but freezing cold English winter's day I went up to London to see this new attraction. I took my River Thames chart with me, and also memories of Union-Castle Line ships using the Royal Victoria docks in days gone by, as shared by some of my Monday Mariners friends recently.

Some of the Docks, shown on my River Thames chart

Emirates Royal Docks, on the north west corner of the Royal Victoria Dock.

First view of the Air Line and the three pylons

Part of the workings

One of the cable cars, each holding ten people maximum

Taking off

Royal Victoria Dock, looking east, with the barge and The Shack below

Ready for landing

But still high up

Emirates Greenwich Peninsula

View 1

View 2

The O2

Ravensbourne - Innovation in Digital Media and Design
I was intrigued by the construction and pattern of the tiles of this unusual building, and then met two of the people attending Ravensbourne - one from Portugal and one from Afghanistan. They enjoyed seeing my River Thames chart and the location of the River Ravensbourne, and I enjoyed being given a tour of the building inside. It is open plan styling, with porthole-like windows.

Deptford Creek and the River Ravensbourne, west of Greenwich

John Flamsteed

Greenwich Meridian


Red carpet for the Brit Awards 2013, to be held the next day

Antony Gormley sculpture 'Quantum Cloud'

People climbing to the top of the roof on the O2

The Air Line from the south to the north and the three pylons

An aircraft taking off from London City Airport over the Emirates Air Line

Airliner and Air Line

The Thames Barrier

London City Airport, between Albert Dock (N) and King George V Dock (S)

Looking west, towards O2 Arena, Blackwall, Poplar and Canary Wharf

River Thames chart looking west to Canary Wharf

Looking west, towards Bow Creek and East India Dock Basin

One of the original 1952 cranes

View towards the Excel Centre, footbridge, SS Robin, Trinity House Lightship 83, original Flour Mills. The SS Robin was built at Blackwall, East London, in 1890, and had a long career as a steam coaster. She is the last of the 'dirty British coasters', described in John Masefield's poem 'Cargoes', and is due to be opened to the public this year by the Robin Trust.

Old Flour Mills, SS Robin and Trinity House Lightship number 83 in the winter sunshine

'Silver Queen' of Silver Queen Cruises Ltd., gliding through the water. She does half-hour cruises around the docks, and is a 1940 Dunkirk Veteran.

Royal Victoria Dock, looking towards the Flour Mills on the south side

Emirates Royal Dock on a nearby poster

Emirates Royal Dock from the south side of the Dock

Nearby barge being renovated, using planks of wood from an old railway engineering works. The various colours of the planks signify which department of the works they came from.

Royal Victoria Dock Watersports Centre, run from The Shack with the assistance of a happy labrador/retriever dog. He frequently went in the water and enjoyed it; each time he came out he shook himself energetically and a cloud of water droplets sparkled in the sunshine.

The Shack, at the Watersports Centre, which is also constructed of coloured planks from the old railway engineering works. There are also photos of Queen Victoria, and black and white photographs of ships loading and unloading their cargo in the Docks.

The little beach nearby

I had enjoyed a fascinating day out in this part of London, the capital city of a maritime nation.

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