The Dockers' Shelter - Redriff Road, Rotherhithe, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.608 W 000° 02.748
30U E 705068 N 5708841
Quick Description: This mural is painted on the back wall of a dockers' shelter.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/23/2012 10:53:00 AM
Waymark Code: WMDK2P
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 1

Long Description:
This mural is close to Greenland Dock that used to be part of Surrey Docks in London's heyday as a commercial seaport. Those days are long gone partly due to London's distance from the sea and the introduction of containerised cargo and bigger ships.

When working on the docks shelter was provided for the dockers and this shelter has been created in the style of a dockers' shelter. The front of the shelter is open to the north west and the ends and back are blocked in to provide protection from the south westerly prevailing winds.

The back wall of the shelter, probably about forty feet (12 metres) in length is the 'canvas' for the mural. The back wall is brick built and 6ft x 4ft plywood sheets has been clad to the wall for the painting. There are several scenes throughout the length of the mural. Cleverly, the first scene on the left is done in a sepia style to try and make it look older. A horse and cart can be seen for hauling cargo with some cargo being handled by the dockers on porter trolleys. Moving along, the mural turns to colour showing some of the cargo handled at the Surrey Docks. Timber was handled here. There is also a packet of tea shown and a docker's union card. The unions were very strong in the London docks and, some might say, another reason for the docks' demise. The packet of tea leads into a domestic scene with a docker at home reading a newspaper. The picture then leads on to the Second World War section with a picture of the Rotherhithe peninsula as a backdrop with a bomber flying over it. There is also a picture of a gas mask and ration book. The mural then shows the docks ablaze during the war. This area was heavily bombed during the first night of the blitz and a great fire started with incendiary bombs setting the timber cargo alight. Next, a steam locomotive is shown being lifted, probably to signify the re-building after the war. The last picture shows the docker taking a break. His bale hook, a ship's stowage plan, cigarettes and cup of tea are all shown. By the glum look on the docker's face it looks as thought the docks are closing down and a headline, on a newspaper on the table reads, 'Clem at 84, looks back on the rise and fall of the Surreys'.
City: Rotherhithe, London

Location Name: Dockers' Shelter

Artist: Bermondsey Arts Group

Media: Plywood base. Paint type unknown.

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

Date: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and description of your visit. One original photo of the mural must also be submitted. GPSr photo NOT required.
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