Rotherhithe SE16 - Scotch Derrick Crane
A "Scotch derrick" was a crane that was frequently used in docks for lifting and moving heavy loads. In this case the heavy load was wood - shifting tree trunks from ships on the Thames into Lawrence Wharf thought to be the last remaining sawmill in London until it closed in 1986.The derrick derives its name from a type of gallows named after Thomas Derrick, an Elizabethan era English executioner.
The London Docklands Development Corporation recognised its importance as the last remaining independently mounted crane in Rotherhithe and placed a protected covenant on it but this safeguarding was subsequently removed by the Mayor of London.Greater London Archaeology Society say that this red crane was built just after World War Two replacing an earlier crane destroyed in the Blitz.
This crane is the last of its kind in London and is one of the few remaining physical and tangible links to former Surrey Docks community heritage and identity and despite opposition from local residents, the owners of the land Hollybrook Homes don't wish to retain the crane due to its poor state of repair and of course the amount of space that it occupies. They plan to take the crane down and recycle parts to make a riverside sculpture whilst building housing around this valuable Thames-side site.
Regents Canal - Limehouse, E14
The Regent's Canal is an 8.6 mile long canal providing a link from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, just NW of Paddington Basin in the west, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames in the east.
The first section from Paddington to Camden Town, opened in 1816. The Camden to Limehouse section, including the Regent's Canal Dock (used to transfer cargo from seafaring vessels to canal barges – today known as Limehouse Basin), opened four years later. The Regents Canal is the "North Circular of canals" and luckily survived attempts during Victorian times to
to convert the route of the canal into a railway (like the fate suffered by the Croydon Canal)
In October 2014 engineers carrying out repair works drained more than seven million gallons of water from a stretch of Regent’s Canal from Limehouse up towards Mile End. This is to enable bricklayers to repair large holes in the canal wall recently spotted by specialist divers as part of a multi-million pound maintenance programme to canals and rivers across England and Wales. Hundreds of fish, including a 3ft-long carp weighing 25 pounds, were scooped up and moved to safety
The draining of the canal has highlighted all the rubbish dumped in the canal bed - an unsurprising collection of shopping trolleys, tyres & traffic cones, thousands of plastic bags & bottles plus a few wheelclamps, a safe, knives & traffic signs. I am surprised that they havent discovered any unexploded wartime bombs.Volunteers have been cleaning up the litter during organised campaigns by the Lower Regents Coalition.
The canal is expected to be reopened by Christmas 2014.