London Bridge and Tower Bridge, view looking east from Southwark Bridge. An RM-type bus crosses the bridge heading towards the City. Dockside crane masts rise above the north end of the bridge and dominate the south banks of the river Thames where cargo ships are being unloaded.
Photographed by W H R Godwin, Feb 1968
Location: Southwark SE1
Image no: 440/1284B
Inventory no: 2004/16543
20th Century London caption: The Pool of London is the historic name given to the stretch of the Thames between London Bridge and Rotherhithe. Before the docks of the East End were developed in the 19th century, the Pool was London's main port area. Ships were loaded and goods unloaded from all over the world. The area remained busy until into the 1960s. Then shipping containers that could be loaded onto lorries at the coastal ports and driven into London became popular. Since this was more cost-effective than docking in London, the docks began to decline. This 1968 photo shows the dock cranes on the left still dominating the riverbank. On the right, two large ships can be seen docked by Tower Bridge. In the foreground, a bus is crossing London Bridge.