Above: Chamber’s Wharf as it looked in the 1960s.
While looking through some pdf documents, which I had found on the Internet, I came across a one made by someone who had scanned an old copy of the Bermondsey Borough Guide for 1961. Each Metropolitan Borough in London used to produce a guide each year, until 1975 when the Metropolitan Boroughs were combined in groups to form the larger London Boroughs we still have today. One page caught my eye because it was a full page advert for Chambers Wharf. The old, rather ugly warehouse, was only demolished a few years ago. The wharf, which is still empty, is on the up-river side of a small housing development called Fountain Green.
The photograph on the advert shows a large cargo ship moored at the wharf, with several large cranes beside it. The white triangle along the top edge of the picture was obviously a printing error in the original booklet. The view, looking up-river to Tower Bridge, must have been taken from a tug boat or something similar. It is a real ‘blast from the past’.
Above: A view from Fountain Green about 1998.
The 1990s colour view shows the old warehouse with the wharf in front of it, built out into the river on concrete stilts. At low tide it is still easily possible to walk underneath the structure. The old warehouse, seen in the colour view, was not demolished until about 2005. While it was not taken from exactly the same position, the colour view fits quite well with the black-and-white picture at the top.
Above: The whole advert (Click on the image to bring up a large version).
Because we all took these wharves so much for granted in the 1960s, very few pictures were ever taken. Many of them closed down in the 1970s and 1980s and suddenly we all realised that scenes of them being used had suddenly gone for ever and there was no record of them at work. It is great that the view, taken from the company’s advert, is able to be enjoyed today.