Above: View from London Bridge of Old Billingsgate Market with the unusual sight of a Thames sailing barge moored in front of it (Click on image to enlarge to 1024×640).
The Old Billingsgate Market building is a splendid sight at any time of the day or the night. This one is particularly interesting because of the ‘Will’ from Maldon in Essex, one of the 30-40 Thames sailing barges – and still sea-worthy – moored near the quay. In the early 1900s, when the fish market was probably at its peak, it would not have been unusual to witness anything up to 50 such sailing barges moored on the river, having delivered their fish stocks for sale at the market.
Today, the occasional Thames sailing barge comes up into the Pool of London but only to collect a large group of tourists who are conveyed down-river to have a good meal aboard and enjoy the nostalgia of a river trip on a vintage vessel. Few Thames sailing barges moor at this point which makes this picture all the more unusual. To the right of the scene, behind the tree, is part of the Custom House. The view was taken while walking across London Bridge on a sunny morning in late September 2019.