Royal Victoria Docks , London

Friday 13th December 2019

My target photography subject was the Millennium Mills situated on the south side of the Royal Victoria Docks in London.

I had seen this vaste, derelict building before when on a photography club outing to photograph Canary Wharf and wondered if there would be any possibility to get any closer. This was constructed as a flour mill in 1905 in Silvertown in East London.

Millennium Mills on the south side of Royal Victoria Docks. Photo taken from the high level walkway over the Royal Victoria Docks.

Starting off on the 10:13 train to Stratford we change at Harlow Town for the fast train into London Liverpool Street. Liz exits the train at Tottenham Hale to go for lunch with some friends whilst I continue on to Liverpool street.

Liverpool Street tube station.

Not sure where I’m going to end up for the whole day but but have it in mind to go on the DLR to Royal Victoria Docks for some photography then proceed along the Southbank.

Exiting Royal Victoria DLR station.

The plan is to walk over the elevated walkway to the south side. I want to attempt to get some photos of the dilapidated Millennium Mills building.

The architecture around Royal Victoria Docks.
Walking along the northern edge of Royal Victoria Docks looking East.
Looking in a westerly directio toward Canary Wharf. In the foreground is the elevated walkway over the docks. It can be accessed by a lift at each end. It’s a great spot to take photos of Canary Wharf from an elevated position.
Looking up to the elevated walkway with the access lift in the foreground.

Moving across the elvated walkway I took some photos of the Millennium Mills and then continued across to see if I could access the area any closer.

This was as close as I could get. There is a very substantial security fence so it was a case of just poking the camera lens through the fence.

The mill converted imported grain into flour for the domestic market. The mills were named after their most famous product; Millennium Flour which won the Miller Challenge Cup in 1899 at the International Bakers Exhibition.

In 1917 a nearby munitions factory exploded and devastated the factory. 73 people died.

In 1920 the company, Spillers took over the factory to produce dog biscuits. In 1933 they had the building rebuilt in the current art deco style. The building suffered during the blitz and has since had various projects proposed but remains empty.

It would make a great dereliction subject but as always, it’s virtually impossible to get close enough. I have seen various photographs of the inside on some Urbex sites but they were taken a few years ago. I’m guessing that they have since upgraded the fencing around the site as the only thing I managed to do was to poke the camera through the fence to get some photos.

The building makes a very striking visual statement as a backdrop to the flats on the south side of the docks.

Giving up trying to get any closer to the old mill building I carried on round the southern side of the dock planning to return to the tube at Canning Town. I then had the bright idea of crossing the dock on the Emirates Airline cable car.

Crossing the dock on the cable car.

What I didn’t consider was that the wind was blowing very hard and gusting quite wildly. It turned out to be more like a fairground ride!

Some of the architecture around the Greenwich peninsular.

From Greenwich I caught the tube to Southwark where I found a nice little pub called The Ring, with a boxing theme, for some lunch.

The Ring public house right opposite Southwark tube station.
A rather attractive front entrance to a building across the road from Southwark station.
Capturing a bit of Street Photography outside Southwark Station.

At this point Liz rang my mobile to say she had finished her luncheon with her friends so we agreed to meet up at Green Park tube station.

Some beautiful architecture. Especially at this time of day. Just along the road from Green Park tube.

We finished off the day by a walk round to Carnaby Street for some Christmas lights.

London-The City-The Streets Part 1

Part 1 – Nightime London

I do enjoy strolling around a city photographing the buildings and the people all rushing around at their own business. I’m fortunate that I have London on my doorstep. Well, maybe not quite the doorstep but an easy 30 minute train ride away.

I’ve had a few trips into London over the last few years. Often starting with a trip to a gallery or exhibition. The first photograph is taken at night from the north bank of the Thames near Tate Britain and looking over toward the south bank.

Looking south over the Thames

One of the trips was with some fellow members of the local camera club. I had researched the location for some night photography but what I had seen was a bridge of Royal Victoria Docks. What I hadn’t appreciated though was the height of this bridge which one had to get up to with a lift. It makes sense when you think about it as it’s designed to allow tall ships to move under. It was ideal though to set up our tripods for some photography of Canary Wharf with the sun setting.

The bridge over Royal Victoria Docks.
The O2 arena in the settings sun
The setting sun behind Royal Victoria Docks.
Canary Wharf across Royal Victoria Docks

At other times I’ve walked along the Southbank and photographed from the Millennium Bridge toward the east.

The Thames and the Shard looking east from the Millennium Bridge.

Another favourite is to set up the camera on a tripod on the Millennium Bridge and capture the ghostly apparitions of people walking across toward St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s because of having to use a slow shutter speed that the moving people are caught in this way.

St Paul’s Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge

Another favourite spot is just east of the northern ramp of London Bridge. There is a point where there is a staircase to an elevated point to photograph the Shard south, across the river. There is the added bonus of a triangular feature. Not sure what it is but it makes for a nice foreground interest.

South to the Shard from east of London Bridge.

On a more recent trip I’ve searched out the Roupell Street Conservation area, which is an area of Victorian Terraces which have fought off the advances of developers and preserved the area as it was in the 19th century. I wanted to capture the area at night for some additional character.

Theed Street, one of the streets within the Roupell Street Conservation area.