To the farthest reaches of Docklands in the past week - and the University of East London's Docklands campus. It lies well beyond Canning Town, not far off Beckton. A windswept spot on the north side of the vast Royal Albert Dock, which opened in 1880 - with a full three miles of quays - and closed about a century later.
The photo above, taken from the campus and looking west and south, shows the old Silvertown Tate and Lyle plant (there's a close-up below), the focus of a marvellous piece of oral history The Sugar Girls, and to its right, City Airport, also on the south side of the Albert dock. In the distance you can just make out the Dome and the towers of Canary Wharf.
UEL's campus is adjoining the Cyprus station on the Docklands Light Railway. I was told that the station was named after the Cyprus dock. Not quite.
The station took its name from a Victorian housing estate, the Cyprus estate, built for workers at the Royal Albert Dock, and in turn named after Britain's acquisition of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1878.
These pages from a 1917 London street map - with a close-up above - show just how isolated the Cyprus estate must have been. Even thirty years after the docks opened, it was a few streets in the middle of nowhere. The dock opened into the Thames at Gallions, and Gallions Reach is the name of a DLR station lying between Cyprus and Beckton, the end of the line.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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