Docklands

Chris Ciambor

August, 12 2013

The Museum at Docklands was one of the most interesting museums that I had visited. It had a much more modern feel than that of the other museums that we had visited. The museum delves into what life along the docks were   before and after things changed into a massive urban center. The museum shows how people felt and what they went through during times of strife, such as IRA bombings or the times they were essentially forced to move out of their homes to make way for construction.

What was also discussed was the darker side, such as the history of slavery and trade in the earlier times of London. Altogether, I believe that this excursion was one of the best representations of Englishness and the mapping of such. This shows the history of trade within London and commodities traded. It also shows the practices of slavery and the hardships that were experienced.  It also showed the more recent history of the people who lived in the Docklands and their culture. I never knew that people had grown so attached to the Docklands. The Docklands has deep to Londoners, which was expressed on a wall of post cards, relating personal feelings and experiences.  I originally thought the Docklands was just another urban area in London but I clearly learned that there is more history there that connects Londoners of today to their past.  The museum shows the essence of what the English Empire, how vast it stretched, how powerful it was.  The docklands acted as a world center of the British Empire, an empire that essentially ruled the world.  The world has changed, the empire is no longer there, but Londoners still have a strong connection to the Docklands, both negative and positive in nature.  Personally I believe that the urban development that occurred with Docklands is a good thing for London, avoiding urban decay.  

A history of the Docklands:

http://brst440.commons.yale.edu/2007/08/14/the-london-docklands-and-canary-wharf/

london-docklands-shot.thumbnail

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2 thoughts on “Docklands

  1. Can I just start by saying how much I loved this museum? Not only was it interesting, but it was so unique! I’ve never been in a museum that physically put you on location in the way the museum of the docklands did. Not only was it a “before and after” but you practically walked through time, seeing multiple levels of progression, eventually coming to the present day. I also liked how the museum didn’t just focus on the physical things, but on the people’s emotions during these times as well. Also, while this place mapped a time period of a specific location, it really didn’t just stop there. So much of London’s history revolves around this area. This one museum alludes to how much London as a whole is always changing, and its influence on the rest of the city. The Docklands, in its own way, define Englishness. And even this large, historic area can change over time.

  2. Honestly Chris, I do agree that preserving the buildings of the docklands from decay and ruin is important and as well development should be allowed for the socio-economic good for the Docklands community. However, you did fail to look at the rest of the story of this development. For example, when I was in the Museum, one of the exhibits on this exact topic showed a statistic that over 200,000 people were forced into homelessness after losing their homes to the development projects in the 1980’s. Now, Am I saying it should have never happened, of course not, but I feel that as these corporations were developing in this area they should have made sure about the safety and welfare of the community they were pretty much evicting.

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