Docklands Memories

Times Past





In setting up many of the Docklands websites we soon discovered that many of the visitors to those sites live outside the area - often on the far side of the world - and from contacts made with us we know that the sites were attracting former residents of the area using the magic of the Internet to return to their roots to see what the area is like now.

From these former residents we hear that in years past there were close knit and vibrant communities remembered by those who lived is the area with great affection. One of our contributors, Stan Dyson, who was born and brought up in West Silvertown but now lives in Essex, expressed very well his feelings when he told us:

"Without a shadow of doubt my quality of life and financial position are far in excess of what I could ever have imagined back in those 1950's schoolboy days. Yet, if it were at all possible would I choose to go back to the Silvertown slums, those poor utility days and live it all again, not changing a single thing? You bet I would!”

Or as another contributor, Keith Lloyd, says:

The West Silvertown School and streets as we knew them, were demolished in 1960 ending a period of community closeness that would be difficult to emulate in today's world.

Or Albert Hodkinson who until 1939 lived in Silvertown:

"Therefore, with my house located where it was, I could look out of the side window, and had the choice of seeing either the well laid out flower gardens [of Silvertown Park], with the many trees in abundance, or gaze further over, to a huge ship of the Pacific and Orient Line, with passengers aboard, waiting to sail the seven seas. Oh my! How many times in my imagination, did I sail with them, to the far away places of the British Empire".

These former residents have contributed a collection of pictures and written material which we are delighted to share with the present residents of West Silvertown and other visitors to this site:-

  • Stan's Gallery - a collection of photographs in years past along with "Silvertown Life - a boy’s story" - a fascinating and humourous account of Stan’s life in West Silvertown from his birth in 1945 until he moved to Basildon in 1964.
  • Journeys in my time - a collection of short stories written by Keith Lloyd who now lives in Ilford
  • Albert's Page - Albert's book Memories of Different Happenings in World War II is a touching account of the life of an airman in World War II which cannot help but move the reader as Albert takes a trip down memory lane into the world of the 1940s. There's also a short story Stealing an Egg about a family incident in 1931.
  • Ken's Poems - Ken Smith wanted to make a record of his life in the East End, largely for the benefit of his grandchildren, and although he set about writing his story somehow it seemed easier to express it in verse. So we publish here a collection of his poems.Ken, too, has moved out of the East End and he now lives in Grays Essex. But he still has fond memories of of his childhood years in the East End

If you'd like to make contact with Stan, Keith, Ken or Albert, or to contribute material yourself, please contact the Webmaster - see our Contact Page

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Page last modified: 1st July 2011