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QE2 Pier

Peter Ackroyd on the QE2

'The siting of the Olympic Games of 2012 in Stratford, and the rest of the East End of London, will materially help the development and refurbishment of the river as a principal urban resource. There have already been signs of new industries, and new forms of industry, converging upon its banks. In particular the high-technology electronics companies have arrived in the Thames Valley, and there are many industrial 'parks' placed beside the river.'

'There are other schemes. The 'Thames Gateway Development' has been asked to secure the future refurbishment of the north bank of the river as far as the Thames Barrier itself. The 'East Thames Corridor' will continue the city along the estuary, as far as Tilbury in Essex and the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. The planning agencies have already been concerned with Dartford and Gravesend, with the Medway towns and with Thamesmead, as possible sites for growth. There are plans for new river-crossings, for an extension of the Dockland Light Railway and for a new bridge or tunnel between Silvertown and the Greenwith Peninsula.'

'London will then once more become a river city. The shift eastwards is against all historical trends. But then the reversion to the river itself was considered by many to be unhistorical. It had become, in the years of urban planners, redundant to the needs of the city. It had no future as a means of transport. But if the new city is to follow the line of the Thames, then new forms of river transport will inevitably emerge over the next century. The river will once more become the highway of the nation.'

Peter Ackroyd's Readings on the QE2

Hear Peter Ackroyd's Readings on the QE2

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History of the piers

History at QE2 Pier.

Download the exclusive Dark Waters history of the piers pdf here (pdf - 2MB).

Buildings around QE2 Pier

  • Number Key for Dark Waters Map Side One
  • 72-92
  • (21 buildings)