KING GEORGE V DOCK, Canning Town, London. Shipping in the dock with dock workers standing on the dockside in the foreground (mid 20th century). Dock workers were employed on a casual, daily basis until the end of the 19th century when employment conditions improved.s W Rawlings
Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places
EDITORS COMMENTS This evocative photograph, titled "King George V Dock, Canning Town, London," captures a moment in time during the mid-20th century at this bustling port. The image, taken by S W Rawlings for Historic England, showcases the King George V Dock in all its industrial glory. The dock, named after King George V who opened it in 1921, is teeming with ships of various sizes and shapes, their masts and rigging creating a complex web against the grey London sky. In the foreground, dock workers in heavy coats and hats stand casually, their hands in their pockets, as they wait for their next assignment. The dockside is a hive of activity, with other workers loading and unloading cargo, horses and carts transporting goods to and from the ships, and the constant hum of machinery in the background. The scene is a testament to the importance of the maritime industry in London during this era. Until the end of the 19th century, dock workers were employed on a casual, daily basis, with no job security or benefits. However, as the industry grew, employment conditions improved, and workers gained more protections and stability. The photograph also serves as a reminder of the human element of transportation and trade, with people playing a crucial role in the movement of goods from one place to another. The dock workers in this image represent the countless men and women who labored to keep the ports of London running, contributing to the city's economic prosperity and global connections.
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