Last days of the Steamboats

One of the Paddle Steamers seen mid stream looking to the northern shore in 1962. (they were replaced in 1963) On the left the dock cranes can be seen along with a bus waiting on the north terminal. In the middle can be seen a pub with a large 'COURAGE' sign belongs to the Royal Pavilion public house in Pier Road, North Woolwich (now demolihed). To the right the fleet of tugs which were always to be found, many of them named 'Sun' with Roman numerals. In front of the ferry the paddles churn the water up to a white froth, which although interesting to children was probably caused by pollution.

The photograph is supplied with thanks to Chris East from his fathers collection. Chris has the following to say:-
It brought back memories of many a car journey during the 50's and 60's from our house in Woodford to visit my great aunt in Eltham. The docks were a hive of activity, and we would regularly be delayed by ships entering and departing. But why hurry, when there was so much going on? Memories too of queuing at either side for the next ferry, and occasionally having the treat of visiting the engine room of the steamboats.
Also have vivid recollection of the queue of cars in Powis Street (on our return journey) and looking at the windows of Burton's (I think it was Burton's), which proudly displayed the major cities of the UK in which they had a presence (probably the 1960's equivalent of New York, Paris & Peckham!). Also, the constant stream of 96 buses.


Taken sometime in June 1963 right at the end of operation on the ferry service is 'Squires' one of the paddle steamers seen in mid stream.
Many thanks to Burl Solomons, the photograph is from his fathers collection, it may well be on the last day of operation as his father took many pictures before things disappeared for good.

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