The red sails of a Thames barge sails through Woolwich on 27 August 1978. Large numbers of these vessels worked the Thames, Medway and East Coast.
Photograph. John King
The river sweats 
      Oil and tar 
      The barges drift 
      With the turning tide 
      Red sails
      To leeward, swing on the heavy spar. 
      The barges wash 
      Drifting logs 
      Down Greenwich reach
      Past the Isle of Dogs. 
            Weialala leia 
            Wallala leialala
From 'The Waste Land'
T. S. Eliot.

Another barge sails through Woolwich with the northern shore in the background with tower blocks, and the cranes of the Royal Docks. The large 'COURAGE' sign belongs to the Royal Pavilion public house in Pier Road, North Woolwich. At night illuminated red it shone out over the river to be clearly seen on the southern shore. The pub looked in a very dilapidated condition for a long time, and has now been demolished.
27 August 1978.
Photograph. John King

Looking downstream this time to another barge. The two tall pylons to the rear of the ship carried power from Belvedere power station accross the river as part of the national grid. They were over 700ft high.
27 August 1978.
Photograph. John King

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