Category Archives: Programmes

The Port of London Study Group moves to a new venue

Canada Water library, built in 2011 and overlooking the remains of Canada Dock. Source: Wikipedia CC-BY-2.0

From September 2017 the Port of London Study Group will hold its Monday morning meetings* at the Canada Water library, which is immediately above the Canada Water tube station on the Jubilee Line.

Once at the heart of the Surrey Commercial Docks in Rotherhithe, Canada Water and the surrounding area have a rich maritime history.  It is the surviving northern section of the much larger Canada Dock, built in 1876 to serve the Canadian grain and timber trade. A short walk away is the Greenland Dock, the oldest riverside wet dock on the Thames.  Originally called the Great Howland Wet Dock, it was built in 1699 as a shelter for refitting ships rather than as a dock for cargo.  Its name was changed in the 18th century when it became the home of whaling ships bringing in their cargoes from Greenland.  It later became the main hub of London’s timber trade for more than a century until the docks closed in the 1970s.  Now retained as an integral part of the community, it is a fitting reminder of an era when the Rotherhithe peninsula was a thriving centre of overseas trade.

*Autumn Term dates: Monday mornings from 1100-1300 from 9th October to 11th December inclusive. Details of the programme will be published on the Programmes page when finalised.

The Surrey Commercial Docks in 1894

The Surrey Commercial Docks in 1894


Our new Summer Term programme is now available

Our new Summer Term programme of visits and walks is now available.  See our Programmes page.  Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to organize and lead each of these.  It is going to be a great summer with plenty to see and do.   Short summaries of our visits and walks will be posted afterwards, but if you would like to join us for our visits on a Monday morning between 11am and 1pm, please see our Join Us page – we would love to welcome you.


Emirates Air Line. Source: Nick Cooper at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Thames River Crossings Conference, 13th May 2017


The Docklands History Group hosts a conference each year at the Museum of London Docklands in the West India Docks, where The Port of London Study Group is also based.  Chaired by Chris Ellmers, the conference for 2017 will be:  Thames River Crossings and will take place on 13th May.   as well as looking at the bridges and tunnels, the subjects to be covered will include frost fairs, the watermen and ferries,  and also the effect of river crossings on the development of London.

Booking has now opened for this event.    Click here to go to the Docklands History Group’s Conference page where more information is available, including the programme (available to download as a PDF), ticket and booking information and details of how to find the Museum of London Docklands.

Our Spring 2017 programme is now online

Please find our Spring 2017 programme on our Programme page.  It lists all the presentations and visiting lectures lined up for January to March. It is looking like a really great term ahead.  Short summaries of all our presentations will be forthcoming after they have been delivered, but if you would like to join us for each two hour session on a Monday morning between 11am and 1pm, please see our Join Us page – we would love to welcome you.

St Anne's Limehouse by Hawksmoor. Photograph by Steve Cadman, sourced from Wikipedia.

St Anne’s Limehouse by Hawksmoor. Photograph by Steve Cadman, sourced from Wikipedia.

Presentations upcoming for Spring 2017

The Victoria Embankment Obelisk, Illustrated London News

The Victoria Embankment Obelisk ready for installation, from the Illustrated London News

We are currently finalizing the programme for Spring 2017, which takes us from the 16th January until the end of March.

As the titles are coming in, we are glad to report that the programme includes some great topics.  Already in the line-up are, in no particular order are:  Why the London Docks Were Built;  Allhallows… A New Seaside Resort in the Making!; Robert Milligan;  The Egyptian Obelisk on Victoria Embankment – A 3500 Year Journey; The Buildings of the East India Company.  Other titles are being finalized and will be published here soon.

Term dates for 2017 confirmed

At the committee meeting today, we confirmed the dates for the next two terms as:

Spring Term: Monday 16th January to Monday 20th March (inclusive)
Summer Term: Monday 8th May to Monday 17th July (excluding Bank Holiday Monday 29th May)

The summer term dates reflect the fact that there is only one Monday between the Easter and May Day Bank Holidays next year.  If we started immediately after Easter, we would have two bank holiday breaks, one after only one session.  It seemed better to start later and only have one interruption.