London 1978


Rosings' Wharf (once part of West Kent Warehouses) and St Mary Overy's Wharf, Southwark, 1978
14v61: Southwark, wharves, Victorian

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I am sure where the picture was taken, as the background building has a name on it, which is St Mary Overy's Wharf and in front of it is the wall at the end of the dock. The building at left is Rosing's Wharf, and at the right is a part of the sign on West Kent Warehouses. The next frame makes this even clearer, taken from a similar position but with a wider lens it shows the whole sign, AD 1858 James Hartley & Compy. Messrs. Rosing Brothers & Co., coffee cleaners and merchants took over the building and renamed West Kent Mill in 1891.
Rosing's Wharf has the name Michael Wooley Ltd, and a sign on the wall gives the safe working limit for the hoist to the upper floors of 15 cwts - 15 hundredweights or three-quarters of a ton. Wooley was a wine importer and the building was still in use until 1979, the year after I photographed it. Rosings took over this building in 1890. It had been built around 50 years earlier and used for storage of various foodstuffs and for feathers, and, from 1872 for Danish bacon, butter and cheese.
The premises were taken over by the Proprietors of Hay's Wharf in 1921 and used by them until 1964. Michael Wooley Ltd moved in, putting in new offices and toilets in 1967 and the building was demolished in 1983.
Although called wharves, buildings such as Rosing's Wharf had no direct river access. Goods would be landed from lighters at nearby wharves or docks - such at the St Mary Overy Dock a few yards away - and then brought by cart or lorry for storage.