London 1978


Bankside Power Station across the River Thames, City of London, 1978
15l11: City of London, wharf, crane, power station,

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Bankside B Power Station generated electricity until 1981, but in its latter years oil-fired generation was uneconomic compared to coal-fired stations and by 1978 three of its four generators had been decommissioned and the fourth (and largest) down-rated and only used at times of peak demand.
This picture was taken from somewhere close to the north bank of the Thames, most probably just to the east of where the Millennium Bridge now stands and there are still steps down to the river from Paul's Walk which I think are Trig Lane stairs.
Trig Lane is now a short private street off Broken Wharf, a street leading from High Timber St to the south from Queen Victoria St. Broken Wharf leads to the riverside Paul's Walk and I presume the crane at the left of my picture is on Broken Wharf. The area to the right of the picture would then be where extensive archaeological excavations were carried from 1974-6 on this part of London's medieval waterfront, with a report published by the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society in 1982.
According to a book on dissenting churches and meeting houses by Walter Wilson published in 1808, "Broken Wharf is so called from its being broken and fallen down into the Thames. Here stood the city brew- house, to which the void space of ground was given by Queen Elizabeth." and he goes on to state that it also contained an old building which pumped the water supply for the middle and western parts of the city from the River Thames. Part of that same building was let to "the famous Mr. Hanserd Knollys, and his colleague, Mr Robert Steed" as a Baptist meeting house, but they moved elsewhere in 1691. Presumably the Thames came in hand for baptisms.