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                                          The Sixth Symposium on Shipbuilding on the Thames

The nine papers included the following topics:  John Dudman and the Grove Street Dockyard, Deptford; Royal shipbuilding on the Thames 1509-1547; Charles II and shipbuilding at Deptford; J. M. W.Turner, the iron steamboat and the making of the British century; visiting Indian shipwrights in early Victorian London;  the London makers of tools for the sailmaking trades; Thomas Howard and the King and Queen Foundry Rotherhithe;  Dudgeons, Millwall shipbuilders 1860-1877; the SS Robin and her builders and he Bow Creek builders.

 Spring 2015

                                        London’s Port and Docklands in the First World War

The eight papers included the following topics:  the port and Docklands in the London context;  work and war, men and women on the Isle of Dogs; the plight of Germans in the East End; the Silvertown explosion of 1917; the impact of the war on port trade and business; London dockers at le Havre, France, October 1914; the dazzle ship paintings of John Everett; the effect of the war on the Port of London Authority’s works programme.     

 Spring 2014

                                      Before the Docks:  London River and Port in the Eighteenth Century

The nine papers included the following topics, London River and Sea, Picturing the Port,  Working the 18th Century Port, From Tyne to Thames, the life of an Eighteenth Century Merchant, The London world of the East India Company, Scientific instrument making in the Port, London and the Slave Trade, Women and Crime in the riverside parishes, The merchant trader Ann in port and beyond 1794-6.

Spring 2016

                    Thames River Crossings

The nine papers in this conference included Roman and Prehistoric Bridges, Old London Bridge and the Pool of London, frost fairs, Thames watermen, wherries and ferries, some eighteenth century Thames crossings and the shape of London, John Rennie’s Thames bridges, Waterloo Bridge and its impact on London, the LCC tunnels and the temporary bridge between Gravesend and Tilbury during WW1.

Spring 2017

                       New Researches Seminar

This all-day seminar was organised by a group of post-graduate researchers and covered a range of subjects.  These were grouped into three sessions with the themes “Law and disorder”, “Networks and Organisations” and “The Cultural Thames”.  The papers included:  The London Sailor’s Strike of 1768; The Zinc Oxide Strike of 1948; Shipwrights, Patronage and the Thames Royal Dockyards; The Creation of the Port of London Authority in 1909;  London’s Coastal Shipping 1650-1830; Convicts and the Public Imagination 1776-1857; The Loyal London and the Poetics of the Shipyard; Marketing the Thames: Leisure and the River in the long Eighteenth Century.

November 2017

The Group has organised a programme of conferences since 2012.  Papers have been given by people with a long-standing interest in the River Thames and the Port of London, many of them well-known.  The conferences take place over a whole day and have generally been well-attended.  Details of the previous conferences are set out below.

                                         Shipbuilding on the Thames

This was the seventh in a successful series of symposia looking at the much neglected subject of shipbuilding on the Thames..  Up until the end of the nineteenth century, the Thames was a very important shipbuilding centre.  In the first half of the nineteenth century it led the way with iron shipbuilding and the development of steam powered ships.  The papers in this symposium included a review of the previous symposia, the Deptford Master Shipwright’s secrets, ship-owners and the maritime service industry in 18th Century London sailor town, the launch of HMS Albion, early steamship building on the Thames, the Millwall Ironworks, the life and times of a shipyard engineer, the story of a Yarrow steam yacht and the archaeology of shipbreaking on the Thames  foreshore.

Spring 2018