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Below is a list of previous evening events organised by the Docklands History Group.  Where the speakers have agreed, reports of some of the above talks, marked R , are available on this website.  Please click here to go to the Reports of Previous Talks page to access these.

Please click here to return to Programme of Events page.

Wednesday 3rd February: Talk - Ecology of the River Thames by Tanya Ferry, Environmentalist at the PLA.  

Wednesday 2nd March: Talk - Five Years a Dockyard Apprentice by Len Taphouse who served an apprenticeship at Harland and Wolff at North Woolwich between 1956 and 1961.

Wednesday 6th April: Talk - The Port of London Authority’s Works Programme and how it was affected by the Great War by Edward Sargent, our Chairman.

Wednesday 1st June: Talk - For Sailor, Rigger and Sailmaker - Tools for the Rope and canvas Working Trades by Des Pawson.

Wednesday 6th July: Talk - The River Thames Society by Peter Finch

Wednesday 3rd August: Visit to the Geffrye Museum

Wednesday 7th September: Talk - Massey Shaw’s History and Participation in Operation Dynamo at Dunkirk by David Rogers,  a director of the Massey Shaw and Marine Vessels Preservation Society

Wednesday 5th October: Talk - Barge Carrier Systems by David Hilling  R

Wednesday 2nd November:  Talk - Industrial Discontent in the Thames Shipyards, 1795-1803 by Chris Ellmers, our President.  R

Wednesday 7th December:  Christmas Social and Evening Talk -

Discovering a Lost Thames Pierhead Painter by Des Pawson


Wednesday 1st February:  Talk - Recent Research on Sailortown and the London Docks  by Derek Morris

Wednesday 1st March:  London’s Lea Valley - Britain’s best kept Secret By Dr Jim Lewis

Wednesday 5th April:  My years on the River by  John Window R

Wednesday 3rd May:  Forgotten Parish of Denton  by Christopher Bull

Wednesday 7th June:  Oars Oars, Sculls sculls: Constructing the Thames Waterman in the Eighteenth Century by  Hannah Stockton

Wednesday 5th July:  The Hempen Jig - The Story of Execution Dock, Wapping  by Chris Ellmers our President

Wednesday 2nd August:  WALK  Refugees, Railways a River and a Ram –  Historic Wandsworth  led by Diane Burstein

Wednesday 6th September:  An Archivist’s Eye View of Morden College  by Elizabeth Wiggans

Wednesday 4th October :  The Final Days of Rotherhithe Ship Building: The Clipper Ships  by  Andie Byrnes

Wednesday 1st November.  Blockade Running in the American Civil War with special Reference to London-Built Ships and Merchants  by Edward Sargent our Chairman.

Wednesday 6th December:  The Thames Discovery Programme:  Community Archaeology on London’s Foreshore

by Nathalie Cohen, Head of Community Archaeology, Museum of London Archaeology


Wednesday 1st July 


WW1 – Bombing The Docks

by Chris Everett. Chris is an officer of the DHG and was one of the speakers at the DHG’s recent World War 1 Conference.

Wednesday 5th August: Talk - Enderby’s Wharf

by Richard Buchanan  R

Wednesday 2nd September:  Visit - Sail loft

of Mike Putt, sail-maker of Becontree.


Wednesday 7th October: Talk - Roman Walbrook and its Legacy

by Tony Taylor.  R

Wednesday 4th November: Talk - Trinity Buoy Wharf, Still Afloat

by Eric Reynolds.  R

Wednesday 2nd December:  Christmas social/ and Talk:

The Right Stuff - A Maritime London Almanac

By Chris Ellmers, our President who focused in a lighthearted way  on a writer very little known to most members.

4th February:  Talk - Father Thames - still alive and kicking:  David Hilling.  

4th March:  Talk - Rope-Making:  Edward Sargent.  This talk looked at the development of rope-making machinery and techniques.  Edward is currently carrying out an in-depth historical study of the Ropery at Chatham dockyard.   R

1st April:  Talk - Pageant and Theatre, Thomas Doggett and the Watermen:  Chris Dodd.  Chris has recently published a book on the Watermen’s Company and Doggett’s, the women’s boat race moves to Putney etc.

6th May  Walk:  Fighting Fascism led by David Rosenberg.  This told the storey of Moseley’s attempted incursions into the East End in 1936 and Bermondsey in 1937 and the way he and his forces were met with successful grassroots resistance on both occasions.  David has written a book - Battle for the East End:  Jewish Responses to fascism in the 1930s.

3rd June:  Talk - A glimpse at Wooden Boat Building on the Thames:  Mark Edwards.  Mark is a renowned. Thames-boat builder who has built replicas of many historic craft such as the Thames Wherry and the Shallop.  He also built a replica of a seventeenth century submarine.  His crowning achievement was the built of the replica row-barge Gloriana which took part in the Jubilee River Pageant in 2012. R  



Wednesday 7th February:  The Cubitts and the River Thames

By Chris Everett our Conference Co-ordinator

Wednesday 7th March: The Lea Valley’s Electronic Secrets (The story of the post-industrial revolution and how the region’s scientists and engineers changed our modern world.) by  Dr Jim Lewis

Wednesday 4th April :  The Strangest Ship that Never Sailed the Sea

By Chris Ellmers our President

Wednesday 2nd May:   Telling the Story of an East End Family at War. by Jane Cox

Wednesday 6th June:  DP World London Gateway by Matt Abbott, Communications Manager.

Wednesday 4th July: The Thames Fisheries by Roger Williams

Wednesday 5th September: Captain James Cook, 250 Years by Derek Morris

Wednesday 3rd October: Dived in but was Drowned: Tales of Waterways Heroism  from the Watts Memorial by Dr John Price FRHistS, SFHEA

Wednesday 7th November:  Historic Gravesend by Christoph Bull

Wednesday 5th December

Christmas Social and talk Victoria Cross found on Thamesside by Sallly Mashiter.


Wednesday 6th February:


Old Rotherhithe

By Darren Knight, of the Port of London Authority.

Wednesday 6th March:


Riverine/riverside Archaeology and Finds

By Jane Sidell PhD MCIfA who is an Inspector of Ancient Monuments.  She states it is likely to be “a bit prehistoric”.

Wednesday 3rd April


The Living Thames

A film made by the Thames Estuary partnership.

Wednesday 1 May:


Lascars in Shadwell 1780-1850

By Dr John Seed, Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Humanities, University of Roehampton.

Saturday 18th May


The Medieval Port of London.

Wednesday 5 June:


Rotherhithe and Bermondsey

By Pete Smith well known to some members for the walks he leads for London City Walks.

Wednesday 3 July:


“A Very, Very, Naughty Boy – a Late 18th Century London Maritime Tale”

By Chris Ellmers, our president.

Wednesday 4 September:


Talk "Drinking the Thames - The Grand Junction Water Company" by committee-member, Colin Prior.

Wednesday 2 October:


Running the West India Docks

By Andy Slater M&E Supervisor, who leads a team that maintains all the automated assets of the Canal & River Trust throughout London

Wednesday 6 November:


Conrad and the docks and the river

By Robert Hampson  Chair of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK) and author of three monographs on Conrad and other Conrad-related publications.

Wednesday 4 December:


Thames Sailing Barges, A History and a Future

By David Gibson from the Sailing Barge Trust.