Facts about Royal Docks
Royal Docks History
The General Strike of 1926 hit the Royal Docks hard, with 750,000 frozen carcasses threatened by the docks’ electrical supply being cut off. The Royal Navy saved the day for the dock owners by connecting the generators of two submarines to power the warehouses’ freezers.
Although the Royal Docks suffered severe damage from German bombing in World War II, they recovered after the war but suffered a steady decline from the 1960s onwards, following the adoption of containerization. Nonetheless, they survived longer than any of the other upstream docks, finally closing to commercial traffic only in 1981. The docks’ closure led to high levels of unemployment and social deprivation in the surrounding communities of North Woolwich and Silvertown.
Royal Docks is an area and a ward in the London Borough of Newham in the London Docklands in East London, England. The area is named after three docks – the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock, and King George V Dock. They are more correctly called the Royal Group of Docks to distinguish them from the Royal Dockyards, Royal being due to their naming after royal personages rather than Crown ownership.
Although the docks are now closed for commercial shipping, most of the water area of the docks still exists and is still navigable by the craft of all sizes up to and including sizeable ships. The docks’ principal use is now water sports, but they do see occasional visits by naval and merchant vessels, especially during the annual London Boat Show.