My brother in law works in the field of valuing, buying and selling land and property. During the years of the Docklands redevelopment, the firm in which he is employed was involved in a lot of multi-million pound land deals; some of which were John's responsibility! If it were me, I don't think I'd sleep at night.
This was one of his deals. The land on which this building now stands sold for over £40,000,000! I can't quite get my head round numbers that big.
The original London docks were built throughout the 19th century to cope with the fast growing demand for space, partly from overseas trade, but also from coastal trade; particularly of coal, needed to heat the houses of the fast growing population of the city. Rival companies competed for the trade; notably the West and East India Dock Companies, Surrey Commercial Docks Company and St Katharine Docks Company. If we could have stood on Tower Bridge around 1790, we would have seen hundreds of ships and thousands of tons of cargo moving up and down the river on a daily basis.
This particular body of water is the West India Docks.
This is what the area looked like in 1962; West India Docks from the air, showing the warehouses and rail network. If you look carefully, you can see the cranes unloading the docked ships.
Some of the cranes have been preserved as a kind of artistic memorial to the history of the area. Now they stand juxtaposed with the new commercial structures, and somewhat dwarfed by them!