The Royal Victoria & Albert and King George V docks

Port of London Authority. Royal Victoria & Albert and King George V Docks, 1946.

British Isles London
  • Publication place: London
  • Publication date: 1946.
  • Physical description: Hand-coloured lithograph map, pencil annotations, dissected and mounted on linen.
  • Dimensions: 567 by 1011mm. (22.25 by 39.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 13922


The Royal Docks are so called because they are named for British royalty: the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock. The Royal Docks mainly took in raw materials. The India Rubber and Gutta Percha Works are marked in Silvertown – both materials have now been superseded by synthetic plastics.

There are scattered annotations in pencil, including one marking the site of Tate and Lyle’s sports ground. The Tate and Lyle sugar company was one of the main employers in the area, formed after a merger of two rival sugar refiners, Henry Tate and Abran Lyle. The workers used to compete against each other at the sports ground.

The Port of London Authority was formed in 1909. It was prompted by a series of industrial actions by dock workers, including their demand for the ‘Docker’s Tanner’, a wage of 6d. an hour, in 1889. The Port was a vital part of the British economy: refining and processing industries grew up around goods brought in to the docks and it was the centre of British shipbuilding and repair. The PLA continues to supervise and manage the Port of London, the docks, and the London stretch of the River Thames. This map was issued from the former PLA headquarters in Trinity Square.