The Thames in 1950

Have you ever wanted to see what the Thames looked like in 1950, when it was a working river full of shipping? I have just been watching Pool of London, an old black and white film set around the merchant ship Dunbar, “just in from Rotterdam” and moored right by Tower Bridge. The plot involves smuggling, first nylon stockings but then diamonds from a robbery, and two sailors, one a black Jamaican and the other a bit of a wide boy. But for FROGs the real interest is the setting, seeing the tugs and barges on the river, bomb damage round St Pauls and the dark streets of east London. Wonderful police chases, too, with bells ringing rather than sirens, and a policeman who phones headquarters because the bank’s caretaker hasn’t taken in his milk bottle at the usual time! Alas, the camera never does what I hoped and pan round to show the river fully, because of course all the stuff that looks so fascinating to me was just a bit of ordinary background when the film was made. There is a short clip from the film on YouTube (below), but I recommend seeing the whole thing if you can, just for the atmosphere.