Merged old and new photos of the Isle of Dogs

I’ve been making some merges of old and new photos of the Isle of Dogs. Already posted on Twitter ( and Facebook (, I thought I’d collect them and also post them here for readers who might not have seen them. I didn’t realise I had made so many in so short a time – I need to get out more πŸ™‚

The Blue Bridge and its predecessor (old image dated 1949)

Ghostly figures from a 1900s postcard superimposed on the same location on a 2020 image. On the right, Mellish Street.

The Lord Nelson in the early 1900s

1857 photo of the construction of the Great Eastern taken from over the water, to scale on a 2014 photo.

West India Docks main gate in the 1950s and recently.

A 1957 outing for pensioners, given by Ted Tarbard, landlord of The George. (Old Photo: Tarbard Family).

Walking home along The Walls in the 1930s

1960s/2010s mix-up

The start of the 1954 Dockland Settlement Island Road Race. I don’t know which distance they are running, but one course involved running to the end of East Ferry Road, around the Queen, and back down Manchester Road to East Ferry Road before returning to Dockland Settlement, a distance of 2 miles. (Old photo: Island History Trust)

The Fire Brigade Station Isle of Dogs (as it was then named), shortly after opening in 1904. It was the replacement for an earlier building which was constructed in 1877.

Members of the North Greenwich Bowls Club in Island Gardens in about 1910 (old photo: Island History Trust). The club moved to a new green and clubhouse in Millwall Park next to the Dockland Settlement in circa 1960. The old photo shows a glimpse of Osborne House – a grand villa which was originally intended to be one of many built in the later Island Gardens (see this article for more information:

St Cuthbert’s Church on the corner of Cahir Street and Westferry Road, destroyed by bombing on 7th September 1940, the first night of The Blitz.

Westferry Road at the corner of Ferry Street (photo taken from outside the fire station). Another in the series of great photos taken by Hugo Wilhare in and around 1968 (more here:

A little bit of Manchester Road in the 1900s

Kids outside Arethusa House in the year of its opening, 1936.

St Edmund’s Church around 1910. Plagued with problems with its foundations since its opening in 1874, the original church was demolished and replaced in the late 1990s. This image is a double merge, if you look closely enough.

On 23 October 1976, 13 Parsonage Street was destroyed in a gas explosion. Fortunately, the residents, Rose and Charles Wright, had just popped round the shops and were not home at the time. My family was at home, in flats out of view to the left of this photo. The ear-deafening blast blew our locked front door open (without damaging the door or frame, which is odd – I am guessing that the shockwave briefly warped the door and frame). Old image courtesy of Marie Swarray, new image dated 2009.

Circa 1950, men standing outside The George waiting for the call-on at Millwall Docks.


Dunbar House, Tiller Road. Opened in 1932 and demolished in 1976. For the history of the flats, see here: Old photo: Gary Wood.

The ghost of the Glass Bridge.

There is almost half a centrury between these two merged photos of the Quarterdeck.

St Luke’s Church viewed from Strafford Street. Opened in 1870, the church was seriously damaged during WWII and was demolished in about 1960.

Thames sailing barges near the leadworks in 1930.


Powell’s Bakery, 116 Manchester Road (old photo taken in 1968 by Hugo Wilhare).

Post-WWI peace party in Ferry Street. Old photo: Island History Trust.

The Isle of Dogs Police Station at 126 Manchester Road. Built in 1865, it was demolished in about 1973 to make room for the construction of George Green’s School. Old photo, 1968: Hugo Wilhare.

1946. Some of the prefabs along Stebondale Street. The sign with the “S” on it points to the WWII shelter under the arches. Prefabs were meant to be a temporary solution to the post-war housing problem; those in Stebondale Street were occupied until c1970. Article here:

Stan & Lou Salmon’s shop at 62 Mellish Street (old photo circa 1960, courtesy of Sandra Brentnall).

The London City Mission at 3 Glengall Road (later Grove) in 1924. Opened in 1880, the large building (it included a 400-seat assembly hall) was destroyed by WWII bombing. A new building on the site is now occupied by the Glengall Christian Centre.

1901 construction of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel Building.

The remains of Cumberland Oil Mills in 1982. Opened in the 1850s, the buildings were among the oldest on the Isle of Dogs. Much was damaged by fire in the late 1970s and the site was occupied by a scrap yard before all was cleared to make room for the Cumberland Mills housing development (I guess they dropped the “Oil” to make the name more attractive). Article here:

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17 Responses to Merged old and new photos of the Isle of Dogs

  1. Silvia says:

    Extraordinary. The master of merges has struck again. Each image superbly crafted. Illustrates historic progression like nothing else.

  2. Jason says:

    Amazing. Thank you for creating/posting!

  3. Rich says:

    Great piece of work Mick and you have put so much effort into doing it

  4. Dan Wenborne says:

    Hi Mick, novel idea, but I found the juxtaposition of the photos somewhat lacking. I would have preferred side by side photos. In any case, I appreciate the time and effort you put into this project. Thank you Mick for all that you do. Dan Wenborne.

  5. Peter Still says:

    Amazing work Mick, your attention to detail getting the perspective right makes the photos come alive. i haven’t lived on the Island since 1970 but remember many of these buildings.

  6. Carolynne McGaughey nee Deeks says:

    A fascinating exercise. Very helpful to see places as they were. Thank you.

  7. blackbramling says:

    Brilliant once again

  8. Jan Traylen says:

    These are great Mick, thanks!

  9. Chris Blanchett says:

    Hi! I have been receiving your posts for a couple of weeks now after accessing your site and wonder if you can assist me with research into the Millwall Pottery – I can’t find any reference to it on your site and yet it was where Frederick Garrard manufactured many thousands of decorative tiles from c1870 to his death in 1893 and then under J L James, until c1910. I would dearly love to locate an image of the pottery or to confirm the address – it is normally given as Ferry Lane, but on your list of occupants, Garrard is listed under West Ferry Road! Any other info would be very gratefully received.

    Hoping you can help,

    Kind regards

    Chris Blanchett

    Tile Historian

    Author: The Decorative Tiles of Frederick Garrard and J L James, Journal of the Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society, Vol 19, 2013

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