On the river

I had a clear idea to go to Gravesend and take the ferry across the river, but only a vague notion of what to do after that. On the basis of a suggestion I walked east towards DP World Thames Gateway.

Procter and Gamble factory at West Thurrock seen from Ebbsfleet station. It makes soaps and detergents for the UK market. P&G is a US multinational company. It operates in over 70 countries, employs around 99,000 people and has total assets of $120 million.

Tilbury docks from the river. The original docks were opened in 1886 under the control of the East and West India Dock company. They were expanded in 1912 – 1917 and 1929. The docks were approximately doubled in size between 1963 – 1970 to be able to handle containerships.

One of the piers at Gravesend.

Bituma, oil/chemical tanker. The lower rise building behind the mounds of aggregates is Berkeley Modular which produces ‘volumetric modular housing solutions specifically for the Berkeley Group’. The Berkeley Group is one of the top ten volume house builders.

Howard Tenens is a privately owned logistic company which runs 3.5 million sq ft of commercial space. In 2016 it opened a 169,000 sq ft warehouse at Sharpness Docks near Gloucester as a speculative development.

The passenger terminal at Tilbury. This is where the Windrush arrived on 22 June 1948. Today there is a private view for a new exhibition ‘Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories‘. There is an atmosphere of something good going on.

The ro-ro cargo ship Norstream moves out into the river, sailing towards Zeebrugge. It’s a regular route.

Part of Tilbury sewage works.

The first view of DP World Thames Gateway.

Tilbury Ro-Ro Terminal (above and below).

Pier and jetty infrastructure for ro-ro terminal.

City of London, sunction dredger on its way up stream.

Aasnes, general cargo sailing to Ijmuiden. Next stop, Amsterdam.

This was once a landfill site. The foreshore is covered with bottles, broken glass and china, decomposing car batteries and general consumerist debris. It has been described as a toxic time bomb. Pollutants continue to leach into the Thames.

For reasons I don’t properly understand, I always think Essex is a different shade of green to Kent. It could be the underlying geology and flora, or perhaps it’s psychological perception.

DP World Thames Gateway. The ships are the Eleonora Maersk, Marseille (in port) and Elbsun in the river sailing to Bilbao.

On the ferry back to Gravesend. It felt as if the day had been spent in a different world. Which in some ways, it was.

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