We are continually looking to add to our picture galleries. If you would like us to include your pictures and memorabilia in the galleries, then we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us for an informal chat.

Please click on the links below to see the the pictures. Many of the pictures open in a new windows. Simply close the new window to return to (Please note that we have tried to preserve the quality of the images as far as possible; the images may therefore take up to 30 seconds to load using a standard 56k modem).

Watermen & Lightermen

Amalgamated Society of Watermen, Lightermen and Bargemen

Watermans Licence, side 1
1943 Licence of James William Legon 1895-1969

Watermans Licence, side 2
1943 Licence of James William Legon 1895-1969

Last of The Legon Lightermen
James William Legon 1895-1969. Apprenticed 1911 to his father James Legon 1865-1930. James William was the 7th generation to have plyed his trade on the River Thames. This picture, taken in 1939, also shows his son, James Legon, born in 1935.

Apprenticeship Binding
1911 Apprenticeship Binding of James William Legon 1895-1969

‘Lighters Unloading’ by Grant Osman
Lighterman scene on the Thames, commissioned by Docklands Ancestors.

A lone Lighterman at dusk on the Thames

Wrightson and Sons Annual Outing 1925

The Lightermen of Wrightson & Son Ltd
1926 picture of the Lightermen of Wrightson & Son Ltd, on 2nd Annual Outing.
Submitted by Mr Vic Gibbs.

Wrightson and Sons Lightermen

Ditchling Retirement Cottages
View of the Company of Watermen & Lightermen’s retirement cottages at Ditchling.
Submitted by Mr Vic Gibbs.

Group of Lightermen at Ditchling

Ditchling Social Gathering

General Lighterage Company Annual Outing, 1955

A Waterman’s badge, no.267

1727 Act of Parliament

1785 Table of Fares

Entrance to Regents Canal at Limehouse, 1828

Tilbury Dock 1970

Company Almshouses at Penge, Surrey

Coat of Arms

1727 Act of Parliament (photo 1)

1727 Act of Parliament (photo 2)

21st Century Thames Lighter

The Thames Waterman at London Bridge c1831

The Charles Smith Regatta collection

Lighterman’s outing circa 1924

The Pizzey Family Collection
Including pictures provided by Denis Joseph Pizzey’s relating to his father, James Joseph Pizzey; his Grandfather James William Pizzey and his Great uncle, W.A Pizzey.

Watermen & Lightermen:
Dogget’s Coat and Badge Winners

Charles Thomas Bullman, winner in 1876
Charles Thomas Bullman, winner in 1876, shown here wearing the winner’s coat and badge. Born in Shadwell c1855, he was apprenticed to Leonard Lefevre on 11th October 1870, gaining his Freedom on 14th March 1876. In later years, he lived in Brook Street, (now Cable Street), and the family also owned a pub on The Highway, Shadwell, called Bullmans. Thomas Bullman, possibly his son, also won the race in 1897.
Picture courtesy of C.T.Bullman’s great grand daughter, Sandra Jillings.

Click here to see twenty winners of the Doggetts Coat and Badge Race at

Sculling on the Thames 1874

The finish of the race

John Broughton: 1730 Doggett’s Winner

The 1st Doggett’s Coat & Badge Winner

Watermen & Lightermen:
Waterman’s Hall

The Freemen’s Room 1

The Freemen’s Room 2

The Court Room 1

The Court Room 2

The Parlour Room 1

The Parlour Room 2

The Silver Room 1

The Silver Room 2

Exterior 1

Exterior 2

Waterman’s Hall c1829

Master’s Chair

Court Chair

Bargemaster’s Coat

Doggett’s Coat

Regatta Coat

Thames & Docklands

West India Docks

Upper Pool of London 1930

Pool of London 1935

Tower Bridge 1914

Pool of London & Tower Bridge

Paddle Steamers on the Thames

Victoria & Albert docks labourers pass 1915

Prospect of Whitby

Floating pub ‘Old Caledonia’ on fire

“Sunderland” flying boat

Craft loaded with beer cylinders 1990

“Waverley” outward bound 1989

“Kennet” tugboat at Isleworth

“Danna Anglia” passing under Tower Bridge

Shipbuilding Works at Bow Creek c1845

Entrance to Surrey Docks

Knocking up

Sunday Dinner in Limehouse

Slum Street in Limehouse

Ratcliff Cross Stairs

The Royal Docks in 2006 (photo 1)

The Royal Docks in 2006 (photo 2)

The Royal Docks in 2006 (photo 3)

East End Churches

St Paul, Shadwell

St Anne Limehouse

St Margret, Westminster

St Mary, Rotherhithe

St John, Wapping

St Dunstan, Stepney

Christ Church, Spitalfields

Christ Church, Isle of Dogs

Holy Trinity, Stepney

St Judes, Bethnal Green

St Peter’s London Docks

St Peter’s London Docks 1869

St Peter, London Docks : Blessed Sacrament Chapel

St Peter, London Docks : Father Wainwright

St Peter, London Docks : High Altar

St Peter, London Docks : Rededication after War

St Peter, London Docks : Unveiling Fr Wainwright’s plaque

St Peter’s London Docks in 2006 (photo 1)

St Peter’s London Docks in 2006 (photo 2)

St Peter’s London Docks in 2006 (photo 3)

St Peter’s London Docks in 2006 (photo 4)

St Peter’s London Docks in 2006 (photo 5)

St Peter’s London Docks in 2006 (photo 6)

Views from the Thames

Execution Dock

Oliver’s Wharf

Links to external sites

Collage Portal
Corporation of London Gallery containing 20,000 images.
The Postcard Gallery.
Postcards, Prints and Books by Terry Scales Ross Collection/ River Thames Views & Shipping/thamesviews&shipping.html
Porthole’s River Thames Views and Shipping Gallery
Amazing site, featuring the complete archives of British Pathe.
Recommended site for pictures of docklands industrial heritage.

Click here to see twenty winners of the Doggetts Coat and Badge Race at

William Giles East- Doggett’s Winner & Royal Bargemaster

Doggett’s Coat & Badge 1920

Sublime Photography: The East End then and now

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Recommended further reading

‘Dockland Life:A Pictorial History of London’s Docks 1860-1970’
by Chris Ellmers & Alex Werner

This is by far and away the best photographic book we’ve come across , with hundreds of evocative images. Produced in association with the Museum of London, it draws on their library of more than 50,000 images. This book truly captures the essence of what it was like to live near and work in London’s ‘First Port of Empire’.
Click here if you would like to purchase this book