In the district of East London, Canary Wharf is home to the Cannon Workshops. Those who are unfamiliar with the region’s history and who pay a visit to it now may be taken back when they come across relics that date back to a time when it was prosperous but looked very different.
The Name “Canary Wharf”
Let’s break this down into its component parts, beginning with “Wharf,” which is an abbreviation that stands for “warehouse at the riverfront.” An explanation that is surprisingly easy. The following is a more in-depth explanation of the name “Canary.”
One of the buildings was once used to transport fruit from the Canary Islands. One of those islands, Gran Canaria, gets its name from the large number of dogs that live there. The docks are situated on the Isle of Dogs, and for some reason, the term continued to be used after all these years! Before it became a major financial district, what did Canary Wharf consist of?
Canary Wharf used to be one of the busiest ports in the world between the 19th century and the early 20th century. It was located in London. It brought in items from all over the globe, including sugar, rum, and even elephants in certain cases. The bar Rum & Sugar, which is housed in a historic warehouse on the North Quay, got its name from the combination of the two ingredients.
Bombardments During World War II
Air raids during World War II often targeted the ports as a primary point of assault. The strategy consisted of bombing the key supply routes in order to shut off access to food and other products for a significant portion of the United Kingdom.
During the course of the conflict, it is believed that around 2,500 bombs were dropped on the region.
Many of the old structures had to be reconstructed after they were destroyed by the bombardment. Cannon Workshops is one of the buildings that have been preserved to this day; since it is on the National Register of Historic Places, it is protected from having major additions or alterations made to it.
The reasons why Canary Wharf no longer functions as a dock are as follows:
- Because the docks were not designed to accommodate the bigger cargo ships that were becoming more common in the 1970s. Ships were unable to deliver goods.
- The development of such massive cargo ships was a direct consequence of a phenomenon known as “containerization.” This term refers to the practice through which commodities are now both carried and delivered in enormous containers. Before leaving the port, products used to be sorted and put in groups before being sent to their final destinations across the country.
- The Port of Tilbury is a big port in Essex, further away from London. It is where big container ships go in and out of the water, and it serves a large part of London and the South East.
Canary Wharf is Being Rebuilt
The neighborhood was in a terrible state of disrepair, and there were a lot of abandoned buildings and people living in terrible conditions. In the 1980s, the government became involved in an effort to assist in the area’s revitalization. So that people would build in the area, tax breaks and allowances for capital expenditures were given.
Because the City of London thought that Canary Wharf was a threat to their existing business district. Plans were made to build more office space before construction in the neighborhood was finished in 1991.
The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Transport for London
Canary Wharf was built around the same time as the opening of City Airport in 1987. This is why the DLR makes it so easy to get there by public transportation now. Canary Wharf is approximately 11 minutes away from London City Airport and is immediately connected to the airport by the DLR. Even trains without operators operate along the Docklands Light Railway.
The Cannon Workshops are located in a structure in the shape of a square that was originally located just outside the main dock area. Over the years, it was used as a place to store goods and as a workshop for many businesses, such as those that made barrels and casks and those that worked with wood.
The origin of the name is a cannon that has always been kept immediately inside the entrance archway of the workshops. In 1980, while the region was in the process of being renovated, plans were drawn up to turn the existing area into a space that could be used by local and small enterprises.
You’ll note that all of the flats have red doors; this is because the buildings are Grade II listed, and the restrictions stipulate that they cannot be changed in any way. There are a lot of different businesses in Cannon Workshops, like personal trainers, accountants, and even a German kitchen maker and showroom. The cheaper business rates that are provided to small companies in the region, which assist them, have contributed to the area’s popularity.
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