Erection date: /2/1998
This inscription commemorates the site of the Thames Ironworks Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd, situated nearby at the confluence of the Lea & Thames at Bow Creek Canning Town. Construction started in 1843 and the site became operational in 1846. HMS Warrior the worlds first all iron & armour plated battleship was launched from the yard in December 1860. The plates were forged by the then innovative Nasmyth Steam Hammer. She served in the Royal Navy from 1861 to 1979 & survives fully preserved at Portsmouth. Over 250 lifeboats were built at the yard mainly for RNLI. HMS Thunderer of the Super-Dreadnought Orion Class launched in 1911 was the last major ship built in the yard. At 22,500 tons she was briefly the worlds largest battleship. 144 warships & 287 merchant ships were launched from the yard.
Warships were built for practically all the governments of Europe, Russia & Japan. At its peak the yard employed 7000 men & covered an area of thirty acres. The most notable owners were Charles Mare, Peter Rolt & Arnold Hills. Arnold Hills introduced an eight hour working day in 1894 and a profit sharing scheme. It formed the works football club which in 1900 became West Ham United Football Club. The club is known as The Hammers & its crest includes a pair of riveters hammers. Thames Ironworks produced a range of motor cars & marine engines, built docks, cranes & bridges including Westminster & Hammersmith Bridges & Blackfriars Railway Bridge. The yard went into receivership in 1912 after 65 years of endeavour & invention for which London should remain proud.
The monument, created by sculptor Richard Kindersley, comprises a number of concrete panels, bolted together with rivets to give the impression of a ship's hull. It is surmounted by a panel from HMS Warrior, which was built at the shipyard. The fragmented inscription 'swirls' around the panels and contains the image of a pair of hammers. It was unveiled by George Carey, who was then Archbishop of Canterbury.
Someone involved in the creation of this memorial doesn't like apostrophes - it contains none but we felt the need of four.
Site: Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company (1 memorial)
E15, Silverton Way, Canning Town bus station
The monument is located at the entrance to the underground at the northern end of the bus station.
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk