Ever heard of Jack Dash? If you were a London dockworker in the 1960s, he was the equivalent of Arthur Scargill, Ken Livingstone, and the Second Coming of Christ rolled in to one. A British Communist and trade union leader, he was largely responsible for the docker’s wages rising three-fold in little more than a decade. Vilified by the conservative press, he was a local hero with the dockworkers of the East End. However, there was nothing Dash could do about the change in the logistics during the 1960s: transport changed from man-handled cargo to containerisation.
As London’s docks closed down, container companies grew rich. Sea Containers House was a landmark building built on the Thames between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges; the company occupying it in turn succumbed to financial problems. It has now been turned into the fabulous Mondrian London hotel, with a destination restaurant inside. But is it all plain sailing?
Read our review of Sea Containers.
By Guy Dimond