Search

Rare photos released of the damage caused by the Silvertown explosion

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 January 2017

The explosion caused numerous fires, some of which burned for days.

The explosion caused numerous fires, some of which burned for days.

Copyright PLA Collection / Museum of London

The devastation caused by the explosion spread for miles around, but one of the hardest hit areas was the Royal Victoria Dock.

Buildings damaged by the explosion at the Brunner Mond works taken from a granary silo. Buildings damaged by the explosion at the Brunner Mond works taken from a granary silo.

As part of today’s commemorations, rare and haunting images of the destruction have been released online.

Taken by John H. Avery, who was asked to take pictures of the damage to help the Port of London Authority (PLA) in its claim for compensation, 24 photographs are made available by the Museum of London Docklands.

Museum curator Vyki Sparkes, who put together the digital album, explained: “There was a war on so there were limits to what you could report.

“You wouldn’t have had people going round taking photographs.

In the aftermath of the explosion John H. Avery was commissioned by the Chief Engineer of the Port of London Authority to document the damage caused to PLA property. In the aftermath of the explosion John H. Avery was commissioned by the Chief Engineer of the Port of London Authority to document the damage caused to PLA property.

“Having these photographs and making them accessible helps show the scale of destruction.”

Avery took 130 pictures, the only visual record of the damaged docks, and presented them to the PLA board who used them in their claim for £357,540 in damages, equivalent to more than £22m today, from the Ministry of Munitions.

In total businesses in the affected areas claimed £82m in today’s money in compensation from the British government.

Vyki commented: “These are really arresting images. Avery really brought his artistic skill to the job.

Firemen and police pick over rubble in the Royal Victoria Dock. Firemen and police pick over rubble in the Royal Victoria Dock.

“It seems like another battlefield. It was a humanitarian disaster. The docks were part of the war effort, sending things to the frontline.

“In the pictures you see policemen, firefighters and nightwatchmen. These people were at the front line too. The dock was devestated.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Stories

11:00

Hackney Wick sealed a 3-1 victory against Hullbridge Sports to continue their strong finish to the campaign despite being relegated from the Essex Senior League.

Essex Senior League
10:00

Lakeside Hammers boss Will Pottinger hailed last heat hero Nick Morris after they snatched a 45-44 win at Ipswich.

Richard Lawson
09:23

Essex’s James Foster says the defending champions have work to do to complete a win over Lancashire at Chelmsford.

Jamie Porter
08:00

Royal Victoria Docks will play host to the British leg of the UIM F1H2O World Championship in June.

As has been witnessed for over a year now, knife and gang-related crime have increased in Newham particularly among those under 25 years of age.

University of East London

What does it mean to be educated? A big question but one we must try to answer if we want to offer the very best to our young people.

Yesterday, 18:27

A hard-hitting 69 by veteran wicketkeeper-batsman James Foster put champions Essex in control of their Specsavers County Championship game against Lancashire and in line for their first win of the season.

Nick Browne
Yesterday, 16:54

National League: Leyton Orient 1 Wrexham 0

Josh Koroma

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now