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Discover the borough's iconic docks with doodles and a dawdle

PUBLISHED: 10:34 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 16 September 2019

Beckton artist Matt Ponting. Picture: Seb Ahmed.

Beckton artist Matt Ponting. Picture: Seb Ahmed.

Archant

An art exhibition and walking tour is helping people discover - or rediscover - a redeveloping district of the borough.

Matt Ponting's illustration of the iconic Millennium Mills. Picture: Matt PontingMatt Ponting's illustration of the iconic Millennium Mills. Picture: Matt Ponting

Beckton artist Matt Ponting's Doodling the Docks features 42 landmarks and iconic sites along the Royal Docks, stretching from The Crystal in the west to Gallion's Reach in the east.

An exhibition of his illustrations of each site is open Friday to Sunday from noon to 6pm each week until September 29 at RAD London at Royal Albert Dock.

Visitors can pick up a free map to embark on a self-guided walking tour of the landmarks, dotted along a 4km waterfront stretch which was recently opened up by the new Royal Albert Dock development to allow full access.

The map guide also features facts about each site.

A visitor at the Doodling the Docks exhibition at Royal Albert Dock. Picture: Kathy Illingworth.A visitor at the Doodling the Docks exhibition at Royal Albert Dock. Picture: Kathy Illingworth.

Matt said: "A popular icon is the Thames Refinery building where they produce over 600 types of sugar and next door you'll find the Tate and Lyle building where 40,000 jars of golden syrup are made every day.

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"But there's also some lesser known historical sites like a very colourful Thames Water Tidal Basin Pumping Station and the vibrant Lightship 93, which was once a lighthouse ship but is now a photography studio."

Visitors to the exhibition can create their own docks-inspired artwork at a "doodling desk", or join Pointing for a free drawing workshop on Saturday, September 21.

A visitor at the Doodling the Docks exhibition at Royal Albert Dock. Picture: Kathy Illingworth.A visitor at the Doodling the Docks exhibition at Royal Albert Dock. Picture: Kathy Illingworth.

The project is part of the ongoing Join The Docks summer festival.

Ponting wants to hear from anyone with their own story about the docks for his next project.

"So many people have connections with the docks, whether their family used to work there or they've lived here a long time and seen the changes in the area," he said.

"I've enjoyed meeting so many local residents who've been to the exhibition so far and shared their stories.

"I hope to collate them in a book."

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