Quayside cranes after the Silvertown Explosion: 1917
© PLA collection/Museum of London
Full image caption
Quayside cranes after the Silvertown Explosion. On 19 January 1917, a massive explosion occurred in Silvertown, south of the Royal Victoria Dock. In Messrs Brunner, Mond and Company's munitions works, 50 tons of T.N.T. blew up, killing 73 people and damaging up to 70,000 buildings, including some at the dock. The noise of the blast could be heard as far away as Southampton and Norwich. Fireboats fought to control the flames, which consumed the Royal Victoria Dock. The grain silos and warehouses of the flourmills were amongst the 17 acres of property that the Port of London Authority estimated were damaged. Thousands of pounds worth of goods were also left exposed to the elements. Some blast damage to the operators cab can be seen on the nearer crane. John Avery photographed the wreckage immediately after the explosion and throughout the reconstruction, which was completed in 1921. This photograph was taken on 25 January 1917.
1917 AD - 1917 AD