diamond geezer

 Thursday, May 27, 2004

Silver Jubilee: Canary Wharf
Opened: Friday 17th September 1999
Distance from previous station: 2.4 km (beneath the River Thames)
Platform: exit to the right of the train
You are now entering: the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Change here for: Docklands Light Railway (quite a walk, though)
Photo shows: the new eastern entrance to the station, opened last month (and still fairly quiet).
Fact file: Canary Wharf tube station is an award-winning architectural masterpiece designed by Sir Norman Foster, buried within the former West India Dock. The station is so big that the whole of the largest nearby skyscraper could fit inside lengthways with room to spare. Nothing quite prepares you for your first descent down the bank of escalators into the vast subterranean space.
5 things I found outside this station: Docklands, One Canada Square (Britain's tallest building), a sculpted head lying on its side, Jubilee Place shopping centre beneath Jubilee Park, four clocks on poles.
Nearby: a forest of skyscrapers, over-priced flats, far too many posh shops and bars, new Billingsgate Market, the Museum In Docklands.
Local history: Canary Wharf used to be an insignificant cargo warehouse beside the West India Docks (opened 1802), and was so named because many of its imports came from the Canary Isles. West India Dock finally closed in 1980, the year in which the London Docklands Development Corporation was set up. The docks were filled in and major reconstruction began, with the huge tower at One Canada Square completed in 1990 (my television reception has never recovered). Without Canary Wharf the Jubilee line extension would never have been built. Tens of thousands of people now live and work in Docklands, rather more yuppie financial types than the swarthy dockers of old. Full history here.
Future: More and more skyscrapers are planned (maybe too many if you ask me). See what Canary Wharf might look like in the future here.


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