Why in 1937 the PLA commissioned what must have been one of the longest photographic panoramas ever, remains a mystery. Among their meticulous records and minutes, there is no mention of it.
Clever detective work identified the photography to April and May 1937. In Deptford Creek the SS Royal Daffodil is pictured during a refit as a hospitality ship for the PLA to use during King George VIís Coronation celebrations on May 12th.
The quality of the 1937 panorama varies greatly. Images were all shot from the opposite bank of the river using a long focal length lens to reduce issues of perspective in joins. Longer exposure times are sometimes apparent as ships and tugs move and become a blur.
Apart from the obvious historical context for those interested in wharves and cargoes, ships and sailing barges, the new 2008 digital copy of the 1937 panorama surprised usÖ..among our favourites are the naked cricketing mudlarks of the Wapping foreshore.