Caught by the River

The Industrial Thames

23rd March 2014

Proctor & Gamble, West Thurrock (1)Proctor & Gamble, West Thurrock

Douglas McCarthy has been walking and photographing the Thames Estuary for over a decade. In a new collection of images, Douglas explores the industrial character of the Thames’s eastern reaches:

Beyond the apartment blocks and offices that line the Thames from the Pool of London to the Barrier, lies a starker and less familiar river. As the Thames broadens at Woolwich, building density diminishes and blank spaces emerge in the landscape, foreshadowing the character of the Estuary proper.

Grays Beach (2)Grays Beach

Erith Riverside (1)Erith Riverside

Travelling east, industry becomes the river’s predominant leitmotif: sewage treatment plants, power stations, waste recycling facilities, aggregate plants, light industrial estates, supermarket distribution depots, landfill sites, oil refineries and container ports. Out here, the term ‘post-industrial’ hardly seems relevant.

Brett Aggregates Ltd, North Sea Terminal, Cliffe, Kent (2)Cliffe, Kent 

Douglas McCarthy: The Industrial Thames