Hidden London

Gallions Reach

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Newham

A DLR station in south-east Beckton, named after the stretch of the Thames between Woolwich and Barking Creek. Gallions Point, at the entrance to the King George V Dock, is nine nautical miles below London Bridge. The Galyons were a fourteenth century family who owned property on the shoreline. The station is located to the north-west of its predecessor ‘Gallions’, a ship-to-rail transfer point on the Port of London Authority’s railway. Gallions had opened in 1880, but closed with the branch line in 1940. The grade II listed Gallions Hotel, built to accommodate travellers who were halting overnight, has been restored as part of the area’s redevelopment after many years of dereliction. At the time of writing, watersports facilities line the shore and go-karting tracks criss-cross the station’s hinterland but ambitious development plans are in progress; already a pharmaceuticals company has based itself here and a shopping park has opened on part of the disused gasworks site where Stanley Kubrick filmed the Vietnam scenes for Full Metal Jacket and James Bond dispatched Blofeld down a chimney in For Your Eyes Only.

In 1878 Gallions Reach was the scene of Britain’s worst ever disaster when the Princess Alice pleasure steamer sank with the loss of more than 600 lives.

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Gallions Hotel

Gallions Reach is the title of both a ‘fantasia’ by the light orchestral composer and conductor Peter Yorke and a bitter romantic novel by HM Tomlinson, published in 1927.

Postal district: E6
Station: Docklands Light Railway, Beckton branch (Zone 4)

London's shopping park

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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