Port of Tilbury Berth-day

A COMMUNITY Open Day will be held at the London Cruise Terminal on Sunday 17th April to mark the 125th anniversary of the Port.

In 1882 the East and West India Dock Company’s Bill sanctioning the construction of the new docks at Tilbury received Royal Assent and over 5,000 men and boys were employed on the dock construction.  In March 1886 the docks were flooded for the first time with river water and on 17th April 1886 the “Glenfruin” was the first ship to sail into the docks carrying the Chairman of the East and West India Dock Company and the official party for the opening ceremony.

The past 125 years have seen many changes as the Port continues to develop and expand to meet customer demands and ensure the Port of Tilbury remains London’s major port providing fast, modern distribution services for the benefit of the south east of England.

Many famous people have travelled through Tilbury including Mark Twain on “SS Minneaeopolis” in 1907.  He was given a ticker tape welcome by the stevedores who he referred to as “the men that build civilization and without them no civilization can be built”.

To commemorate the Port’s 125th anniversary, an Open Day will be held at the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury on Sunday 17th April from 10 am until 4 pm where there will be photography exhibitions from local artists, Maureen Holley and Lyndon Douglas and Palmer’s College Students, as well as displays from the Port’s archives.  Jonathan Catton, Thurrock Heritage & Museum Officer, will be bringing memorabilia from the Museum and giving a presentation at 1 pm.

There will also be the opportunity for parents to take their children to see what lies beyond the Main Gate on a port tour on a red Routemaster bus.  “It’s our Theatre” will be providing live entertainment along with the steel band “Nostalgia” and the kiosk will be open for light refreshments.

Lynda Viccars, who has co-ordinated the event for the Port of Tilbury said: “Preparing for this event has highlighted many fascinating facts about the Port and the Open Day will be an excellent opportunity for people who have worked here over the years to come and reminisce together.  The historic Grade II* Cruise Terminal provides a unique setting for this celebration.”

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