Thirty years ago, the run down streets that were home to the former docks of London started to see a very distinctive blue street sign popping up.

Tired old signs proclaiming local council control were swept away and replaced by street signs for the London Docklands Development Corporation.

The LDDC was given control over a large swathe of land running along both sides of the river from Tower Bridge eastwards.

The street signs were in part a branding exercise, but also an important tool in persuading potential investors that the latest attempt to regenerate the area was serious.

Now, thirty years on, most of the road signs have been removed. Worn out and replaced, torn down when new blocks of flats were built on derelict sites, replaced by councils keep to reassert their brandname over former LDDC territory.

Here are a few of the remainers.

This one seems odd as if the sign was replaced recently.

Very faded LDDC logo, and a rare black stand instead of the blue.

This is a rare one – a building number sign.

Two sides of the same street with old and new.

Riverside walkways were also highlighted

This one seems to have been recently repainted.

I quite like this example in Rotherhithe as it’s one of the very early variants that were only used in a few places. The reference to JLE 107 is the Jubilee line extension contract that covered the length between Canada Water and Canary Wharf.

So 18 years after the last construction lorry left, there’s still a sign here telling them where to go.


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  1. kenneth peers says:

    Thanks Mick,great story and some marvellous comments.Lived onthe island in Kelson House when i first got married in1980 to 83 and it had a bit of a bad reputation,before moving back to TheWirral , so i never knew Dr.Blasker,although i rather wish i did,however both sides of my wifes family lived for donkeys inPoplar and Stepney.i bet they did,many thanks, great story ,love it.

  2. londonlad says:

    You should see the direction signs with arrows, they are all mixed up pointing people in different wrong directions, some are hidden long forgotten behind bushes, most of the writing faded.

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