Found by the Tower Hamlets archive is a promotional video from 1988 for the Canary Wharf and Docklands development.
It’s very of its time — with 1980s style corporate video music which seems to be trying to be exciting without ever quite leaving the land of cheesy.
What’s interesting though is what the people in 1988 though Docklands would be.
Some subtle changes — such as how it’s seemly pronounced as “dock LANDS”, whereas today most people say a very truncated dockl’nds. And listen out for references to the EEC, as the EU was called at the time.
There’s a lot of talk about the communications revolution, with images of the Woolwich and Isle of Dogs satellite dish networks — both long since demolished as unnecessary thanks to improving broadband connections.
Talking of which, Docklands included video-calling for office workers. Only took 30 years for that to become a mainstream reality.
The East London Rover Crossing will promote road connections — except that it was never built, and south of the river, lots of talk about a new shopping centre at Surrey Docks, as it was called at the time. Since renamed Surrey Quays by the wish of the shopping centre.
Another exciting shopping centre is Tobacco Dock, and well, that worked out well didn’t it.
I suspect that the video is aimed at US investors, as there are references to churches and private hospitals, which are something I have seen often in American marketing documents and seems out of place in a UK promotion.
Around the 13-14 minute mark is also something rare – fleeting images of the original Canary Wharf DLR station before it was demolished to build the current much larger station.
The video starts about 50 seconds in – so skip ahead if you want for 14 minutes of 1980s nostalgia.