This film is part of Free

Ultimate Living

"Making the East End into the new West End," proclaims the developer of London's derelict St Katharine's Dock.

Campaigning film 1970 10 mins


"Making the East End into the new West End," boasts the ambitious development proposal for the disused St Katharine's Dock area on the Thames. This student film juxtaposes the glossy redevelopment plans for a marina, hotel and export centre with chunky quotations from Friedrich Engels on the struggles of the workers and cynical comments from "the forgotten people": local residents who fear that the proposal will only benefit the wealthy.

The transformation of London's docklands began in earnest in the early 1980s, with the Thatcher government's creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The process was anticipated with striking foresight by the 1979 feature film The Long Good Friday, but the vision for the former docks was already emerging some years earlier, as this film makes clear.