Stuck under a bridge

I really should have captioned all photos as soon as possible. When I look at photos again, some 45 years after being taken, I really don’t have all the information to hand. I can’t give a precise date for this photo or a precise location. I can say about 1968 or 1969 in South East London, perhaps the Deptford or Rotherhithe area. Who knows, there just maybe a reader who can recognise the location more precisely.

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Let’s enlarge the readable bits (or almost readable. First, there is a crane in the background.

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Could that say ‘E P Steward & co ltd New Baltic?????

And on the barge we have:

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That seems to say W G Marriott & Son something or other Ltd and the barge name is Kerry number 57.

The other barge in shot, with a visible name is the Whitebait.

Now to describe what was going on. As a young student, I thought it was an absolute hoot. The barge, laden with timber had got stuck under the bridge. The crew were busily trying to pull out the top bits of timber which they threw away. Of course, this lightened the load so the barge floated higher in the water.

We watched for a while and they got nowhere. Other people stopped on the bridge to peer at the scene. They rather hide from view the period cars passing over the bridge, one of which is definitely a Morris Minor.

Being carefree students we walked on and left the bargemen to their task. I still wonder how they solved that problem.

This could almost be a historically significant photo. The canal – it must have been the Grand Surrey Canal – was closed and mostly levelled soon after. I have searched the web for information about anything I can think of in connection with this photo. I have found nothing!

I would be delighted to make this photo more significant by rediscovering the data I should have kept. Maybe you can help.

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