Books from Island History
Ideal for your own interest, your research or as lovely presents
A Brief History of the Isle of Dogs in two volumes; Volume II £12 including postage from Island History
Volume I is now OUT OF PRINT but is still available via Amazon or Abe Books
Volume I 1066-1918 tells the story of the Island from medieval times to the First World War; some of the earliest known inhabitants, their activities included farming, fishing, milling, repairing the embankment and the drains; London as a growing port and the need for the West India docks, opened in 1802, swiftly followed by the growth of ship-building and related industries along the western foreshore. The arrival of migrants from all over the United Kingdom, creating the Island's own Scottish, Irish and other communities; the very lively and mixed population of skilled workers and labourers, domestic servants, doctors and teachers, cow-keepers and estate agents, owners and managers, all settling into the new houses built on Millwall and in Cubitt Town, and working in the docks and the many factories and workshops of this newly industrialised area.
Choirs and congregations took shape around churches and chapels, football became a popular sport, there were a myriad small shops, dozens of pubs, a horse-drawn bus and a new railway.
Finally the First World War cast its sorrowful shadow over the lives of Islanders, expressed in a soldier's diary - see Wartime Memories
And see Comment below
Size A4, paperback, 120 pages including many black and white photographs
Volume II The Twentieth Century features the personal memories of many Islanders who can recall the close communities of Millwall, of Westferry Road, of Cahir Street and Harbinger Road, of Christ Church and St.John's; the extended family networks, aunts, cousins, uncles, the weddings and christenings, the quarrels and the neighbourliness; there were dozens of places to work besides the docks - rope works, engineering works, pickle and jam factories, the flour mill, ship-repair yards; limited leisure time was spent in pubs, pigeon racing, dancing at the Dockland Settlement, cycling and long walks to Blackheath and beyond to gather bluebells; holidays were in the hop-fields or at Southend and Margate. See also Story Time.
The Blitz destroyed homes and families but the resilient Islanders re-grouped afterwards, living patiently in pre-fabs whilst waiting for new homes to be built; there was relative prosperity, motor cars and televisions, washing machines and plastic toys. Port workers fought to keep the docks open during the economic downturn of the 1970s and this fighting spirit helped to create the Mudchute Park and Farm and kept the Southern-Relief Road at bay.
Redevelopment when it came in the 1980s brought many fresh challenges and changes, especially in the kind of jobs available locally. Read these stories here. See Comment below
Size A4, paperback, 136 pages, fully illustrated with black and white photographs and includes an index to both volumes
ISBN 0-9508815-5-4 £12.99 from bookshops, or from Island History, see above. Still about 300 of these books in stock.
A Child's History of the Isle of Dogs
Migration, Continuity and Change
This new book is intended for adults and children to share in exploring the story of the Island and what life might have been like for children in times past; there are ideas for finding out more, pages to colour in, things to talk about, exploratory walks to make.
50 pages, A4 size, paperback, includes modern map of the Island
ISBN 9780950 881584 £5.99 from bookshops or from Island History (including postage)
CommentOne reader says: I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Isle of Dogs 1066-1918. What a great insight into the area and the lives of its people! I gleaned some interesting facts for my own family history. I have started The Twentieth Century...and again the content is wonderful, it brings to life my family and many others from that time. Thank you! It is a great study.