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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 17:27 UK
Docker catches the 2012 wave

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Billy recalls the docks' heyday but looks forward to 2012.

Billy Smith grew up on the Isle of Dogs and worked on the river and docks of London for over 40 years.

He witnessed the once bustling dockyards turn into an area empty of traffic and derelict wharfs. Communities and businesses which fed off the docks suffered as a consequence.

Now the waters are seeing a revival. The Olympic green campaign is encouraging construction firms working on the Stratford site to use the river for transporting materials.

The opening of the Three Mills Lock in Bow, in June 2009, allows freight to be taken up the canal.

Because of the Olympics, British Waterways has been given the opportunity to make the area accessible and desirable again, allowing the public to make the most of it.

Billy is now the dockmaster at Bow and has a huge knowledge of the area.

He takes small parties on the river and canals to see for themselves the hidden gems that surround the Olympic site.

Archive pictures courtesy of Tower Hamlets Council.




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