London Docklands in the 1980s

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It's easy to forget that, until relatively recently, London Docklands was little more than an industrial wasteland. This massive set of pictures on Flickr shows the area at the end of the 1980s, just before the developers came in and turned it into the towers and apartments jungle that it is today. I recall taking a trip on the new Docklands Light Railway when I was a kiddie – probably a couple of years after these pictures were taken – and it was like a theme park ride through a gargantuan building site. The London we see now couldn't be any more different.

Even though browsing large sets in Flickr is rather painful (75px thumbnails? in 2012? Really?), it's worth having a look just to find gems like these: the Design Museum's surprisingly successful modernist revamp of an old banana warehouse sits gleaming in the middle of nowhere (I do wonder how much business they got in those early years); the remains of Beckton Gas Works shortly after a starring role in Full Metal Jacket, where it represented the Vietnamese city of Huế; and the now-incongruous image of Tower Bridge set against a skyline of … nothing.

London: you're brilliant. Don't stop changing.