The docks finally closed in 1980 following years of decline, despite attempts in the 1970s to modernise them. Many of the dock buildings were still intact when I began photographing the area in 1982 but there was very little activity and a distinctly forlorn atmosphere. There were a large number of abandoned lighters, whose services were no longer required, moored up in the South West India Dock.
In 1983, following the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation, work began in the Millwall Docks to redevelop them for light industrial and business use with low-rise buildings. It wasn't until the end of the 80s that the idea of creating a major new financial district in Docklands took shape, resulting in the northern part of the Island coming to resemble a 'mini-Manhatten'