Construction on the Beckton Gasworks began in 1870, undertaken by the Gas Light and Coke Company to supply coal gas to London. Production ceased in 1976 and the site, like most of the former docks and industrial infrastructure, was abandoned.
Stanley Kubrick used the Beckton Gasworks as a set forFull Metal Jacket (1986), standing in for the city of Hué in Vietnam. In the ferocious and bloody battle for Hué in 1968 during the Vietnam War the city was almost totally destroyed: succesful urban warfare necessitated that soldiers kept away from the streets and blasted their way through buildings. This recreation is the reason for the appearance: a simulacrum of war representing real war.
The ruined buildings, like most of the former docks - vast and gloomy buildings, limitless empty spaces - exemplified the Sublime. It was a privilege to have seen these buildings in this condition, between use and demolition; the Sublime has, sadly, disappeared from London.
Shot on a Minox 35GT.