Sampson Low, Marston and Co. Ltd. 1929
Linney's interests are broad, so as well as some wonderful descriptions of how things looked, and some lovely descriptions of ships using the docks, he goes into the nuts and bolts of how things operated as well. There are great descriptions, for example, of the cargoes handled at various docks and how these were processed and sold. His section on ivory at the London Docks is particularly fascinating.
At all times Linney's enthusiasm and imagination draw the reader in to his perception of the docks and warehouses as endlessly intriguing places where produce of the world, everything from spice and ivory to flour and wool converged. This comes over most strongly in his three chapters on the London Docks: "Sometimes I stand by the main entrance to the London Docks and watch a wool-laden lorry go out and seek to let my imagination follow its contents from source to finish. I see the vast sheep-runs of New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia, with their flocks numbered in millions; I see the shearers at work in their sheds; I see the wool wagons and the railway trucks making for tidewater; I see the big steamers headed for London River; I see the tug bringing up her train of lighters." Elsewhere, some his descriptions are rather more prosaic and underwhelmed, most notably his description of the notoriously difficult launch of Brunel's Great Eastern, a ship that he describes as "this famous monstrosity."
This is a real mixture of history, field observation and anecdote. Linney loved the Port of London, and this comes over clearly in his writing and his photographs. If you are looking for an engaging and useful account of the Port of London in the 1920s, this book provides the perfect snapshot of the docks, wharves and river at that time.