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Canary Wharf photo exhibition marks 30 years of London City Airport

PUBLISHED: 10:32 26 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 26 October 2017

An aircraft approaching in 1992 Picture: Andrew Holt

An aircraft approaching in 1992 Picture: Andrew Holt

Andrew Holt

To mark London City Airport’s 30th anniversary, a photography exhibition has been unveiled in Canary Wharf to chronicle its history.

Planes at the airport in 1987 Picture: Vic Abbott Planes at the airport in 1987 Picture: Vic Abbott

It includes pictures from Greenwich-based aviation photographer Ben Walsh, aerial photographer Andrew Holt and Vic Abbott, an air traffic control engineer who has worked at the airport since 1987.

The images demonstrate the rapid change that has taken place in London over the past three decades, showing how it looked when familiar sites in the capital’s skyline such as the O2 and the Gherkin did not exist.

Closer to home, the images hark back to a time before the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, when One Canada Square was a solitary tower.

The modern-day photographs were taken by Ben, who scaled the roof of the nearby Tate and Lyle sugar refinery and climbed to the top of the air traffic control tower during a three week project to get the perfect shot.

The disused docks in 1982 Picture: Andrew Holt The disused docks in 1982 Picture: Andrew Holt

He said: “This was a fascinating commission by London City Airport thanks to its unique location and the speed of change which has taken place in east London and the surrounding city skyline.

“With my specialism in aviation photography, to see this work presented in Canary Wharf alongside the originals brings in to sharp focus the airport’s 30 years of achievement.”

The exhibition is divided into six sections, which are largely chronological in order. The first section examines the Royal Docks before the airport was built.

Others include the construction of the airport in the 1980s, the early days and the longstanding relationship with royalty.

The Royal Docks in the 1980s The Royal Docks in the 1980s

The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales in May 1886 and in addition to officially opening the airport, the Queen also visited again in 2002 and 2012.

Diana, Princess of Wales, attended in 1992 to open a runway extension and meet air traffic controllers.

Chief executive Declan Collier said: “London City Airport’s success story is a remarkable one and this exhibition allows us to tell it to the public, beyond the walls of the airport, in a creative way.”

London City Airport: 30 Years in Photographs can be seen in Jubilee Place in Canary Wharf from October 26 until November 7.

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