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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th March 1969 Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was born in Lewisham, London.
17th March 1954 Born today: Lesley-Anne Down, London, actress (A Little Night Music, Moonraker)
17th March 1954 Born today: Wally Stocker, London, rock vocalist/guitarist (Babys-Missing You)
17th March 1931 Born today: Eunice Gayson, London England, actress (Dr No, From Russia With Love)
17th March 1928 The first James Bond girl, from Dr No, actress Eunice Gayson was born in Croydon.
17th March 1921 Dr Marie Stopes opens Britain's 1st birth control clinic (London)
17th March 1904 The Daily Mirror's Handcuff challenge to Harry Houdini at the Alhambra Theatre.
17th March 1845 Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London
17th March 1789 Born today: Edmund Kean, London England, tragic actor (Shylock)
Beckton Gasworks: FMJ
Beckton's disused industrial gasworks set for Full Metal Jacket
Location: Royal Docks Road, East Ham, London
Description: Beckton Gasworks opened in London in 1870, and was the largest gasworks in Europe. The site included Retort House, homes for gas workers and their families, and a huge jetty constructed on cast-iron columns for unloading coal. This 19th-century iron capital comes from Retort House which was badly damaged by bombs during the Second World War.
The name Beckton does not originate from the area. It came from Simon Adam Beck. He was the first governor of the Gaslight & Coke Company which owned the works.
East London suffered a major industrial decline during the 1960s. Beckton Gasworks closed in 1969 and lay derelict for many years. During this time, it became a popular location for filming. One of the most famous to be filmed there was Stanley Kubrick's Hollywood epic, Full Metal Jacket.