Canary Wharf 1987 – and a story about Shad Thames

I love this photo of Canary Wharf in 1987 from @rima1731. It reminds me of this story:

Before I was a storyteller I used to work as an electrician in the film industry. I did lighting for the last ever shoot at Jacob Street Studios in Shad Thames SE1. The studio was small and cosy- the most famous film made there was David Lynch’s victorian masterpiece “The Elephant Man” Rather sadly, we were shooting a commercial for Barclay Homes- they were turning Jacob Street Studios into luxury flats…

One of the old sparks told me this… Electricians are famously unionised and back in the 1970s, their overtime could go into thousands of pounds. So apparently a friend of his was working on a low budget feature at Jacobs Island Studio… and the overtime had mounted up and now they were getting to the end of the shoot.

In desperation the producer went to the gaffer and offered a deal. Instead of all the overtime, would he like to HAVE one of these old warehouses by the Thames?

“That pile of crap?” sniffed the gaffer. “I’ll have the money!”

(Thanks to for the photo.)