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PLA Videos

Must See

Here's a selection of the Port of London Authority's 'must see' videos from our archive.


Careers at the PLA

Our latest film features interviews with several of our staff, who reveal how their career paths led them to the Port of London Authority, which looks after 95 miles of the tidal Thames.

Naming of survey Vessel - Thame

DescriptionTitle: Naming of survey vessel – Thame The newest addition to our fleet of vessels that surveys the bed of the tidal River Thames, Thame was officially named by Heidi Alexander, the Deputy Mayor of London for Transport. The vessel deploys state-of-the-art sonar, laser and photographic equipment to map ever-changing contours of the river bed in the UK’s busiest inland waterway and second biggest port. Named after the Thames tributary that rises in Buckinghamshire, Thame was christened in a ceremony at Tower Pier, which also included a blessing by the Reverend Sophia Acland of All Hallows by the Tower.

Archiving the tidal Thames - behind the scenes at the Museum of London Docklands

A historic warehouse in East London is home to the Museum of London Docklands and the Port of London Authority’s unique archive. It documents the work of the PLA on the Thames and its predecessors, going as far back as the late 17th Century. Parts of the archive are showcased in the Museum’s permanent displays, while photos, letters, artefacts, drawings and much more can be found in the complete collection, stretching over two kilometres of shelving. Join PLA archivist, Fiona Keates, for a look behind the scenes at just a few of the pleasant surprises you can find in the collection.

Thames Historic Barge Race 2017

The historic barge race on the Thames is a unique event, showcasing the traditional lighterman's skill of navigating an unpowered barge using the tide. The race is rowed over a seven-mile course between the Palaces of Greenwich and Westminster. This film captures the essence of the 2017 race, from the start, racing through central to the prize presentation back at Greenwich.

PLA Strategy

Our new strategy is centred on three roles for the PLA: Protect, Improve and Promote. Find out what this means from our stakeholders and PLA employees as we work to encourage greater use of the river, in line with the Thames Vision http://www.pla.co.uk/About-Us/The-Thames-Vision.

Peruvian Wharf – a wharf safeguarded for river use

Peruvian Wharf, a strategically important, protected wharf in East London is set to return to operation after it was bought by the PLA. Find out about the plans for the wharf from PLA director of planning and environment, James Trimmer and Bill Brett, chairman of Brett Group which will develop an integrated building materials terminal on the site. Peruvian Wharf is expected to be operational in late 2017.

This is the PLA (full version)

Find out about what happens on the tidal river Thames and the work of the Port of London Authority (PLA). The river is home to: the UK's second biggest port; busiest inland waterway for freight and passengers; a major centre for rowing; and can be a stage for global events. PLA operations to help keep the river safe include port control, providing ships' pilots, riverbed surveying, driftwood clearance and river traffic control for major events or large ship movements.

The work of a Pilot on the tidal Thames - a Port of London Authority Film

Port of London Authority Pilot Jon Stafford talks about his work and the challenges of guiding large ships safely into and out of the Port of London.

London Titan launch February 2015

Watch the launch of London Titan, the Port of London Authority’s (PLA) new £7 million ship which has been built to keep the Thames clear of obstructions, marked and safe for anyone to use. The is river is one of the busiest in the UK, and welcomes vessels from HMS Illustrious to Thames Clippers, cruise ships to rowing boats. The ship was launched at Manor Marine’s shipyard in Portland, Dorset on 21 February 2015.

Working as a Diver in the tidal Thames - a Port of London Authority Film

Port of London Authority Diver Kevin Leadbetter talks about the challenges of his work as a diver in the River Thames.