LONDON DOCKLANDS WELCOMES AMERICAN VISIT !
On Thursday 6th November 1997, members of 'New Deal', now known as the 'LEA Heritage Group', welcomed and accompanied seven of Virginia's leading Archaeologists from America's 'Jamestown re-discovery Team', the 'APVA', on a short tour of London's Docklands.
A special 25 seater coach was provided by 'Tour East' to take them on a journey to Leamouth to see the first settler's Monument, and Blackwall Stairs, they then continued on to St Matthias Church in Poplar where Sister Christine made them most welcome, providing hot tea, coffee and refreshments.
The group visited the site of the first settlers Monument at 'Virginia Quay' where they were introduced to Tim Childs, Technical Director of 'Barratts East London', he provided original photographs of the 1951 unveiling by America's Ambassador.
The archaeological team enjoyed their visit to historic 'St Mathias' Church (pictured below), an almost identical replica of the Church was constructed soon after the first settlers arrived in Virginia.
St. Matthias Church in Poplar
Dr. Bill Kelso and his archaeologists have recently excavated the original first settler's Jamestowne Fort in Virginia', and helped pave the way for a 2007 Jamestown commemoration..
The arrival of 3 sailing ships bringing 105 Men and Boys from the heart of East London in 1607 changed history, they survived adverse conditions, famine, and local conflict with the Powahatan Indians, to become the forebears of the founding Fathers of America.
The archaeological team expressed the wish to see a joint commemorative event on both sides of the Atlantic in 2007, in memory of those 105 Men and Boys who bravely ventured forth into the unknown from Blackwall stairs, East London, on a murky freezing cold winter Day on December 29th 1606, facing uncharted seas and unknown hazards in three small sailing vessels.
America's Archaeologists also found time to visit Spitalfields, their visit to East London underlined the importance of our local history, communities want this neglected part of East London to be restored for the benefit of local people as soon as possible, the restoration of the first settlers Monument can help to motivate many English descendants of settlers living abroad to visit this historic part of East London.
Tower Hamlets Communities will continue to ensure that significant local historic landmarks are not lost to the excesses of development but are preserved and enhanced for the education of future generations.
VIRGINIA'S First LADY ROXANE visits EAST LONDON
VIRGINIA'S GOVERNOR and FIRST LADY honoured