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A Winter Miscellany (Continued). On 21st January 2012, members of the club's Southern Area enjoyed a winter walk around the Rotherhithe peninsula, an area which used to be home to the Surrey Docks and – as a result – is full of industrial archaeology. The railway remains are limited and amount mainly to a series of tracks once used by travelling cranes at the various docksides, but there is plenty else of interest, as the following photographs indicate. After the Rotherhithe photographs, we step back to July 2011 for a look at the world's oldest monorail system ...

Above: This bascule bridge survives at the west end of the former Greenland Dock, which was used until 1970 for the import of timber. Bascule bridges use a counterweight (seen clearly at the top right) to counterbalance the bridge span or 'leaf' and, as a result, require relatively little power to operate. As can be seen, beautiful weather attended the walk leader's recce – a week later, members were not so lucky! 14th January 2012. (Jeff Vinter)

 
Above: Nelson Dock was a dry dock situated roughly opposite the modern office developments of Canary Wharf, which can be seen here on the north side of the Thames. This crane provides a link with the area's past, although members were unsure whether this survivor was in its original position or had been transplanted from elsewhere. 14th January 2012. (Jeff Vinter)
 
Above: Immediately to the north of Nelson Dock, the premises of Mills & Knight survive – in excellent condition, as can be seen. Mills & Knight were a firm of ship repairers who were based here from 1886 until the docks closed in 1970.14th January 2012. (Jeff Vinter)
 
Above: The former Rotherhithe fire station, opened in 1903 to replace an earlier facility and closed finally in 1965, has now been converted into flats. The red doors on the left, faded to pink, were used originally by horse-drawn fire tenders. This fire station was one of the busiest in London, which is not surprising when one considers the vast bulk of timber that was imported into the surrounding docks. 21st January 2012. (Jeff Vinter)
 
Above: And now for something completely different, again. The club's area organisers arrange occasional visits to the continent, where the steam-hauled Harz Narrow Gauge Railway in Germany is ever popular. However, an even more unusual survivor is the world's oldest monorail system – the so-called 'floating tram' in Wuppertal, which our photographer dubbed the 'Dangly Bahn'. Have you seen anything like this before? This is the view from the terminus station at Vohwinkel, which is situated at the south western end of the line. 18th July 2011. (Richard Lewis)
 
Left: Floating trams pass each other, high above street level, just outside the Vohwinkel terminus. The vehicles seen here were built in the 1970s, but Wuppertalle Stadwerke ordered modern replacements from Vossloh Rail Vehicles of Spain in November 2011. 18th July 2011. (Richard Lewis)
 
Above: For three-quarters of its 8½ mile length, the floating tram runs about 39 ft. above the River Wupper, while elsewhere it runs about 26 ft. above the valley road. It carries 82,000 passengers per day between Oberbarmen in the north-east and Vohwinkel in the south west, the journey taking about half an hour. A major modernisation programme was completed in the year that these photographs were taken. 18th July 2011. (Richard Lewis)
 
Above: A view of the aerial track held high above the River Wupper by a series of gantries. Construction of this system began in 1898. Trial journeys were being carried out by 1900, when the Emperor Wilhelm II took a ride, with the system opening to the public on 1st March 1901, although it was not fully completed for another two years. If you want to read more about the Wuppertal monorail, the Wikipedia page here is a good place to start. 18th July 2011. (Richard Lewis)