Fortress Wapping


Frustrated by the control the print unions had over Britain’s newspaper industry, in the mid-1980s media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, hatched a plan to move his titles away from Fleet Street and into modern offices and print works in Wapping. The new site was nicknamed Fortress Wapping after print workers, faced with redundancy as a result of modern technology, effectively besieged it through blockades and pickets, hoping to stop the move. The police and protesting union workers became embroiled in violent clashes and the mass protests became a notorious moment in Britain’s industrial history.

Murdoch’s News International remained a key commercial resident of Wapping until 2005 when it announced that the print works would be moved to new regional presses. Journalists remained on site for a few years but now this vast corner of our ward lies empty, ready to be rejuvenated as a new residential and commercial quarter.

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