South Wharf Rotherhithe.
In 1883, despite considerable public objection due to the hostility and fear roused by smallpox, MAB (Metropolitan Asylums Board) purchased Acorn Wharf in Trinity Street, Rotherhithe, for £13,000. The 2-acre site had been chosen as a receiving station for the River Ambulance Service (RAS)
In 1885 Acorn Wharf was renamed South Wharf. In 1901, just as another smallpox epidemic began, the Wharf was further expanded.
With the decline of smallpox, the river service was reorganised in 1913, with the South Wharf dealing with general fever cases while the North Wharf continued to receive smallpox cases.
By 1921 the South Wharf had expanded its land facilities and had 24 beds in various 'shelters' where patients could be kept overnight if necessary.
In 1933, the LCC sent the steamers, having been disinfected and certified as such by the Port Sanitary Authority, to Erith for mooring prior to disposal. In the last six months of their working lives, from January to July 1930, the steamers had transported over 2,500 patients to Long Reach.
In 1940, during WW2, the South Wharf Receiving Station, still being used as a collecting point for smallpox cases, was destroyed by firebombs. The South Wharf site is now the site of the Surrey Docks Farm.
Surrey Docks, Canals and Wharfs
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