The novelist Charles Dickens visited the Canning Town area in 1857. In an article published in September of that year entitled ‘Londoners over the Border‘, he described the squalid conditions there. People who worked at the recently opened Victoria Docks were forced to live in a slum built on a marsh. There were few roads, no gas supply and open sewers ran through the streets. Dickens called his article Londoners over the Border because at the time Canning Town was outside of the limits of London.