W1 Self Storage

We are pleased to announce that Vanguard have acquired W1 Self Storage.

W1 is a cracking self-store based in the Harley Street Q Park car park, which can be found just off Cavendish Square in Central London. Here is a map to the store.

We will be updating our website shortly but in the interim if you need Central London Storage please get in touch with the team on 08082529252 .



Millwall, home to Vanguard East London

Vanguard Self Storage East London is situated at 188 Westferry Road, Millwall, Isle of Dogs.  Below is a brief history of Millwall and Docklands.

The Seven Mills – Millwall

Seven windmills for the grinding of corn were built on the western side of the Isle of Dogs between 1680 and 1720, giving the area its name, Millwall.  The position of these 7 windmills are shown by the red box on the antique map below.

Isle of Dogs Windmills-page-001

The ‘wall’ was a great bank of earth and stones and dated back as far as the Roman era and was definitely in use in the early Middle Ages. This bank of earth kept the River Thames from flooding the island at high tide, allowing the surrounding land to be cultivated as farmland.  The wall was certainly wide enough for seven windmills and for the path that ran its length.  This path stretched around the peninsula towards the area now known as Blackwall.

The windmills, some of which had been used for grinding corn, disappeared in the early nineteenth century when wind power was replaced by the power of the steam engine. In their place, new factories sprang up along the wall which was strengthened and straightened at the river’s edge to allow ships and barges to be unloaded.

Docklands & Ship-Building

The 17th and 18th Centuries saw an increase in ship-building at nearby Blackwall and Limehouse.

This ship-building was a mark of the growing prosperity of London as a port. By the end of the 18th century, there were so many ships coming into London that there was barely room for them to unload and load safely on the quays and wharves of the port near the Tower of London.

The West India merchants, whose sugar ships came crowding up the river all at the same time, petitioned Parliament for permission to build enclosed docks across the northern end of the Isle of Dogs. The West India Docks were built and they opened in 1802 and traces of their once grand open vistas of water still survive, overshadowed now by the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Some of the original sugar warehouses have been turned into the Museum of London Docklands. 

In the years that followed the opening of the West India Docks, the western foreshore of the Island was developed with shipyards, barge builders, mast makers and iron works. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london-docklands

Skilled workers and labourers came to Millwall to live. Rows of cottages were built for them with very smart residences for the more affluent. There were new roads, shops, pubs and clubs.  The air resounded with the noise of industry and with the dialects from all parts of the United Kingdom.

The name “Millwall” became associated with the most advanced engineering of the day, leading to the construction of Brunel’s famous and ill-fated Great Eastern steamship, which was launched on 31st January 1858, the construction of which took place very close indeed to Vanguard’s site on Westferry Road.


My name is Jill Boorman and work at Vanguard Self Storage London East and I am taking on the mammoth challenge of completing my first London Marathon on Sunday 24th April.

After months of training runs, I will be among the expected 38,000 nervous and excited runners congregating on Blackheath for the start of this year’s London Marathon, I personally will be extremely nervous.

I have decided to use my place to raise funds for JDRF UK (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), a charity very close to my heart as I am a Type 1 Diabetic. JDRF UK need funds to continue their potentially life changing research into Type 1 (Insulin-Dependent) Diabetes.

As a Type 1 Diabetic training for the London Marathon, the long distance runs involved have proved to be a challenge all of their own at times!

If you would like to sponsor me and thank you very much if you do :-) here’s the link; http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jill-boorman-VMLM2016-43178 Please also leave a good luck message if you do sponsor me!

The marathon route will pass directly in front of Vanguard East London’s site at 188 Westferry Road and I will try and give it a nod as I pass by but I suspect that as this is just after the 16 mile mark of the run, I may be otherwise too pre-occupied/exhausted!

Runners must complete the full 26 miles, 385 yards before they run over the finish line at The Mall in Central London and finally lay their hands on their well deserved finisher’s medal.

The First London Marathon

The London Marathon was created after Chris Brasher, a former Olympic Champion, returned home from completing the New York Marathon. He was so moved by the sight of over one million people unified by one major challenge and this made him feel that London had to have its own marathon.

After studying other big city marathons, Chris Brasher established the London Marathon’s charity status. His dream was realised on 29th March 1981 with the first London Marathon and it proved to be an instant success.  

If you feel your own legs aren’t up to actually running a marathon but you’d still like to be part of the day and show your support, join the crowds to shout encouragement instead. Crowds of spectators line the whole 26.2 mile route but great viewing points can be found at Greenwich, the Isle of Dogs, The Highway, Tower Bridge, Embankment, Westminster and of course, the emotional finish of the Marathon on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.







Easter Opening Times at Vanguard Self-Storage, 188 Westferry Road, London E14 3RY

GOOD FRIDAY                  10.00AM TO 4.00PM

EASTER SUNDAY              10.00AM TO 4.00PM

EASTER MONDAY             10.00AM TO 4.00PM


  • The name Easter originates from Ēostre.  She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe.
  • The exchange of eggs for Easter dates back to a springtime custom older than Easter itself in which eggs were given as a symbol of rebirth in many cultures.
  • The UK’s first ever chocolate egg was produced in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol.  However forget the creamy milk chocolate filled with sweets that we know now, early Easter eggs would have been made from a grainy textured bitter dark chocolate.  The eggs would have been extravagantly decorated by hand with large marzipan flowers and chocolate piping to cater for the Victorian tastes.  These eggs would have only given by the rich as extravagant gifts.
  • The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever made was in Italy in 2011. It stood at 10.39 metres high (34 ft 1.05 in) and weighed in at 7,200 kg (15,873 lbs 4.48 oz).  The egg was heavier than an elephant and taller than a giraffe!
  • 80 million chocolate Easter eggs are sold each year.  This accounts for 10% of Britain’s annual spending on chocolate.
  • Enough Cadbury’s Creme eggs are made in Birmingham every year to make a pile ten times higher than Mount Everest, if you put them on top of each other.
  • In medieval times, a festival of egg throwing was held in churches.  The priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choirboys and it would then be tossed from one choirboy to another.  Whichever boy was holding the egg when the clock struck 12 would be deemed the winner.


The UK’s celebration of Mothering Sunday stems from the 16th Century, when people returned to their mother church for the service of Refreshment Sunday, so called because the fasting rules of Lent were relaxed on that day.

As a result of this tradition, most mothers were reunited with their children because young apprentices and young women that were in domestic service were released by their masters for that weekend.  Children would pick wild flowers as they walked home for their church or to give them to their mother as a small gift.

At the start of the 19th Century the custom was still popular but the Industrial Revolution saw these traditions change and the Mothering Sunday customs declined.

People in the UK began to celebrate what we now know as Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent, the same day on which Mothering Sunday had been celebrated for centuries.  The UK celebration has no connection to the American celebration of the same name.

Some of the Mothering Sunday customs were revived, such as the tradition of eating cake on that day, although celebrants now eat *Simnel Cake  instead of the cakes that were traditionally baked at that time.

The traditions of the two holidays are now fused together and celebrated on the same day, although many people are not aware that the celebrations have quite separate origins. UK-based companies saw the business opportunity of Mother’s Day and heavily promoted it in the UK and by the 1950’s it was celebrated across all of the UK

 Fact OR Fiction?

The name Simnel probably comes from the Latin word ‘Simila’, which means finest wheat flour usually used for baking cakes.

There is also a folk tale that a man called Simon and his wife Nell argued over whether a cake for Mothering Sunday should be baked or boiled.  In the end they decided to do both, so they named the cake after both of them, Sim-Nell!


February 14th – Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on 14th February and some people believe this is to commemorate the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death or burial circa A.D. 270, others claim that the Christian church decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to Christianise the Pagan celebration of Lupercalia (Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility).

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages but Valentine’s greetings as we know them now didn’t begin to appear until after AD 1400. The oldest Valentine text in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned at the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.  The Duchess died before the poem could reach her. Over the Duke’s 25 year imprisonment, he wrote his wife 60 love poems which are often said to have been the first “Valentines.”  This Valentine poem can bee seen at the British Library in Central London.  Several years after, it is believed that Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a Valentine note for Catherine of Valois.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be widely celebrated around the 17th Century. By the middle of the 18th Century, it was common for lovers and friends from all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in print technology. Ready-made cards were an effortless way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all at Vanguard Self-Storage


Millwall Football Team have had five different football ground locations during their history, four of which were on the Isle of Dogs, prior to the 1910 move to Cold Blow Lane, South of the River (River Thames).

Millwall Football Club’s birthplace was at the J.T. Morton’s Canning and Preserve Factory on Westferry Road (Nos. 2-4 on the river side of the road and Nos. 17-23 on the opposite side of the road to the river). A group of Tin Smiths (the ‘Tinnies’) decided to form a football club, calling themselves the Millwall Rovers.

Their first base was The Islander public house, 3-5 Tooke Street. The pub became the HQ for the football club and a social centre for the Millwall Rovers players. The pub was built around 1858 but was destroyed in an air-raid on 7 September 1940 and was never rebuilt. The location of The Islander public house where club held their meetings and the players would socialise is just 5 minutes walk from the Vanguard Self-Storage facility at 188 Westferry Road, London E14 3RY.

Millwall Rovers with the East London Cup, 1887
Millwall Rovers with the East London Cup, 1887