One of the joys, and sometimes frustrations, of walking in London is the speed of change as new buildings go up or hoardings come down and new views are exposed. The ‘same’ walk can change subtly or significantly over a few months. My Art and Industry in East London walk never disappoints. Even the start at Pudding Mill DLR station usually offers some change as work on Crossrail, or the Elizabeth Line as I suppose I should try to get into the habit of calling it, nears completion.
The former Lock Keeper’s Cottage at City Mill Lock, sold a couple of years ago, is now dwarfed by the new wraparound developments either side.
Although work has begun to re-open the off-road path that links to the Greenway it is not yet open, but cutting back to the road gives a great view of the old Yardley box factory.
Pre-walking the route for the first time this summer there was one change to which I was looking forward very much! Thanks to the new ramp up from the River Lea up to Twelvetrees Crescent Bridge we can continue along the towpath all the way from Three Mills to Memorial Park with no need for the noisy road diversion along the Northern Approach to the Blackwall Tunnel!
Gas holders still dominate the skyline on the approach to Memorial Park, but planning notices herald huge changes with the proposed re-development by Berkeley Homes of the old Parcelforce site. Berkeley Homes have recently submitted a hybrid planning application including over 1,000 residential units, retail, business and leisure space, new bridges and a new secondary school.
Heavy pollarding of nearby trees reveals the previously secluded former offices of the Gas, Light & Coke Company and gives a glimpse from the road of the company’s memorial to the employees who lost their lives in two world wars.
Back on the towpath, past Abigail Fallis’s shopping trolley sculpture, ironically close to the Sainsbury ‘online fulfilment centre’ there are no more changes until we arrive at the wonderful green oasis of Cody Dock where there is always something new!
If you want to explore this fascinating area why not join me on Saturday 22nd July? Advance booking through Eventbrite