diamond geezer

 Sunday, November 16, 2003

Famous places within 15 minutes walk of my house
Number 2012 - The Olympic Stadium ii

your stadium here

An Olympic Stadium is a large circular-ish object, requiring space for a 400 metre running track, seating for the nations of the world and sufficient space round the edge for the selling of hotdogs and novelty fluorescent headgear. So, where to put it? It appears that the authorities have merely worked out how large a circle they need, found a map of the local area and hunted down the one location where that circle would fit without overlapping one of the many river channels round here. And the location they've found is a godforsaken industrial estate halfway up a boy-racer lane just north of Pudding Mill Lane DLR station. Middle of nowhere. This is Marshgate Lane, a 100% non-residential slice of East London, one solitary road cutting across the flood plain of the River Lea. If anywhere in London deserves to be regenerated, it's this unloved heap of warehouses, incinerators and industrial units. Up to 350 companies will be forced to relocate if the Olympics come to Stratford, but an Olympic flame would suit the area far better than the present smell of burning waste, fats and cooking oils.

meddlingI got myself a decent map and walked up Marshgate Lane to find the exact location of the centre of the stadium for myself. It's just past Knobs Hill Road, right opposite Parkes Galvanizing Ltd, where a couple of small roads run off the lane onto the Marshgate Trading Estate. Here you'll find a company that hires skips, a giant nondescript warehouse, the odd big family business, a company that prepares caviar and smoked salmon and, right in the middle, a Mercedes Service Centre. This is where the javelins will land, where 3000 perfectly-choreographed local schoolchildren will tapdance through the opening ceremony and where all the medals will be presented. I was disturbed to see three Mercedes flags flying over the exact spot - it looks like the Germans have staked their claim for the top of the medal table already.

polystyrene bowlThis weekend, as a genuine local resident, I've also attended one of the public consultation events for the Olympic masterplan. The Lower Lea Valley regeneration team have been setting up their display boards in a variety of community-type institutions, asking people what they think about the plans and the legacy to be left behind for the local area. It turned out that most of the display is available on the internet anyway, but there were some nice extras including some fantastically detailed maps of the minutiae of regeneration and a 3D model to bring the plans to life (pictured left). The organising staff seemed keen to welcome us all, but even keener to get at least one person present to fill in one of their less-than-thrilling questionnaires. I would have spoken to somebody official about the plans, except that one of them was being persistently harangued by a pessimist explaining how the Dome was a white elephant and the whole bid thing would undoubtedly be a financial disaster, while most of the rest of the staff were too busy trying to set up a Powerpoint presentation. At least it was encouraging to see my community's future being taken seriously for once. Whether the Olympics arrive here in 2012 or not, local regeneration is on track.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream