diamond geezer

 Wednesday, August 03, 2011

"Five new housing neighbourhoods that will be built on the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park were named yesterday following a public competition. Almost 2,000 people entered the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s ‘Your Park, Your Place’ competition which gave people the chance to shape the future of the Park. Suggestions were based on the future designs of the neighbourhoods, the Olympic Games itself and the historical uses of the various areas such as gunpowder mills and former factories.

On Tuesday 2nd August 2011, a judging panel met at the View Tube overlooking the Olympic Park in Stratford to pick the winning names. They are..."

Area 1 ("North of Athletes Village")Chobham Manor
Suggested by Gary Davidson-Guild from Lambeth, London, as a reference to Chobham Manor and the Manor Garden Allotments.
A bit of history for you. The Manor of Chobham, to the north of Stratford, dates back to the 14th century. The 100 acre estate was bought in 1343 by a certain Thomas de Chobham (who presumably came from Surrey), then passed through the hands of a series of other landowners. In the 1850s the Great Eastern Railway bought up most of the Chobham estate for works and sidings, while the remainder was used for housing (along what is now Chobham Road). In 1900 the Manor Garden Allotments were established, bequeathed to the local population by the director of Barings Bank, until the Olympics came along and decided that "in perpetuity" ended in 2007.
Historical/geographical accuracy: Chobham Manor - spot on. Manor Garden - nice touch, but the new neighbourhood won't be built on the site of the allotments.

Area 2 ("Next to Hackney Wick")East Wick
Suggested by Oliver O'Brien from Hackney, London, because it is east of Hackney Wick.
Well you can't argue with that. What shall we call the Olympic neighbourhood to the east of Hackney Wick? I know, let's call it East Wick. Congratulations to Ollie, a proper local resident, and long-time reader of this blog. Ollie's a geographer by trade, so is dead chuffed to have got his name onto London's road map (in perpetuity). To be fair, he won't be the only person to have suggested East Wick, but the OPLC's rules awarded the naming credit to the first person to submit an entry. I suspect far more people suggested the single word Eastwick, because that has a frisson of Jack Nicholson about it, but no doubt the naming committee wanted to steer clear of overt witchcraft.
Geographical accuracy: unfaultable.

Kings YardArea 3 ("Next to Old Ford")Sweetwater
Suggested by Kevin Murtagh from Reading, as a reference to the area’s former sweet factory, along with its waterways.
'Sweetwater' could almost be a subliminal advert for Coca Cola, but rest assured that it's not. The sweet factory in question belonged to Clarke, Nicolls & Coombs - better known as Clarnico. Founded in 1872, the business specialised in confectionery and jams, and grew steadily to become the largest sweet factory in post-war Britain. Clarnico started out on Wallis Road (close to where Hackney Wick station is today), then spread east to the opposite side of the canal (where one single warehouse has survived the Olympic bulldozers). Then Trebor Bassett bought them up, and the name now exists only as a brand of peppermint creams. The name Sweetwater's not unique, by the way. A town in Texas has that name, as did the first band to play at Woodstock in 1969.
Historical/geographical accuracy: Misplaced. All my research suggests that the Clarnico factory was part of area 2, but never part of Area 3.

Area 4 ("Next to Stratford City")Marshgate Wharf
Suggested by Stephen Davies from St Albans, as a reference to the original marshes in the area.
Long before the Olympics came along, the lonely road up the Lower Lea Valley was called Marshgate Lane. Legend has it that Queen Matilda once lost her horses here while trying to cross the flooded river, and the adjacent land's long been too sodden for settlement. But a concerted programme of drainage allowed a variety of factories to grow up, culminating in the Marshgate Lane Trading Estate, most of which now lies beneath the Olympic Stadium. Rather further to the south there used to be a Marshgate Lock on the Bow Back Rivers, at least until 1935, where boats would have tied up at Bow Wharf to serve the industries alongside. But the combined name 'Marshgate Wharf' is a clear nod to the future, and the 21st century Water City that urban planners hope to create between the Stadium and Westfield.
Historical/geographical accuracy: Marshgate - yes. Marshgate Lock & Bow Wharf - no, definitely part of Area 5 instead.

Area 5 ("Around Pudding Mill")Pudding Mill
Suggested by Dave Arquati from Wandsworth, London, after the area’s historic connection to the Pudding Mill River.
Wahey, another blog reader names an Olympic neighbourhood. Well done Dave, for being the first person to send in the most blindingly obvious name of the lot. What shall we call the area "Around Pudding Mill"? I know, "Pudding Mill". But that's fine because there really was a windmill, in precisely this location, dating back to the 12th century. It apparently resembled an upturned pudding so earned the nickname of Pudding Mill, and the half-mile-long channel alongside became the Pudding Mill River. The mill vanished in the 1830s when the railways arrived, while the river's been filled in much more recently to make way for the Olympic Stadium. Even better, Dave has suggested a name which means that the DLR station at Pudding Mill Lane can keep its name post-Games, rather than having to rebrand, thereby saving TfL lots of money.
Historical/geographical accuracy: perfect.

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