diamond geezer

 Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In just nine days the public finally gains access to the Olympic Park. There'll then be photos aplenty of what the interior looks like (and, according to Ollie's advance shots, it looks spectacular). In the meantime I'm continuing and completing my walk around the perimeter, peering inside from outside.

London 2012  Around the Olympic Park
  b) Eton Manor to Bow Roundabout
  20 more photographs here; map here

Eton Manor: The northern edge of the Olympic Park has by far the best road access, with the A12 dual carriageway running alongside. Spectators using Park and Ride services will be entering this way, but otherwise this side's mainly for staff and officials. Dozens of shuttle buses are already running on a variety of routes, with three letter abbreviations on a sign in the window the only indication of where they're heading. Round here, that's probably the Northern Transport Mall on Hackney's East Marsh, which is the size of every bus station in London merged together and then some. At the moment most of Stagecoach's buses are running empty, occasionally with a few contractors on board in official London 2012 yellow tabards, but before long they'll be the backroom lifeblood of the Games.

Leyton: The extra pedestrian bridge over the railway on Ruckholt Road is now complete. But the High Road outside the tube station is still a complete mess, or was on Sunday, with half the pavements sealed off as well as direct access down to the Retail Park. Waltham Forest Council had better hurry up - the Olympic Flame is due on Saturday, and the world's coming soon after. Down at Drapers Field, throughflow is already brisk. Many of the people walking to and from this ex-recreation ground have official Olympic passes dangling from their necks, their names in black capitals flapping at approximately waist height. Some are accredited volunteers, some are security, others are simply going in to clean the athletes' rooms. When you see quite how many support staff the Games employ, it's a stark reminder of how many people are going to be out of a job in two months time.

Leyton Road: This road is closed. A pair of contractors stand beside a row of cones, waiting to speak to any driver who heads this way and then, if necessary, urge them to negotiate an awkward five point turn back the way they came. Local residents with passes have access, as do buses heading between Leyton and Stratford, but otherwise the road beyond is unusually silent. It's great for pedestrians - we'll continue to be allowed passage throughout the Games, so no bottleneck diversion via Maryland for us. The Olympic Workforce have their own pink-signed entrance to the Park alongside Wheeler's social club, leading to a main access point behind the Olympic Village. The Railway Tavern awaits thirsty post-shift drinkers, its fa├žade draped with a mixture of Union flags and official Newham Olympic bunting. Yet more vehicle screening is underway beyond the Westfield deliveries Check Point, increasingly more than a fortnight ago and set to ramp up further. You'll not see this side of the Games on television, but it remains crucial.

Stratford: Meridian Square feels busy even at the quietest times. They flood in from the old and the new shopping centres, they flood in from the station, and they queue for buses, taxis, coaches, Burger King, whatever. The space has been... some would say redeveloped, I'd say cleared, enhancing access in readiness for increased footfall. The coffee cart has gone, and all minor commercial detritus removed, but evangelists still prowl the piazza by the bike racks seeking souls to save for Jesus. The pedestrian crossing outside the Stratford Centre recently gained a countdown timer, which might seem friendly, but the lights have also been reprogrammed to allow traffic much longer gaps between red. For the duration of the Games Stratford station is the plaything of Lloyds TSB, who've covered every available surface with cartoons of smiling bank customers. As you queue for your Jubilee line escape this summer, at least give thanks its not Barclays looking down from everywhere.

Carpenters Estate: For an estate so close to the heart of Stratford, the Carpenters Estate is almost entirely off-radar. There's no through traffic, only winding backroads and plazas and grassy patches tucked away along the railway. It's one of Newham's poorest estates, comprising three 22-storey tower blocks and umpteen streets of lowrise brick tedium. The Games have provided some perks - the BBC's main 2012 studio is on top of Lund Point while Al Jazeera has a jazzy studio atop Dennison Point. But the council have their eye on the whole estate for comprehensive redevelopment. Soon after Huw Edwards has left the building the last few highrise residents will be moved out and the tower blocks summarily demolished. Relocation's been underway for a while, not that the estate community is unanimous in wanting to leave because there'll likely not be room for them once the replacement flats are erected. Newbuild blocks along Warton Road are already taken by better-off incomers, piled into a different kind of uninspiring cuboid, as the influence of the Games transforms the Park fringe forever. Knocked up in the Sixties, knocked down in the Teens.

Stratford High Street: The Games Lanes are prepared, the temporary signage is in place and the "Oi! Keep out!" messages are about to be uncovered. A lot of money has been spent upgrading Stratford High Street over the last few years - from artery to boulevard - all now with broad highways and pavements to match. A lot of the Games Family will be arriving this way, with the Southern Transport Mall for the less important and the direct route up Marshgate Lane for VIPs. Tesco have left it until the very last minute to squeeze in an Express store beneath the tallest apartment block. This opens Friday, poised first to sell convenience foods to Olympic spectators then to serve a captive audience of residents stacked above. Meanwhile residents of Blaker Road are having to put up with mandatory vehicles checks every time they drive home, every day for the next several weeks. Pudding Mill Lane DLR is very closed, so magenta signs direct would-be passengers to a station that's not on the same line, because that'll do, not because it's likely to be convenient. And look, we're back at the Bow Roundabout again, another Olympic circumnavigation complete. Flags aloft, jams ahoy, batten down the hatches.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16
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    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Wed 19th - Sun 23rd October
Bloomsbury Festival
It's free to visit the Foundling Museum this weekend.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

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

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards