diamond geezer

 Monday, October 01, 2012

I know you stopped thinking about London 2012 three weeks ago. But some of us still live round here, and the legacy of the Games isn't going to go away. So I've been for yet another walk round the outside of the Olympic Park, clockwise from the Bow Roundabout, as East End life sort-of gets back to normal.

London 2012  Around the post-Olympic Park
  a) Bow Roundabout to Eastway
  14 photographs here; map here

Olympic Park ahoy. It's nearly a year since Brian Dorling was knocked off his bike and killed at the Bow Roundabout. His commemorative ghost bike used to be locked to the traffic lights, but TfL moved it up the road (with permission) when they last retweaked the junction. It's still there, just past McDonalds, looking sadder than ever now all the replacement flowers have finally died (and sadly there's no sign of anyone shifting it back by the lights where it belongs). Good news for cyclists across the road - the towpath alongside the Lea is open again, and has been since the day after the Games closed. Nobody's yet removed the gate which blocked the river to all traffic, merely floated it back against the bank, but presumably it'll disappear eventually. Crossrail have restarted construction of the Pudding Mill Portal, digging their big hole just over the wall. The river now narrows at this point, for strengthening purposes, thanks to a metal-lined algae-filled cofferdam.

It's lovely to be back walking along the riverside. Everything's still lush and green at summer's end, with blackberries bursting through the gaps in the spiky pre-Olympic security fence. The occasional jogger pants by, a couple of moorhens splash and squawk, and familiar shapes rise up above the foliage. They'll be clearing out inside that stadium now, in readiness for who knows what, while the Orbit gets mothballed until paying customers eventually return. At the Greenway a pleasant surprise, as the ramp up to the sewertop is unexpectedly open. No access at the top, however, while workmen busy themselves with clearing away all trace of the Victoria Gate. They're moving poles, and dismantling tents, leaving the odd chair still to be collected as the security theatre vanishes. It'll be a while before full access to the Greenway returns, some say December, but it's good to get even partially back again.

There's no action at the waterbus stop, long since abandoned by dodgy chancers Water Chariots. Across the river at Swan Wharf, some painted words on a wall and a few wooden trestles are all that remain of The Fringe. This "pop-up entertainment and hospitality club" was hoping to lure in moneyed bacchanalians during the Games, but its Twitter account petered out before the first closing ceremony so I assume it failed to meet expectations. Past Old Ford Lock the salmon-painted Fish Island Riviera shines even brighter. They've cleared the carpark of luxury portacabins now, but one wonders if their Olympic business model survived the Telegraph's utterly damning restaurant review.

Look past the old Big Breakfast House and the stadium still looms - so close from here, yet a world of memories away. All the temporary backrooms and Prestige pavilions are being taken away, slowly, gradually, with workmen busy even on a Saturday morning. What's missing are the security guards, previously ubiquitous, but reduced to a skeleton staff now it doesn't matter whether Tower Hamlets gets bombed or not. Onward past several narrowboats, most moored, others afloat. One appears to double up as a coffee shop, advertising flat whites and long blacks on a lateral chalkboard, but it doesn't hang around long enough to serve anyone.

White Post Lane won't be reopening fully for at least another year. A bloke in a hi-vis stands guard at one end of the bridge, letting only workmen pass, his security badge reading 'Reinstatement'. He's trying to give two elderly cyclists directions to the View Tube, and seems surprised when I warn him it's not open for another two months. The road beyond the barrier is that which ferried umpteen buses across the middle of the Olympic Park, if you remember seeing that when you visited. The copper tower of the Energy Centre rises alongside, with a somewhat unexpected black door leading out directly onto the towpath. And that's the backside of the Copper Box, where you might have watched handball or goalball, and which reopens next summer as as the non-thrillingly-named Multi-Use Arena. A new pedestrian footbridge is already half complete, linking via Wallis Road to Hackney Wick station... if only that had been open this summer, how convenient would that have been?

At Hackney Wick the Lea opens up along an arrow-straight channel. Peering through the Olympic security fence, this edge of the park is mostly tarmac. A lengthy linear car park has appeared, at the very last minute before the Games, squeezing in hundreds of numbered parking spaces in lieu of parkland. Apparently these were added at the request of American broadcasters NBC who didn't fancy using the appointed multi-storey round the corner, but then barely used these additional spaces either. What an appalling waste of money, and an entirely unnecessary peripheral eyesore. Peer further across the hardstanding and two temporary structures are still clearly seen - one the marshmallow-like Basketball Arena, the other the red/white rooftop panels of the Well Known Fizzy Drink Beatbox. There's clearly a heck of a lot of 'reinstatement' still to go before the acres beyond are reborn as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in ten months time.

You have to feel sorry for the inhabitants of Leabank Square, whose lowrise flats face out across the river from the Hackney banks. They've made a big effort to beautify their side, but the opposite panorama is unalloyed architectural horror. Green slopes were removed so that the International Broadcast Centre could be built, a bland panelled behemoth that's due to live on after the Games as a tech hub. For their sins, the even uglier catering block was dumped in front of Leabank Square's windows, although hopefully that's temporary. You'd think they'd have have lots to complain about, but I see the blog address daubed on the riverbank has now been painted over, and the blog itself appears to have gone into passive hiatus back in July. Eastway ahead, more tomorrow.

<< 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