diamond geezer

 Monday, December 23, 2013

London has only one suburb named Noel, that's Noel Park near Wood Green, which I wrote about in my Christmas Eve post 2011. Running into the estate is Noel Park Road, one of the half dozen streets in London to bear the Noel name. So for 2013 I've been to the other five, to see what's there, and to tell you all about them. I was going to splurge all five before Christmas, but instead I'll spread them more thinly over the festive hiatus. Let's begin out east.

Noel Road (North Beckton)

This runty road runs for barely a hundred yards and boasts only three houses. Nevertheless there's a good chance you've been, especially if you're the outdoors hiker type. Let me set the scene for you.

Noel Road runs right up to the A13, which thunders past via a six-lane dual carriageway. Thankfully a tall wooden fence cuts down the decibels, slightly, but the exhaust fumes hereabouts can't be fun. This arterial chasm is a beast to cross, so a footbridge has been built to allow pedestrians across. It's one of those tediously functional footbridges with separate access for the able-bodied and those with wheels, the latter climbing via a lengthy series of shallow ramps. Stand up here and you can watch Thurrock-bound lorries passing underneath, plus there's a Cycle Superhighway too, one of the better ones, that's CS3. In the near distance are the heights of Beckton Alps, the defunct ski slope which gives its name to the mega-roundabout where the Greenway meets the A13. A thin slice of land lies trapped between the two, and it's in this landlocked sliver that Noel Road resides. For drivers there's only one way in, from the roundabout up Roman Road. This is a very typical suburban residential street, with 200 be-porched terraced houses along its length, of the type where homeowners stick a "My Labrador lives here" sign in the window. But there are two ways out, the second a one-way sliproad to the A13 via Noel Road to Newham Way. What should be a sleepy backwater street therefore ends up with an intermittent stream of escaping local traffic.

This is the only one of London's 'Noel' roads where I can bring you an elevated aerial shot. That's almost the entire length of the street you can see there, omitting only the giant words "Turn Left" painted on the tarmac as the road narrows at the foot of the picture. All the action takes place on the right hand side, where Noel Road's three lone houses sit tight. Once identical, a string of owners have made their mark on the façades, two now with porches in front of the door, the third with a dash of stonecladding. The three front walls won't win any prizes for architecture, but it's reassuring to see that only one front garden has been ploughed up for off-road parking. Also relatively reassuring are the house prices out this way. Number 4, the only property not yet subdivided, sold for just over £200,000 a couple of years ago, while a two bedroom flat at number 6 is currently on the market for £110,000. Not all of London yet has sky-high prices, but then we are here in the rail desert of central southern Newham, which may help explain. Ideally located too for the local secondary school, which lurks just across the road beyond a scrappy patch of litter-strewn grass.

And the reason you might just have been to Noel Road is that two of London's long distance paths pass down it. Section 14 of the Capital Ring is one of them, utilising the footbridge as a means of crossing the A13 between the Greenway and Beckton Park. The Jubilee Greenway is the other, marked by a special flagstone in the pavement below the ramp. You won't have given the street a second thought if you hiked through, it's an eminently forgettable thoroughfare. But it's far more representative of the real London than most of the villas and new developments you read about in the media these days.

<< 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  May18  Jun18  Jul18
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