Leytonstone’s Lost Lido

In this meditation on the Hollow Ponds there are two mysteries left unresolved. Firstly the sign on the boathouse that reads, “Have You Seen the Hollow Pond Bear”. I assumed at the time that it was a reference to the area’s long heritage as a gay cruising spot but on reflection wonder if it might actually refer to a Grizzly. Over at the Welsh Harp Reservoir between Barnet and Brent an actual bear escaped from a menagerie there in 1871. So there is precedent for this kind of thing.

Whipps Cross Lido

Opening of Whipps Cross Lido in 1932 From the Waltham Forest Guardian – credit Vestry House Museum

Absent from the video is the Whipps Cross Lido created in 1905 and returned to the forest in 1983. Wikipedia mentions that it was known locally as “the Batho”. I had half a mind to find the footprint of the site but had spent so long filming the geese in slow-motion that I’d used up my time – the sojourn was over. But somewhere beneath the grass north of the Hollow Pond between Lea Bridge and Snaresbrook Roads there lurks the lost lagoon of Leytonstone.

 

Here’s an interesting article about the creation of the Hollow Ponds from the local paper

Damon Albarn unveils his Blue Plaque in Leytonstone

This morning Blur crooner and Gorillaz cartoon frontman, Damon Albarn returned to the house in Fillebrook Road, Leytonstone where he lived till he was 10 to unveil a Blue Plaque.

IMG_8781

Albarn referenced Leytonstone in his recent album, Everyday Robots, most notably with the track Hollow Ponds.

IMG_8803

He also returned to the area to perform surprise gigs at Leytonstone Library and the The Red Lion.

IMG_8808

The Albarn Family – Damon’s Dad, Keith Albarn was a notable artist in the 1960’s and 70’s.

 

IMG_8831

Damon reminisced about seeing herds of cows wandering along Fillebrook Road on their way to graze on Wanstead Flats.

IMG_8780

He offered to support the Save the Heathcote campaign, his Dad having frequented the pub in his Leytonstone years.

Damon Albarn blue plaque Leytonstone