Shadwell – Limehouse walkabout

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St George in the East – the psychogeographers’ church (‘a nodule of energy’ in Iain Sinclair’s city). You have to risk death crossing the Highway with shipping containers and cement mixers competing to turn you into road marmalade.

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‘Ornamental Canal’ should be an oxymoron shouldn’t it – I can’t separate canals from their industrial heritage, and yes I’ve been to Venice but not before I’d lived in Hackney.

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Shadwell Basin – the oasis of the east, London’s blue lagoon. Joggers pound down the avenue of early hawthorn blossom along one side.

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For some reason this converted wharf made me think of the early 90’s – the pre-Black Wednesday chutzpah that would turn into a 1980’s hangover.

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“I wonder whether the citizens of London E14, know where they are living?” wrote Tom Pocock in his London Walks. Published in 1973, Pocock walks from Wapping to Limehouse at the point of transition from docklands to riverside resort of City bankers.  He observed, “The danger is of polarisation: the rich by the river, the poor inland. But what a place this could be!”

 

 

339 Bus route – phantom ride through East London

Finally rode the 339 all the way down the whole route from the lay-by on Grove Green Road Leytonstone to its terminus at Shadwell Station. This is one of London’s newest bus routes (if not the newest) and only a few months old already a classic, riding the byways to the Highway.

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Truth be told I was nearly put off by the 51 minute travel time, I reckon I could walk it in just over double that – but it was my dedication to the topographical tradition that compelled me to stick with it.

Some people might think it odd for a father of two to make a video recording the ‘highlights’ of a bus journey through east London, but I see this as being like the early films of the 1900’s – the phantom rides shot from the front of trains and trams trundling down high streets – although I had to shoot this one out of the side window. Imagine watching it in 100 years when most of this will be under water.

 

 

Views of Leyton

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