I decided as the Olympics are upon us in six years, it was time to survey the area that was to be used for this function. So, armed with camera and a set of legs, I set off to Stratford Station.
It was a hot day (17th June 2006), and the remit of this visit was to find Pubs, photograph the new Olympics area in its first building stages and get a natural feel for the area; what a great day I had. I believe the Olympics will be a major success, and this area chosen is absolutely perfect for the setting.
1. Stratford station - a quiet preview, as I walk away from the station.
2. Stratford High Street , as I head westwards away from Stratford
3. Carpenters Lane - the road is full of motor / tyre repair centres at present, in 2006. Demolition has already started along parts of the road.
4. I have now turned in to Marshgate Lane, from Carpenters Lane and here are some views towards Stratford plus some creek views , and more creek views , [Pudding Mill Lane and station] - quite a bit of local business that includes small business units that will need to be moved to other parts of London.
5. Pudding Mill Lane negative response to games - Finlay - they do not want to be moved to other parts of London.
The whole Olympic zone area is referred to as a brown field site, and I thought this referred to the Abbey Lane Pumping station which removes the 'poo' from London; but obviously not.
You cannot beat a bit of toilet humour!
6 Blackwall Approach (at the end of Stratford High Street) - A nightmare to cross safely, but I obviously made it home. I should have taken some pictures of this incompetence by the local council in making this 'safe' to cross. It is ok on a Saturday, just - but I would NOT want to risk this crossing on a weekday in rush hour - very dangerous.
This was worth a detour - I found the House Mill, a pretty looking building; but more importantly this led me to finding the original Abbey Mills Pumping Station [which is a beautiful Victorian building - see 8]
7 Three Mills lane - I was so impressed with the amount of green field available in this part of London, I forgot to take any pictures.
8. Abbey Mills Pumping Station , [It is owned by Thames water, but I found a hole in the fence from where I was able to take these pictures - magnificent looking Victorian building]
8a Whilst meandering in the Lea Valley area, and following the footpaths; I discovered an amazing photographic reality, that of the West Ham gasworks, with the Underground trains passing in the foreground, a canal/creek and with Canary Wharf in the background of the picture at the same time - cool! I was so enamoured by the area, I took no photographs!
9 Stratford Broadway - wandering back through Abbey Lane & a modern industrial estate, I eventually hit Stratford Broadway again. This is the centre of Stratford, through Which I passed eastwards. Here is the King Edward VII in the broadway - a London Pub in Stratford.
10. Maryland Station - I often wondered where Maryland was, it is in Leytonstone High Road, which leads to the following: if I see a Pub, I photograph it - just in case it is better than the one I already have [usually not the case].
So here are a couple of pubs, the Cart & Horses & the Chevy Chase, near ti Maryland Station
Cart & Horses Chevy Chase
11 Leyton Road - I wandered off track for a while, via Chobham Road. There were some other pubs along the way, e.g. the Thailander, Leyton Road & the Essex Arms; then the Essex Tavern.
And finally back into the Olympics area [to be], now heading up Temple Mills Lane.
As you can see, it is an are of nothing-ness. An empty green area full of Lorries and skips - perfect for the Olympics in 2012.
13 Lea valley Cycle Route - eventually, after some walking, I arrived at the Northern point of the Olympic zone. This is currently a Cycle track. I was impressed with the space available, but not so impressed with the area for walking. There were some works going on, maybe linked to the Olympics. The second picture was a view of Stratford from the northern most point of the Olympics game village.
I photographed the cycle track building, but these don't appear to have developed.
Moving on, towards the A12. It took me about an hour to realise that the area is not built for pedestrians. I hope this changes, as it is a beautiful area. If you are a pedestrian, then follow the routes of the motor vehicle, it is safer.
This is a poor idea of the A12 / Eastway road - in fact it is much busier than this.
I am skirting round the edges of the new Olympic Zone, as anything in between will be a building site for the next six years.