East End Odyssey: A Journey from Leyton to Poplar, a set on Flickr.
This photo set is the 81st in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began last May, and is the third of four sets which either precede or follow on from a set I published last July, entitled, “The Olympics Minus One Day: Photos from the Frontline in Stratford” (and see here too), in which I cycled east from Whitechapel along the A11 — Mile End Road, which becomes Bow Road and crosses the A12 on the way to the Olympic Park along Stratford High Street. In the Olympics set I published in July, I then cycled up to Leyton, along the A12 at the north of the Olympic Park, and then back south via Hackney Wick, Old Ford, Poplar and the Isle of Dogs, stopping in on Greenwich before returning home to Brockley.
The previous two sets, “Adventures in History: The Mile End Road,” and “From Mile End to Bow and Stratford on a Summer’s Day,” covered the first part of this journey, right up to my first glimpse of the Olympic Park from the Bow Flyover. This set largely picks up where the Olympics set left off, although it includes a few photos not specifically related to the Olympics, which I took in Leyton and Hackney Wick and Old Ford, while making my way around the perimeter of the Olympic Park.
I then recorded my journey back, across Bow Road, and down through Bromley-by-Bow to Poplar, where I stopped at the magnificent Art Deco ruins of Poplar Public Baths, unduly neglected for the last 25 years, which — as part of the Cultural Olympiad — were the temporary home of an art exhibition, allowing visitors like me to marvel at the baths’ architecture, and to lament their current sad state.
The areas covered in this set — Leyton, Hackney Wick, Old Ford, Bow and Bromley-by-Bow — are all places I hope to revisit in the not too distant future. Poplar, which also features in the last set — from Poplar Dock to Greenwich via Canary Wharf — is somewhere I have visited on a few occasions since, and I hope to publish those photos sometime soon, although, at present, they are part of an archive of over 8,000 unpublished photos that I have taken in the last seven months, and as a result it is difficult for me to sate with any certainty when I will find the time to publish them, especially as I keep embarking on more new adventures, whether it is raining or sunny, warm or freezing cold.
For now, however, I hope you enjoy this set. Every time I post photos of east London, it makes me want to visit again — which I think expresses how lively and fascinating it is to me, a fine companion, across the river, to the equally fascinating south east of London, which is my home.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, when I posted “The transformation of High Road Leyton,” I wrote:
So here’s one of my favourite photos from my most recently published photo set – of the makeover of High Road Leyton prior to the Olympic Games, which looks like it was computer generated, but isn’t. I’m reliably informed by local residents that the council has lost interest now that the Olympic circus has moved on, but this remains a riot of colour that is all too rare in London.
Nick Jewitt wrote:
Interesting combination of greengrocer and off-licence in the following pic.
This one, Nick: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/8518335337/
Yes it’s interesting how the council made everything look like it ought be upmarket estate agents, trendy cafes and men’s grooming parlours when actually the shops are the same as they ever were. Pity it took the Olympics to make it happen, and it presumably won’t be happening again, in Leyton or anywhere else.
Beverly Hendricks wrote:
Wow. Great photo. Interesting story.
Incidentally, Andy, happy belated birthday!
Thanks, Beverly. Glad you like the photo, and the story. Thanks also for the birthday wishes!
Note: for more on that birthday story, if you’re interested, see this Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/andyworthingtonUK/posts/10151568721023804
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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