Poplar Dock, Canary Wharf and Greenwich on the Eve of the Olympics, a set on Flickr.
This photo set is the 82nd in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began last May, and is the last of five sets taken on July 25 last year, a wonderful sunny day two days before the Olympic Games began, when 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. I then cycled around the perimeter of the Olympic Park, up to Leyton on the eastern side, then along the A12 at the north, and then back south via Hackney Wick and Old Ford on the east, then through Bow, Bromley-by-Bow, Poplar and the Isle of Dogs, stopping in on Greenwich before returning home to Brockley.
The first two sets recording this journey were “Adventures in History: The Mile End Road,” and “From Mile End to Bow and Stratford on a Summer’s Day,” canned the third set — “The Olympics Minus One Day: Photos from the Frontline in Stratford” (and see here too) — was published last July, to capture some of the Olympic fervour at the time — even though I was extremely cynical about the outrageous and unaudited cost of the Olympics and the hideous patriotism milked by the government to deflect attention from its own evil heart, and even though I almost always prefer the fruits of cooperation to the chest-thumping Darwinism of competitive sport.
The fourth set was entitled “East End Odyssey: Photos of a Journey from Leyton to Poplar,” and recorded part of my return journey, ending up at Poplar Public Baths, a wonderful Art Deco building that has shamefully been derelict since 1988, but which was opened up briefly for an art exhibition during the Olympic period.
This final set follows on, featuring the delights of Poplar Dock Marina (a former dock turned into a marina, as the name indicates), and Canary Wharf viewed from Blackwell Basin, as well as a series of photos from Greenwich, while the final preparations were being made for its use as the Olympics’ equestrian centre.
I hope you enjoy this journey from Poplar to Greenwich, on such a wonderful summer’s day. In the next sets, I’ll return to the present, as winter is finally promising to give way to spring, although I do have around 8,000 photos to publish from July onwards, so I’ll be back soon with other sets from summer, autumn and winter.
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, Anna Giddings wrote:
What I love about Canary Wharf is that it is new and modern. A refreshing change from the rest of London.
I concede that I am strangely fascinated by the towering presence of Canary Wharf, Anna, but I’m also appalled by its role as a temple for unaccountable greed. I actually prefer the ancient, the organic and the decaying …!
Anna Giddings wrote:
Yes aside from the greed it is refreshing. Another empty hole waiting for another strange building to occupy it. Just all very strange. And I do love decaying too!
I like that phrase, “Another empty hole waiting for another strange building to occupy it,” Anna. That’s very interesting. You might like my photo from last summer of the foundations of one of those intended monsters: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/8078455858/
Anna Giddings wrote:
Thanks Andy. Great photos.
Glad you like them, Anna!
Louise Gordon wrote:
Those are beautiful. I love the water.
Thanks, Louise. I’m very glad you like them.
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