Rivers at Dusk: Photos of My Journey from Stratford to Canary Wharf

Abbey Mills Pumping StationChannelsea HouseThe footpath to Three MillsUrban wildernessLost in yellowBromley Gas Works
Three Mills LockReflections on the River LeaRiver and bridge reflectionsBridge reflections on the River LeaThe Limehouse CutThe last bend
Limehouse BasinCanary Wharf: the sun on the tower

Rivers at Dusk: My Journey from Stratford to Canary Wharf, a set on Flickr.

This eighth set of my photos of London, on the Flickr account that I set up last month, is part of my ongoing mission to travel the whole of London by bike, taking photos of everything that appeals to me — from the famous to the obscure, the rich, the poor, the natural and the man-made — and is the third and final part of a journey I undertook on July 5, 2012, first of all touring the bankers’ towers and the former docks of Canary Wharf, which I published as The Power of Greed: Photos of Canary Wharf, and then cycling the Lea Valley Walk — along the Limehouse Cut and the River Lea — to Stratford, for a glimpse of the Olympic Park, which I published as In Search of the Olympics: Photos of a Journey from Limehouse to Stratford.

After the alarm of the Olympic experience — far too much building work, and palpable paranoia, or, at least, the presence of a handful of zealous security jobsworths — it was refreshing to get lost in the backwaters of Three Mills Island, just a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park, and then to be beside the River Lea as the sun began slowly to set and to paint the trees and the river in a warm light that had been missing from a day in which the weather oscillated between sharp sunlight and the swift emergence of dark clouds filled with showers. Read the rest of this entry »

In Search of the Olympics: Photos of a Journey from Limehouse to Stratford

On Limehouse CutThe blue bridgeThis property is condemnedThe floating towpathThe white warehouseThe black door
Bow LocksWater dividedThe white bridgeBow Locks and Canary WharfThe broken bridgeA darkening sky
Graffiti on the green bridgeFirst glimpse of Three MillsLooking towards Bromley gas works across Abbey CreekThree MillsWhere rivers meetFirst glimpse of the Olympics
On the towpath near the OlympicsCoots nestingThe Olympic ParkAn Art Deco Olympic "upgrade"Opportunistic constructionDystopian Olympics

In Search of the Olympics: A Journey from Limehouse to Stratford, a set on Flickr.

On July 5, after I had undertaken the photographic tour of Canary Wharf that I recorded in my previous set of photos, The Power of Greed: Photos of Canary Wharf, I headed north, up to Commerical Road, unsure if I would travel on to the East End or visit the Olympic Park at Stratford. After joining a towpath, which I thought was the Regent’s Canal, which I had travelled the day before, I soon realised that I was, in fact, on Limehouse Cut, the southern end of the 18-mile Lea Valley Walk, which follows the formidable River Lea all the way up to its origin at Leagrave, north of Luton, near Waulud’s Bank, one of the great henges — circular earthen banks and ditches — of Neolithic Britain, along with those at Durrington Walls (near Stonehenge), and at Avebury and Marden in Wiltshire.

Having found myself on the Lea Valley Walk by accident, I took it as a sign that I should follow it to Stratford and the Olympic park, but I had no idea that, after travelling through Bow Common and Bromley in Tower Hamlets, I would suddenly — after passing under the A12 — find myself in what appeared to be the countryside, as the canal came up alongside the River Lea, and there were locks, sweeping views, the extraordinary old buildings at Three Mills, and then, suddenly, the gigantic building site in Stratford that is the home of the 2012 Olympics.

As another stage of my ongoing mission to travel the whole of London by bike, photographing whatever interests me — the buildings old and new, the rivers and canals, the skies and trees, the street art and decay — this journey pitted the traditional infrastructure of London’s waterways with the modem developments that have sprung up alongside it, and, in particular, with the cleansing of history along the Lea Valley and the outrageous and irresponsible blank cheque issued to those erecting the giant Olympics playground. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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