The Architectural Sporting Heritage of Hackney Marsh


Aquatics Centre panorama June 2012 (photo Alan Tucker)

I am very pleased to announce that my guided walk, “The Architectural Sporting Heritage of Hackney Marsh”, features in the London Festival of Architecture 2017.

Towards the end of the last walk (photo: Frank da Silva)

This circular walk from Stratford looks at some of the London 2012 venues, which are in daily use, but soon steps back into the past to visit the sites of two former running tracks, a greyhound stadium, and a big sports clubhouse which have all disappeared.

The theme for LFA 2017 is memory and across the East End of London, memory is often all that exists. You can look around you today, and you’d never guess…

Eton Manor v Clapton Sept 1938. Close to where the Velodrome is today. (photo Bishopsgate Institute)

I live exactly 1km from the former London 2012 Olympic Stadium in Bow, and I’m delighted with the improvements that have been happening nearby. The wide open spaces of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are a great asset to the local community. In April we had relatives visit from Glasgow and we were able to send them for a reasonably priced swim in the London Aquatics Centre. How cool is that?

I’ve lived in Bow since 1985 and used to walk along the canals with my camera exploring the run-down industrial wasteland between Bow and Stratford. It was dramatically transformed by people with vision for the 2012 Olympics. I thought I knew the area –  until I started visiting research archives. I had no idea of the rich architectural and sporting heritage which was once here.

Carpenters Road Locks, built 1931. Taken in 2005, now in the middle of Olympic Park (photo Alan Tucker)

I’ll be bringing my research papers out with me, old maps, drawings and photos, to show you what a fascinating place this really was.

Do join me on this last walk. You can enjoy the present architecture and landscape, I tell you what’s to come in the future, and I think you’ll be amazed by the past.

The final walk in this series runs on Sun 25th June at 11am. It costs £10 per person. Please book using the Get Tickets button.