Well, all the preparations have been completed, the barriers have been erected and the day of the race arrives.
From early morning , various supporters begin to stake their claim to a section of the course and wait in anticipation.
It is not often that the Isle of Dogs is the centre of a global event that is shown on television in more that 150 countries around the world.
Marcel Hug pipped GB’s David Weir to win in men’s wheelchair race.
The Elite Women with including winner Edna Kiplagat, Florence Kiplagat second, Tirunesh Dibaba 3rd
Elite Men with Wilson Kipsang who wins men’s London Marathon in new course record of 2:04.27.
Stanley Biwott, who finished second, while Tsegaye Kebede , last year’s winner, who comes out on top to cross the line third.
Lots of support for Olympic Champion Mo Farah who finished eighth in his first Marathon
Once the elite races are finished the streets are taken over by the vast amount of the runners who have their own challenges.
It is safe to say that although Canary Wharf is often in the news, the rest of the Isle of Dogs is seldom the focus of national and international interest. However this always changes on the day of the London Marathon when the normally quiet streets are filled by thousands of runners and thousands of spectators.
This year there is even greater interest with Britain’s Mo Farah making his marathon debut and one of the greatest runners of all time Haile Gebrselassie acting as pacemaker.
Also running will be the world record holder Wilson Kipsang, the reigning London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, the world and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich, Priscah Jeptoo, the reigning women’s champion is back and David Weir Britain’s greatest ever wheelchair racers, is going for a record seventh win.
Due to the fact that many people may be unfamiliar with the Isle of Dogs I thought I would do a mini guide to the Isle of Dogs.
The race enters the Island at Mile 15 when it comes onto Westferry Road , this is a long road down the side of the west side of the Island. Lots of shops and a few pubs here and most of the spectators will be locals .
Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre
Just before Mile 16 you will pass the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre which leads into the Millwall Docks and is often filled with small yachts overlooked by the old cranes standing next to the dock.
The sweep around the bottom of the Island takes you near Island Gardens which has wonderful views of Greenwich and the river. Here is also the entrance and exit of the Greenwich foot tunnel.
Going up the East Ferry Road to mile 17 you will see the greenery of Millwall Park on the right and the Mudchute DLR on the left.
Just past Mudchute you will see the entrance to Mudchute Farm and Park ,one of the biggest inner city farms in Europe.
A little further on you have Asda on the right and Crossharbour DLR on the left, then the route takes you further up to Limeharbour adjacent to Millwall Dock and then onto Marsh Wall .
Kaskelot in South Dock
A short run down along Marsh Wall to South Quay DLR, (if you go into the South Dock you will find the tall ship Kaskelot) is followed by a run past the International Hotel to mile 18, there is a quick switchback into the Canary Wharf estate for Mile 19.
Canary Wharf has become a popular watching base for many spectators due to its proximity to the transport system and the over 200 shop, bars and restaurants.
The race then goes out to Poplar to begin the long stretch home.
Some of the benefits of watching the Marathon n the Isle of Dogs is that you can actually watch in comfort rather than being part of the massive crowds in Greenwich and Tower Bridge. You also have easy access to the Transport system and access to many pubs and bars, restaurants.
To make sure you are in the right place at the right time here is rough time guide .
The wheelchair race starts at 8.55am
The elite women’s field: 9.15am
Elite men and mass start: 10am
At Mile 17 (Mudchute )
Approximate times when pass Mudchute
Wheelchairs 9:53 (men), 10:06 (women);
Elite women from 10:45
Elite men from 11:21
The masses from 12:16.
The history of the Isle of Dogs often produces strange and unusual stories, however very few people would expect the Island to be the site of first Anglican Benedictine community of monks at the end of the 19th century.
The charismatic leader behind the “Monks of Cubitt Town” was a young Anglican medical student named Benjamin Fearnley Carlyle whose interest in monastic life was part of a wider movement which looked to return to the simple life as an antidote to the problems of the industrialised modern world. Carlyle or Brother Aelred as he called himself believed you could lead a contemplative life but also provide service, helping the poor.
The Priory (many thanks to Mick at islandhistory.wordpress.com for sending photo)
In 1896 he was invited to come and live with some of his followers at a large house at 45 Glengall Road which became known as the Priory. Within a few months the house was fitted out with a chapel, library and club room. Over the next two years Brother Aelred and his followers began to live according to Benedictine rules with help and support from the local clergy especially Reverend D. G. Cowan of St John’s on the Isle of Dogs. Although there is little evidence to exactly what the Brothers did, the Booth Poverty survey noted that not everyone welcomed their presence, apparently there was an article in The Cubitt Town Protestant Banner, a parish magazine April 1897 which includes an article criticising the work of the Cubitt Town monks.
Although they were living the lives of monks, they were not officially sanctioned as such by church. At the end of 1897, Brother Aelred went to see the local vicar, Rev Cowans and told him that he thought his pastoral work was preventing him from living a Benedictine life and he wanted a quieter life in the country. He also wanted official recognition for the Anglican Benedictine monks. Rev Cowan wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury to ask him to see Brother Aelred which he did in 1898, the outcome of the meeting was the Archbishop sanctioned for him to live according to Benedictine Rule.
This move was not without its controversy, although it was recognised that the revival of Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods in the 19th century may be good for the church, there was considerable concern that the new communities would be outside the authority of the church itself.
Over the next few years the community went from place to place until they found a more permanent home in Cadley Island in Wales in 1906. In 1913 the uneasy alliance between the community and the Anglican authorities come to open rebellion when almost the entire community converted to Catholicism.
Father Aelred was ordained as Benedictine Abbot of Caldey in 1914, where he stayed before resigning in 1921 and moving to Canada to undertake missionary work in Canada for the next 30 years. The other monks in 1928 went to Prinknash Park where they still have a community.
In 1951, Aelred returned to England, and in 1953 he was allowed to renew his monastic vows at Prinknash Abbey.
When Aelred died in 1955, he was once again a full member of the community he had founded on the Isle of Dogs sixty years earlier.
In the late 19th century, the Isle of Dogs was often visited by a number of religious organisations who often set up missions to work with the poor. Although the Isle of Dogs had its poor areas it did not have the extreme social conditions of some of the other parts of the East End. Therefore it was not a surprise that the Monks of Cubitt Town was not welcomed with open arms by the local population.
The history of Brother Aelred perhaps suggests he was more interested in the romantic image of a religious community rather than reality of inner city communities, however the Monks of Cubitt Town did create their own piece of religious history on the Island by founding the first Anglican Benedictine community of monks.
Many thanks again to Eric Pemberton for providing the following postcards, this series are of particular interest because these generally early 20th century postcards do illustrate a bygone world.
This was an area that suffered greatly from bombing in the Second World War and many of the lost churches and other large buildings were never replaced.
Bow Road was one of the main thoroughfares of East London and formed junction in between Mile End Road and Bow Bridge. It used to contain a number of large buildings , places of worship, shops and entertainments.
It was also a well known meeting place, illustrated by this postcard where Elsie and Vic arranging to meet on Bow Road( in the same place as before).
Bow Church is the parish church of St Mary and Holy Trinity, Stratford, Bow. It is one of the oldest churches in East London,there has been a church on the same site for approximately 700 years. Although the church was bombed in the Second World War, the bell tower was rebuilt just after the war.
In front of the church is a statue by Albert Bruce Joy of the Liberal Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, which was paid for by the wealthy match manufacturer, Theodore H Bryant of Bryant and May in 1882.
This could be a postcard for the dining room for Coborn School and a menu for 1935
The amusing menu
Bromley by Bow was badly damaged in the war and by the building of the Blackwall Tunnel
Destroyed by bombing in the Second World war and demolished.
The Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum was built in 1869-71 at Devon’s Road in Bow, it was the centre of a scandal in 1908, when six members of the Board of Guardians were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the ratepayers.
In 1920, the site was renamed St Andrew’s Hospital and carried on in its different guises until 2008 when all the buildings were demolished.
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