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Telling the Story of Bow Creek

Many thanks to Buzz Bullock who sent the following article from the Tower Hamlets News which was written in 1969. Entitled Bow Creek, it tells the story of the community and the area with a number of photographs. It is particularly interesting that even in the late 1960s, the story of the small community fascinated local historians.

Orchard Place 1867

I have over the last few years written a number of articles about Orchard Place which is a little known part of Poplar. It lies in an unusual location and is surrounded by Bow Creek, the area itself is two peninsulas with an odd configuration which looks like a finger and a thumb.

Orchard Place has a long industrial history and for over centuries was popular with a large number of firms with its access to the Thames and the River Lea. Despite its industrial nature a small contained community lived here from the 19th century up to the 1930s.

Despite being part of a large East London, the community in Orchard Place was known as   ‘London’s “Lost” Village’, with no public transport links with the rest of Poplar, and a long walk down Leamouth Road was needed to connect with the rest of Docklands.  

Very little was written about the community, although the community shared many of the problems and pastimes of other East End folk, there were aspects of the community that were unique. They often made a living from the river either by collecting some of flotsam and jetsam or fishing.

The community may have benefitted from the river at times, but it was also a source of destruction. High tides often flooded the small houses and the Great Thames Flood of 1928 caused considerable damage which the community never really recovered from.

Recently one of the peninsula in Orchard Place is being turned into a mixed residential City Island nicknamed ‘Mini Manhattan’. Standing on Canning Town station you can get quite a good view of this rather unusual development.

As I have mentioned before, there are not many areas that have changed from ‘London’s “Lost” Village’ to ‘Mini Manhattan’ in a few decades.

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Craft Central Winter Market at The Forge – 24th to 26th November 2017

Regular readers will know that a few weeks ago, I visited the Forge which has become the new home for Craft Central. The Forge is one of the most interesting industrial relics from the time of shipbuilding on the Island.

I am delighted to say that the Forge will be open this weekend for visitors to enjoy their Craft Central Winter Market.

The seasonal market will be selling handmade products by over 50 talented craftspeople. Home accessories, fashion, jewellery, ceramics, stationery, prints and more will be on sale. The winter market will be a chance to meet and buy directly from designer-makers, take part in one of the family craft workshops and enjoy a drink in the pop-up café.

An added bonus will be Friends of Island History Trust will have a membership and information stall at the market, FoIHT books and calendar will be on sale and there will be displays of Mike Seaborne’s 1980s photographs of the Island and a collection of even older images provided by Frontispiece Antique Prints.

Opening Times

Friday 24 November 5pm – 8pm

Saturday 25 November 11am – 6pm

Sunday 26 November 11am – 5pm

Free Entry

For more information, visit the Craft Central website here

 

 

A Snapshot of Notting Hill Carnival by L Katiyo

Photo by L. Katiyo

Bank Holiday Monday was the main day of the Notting Hill Carnival and regular contributor, L Katiyo made the journey west to report on the festivities.

Photo by L. Katiyo

However, even before she left Canary Wharf station, there was evidence that it was carnival time.

Photo by L. Katiyo

The Notting Hill Carnival regularly attracts over one million people over the two days and this year was the 51st carnival.

Photo by L. Katiyo

Thousands of performers with wonderful colourful costumes entertaining the large crowds lining the  streets in west London.

Photo by L. Katiyo

The warm and sunny day contributed to a relaxed and happy atmosphere although the carnival did pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the recent Grenfell Tower fire.

Photo by L. Katiyo

Many thanks to L Katiyo for the photographs.

Photo by L. Katiyo

Viva Cuba in Canary Wharf

Photo by L Katiyo

It might surprise some people but Canary Wharf over the summer is full of events and live performances, these can range from Funk & Soul Nights to A Summer Evening with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photo by L Katiyo

Regular contributor L Katiyo got in the party mood by attending the Viva Cuba night which took spectators on a journey through the music and dance of Cuban culture. 

Photo by L Katiyo

Viva Cuba showcased Cuban passion and humour when a cast of performers including 10 dancers performed dances of different rhythms with spectacular costumes from Havana’s famous Tropicana Club’s cabaret style, Son, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Salsa, Rumba and Bolero to more modern rhythms directly from the streets of Havana as Reggaeton.

Photo by L Katiyo

Viva Cuba featured a live band comprising some of the best Cuban musicians based in the UK.

Photo by L Katiyo

Our contributor was impressed with the show and she considered it outstanding, one of the best since the summer festival started. 

Summer Birthday Garden Party in Island Gardens – 5th August 2017

It is shaping up to being a summer of community events with a number of events planned for August.

One event not to miss is the Summer Birthday Garden Party in Island Gardens which celebrates the 122nd year of the park being opened and its continual attraction for Islanders and visitors.

The event will include a number of attractions including Face painting, a Magician, Balloon artist, the Pearlies, Police and Fire Brigade, Pimm’s and Prosecco Lounge, Food and Drink, Games and Live Music.

The free event is organised by the Friends of Island Gardens who work tirelessly to improve and maintain the famous gardens and play a major role in protecting the park from developments that would impinge on its special character.

In recent years, the development of Calders Wharf which is located next to the park has raised a number of concerns about the impact to the park. If you would to find out more, find a link to the FOIG’s petition here

The Garden Party takes place on the 5th August between 12 and 5 pm.

 

Christ Church Summer Fete – 9th July 2017

Although the Isle of Dogs is constantly changing, it still has a strong community spirit with a number of events throughout the year.

This Sunday ( 9th of July) sees the Christ Church Summer Fete with a number of attractions including Craft workshops and stalls, table-top sales of books, clothing, crafts, toys etc.. There will also be a BBQ and Caribbean food, Caricaturist, face painting, tombola, Bouncy castle, Tea and cakes, and live performances and much more.

The festivities begin at 12pm and there is a £1 entry fee goes towards the church fundraising. Kids can enter for 20p.

If you would like some traditional entertainment for all the family, why not make your way to Christ Church which is at the south of the Island on Manchester Road.

Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail at the Museum of London Docklands from 10th February to 3rd September 2017

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Regular readers will know that I am often intrigued by tunnels and have written about the Thames and Blackwall tunnels. Therefore it was with a great deal of anticipation that I attended the preview for the latest exhibition at the  Museum of London Docklands. The exhibition is entitled Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail and explores the wide range of archaeological objects unearthed by Crossrail .

Many people may be aware of Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project, but few people will realise that since work began in 2009, the project has undertaken one of the most extensive archaeological programmes ever in the UK, with over 10,000 artefacts found covering almost every important period of the Capital’s history.

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The construction of London’s newest railway, which will be known as the Elizabeth Line has sliced through London from East to West and gone through many layers of London’s history.

Some of the finds include:

Prehistoric flints found in North Woolwich, showing evidence for Mesolithic tool making 8,000 years ago

Tudor bowling ball found at the site of the Tudor King John’s Court manor house in Stepney Green

Roman iron horse shoes found near Liverpool Street Station

Medieval animal bone skates found near Liverpool Street Station

Late 19th century ginger and jam jars from the site of the Crosse & Blackwell bottling factory near Tottenham Court Road station

Human remains including one of the skeletons found near Liverpool Street Station from the 17th century Bedlam cemetery, which a DNA has shown died from the Plague.

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Just before you enter the main part of the exhibition, there is a statue of St Barbara who is associated with explosives and lightning. She is the patron saint of miners and tunnellers and despite all the high tech equipment, the people on the Crossrail construction took the statue down one of the shafts for good luck.

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The exhibition follows the trail of the Elizabeth Line and features highlights from each section. Of particular interest in our local area were the digs at Pudding Mill Lane that looked at some of the old industries on the River Lea, The old Thames Ironworks site near Canning Town was explored and a number of finds like iron chains and brickworks was found.

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Digging under Canary Wharf, part of a woolly mammoth’s jaw bone was found and a fragment of amber that was estimated to be 55 million years old. Both items are currently being analysed at the Natural History Museum.

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Some objects at Stepney Green are from the Tudor period when it was the location of many large mansions for the wealthy.

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The exhibition illustrates some of the problems of archaeology with the mystery of the Walbrook skulls which are from different periods but were all found together.

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As well as the archaeological finds, large screens show how the massive engineering project of Crossrail burrowed its way beneath the London city streets and beyond.

This fascinating exhibition is without doubt one of the biggest and most comprehensive exhibitions held at the Museum of Docklands and is well worth a visit. The exhibition is free and runs until September 2017.