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Summer Lights at Canary Wharf from 21 June to 20 August 2022
Canary Wharf is known for its Winter Lights Festival but often has a Summer Lights Festival that celebrates the beauty of natural light, and the long summer days.
On a beautiful sunny morning, I made a tour of some of the outdoor installations, there are 11 new installations, as well as 6 permanent pieces, around Canary Wharf for visitors to discover, plus a exhibition of hand-blown glass in the Lobby of One Canada Square.
Pointillist Bird by Yoni Alter, Wren Landing
Yoni Alter has taken inspiration from the pointillist movement of the 1880s characterised by the painting technique of applying small dots of paint to build up the whole picture. Here, 98 colourful translucent discs are suspended in mid-air to form a 3-meter-wide magnificent pointillist bird.
Helix by Calidos, Cabot Square
Helix is a conceptual representation of the DNA chain, the basic structure of human life. The structure works with the natural elements: wind gently rotates the structure, whilst sunlight catches and highlights the multi-coloured, reflective metal.
Love Birds by Atelier Sisu, Jubilee Park
Love Birds is an immersive and naturally kinetic installation. Gliding above the audience, the colourful birds flutter in the wind, catching the sunlight and casting shadows on the ground.
Lights on Data by Fisheye, Reuters Plaza
Have a seat and take a look at how this solar experiment unravels its secrets. As visitors enjoy this conceptual piece of city furniture, the sun creates an alluring shadow play filled with colour, reflection and even data.
Planet @ Risk by Mark Swysen, Water Street
A welded construction in aluminium suggests the 8 meridians and the Arctic and Antarctic polar circles of a huge see-through globe. On a sunny day the installation will appear to radiate through the reflection of sunlight in the central cylindrical mirrors.
Infinity and Beyond by Martin Richman & Emma Kate Matthews, Harbour Quay Gardens
Infinity and Beyond offers a layered and visually ambiguous experience of Canary Wharf’s Harbour Quay Gardens, presenting infinite reflections of adjacent buildings and multi-image patterns of the surroundings within each structure. Much like a kaleidoscope, each module is lined with reflective mirror, with holes cut in the surface.
This installation consists of six free-standing triangular units. They stand at three different heights to accommodate a wide range of visitors, including children, adults, pushchairs, and wheelchair users.
Expanded Landscapes by Nathaniel Rackowe, Harbord Square Gardens
Expanded Landscapes echoes and unpicks the built environment of Canary Wharf. Surface, colour, transparency, and form come together to act as an expansive counterpoint to the surrounding architecture.
Gleamhhh by OGE Design Group, Cubitt Steps
The Long and Winding Road by Ottotto, Harbour Quay Gardens
Made from corrugated drainpipes on a steel structure, this installation is a great example of the repurposing of materials, and the transformation of the functional into the beautiful.
The installation encourages people to walk within the and be bathed in the yellow light streaming through the pipes.
O.T. 1131 by Stefan Reiss, Level -1, Crossrail Place
Love IRL by Stuart Langley, Adams Plaza
Ebb & Flow by Louis Thompson, Lobby, One Canada Square
Ocean Rise by Aphra Shemza, Canary Riverside
Ocean Rise is a mixed reality sculpture that highlights the rise in sea levels due to global warming. The sculpture is made from recycled materials that emulate a wave creating a connection between the city and the ocean.
Shine Your Colours by Tine Bech, Canary Riverside
Captivated by Colour by Camille Walala, Adams Plaza Bridge
Tear by Richard Hudson, Jubilee Plaza
Kaleidoscopic Prisms by Fiona Grady, Jubilee Pavilion
The Knot by Richard Hudson, Water Street
An Hour of Glass By Colin Priest, throughout Canary Wharf
There is always plenty going on in Canary Wharf over the summer so why not try to spot in installations and the rather colourful steps.
The Elizabeth Line is Open in Canary Wharf
Let us go back in time to 2017, I had been to the Crossrail exhibition at the Museum of Dockland and was invited to go to look at the new Canary Wharf station for Crossrail.
With considerable excitement, I made my way down the escalators to the shiny new platforms and then peered along the tunnels.
Although the station was still being fitted out, there seemed no reason that the station would not be ready in 2018.
That early optimism was rather misplaced and here we are on the 24th May 2022 and I am making my way to the Canary Wharf station to take my first trip on the Elizabeth Line.
It is worth remembering that the new Elizabeth Line is one of the biggest changes in London infrastructure in a century. Three-and-a-half years late and at least £4bn over-budget, the Elizabeth line has finally opened. When it’s fully operational, the new rail line, will serve up to 200 million passengers each year. The line is expected to increase London’s train capacity by 10%.
The project was originally known as Crossrail has built a 73-mile (118km) railway line all across south-east England. It runs from Essex in the east to Berkshire in the west, running underground through central London. There are two western branches, which terminate at Reading and Heathrow Airport, and two eastern branches, ending at Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south-east London.
Ten new stations have been built for the central London section, which connect Paddington, Bond Street, Liverpool St and Canary Wharf.
What you will first notice is trains are bigger, carrying up to 1,500 passengers – significantly more than a London Underground train.
They also seem quieter and more airy, although the train was not full, there seemed plenty of space.
For people that live on the Island and Canary Wharf, getting to Whitechapel is now only 5 mins away and Liverpool Street around 8 mins. The major difference is going east to west is now much easier and the once torturous trek to Paddington and Heathrow should now be much easier.
At the moment, a full service is not available yet. Initially, trains will run six days a week, every five minutes from 06:30 to 23:00 with no Sunday service. The line will operate in three parts – from Abbey Wood to Paddington, from Heathrow and Reading to Paddington, and Shenfield to Liverpool Street. Bond Street station in central London will not open until later this year, due to problems during construction. From the autumn, trains from Heathrow will no longer terminate at Paddington, and will continue on through the central section of the line. Passengers won’t be able to travel directly from one end of the line to the other until May 2023.
The new line will mean significant shorter times for many travellers. Elizabeth line fares are identical to those on London Underground. Services currently operating as TfL Rail will remain unchanged although there will be a £7.20 premium on journeys to and from Heathrow airport.
Peak single journeys to Heathrow from central London (weekdays between 06:30-09:30 and 16:00-19:00) will cost £12.70 and be £2 cheaper at other times. In comparison, peak and off-peak Tube fares are currently £5.50 and £3.50 respectively, while the Heathrow Express costs £25.
Older person’s freedom passes allowing free travel, including to Heathrow and Reading, will be accepted after 09:00 on weekdays and at weekends.
At last, Crossrail or the Elizabeth Line is here and opens up plenty of options for travel in and beyond London.
Motor yacht A2 in West India Dock
On a beautiful spring day, I took a wander into West India Dock to see the latest arrival. The motoryacht A2 has a very interesting history of owners.
The yacht A2 was built by Feadship in 1983. She was built as Circus II, for William Bennett. He was the founder of the gaming giant Circus Circus Enterprises. She was later sold to Les Wexner who named her Limitless. Later she was bought by Sir Thomas Ogden, who named her Masquerade.
In 2011 she was bought by George Lindemann, who named her A2 and sent her for a refit to Pendennis. The yacht’s classical design led to her use as a support vessel for the schooner Adela, which is owned by the Lindemann family.
What makes the yacht really interesting is to see the way that superyachts have developed since the 1980s, the A2 looks old fashioned compared to modern yachts but has a lot more character.
The refit by Pendennis took the classic yacht but bought it up to date with re-engineering all systems, installation of new deck equipment, modern bridge technology and state-of-the-art AV equipment throughout. The yacht can accommodate 12 guests and has a crew of 9.
Also in the dock is PHI which has been the subject of much debate, allegedly owned by a Russian oligarch, the ship has been in the dock for a number of weeks and may be here for a considerable time.
Phoenix Superyacht in West India Dock
Start of a new year and superyachts are still arriving at West India Dock, the latest arrival is Phoenix which has a length of 41.14m (134’12”).
The yacht’s builder is Benetti from Viareggio in Italy who delivered superyacht Phoenix in 2021.
The Phoenix features exterior design by RWD and interior by Bonetti / Kozerski architecture DPC, with naval architecture by Benetti SpA.
Up to 10 guests can be accommodated on board the Phoenix, and she also has accommodation for 9 crew members including the captain.
The Phoenix has been in St Katherines Dock for a while and people have speculated that the yacht belongs to the new owners of St Katherines Dock but nothing official is known.
West India Dock Review 2021
It is a tradition of Isle of Dogs Life at this time of the year to write a review of the ships that have called at West India Dock. Whilst we have not had the numbers or variety of previous years, we have a number of interesting visitors.
It has been the year of the superyachts in the dock and three of the ships are still in the dock, Bravo Eugenia, PHI and Here Comes The Sun have been here since December. The old favourite tall ship Tenacious made an appearance and in Greenwich was the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship for a time.
Bravo Eugenia superyacht
Moon Sand Superyacht
Here Comes The Sun Superyacht
Super Yacht Kismet
Tall Ship Tenacious
RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship
Let us look forward to the return of more ships to the dock. The development surrounding West India Dock and Canary Wharf is gradually becoming completed and hopefully we can put the pandemic behind us in 2022.
I would like to wish our readers a happy and healthy New Year.
Diwali Lights and other delights in Canary Wharf
Wandering around a chilly Canary Wharf, I came across a Diwali lights display in the Jubilee Park gardens.
This is one of the many displays that Canary Wharf have around their estate.
It is perhaps a good time to provide some information for events to come.
ICE RINK CANARY WHARF
Saturday 23 October 2021- Saturday 26 February 2022
CANARY WHARF SQUASH CLASSIC
Sunday 14 – Friday 19 November 2021,
CAROLS & CANDLES SERVICE
Tuesday 14 December 2021, 6pm (doors 5.30pm)
Wednesday 19 January – Saturday 29 January 2022
Review-London: Port City at the Museum of London Docklands from 22 October 2021 – 8 May 2022
Yesterday, I took the short walk to The Museum of London Docklands to have a look at their major exhibition entitled London: Port City which explores how the Port of London has changed and shaped the city, its people, places and language. The exhibition covers more than 200 years of experiences and activity on a river.
It is appropriate that exhibition about the Port of London is located in an old warehouse complex which was part of West India Docks, London’s first enclosed dock system and packed with valuable cargoes from around the world from 1802 until its closure in 1980.
The exhibition is based upon the extensive archives of the Port of London Authority (PLA), over the years I have used plenty of information from the PLA to tell some of the remarkable stories of the Port and the Docks. Therefore it was quite exciting to see some of the 222 objects in the exhibition which cover a timeline of over 200 years.
The exhibition illustrates the work of the PLA and an impressive audio visual display allows visitors to watch life into the PLA control room, using large-scale projections to create a day in the life of the Port of London. The PLA was responsible for making sure the docks were fully functional and the exhibition features a 1950s diver’s helmet and air pump used by someone clearing riverbeds.
The exhibition includes a fascinating range of maps, plans and documents like the one commemorating the original unveiling of the statue of merchant and slave owner Robert Milligan, which was removed from outside the museum in 2020.
One of the really interesting aspect of the exhibition is the old films that show the port and docks in their glory days, it is watching these films that you began to understand the scale of the operation. Hundreds of ships and thousands of workers created a bustling and often dangerous environment with cargo from all around the world making its way through the port.
The exhibition tries to give some idea this activity, with exhibits about the various smells and aroma, visitors to the exhibition can experience distinct scents, carefully blended to capture the original pungency of the port.
The exhibition also reveals the stories behind 80 words and expressions associated with the docks that have entered the English language including ‘crack on’, ‘aloof’ and ‘Mudchute’.
Over the 200 years, many different types of cargo entered the port and the exhibition includes examples like a pot of dehydrated meat from the 1940s and a pot of ambergris or whale poop as it is labelled.
The PLA has collected a wide range of art connected with the port and a selection is shown together with films showing how the port has been used in films, tv programmes and video games.
It is not often that the museum itself is an intrinsic part of the exhibition, but this small free exhibition provides an opportunity to enjoy the exhibits and the surroundings. Despite the limited use of space, the exhibition covers a wide range of subjects to tell the remarkable story of the Port of London. The Isle of Dogs is an important aspect of this story and anyone interested in the local history of the area will find the exhibition fascinating.
Super Yacht Kismet in West India Dock
It has been a very quiet year for boats visiting West India Dock but we have the arrival of a regular visitor over the years. The Super Yacht Kismet was last here in 2019 before the pandemic.
Kismet is a large superyacht and has visited the dock a couple of times before in 2014 and 2016. It often comes to London when its owner Pakistani-American billionaire businessman Shahid Khan wants to entertain guests attending NFL matches in London. His NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars play Maimi Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the 17th October 2019.
The yacht is often tucked away at the bottom of the dock for some time before being taken up to near Tower Bridge for entertaining guests.
Kismet is 308ft long has three decks and a private sundeck with a pool-Jacuzzi-BBQ area and all mod cons. The ship features exterior styling by Espen and interior design by Reymond Langton Design featuring marble and rare woods, it will accommodate 12 guests in six staterooms, and has a crew of 20.
This ship is the second vessel named Kismet owned by Mr Khan and estimated to have cost 200 million dollars, a previous 223ft yacht was sold for a rumoured £70 million in 2013. The new Kismet was built at German boatyard Lurssen.
Unusually for the secretive super yacht world, a great deal seems to be known about Kismet and it was rumoured in 2019 that the yacht was up for sale.
A Guide to the London Marathon 2021 on the Isle of Dogs
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.
Well that’s what normally happens, but we do not live in normal times. Although the 2019 Marathon was its usual race, the 2020 Marathon was confined to elite runners and was run in St James Park with no spectators.
This year’s marathon unusually run in October rather than April will feature large numbers of runners but crowds are not encouraged and will be restricted in some areas.
The race tends to attract the world’s greatest men and women marathon runners and this year is no exception.
Shura Kitata (ETH) caused one of the biggest upsets in London Marathon history last year when he beat the great Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) he returns this year looking to get his first win on the traditional course from Greenwich to Westminster after a second place (2018) and a fourth place (2019) on his previous two races on the famous route.
But the Ethiopian will face stiff competition with Birhanu Legese (ETH),Mosinet Geremew (ETH), Titus Ekiru (KEN), Evans Chebet, Sisay Lemma (ETH,), Kinde Atanaw (ETH), and Vincent Kipchumba (KEN) in the field.
The British field will be led by Jonny Mellor, Mohamud Aadan, Joshua Griffiths and Charlie Hulson.
World record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN) is aiming to be the first woman since Katrin Dorre in the early 1990s to win three back-to-back London Marathons.
but there is a large field of talent lining up alongside Kosgei on the Start Line, including Lonah Salpeter (ISR) Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN), Birhane Dibaba (ETH), Roza Dereje (ETH), Valary Jemeli (KEN), Degitu Azimeraw (ETH), Zeineba Yimer (ETH) and Tigist Girma (ETH).
Charlotte Purdue, who is the fastest Brit in the field and will be hoping to qualify for a spot on the British team for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2022. Other Brits running include Natasha Cockram, and Sam Harrison.
The newly crowned Paralympic marathon champion Marcel Hug (SUI) will be the man to beat as he comes off a dominant Games in Tokyo.
Hug won an incredible four gold medals at the Paralympics in the 800m, 1,500m, ,5000m and defending the marathon title he won in Rio five years earlier. Britain’s David Weir, is racing in his 22nd consecutive London Marathon.
The defending women’s wheelchair champion Nikita den Boer (NED) will resume her battle with last year’s runner-up Manuela Schär (SUI) on the streets of London. Other women in the field include Tatyana McFadden (USA) and Shelly Woods (GBR).
However, for many people the race is a personal challenge and an opportunity to raise considerable amounts for their particular charities. The large number of fancy dress runners add to the carnival aspect of the race.
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.
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 DLR 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.
A short run down along Marsh Wall to South Quay DLR, is followed by a run past the International Hotel and Novotel 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 in normal times due to its proximity to the transport system and over 200 shops, bars and restaurants.
The race then goes out to Poplar and Limehouse to begin the long stretch home.
The event will be televised live on BBC TV and broadcast around the globe.
00:00: Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon (participants must complete the 26.2 miles by 23:59:59)
08:30: Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon
08:50: Elite wheelchairs
09:00: Elite women
09:30: Elite men and mass start
TV coverage (subject to change)
BBC2 08:00-10:00: Live coverage
BBC1 10:00-14:30: Live coverage
BBC Red Button/iPlayer 14:30-16:00: Live coverage
BBC2 18:00-19:00: Highlights
Good luck to everyone taking part in the race and everyone who contributes to one of London’s greatest sporting events.
Tall Ship Tenacious in West India Dock
After a very quiet period, we welcome an old favourite back to West India Dock with the arrival of the STS Tenacious tall ship
The Tenacious is a wooden sail training ship which was specially designed to be able to accommodate disabled sailors. Launched in Southampton in the year 2000, it is one of the largest wooden tall ships in the world. It is 65 metres long with a beam of 10.6 metres at its widest point.
The Tenacious and the Lord Nelson are owned by the UK-based charity the Jubilee Sailing Trust who have for many years have pioneered sailing for the disabled.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust became a registered charity in 1978 and was the brainchild of Christopher Rudd, a school teacher and sailor who wanted to give the disabled children he taught the same experiences his able-bodied students had.
Since its launch Tenacious has taken nearly 12,000 people sailing of these 3,000 were physically disabled and 1,000 were wheelchair users.