Good walk on a Sunday sunny afternoon. Starting by St John's church in Stratford and finishing at the Northern Circular flyover in Ilford. One straight line slicing through Forest Gate and Manor Park. The road has several sections and offers different "vibes". That said there is a continuity in terms of services provided. The road is filled with private or small chain hotels. There are many pubs closed and almost no new ones which can be explained simply by the fact that most of the local population is muslim. The road is also dedicated to the car. Car wash units are everywhere. The train lines being slightly off the main road this axis is dedicated to the wheeled vehicles.
There are also plenty of local presbyterian churches which are full on Sundays and where the attendees wear immaculate white uniforms. A lot of old buildings still stand and few are being restored. To my surprise they were almost no new buildings. Few fenced bits of lands but no promises of new flashy blocs. Again, with the near arrival of the Crossrail line in the area I am slightly confused with the non-interest of property developers (not that I complain though)
As your walk goes on you realised that Romford Road may have been of great use in a distant past but that today's function lies in its access to Stratford and Central London. This is an alternative quick access to the centre and there is very little time for enjoying its charm. The life of each quarter is to be found on either sides of it like on Upton Lane and High Street North.
The end of the road is definitely more vibrant and this is were the muslim communities gather. The shops remain the usual British ones though. You sense the area is poor. I reach the North end of Newham and enter the monstrous new Ilford to end my journey.
Today marks the completion of a triangular framing of my new East-End project. River Roding covered the furthest East side, the Greenway stretched most of its South and today seals it Northbound. Few pockets outside this triangular shape will be investigated though in time.