Monday 23 July 2018


The very Western part of Barking Road is beyond recognition. Or, shall I say the bit by Canning Town station is. Tall buildings have burgeoned after the Olympics and the pattern seem to be pursued South towards Silvertown. Nice little touches here and there of famous locals that embody the spirit of the East-End in a very flashy fashion. As you walk under the A13 and start your journey of the Barking Road Eastbound all that sense of celebration and new has disappeared, you enter the real thing.

Barking Road still has it I guess compare to Romford Road. Lots of shops, a very cosmopolitan environment and lots of people in the streets. Barking Road is not only a commodity, it is also a community. Lots of contrasts between old and new, poverty and betting shops, ancient landmarks and new projects. There is a vibe, there is friction, there is life. New plots become available, new grounds are being constructed such as the Boleyn Grounds where stood not long ago West Ham football Club.

Poverty and loneliness seem more apparent though because of its vibrance, they usually good and in hand. You enter and leave various sections of the new Eats-End but there is a nice flow to it as if Barking Road was an umbilical cord. The end of the road feels a bit more lonely, more vacant. As you cross the Northern Circular you enter Barking and the constructive landscape doesn't seem to stop where ever you look.


I was about to start my walk on Barking Road but I saw an exit sign indicating City Island at Canning Town station so I decided to head this way in order to have a closer look, the view from the train never allows you to appreciate the scale. As I left the station I realised there was no other passage back to Canning Town ( unless coming back to the station) so I decided I would have a walk around. I didn't want to enter the island as my camera wouldn't allow me to have a sense of scale or take a perspective on the building project. I walked a bit South and discovered they were building a path all along the River Lea Bow Creek towards its mouth - to be investigated later when completed. What strikes you first is the cheer scale of the project on such a small piece of land. As everywhere else nowadays they tried to make it look "interesting and playful" by juxtaposing very standard building of different colours and patterns. 
I recently saw an advert about the project where they were promoting its "creative" residents. I cannot imagine how such a tight landscape can emancipate inspiration to be honest. That might be one of the busiest piece of land I have ever witnessed in UK. You are surrounded by a natural environment but it feels like a prison to me. I think they could have done something quite special actually but they managed to produce the opposite somehow.

I then followed the only path Westbound to reach the Limmo Peninsula Ecological Park. I don't know why they call it park as it is short lived path that follows the River Lea and passes under the DLR. This walk enables you to have a view on the other side towards Canary Wharf. Lots of lovely wild grasses and some news installations for the locals to enjoy the views. Those spots are already damaged and filled with litter, not so great for the the flora and fauna. 
A new colossal pedestrian bridge trying to upgrade the adjacent abandoned Victorian one. More litter...and we are back on the A13.