West Hendon Estate
West Hendon, London. Tue 28 Mar 2017
New buildings on York Memorial Park and the West Hendon Estate across the
From Colindale I could have walker the mile and a half to the West
Hendon estate, next to the Welsh Harp reservoir fed by the Silk Stream,
and had there been a decent footpath I might have done so, but the only
direct route seemed to be mostly along the busy A5, so instead it was one
stop on the tube to Hendon Central and then a short bus ride.
My pre-war Phillips ABC London Atlas shows half a dozen small streets leading
down off West Hendon Broadway towards the Welsh Harp and a park, York Park,
beside it. They were lined with small terraced houses, but on 13th February
1941, a single large bomb destroyed or rendered uninhabitable 366 houses,
damaging a further 400 in the area, killing 75 people and severely injuring
another 145. Over 1500 people were made homeless.
York Park became York Memorial Park, a green open common designated as
a War Memorial in perpetuity as a mark of respect to all who lost their
lives. In the 1960s the remaining houses in the area were replaced by the
West Hendon estate, comprising of 680 one-bedroom flats, two-bedroom maisonettes
and three-bedroom council houses, along with open space, a community centre
and a play area.
Barnet Council handed the memorial park over to developers Barratt and
the estate is being demolished in phases. Public land worth at least £12
million has been given away to the developers. A 29 storey tower now sits
on the war memorial park. The 680 homes built for social housing back in
the 1960s will be replaced by 2,171 but the huge majority of these will
be unaffordable to current residents - most of whom do not qualify for rehousing
and will have to find private rented accommodation elsewhere.
Some will be be rehoused in the new development - Hendon Waterside - but
at higher rents and with less security of tenure. Few will be able to afford
the "affordable" properties on offer - and none those expensive
flats with views across the Welsh Harp which make the development so attractive
to Barratts and the estate agents. Many will go to overseas buyers and will
be kept empty as investments whose value is expected to rise steeply. It's
hard to pin down the number of social housing units there will be, but almost
certainly it will end up a small fraction of the 680 of the original West
This process of so-called 'regeneration' is being carried out in a manner
which should be completely unacceptable in a modern civilised society, with
so many people losing their homes and being 'socially cleansed', forced
to move out of the area and away from friends, jobs, schools etc. It's time
to prioritize people over the profits of the developers and overseas investors
and insist that schemes such as this should be planned and carried out in
a way that doesn't ruin the lives of the existing residents.
Grahame Park & Colindale, London. Tue 28 Mar 2017
Boscombe Circus, Grahame Park NW9
I went to Colindale because the public inquiry into the second phase of
the demolition of the West Hendon estate was opening at the RAF Museum.
But after a quick visit to this I decided to go elsewhere and take some
After a quick visit to the RAF Museum, I went to photograph Grahame Park,
just across the road from the museum and built on most of the rest of the
old Hendon aerodrome. The original estate was a joint venture between the
GLC and Barnet Council; building began in the late 1960s and the first residents
moved there in 1971.
By 1980 changes had been made, removing some of the connecting walkways
to split the blocks of flats into smaller units, and some flat roofs were
replaced by pitched roofs. A more dramatic regeneration began after 2003
with the phased demolition of some areas and new properties being built
on the estate, and considerable building work is now taking place in some
The original almost 1800 council properties are being replaces by around
3000 energy efficient properties, but around 2700 of these will be private
homes - including 900 which will be unaffordable 'affordable' properties
and the remainder at market prices. While several hundred existing tenants
with secure tenancies will be rehoused, most of the estate residents, even
some who had lived there for 15 years or more, do not qualify for rehousing,
and will need to find private rented properties elsewhere in a typical example
of social cleansing by Barnet Council, in league with developer and social
landlord Genesis Housing Association.
From Grahame Park I walked the short distance to Colindale station, around
which several major developments are taking place, mainly of expensive private
housing in large blocks of flats. The area action plan is for 10,000 new
Cody Dock 2
West Ham, London. Sat 25 Mar 2017
Cody Dock and Bow Creek with pipe bridges
I was going to Cody Dock for the opening of my show there, 'All
Along the Lea', black and white photographs from the 1980s and
90s, and went early to take some more pictures beforehand.
It was a fine sunny afternoon - with too much blue sky for good panoramas
- but I made some all the same, as well as taking a rest with a beer and
listening to some live music, and having a meal before the opening.
There was more food at the opening, and it was a nice event, with plenty
of people coming to look at the pictures and talk, including the local MP.
When I took these pictures many people wondered why I was wasting time and
film on such scenes, so I'm really pleased to have them appreciated now.
The show's title was something of a misnomer, as almost all the pictures
were from Bow Creek, with just a couple from the centre of Stratford. However
I think all of the pictures are on my River Lea
web site, which does have pictures from the source at Leagrave to the
outlets into the Thames both at Bow Creek, and, via the Limehouse Cut, at
Southwark march for homes & businesses
Southwark, London. Sat 25 Mar 2017
'This is OUR city - These are OUR homes' - but not
for long if SOuthwark Council get their way
Southwark campaigners marched from Canada Water to protest at Thurlow
Lodge Community Hall on the Aylesbury Estate, calling on Labour-run Southwark
Council to save homes and jobs in the borough.
The march brought together tenants and residents organisations, local business
networks and others opposed to Southwark demolishing council estates for
luxury home regeneration, selling off public land to private developers
and profit-oriented housing associations and forcing out small businesses
through policies they say are solely concerned with realising asset values
and trample on the rights and needs of local residents.
Among those included were representatives of Tenants & Residents' organisations
- Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO), Rodney Rd TRA, Mayflower
TRA, Rotherhithe Housing Forum, Northfield House TRA, Alvey TRA, Wendover
Community TRA, local business network Vital OKR (Old Kent Road), the Southwark
Travellers' Action Group (STAG), housing campaigners '35%', Southwark Defend
Council Housing and Elephant Amenity Network, UNITE Southwark and Southwark
Momentum, DIY Space for London, and many more. Among those fighting for
the Aylesbury estate was Piers Corbyn, a former local councillor and elder
brother to Jeremy (at right in picture above.)
Much of the Aylesbury estate has now been emptied, and some demolished,
though the council's plans were held up slightly when even the Conservative
housing minister decided they were acting unfairly towards leaseholders
who were being offered derisory compensation - usually less than half the
market value of comparable properties in the area. But the council apparently
increased their offers to the small number who had gone to court and this
satisfied the minister. Though it almost certainly won't stop the council
trying to cheat others in the future.
The long march, which detoured to pass through several housing estates
and past business areas under threat, finally arrived outside Thurlow Lodge
Community Hall, after walking a little over 4 miles on a warm and sunny
It had been planned to end inside the hall, used by Divine Rescue, which
feeds around 100 homeless people each day through a soup kitchen offers
support and training services, and runs a food bank for low-income families,
and this would have provided refreshment and toilet facilities for the tired
marchers. Southwark Council threatened them with eviction earlier this year
so they could sell or let the community hall as a private letting, which
led to a community occupation of the hall, and forced them to reconsider.
A day or two before this march, Southwark officers warned Divine Rescue
that if they had anything to do with the protest their lease would again
be threatened, forcing them to withdraw their offer - the place was locked
and shuttered, guarded by Southwark Council security when we arrived.
The protesters staged a brief sit-down on Albany Road to the side of the
hall, with a local resident speaking to the crowd seated on the road for
around 10 minutes before we all moved to the area in front of the hall for
a final rally.
Southwark, London. Sat 25 Mar 2017
Canada Dock and Albion Channel - a water feature along
one side of what was once Albion Dock
The Surrey Docks began in 1696, and was in full swing the in the Victorian
age, with nine docks, six timber ponds and the Grand Surrey Canal. Badly
damaged by bombing in the Second World War, the docks never fully recovered
and were then hit by containerisation. The docks were too small to handle
container ships and closed in 1970. Most of the docks were filled in and
the whole area was redeveloped.
Part of Canada Dock became a recreational water area, Canada Water, Greenland
Dock was used for watersports and South Dock is London's largest marina.
A few smaller areas of water remain, along with some other features from
the docks. The London Borough of Southwark was responsible for the statutory
development plan and produced this to meet the needs of the local population.
But the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) established by
the Conservative Government had different ideas, and although theoretically
it had no responsibility for the overall planning, it appeared as the principle
objector at the public inquiry into Southwark's plan - and the Dept of the
Environment backed the LDDC whose interests were in selling land and buildings
for speculative development. Southwark's plan - for the whole of the south
riverside from London Bridge east - was rejected for showing 'unrealistic
commitment to public housing' and for its 'opposition to office and other
One particular aspect which riled the LDDC was Southwark's plans for low
cost rented housing on riverside sites which would fetch largish fortunes
from developers for both commercial buildings and private housing. A walk
along the riverside from London Bridge lets you see the results; despite
a great deal of local opposition and extensive protests (with a few minor
Part of the LDDC's work was to clear aging council estates, particularly
around the Surrey Docks in Rotherhithe and replace them with privately owned
properties. Back in the 1980s Southwark opposed such schemes but since around
2000 the Labour council is carrying out similar policies itself, working
with developers to demolish estates such as the Heygate and Aylesbury, with
the replacements including only a very small percentage of social housing.
Which was why I'd made this trip to Canada Water, to photograph local people
protesting against these policies aimed at driving them out of the area.
Vigil against Terror fills Trafalgar Square
London. Thu 23 Mar 2017
After the speeches people lit candles in the square
Thousands of Londoners came to Trafalgar Square to attend a vigil called
by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to show their respect for those killed and injured
in yesterday's terror attack and to insist that Londoners will not be cowed
and stand together against hatred and division.
After speeches by police, Home Secretary and the Mayor there was a minute's
silence and three large candles were lit. Many in the crowd also held candles
or flowers and laid them in the square.
Stop Central Hill Estate Demolition
South Lambeth, London. Thu 23 Mar 2017
Jane Nicholl holds a mask of Lambeth COuncil Leader Liz Peck calling her
Central Hill residents and supporters attended a Lambeth Council Cabinet
Meeting at the other end of the borough to protest against the demolition
of their estate.
They bought with them a survey of 322 households which showed 79% of all
residents were against demolition including a similar percentage of the
227 secure tenants, and favoured a programme of refurbishment. The survey
completely contradicts the council's assertions.
The estate is a popular one and Architects for Social Housing have put
forward a scheme that would retain and refurbish the existing properties
and community while increasing the total number to equal that of the complete
redevelopment. It would provide a revamped estate at lower cost than the
proposals of the council, but would not result in the same shift from social
housing to expensive private property with the profits this would provide
for the developers.
I left before the meeting at which I'm told the council refused to listen
to the arguments put forward by the residents and approved the decision
for demolition without any real consideration. Residents and activists say
the council seems to have no interest in providing housing for its current
residents but is simply hoping to share in the profits of private development
- and the financial opportunities this will provide for some councillors
and officers. The site is a highly desirable one and will probably be largely
sold to foreign investors. Protests are certain to continue.
Thousands March Against Racism
London. Sat 18 Mar 2017
'If you are neutral in situations of of injustices
you have chosen the side of the Oppressor
Tens of thousands marched through London on UN Anti Racism Day to show
their opposition to racism, starting with a rally outside the BBC and ending
with another in Parliament Square.
The event was organised by Stand Up to Racism and supported by trade unions
and many other organisations, and there were similar marches in Glasgow
Speakers at the rally before the march included NUT General Secretary Kevin
Courtney, veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Green
MP Jean Lambert, Azad Ali of Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), Lindsey
German of Stop the War and Antonia Bright of Movement for Justice. TUC general
secretary Frances O'Grady was among those holding the banner at the front
of the march.
The marchers see this as a critical time with both Theresa May and Donald
Trump promoting racist measures against immigrants and in particular Muslims,
and when Brexit has intensified hate crimes against foreigners, and media
heap blame on them for the problems caused by austerity.
Lung Theatre 'E15' march to BAC
Battersea, London. Thu 16 Mar 2017
Activists from Lewisham, Sweets Way and elsewhere
joined with E15 and Lung Theatre at Clapham Junction
Lung Theatre brought their Edinburgh festival award-winning performance
'E15' to Battersea Arts Centre with a march from Clapham Junction accompanied
by housing protesters from the Focus E15 campaign that inspired their work
and and from other housing protests in London.
Along with some of the young mothers who fought against dispersal from
London when Newham decided to evict them from the Focus E15 hostel were
campaigners from Sweets Way in north London and Lewisham People Before Profit
and others fighting the demolition of council housing by London's mainly
Labour controlled councils, increasingly in league with estate agents and
property developers scrambling for excessive profits from sky-high London
Ordinary working Londoners are being forced out of London, with councils
having huge housing lists and offering even those they have a statutory
obligation to re-house private rented properties in distant towns and cities,
away from family, friends, schools and jobs. Focus E15 and these other groups
have led the fight for 'Social Housing NOT Social Cleansing'
It was hard to tell some of the actors in role as protesters from as they
gave out fliers for Focus E15 - both the campaign and the play - outside
Clapham Junction Station before marching up Lavender Hill to Battersea Arts
Centre before the start of the first performance of their run there. But
given that 'E15' was a 'verbatim theatre' documentary, constructed from
the actual words used by the mothers of Focus E15 and others involved in
housing struggles and re-enacting some of their protests, perhaps this was
hardly surprising. I'm not a huge fan of theatre, but in the case the relationship
seems symbiotic rather than parasitic.
I was pleased to be able to photograph the event, but also feeling rather
nervous about also being asked to take part in an after-performance panel
discussion 'Art & Accidental Activism' at the end of the following week,
rather daunted at appearing 'on stage' to answer questions with fellow panelists
Jeremy Hardy, journalist Dawn Foster and theatre legend Max Stafford Clark.
In the event it went well (my sternest critic says) and I rather enjoyed
it and the session in the bar that followed.
Police arrest Lisa again
Kingsway, London. Wed 15 Mar 2017
officers surround LSE academic Lisa McKenzie as the protest ends
As activists left the foyer of 1 Kingsway after a successful protest
by striking LSE cleaners and supporters, police jostled some of those leaving
the building and then seized, assaulted and arrested LSE academic Lisa McKenzie,
charging her with assault and bundled her into a waiting police van.
Apparently the receptionist at 1 Kingsway complained she had been assaulted
when 4 people carrying the UVW banner pushed past her on their way into
the building. No protesters or I saw any evidence of assault by McKenzie
- I was close behind the group as the entered the offices. This and the
fact that none of the others holding the banner were arrested strongly suggests
that her arrest was politically motivated, probably linked to the police
feeling aggrieved after failing to achieve a conviction when she was wrongly
charged with three offences at a protest in February 2015 at the time she
was standing in the General Election against Iain Duncan Smith - a previous
arrest that was apparently politically motivated.
Lisa is the author of the highly acclaimed 'Getting By' based on her researches
into class and culture on the Nottingham Estate where she lived for more
than 20 years. As a working class academic who makes no secret of her political
views and support for the working class she has been the subject of constant
criticism from others both inside the LSE and in the wider academic community
LSE cleaners strike and protest
LSE, London. Wed 15 Mar 2017
On the march from the student union to the offices
at 1 Kingsway
Students and supporters joined cleaners on the picket line at the London
School of Economics for a lunchtime rally on the first day of the 2 day
strike by members of United Voices of the World union.
A banner called the LSE 'L$E: The London School of Exploitation'.
The cleaners are demanding equal sick pay, holidays and pensions etc to
similar workers directly employed by the LSE and an end to bullying and
discrimination by their employer Noonan.
They marched to 1 Kingsway where the Estates Division and cleaning contractors
Noonan have their LSE office and occupied the foyer there for just over
an hour before leaving after being promised that Allan Blair LSE Director
of Facilities Management would talk with the cleaners union the United Voices
of the World. As people left at the end of the protest, police rushed in
and arrested LSE academic Lisa McKenzie.
Shadwell & Wapping, London. Tue 14 Mar 2017
The view from riverside pub The Prospect of Whitby
A short walk with several photographers which involved several pubs on
the way. I took a camera but didn't really expect to take many pictures.
And I didn't.
Orgreave Truth & Justice at the Home Office
Home Office, London. Mon 13 Mar 2017
'Never Forget, Never Forgive'. Fight for Truth and
The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign protest at the Home Office
after the shocking decision by Home Secretary Amber Rudd not to grant an
inquiry into the 'Battle of Orgreave', when police, including military police
and others in police uniforms, mounted a carefully planned attack on picketing
Campaigners believe the attack was coordinated by the Tory government
under Margaret Thatcher with the collusion of the media who distorted their
coverage in a deliberate attempt to break the strike, and that the inquiry
is being refused as it would be extremely embarrassing to the Conservative
government, and recently released documents support their case. This was
clearly 'Class War', and the workers were defeated, but are still fighting
The event was attended by a number of leading trade unionists, and MPs
Diane Abbot Andy Burnham and Richard Burgon were among the speakers. Also
at the protest supporting the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign were representatives
from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Miner's Wives, PCS, Total Eclipse
of the S*N, THe Shrewsbury Pickets, Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners,
RMT, ASLEF, Durham Miners, Unite Community, Unite, JENGbA and others.
JENGbA march to support Orgreave
Westminster. Mon 13 Mar 2017
JENGbA held a short rally outside the Supreme Court
before marching to the Home Office
JENGbA, Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association, family members
of those convicted under the 'joint enterprise' law which has convicted
and sentenced often to life imprisonment people with only a flimsy connection
the perpetrator of a crime, met outside the Supreme Court to march to the
Home Office to support the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign.
JENGbA, a grass roots campaign currently supports over 800 men women and
children, almost 80% from BME communities, wrongly jailed under the common
law doctrine of 'joint enterprise'.
In 2015 the Supreme Court condemned the way this had been interpreted,
calling for the law to be set back on a correct footing, where there must
be actual evidence of intention to encourage or assist in a crime rather
than the vague association under which these 800 were convicted. Despite
this, those in jail, many serving life sentences, have been refused appeals.
After a protest rally outside the Supreme Court, JENGbA marched to join
the Orgreave protest outside the Home Office.
Women protest outside Worboys hearing
Supreme Court, Westminster. Mon 13 Mar 2017
Pragna Patel (right) of Southall Black Sisters protests
in front of the Supreme Court
Southall Black Sisters led a protest by End Violence Against Women
Coalition, Nia Project and other women’s organisations outside the
Supreme Court where the Metropolitan Police were to argue that they have
no actionable legal duty in human rights law to investigate serious crimes
The police are appealing a high court decision that the human rights of
two woman raped by black cab driver and serial sex attacker John Worboys
in 2003 and 2007 were breached when police did not believe them and failed
to investigate their cases.
Worboys went on to rape over a hundred women before he was finally brought
to trial. The court of appeal upheld the high court ruling, but then Home
Secretary Theresa May supported the appeal to the Supreme Court. If the
appeal succeeds women fear they will have no effective remedy in the courts
if raped or as victims of domestic violence.
Million Women Rise against male violence
Oxford St, London. Sat 11 Mar 2017
Women get ready to march
Women march through London against male violence against women, part
of the Million Women Rise movement against the global pandemic of male violence
There were perhaps two or three thousand women marching in this all-women
march as it left Orchard St and turned into Oxford St, although the organisers
gave a considerably higher figure - perhaps more made their own way to Trafalgar
Square. It took around 15 minutes for the marchers to pass me after the
march started and I then caught the tube at Bond St to rejoin the Fukushima
Many carried feminist placards and there were groups from various women's
organisations around the country, including from various ethnic communities.
They were marching along Oxford St and through Soho Square and Soho to a
rally in Trafalgar Square.
Fukushima anniversary challenges nuclear future
London. Sat 11 Mar 2017
A Japanese man speaks at the rally opposite Downing
A march from the Japanese Embassy to Downing St on the anniversary
of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan called for an end
to nuclear power programmes in the UK and elsewhere.
Six years after the disaster, radiation is still leaking from the plant
and tens of thousands can still not return to their homes. Even specially
designed robots sent into the plant have failed due to extreme radiation
levels. Between 100-650 people are expected to die from long term cancers
caused by the immediate radioactivity leak and many more from the continuing
Speakers stressed that nuclear power has always required huge subsidies
and exposes us all to a major national security risk from terrorist activities
as well as earthquakes, and it provides the basis for the manufacture of
nuclear weapons, and arguments based on energy needs are now outdated. They
called for the UK's plans for new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point,
Sizewell, Wylfa, Oldbury and Moorside to be abandoned because of the risk
Nuclear power seems increasingly a vanity project for the UK, tied to our
nuclear weapons programme rather than to meeting energy needs. The contracts
will bind us to buying hugely electricity at what seems likely to be several
times the going rate as the cost of renewables continues to drop rapidly.
And with the advances in battery technology nuclear electricity from new
plants is likely to come on stream as we switch dramatically away from national
grid-based power to a much greater reliance on local power generation, with
its much reduced transmission losses. Nuclear as well as being dangerous
and producing wastes which will present a problem for the planet for many
thousands of years increasingly looks a cripplingly expensive white elephant.
The marchers met at the Japanese embassy on Piccadilly and handed out leaflets
to people walking past before marching off down Oxford St, keeping to the
pavement. I left them before they reached Piccadilly Circus to photograph
the start of the women's march and then took the tube to Westminster and
walked up to Downing St, arriving while they had a short rest before starting
Solidarity With Palestinian Prisoners
South Bank, London, Mon 10 Mar 2017
A Palestinian flag with the message 'Free Palestine'
In a late vigil marking International Women's Day, Inminds human rights
group protest on the South Bank where the WOW – Women of the World
festival is taking place against the torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian
women prisoners in Israeli jails.
According to Inminds human rights group, 65 women including 12 young girls
and 16 mothers are currently held in rat infested Israeli dungeons where
torture is routine and the basics of human life like food, clothing, blankets
and basic medical care are scarce and 11 women are being refused essential
medical attention. Many are held without trial and inside Israel in contravention
of Geneva conventions.
They call for a boycott of Israel and demand American multinational company
Hewlett Packard (HP/HPE) stop providing the computer services that run these
dungeons, and called for the immediate release of Lena Jarboni, in prison
since 2002, whose life is now at serious risk due to torture and systematic
West Ham to Stratford - Channelsea River
Stratford, London. Mon 10 Mar 2017
Abbey Mills Sewage pumping station from the Northern
Some pictures, mainly panoramic, from a roundabout walk from West
Ham station to Stratford and back, walking along the Greenway and the course
of the Channelsea River, formerly one of the major streams of the River
On my previous visit to Stratford a couple of weeks earlier I'd run out
of time an light trying to photograph a few areas, so I decided to return
and fill in some of the gaps. It was a rather grey day, but there was some
definition in the clouds so I decided it was suitable to take some panoramic
From West Ham station I made for the 'Greenway' - the Northern Outfall
Sewer which runs with a path above it from Hackney Wick to Beckton - and
turned along it towards North London, stopping at the bridge which carries
it across what remains of the Channelsea River. Since the flood relief work
in the 1930s, this more or less ends at the Greenway, with just a short
dead end north of the Sewer.
Immediately south of the Greenway at this point is the storm water outfall
from Abbey Mills; whenever heavy rainfall threatens to overcome the sewer
system, the pipes are opened here and sewage mixed with excess rain water
is discharged into the creek.
Before they built the lock on the Prescott Channel during the preparations
for the Olympics, this could then get swept up through tat on the rising
tide into the Waterworks River and flow up through the Olympic site, making
sites close to the river less attractive for building expensive luxury flats.
Though since many of these remain unoccupied simply to exploit London's
fast-rising house prices as investments, it shouldn't really have made much
Work was still going on on the Greenway, and the steps down to Abbey Road
I'd hoped to used were fenced off, so I had to retrace my steps and instead
of walking took the DLR from Abbey Road to Stratford High St. I walked up
towards Stratford Station and across the footbridge across the railway lines
into the Carpenters Estate
to cross the narrow ditch that now carries the Channelsea River , and then
walked back to Abbey Road along the Channelsea Path - until the 1930s a
river carrying the main flow of the Lea. What is left of the Channelsea
now was presumably flowing in a pipe under my feet.
On Abbey Road the next steps up to the Greenway where the road goes underneath
it were also fenced off, and I had to walk along to the small park area
close to Stratford High St before I could access the Greenway again, to
walk along and photograph Abbey Mills. I then took a walk along the path
beside the Channelsea that leads to Three Mills Green, but by now was running
out of time because of the detours I'd had to make, taking a few photographs
then hurrying back to West Ham station along the Greenway rather than finishing
the walk I'd intended. But despite my frustrations it had been an interesting
International Women's Strike Flash Mob
St Pancras International, London, UK. Sat 8 Mar 2017
The masked protesters put on a short performance with umbrellas on the station
London Polish Feminists were joined by Global Women's Strike in solidarity
with women in 46 countries taking part in the International Women's Strike
on International Women's Day celebrating the struggles of women around the
world in a flash mob at St Pancras International.
Wearing black and red clothing, after practising their routine with umbrellas
with messages on them and a large banner at the entrance to St Pancras International
they went down to the main concourse to perform it there.
Police came to see what was happening and made sure they did not block
the concourse but remained friendly, and the waiting passengers applauded
and took photographs.
Death By A Thousand Cuts
Downing St, London. Wed 8 Mar 2017
Fourth Wave Feminists bring in a women's coffin at
the start of their protests
Fourth Wave London Feminist Activists held a protest at Downing St on International
Women’s Day, drawing attention to the impact that cuts have had on
Their action looked at the pressures women face from unjust, ideologically-driven
cuts to public services that are disproportionately felt by women and was
in contrast to the more highly publicised corporate events on the day which
are given a high degree of coverage in the media and concentrate on getting
more women in boardrooms and other highly paid jobs.
Though important issues, these are clearly irrelevant to the huge majority
of women who have to deal with the realities of low pay, expensive housing,
and caring for children and other family members.
Vigil for Thai Farmers
St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Wed 8 Mar 2017
Women hold posters showing Thai farmers and banners
on the steps facing Trafalgar Square
Global Women's Strike hold a silent vigil on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields
on International Women’s Day in solidarity with the farmers of Thailand.
Many of the Thai farmers are women in the Southern Peasant Federation of
Thailand; the vigil was also in support of others all around the world risking
their lives to defend land and water from corporate land grabs.
WASPI at Parliament
Old Palace Yard, London. Wed 8 Mar 2017
Women show purple WASPI pants to Parliament against
unfair pension plans
Women Against State Pension Inequality - WASPI - held a rally on International
Women's Day opposite Parliament against the changes in the state pension
scheme which are unfair to women born in the 1950s.
The 1995 Pension Action Act planned to equalise the State Pension Age for
men and women at 65, but changes made in the 2011 Pension Act have resulted
in the changes happening faster than expected, coming too late for women
approaching retirement to make alternative plans. The accelerated raising
of the pension age was made without properly informing those affected, and
under the 2011 Act, the age for both men and women will increase to 66 by
2020. The age will again increase to 67 by 2028, and to 68 by 2046, though
these later dates are subject to to review.
International Women’s Strike
Parliament Square, London. Wed 8 Mar 2017
Global Women's Strike and other women's groups protest on International
On International Women’s Day Global Women's Strike celebrate
the resistance of women worldwide and held a protest in solidarity with
the International Women’s Strike (IWS) taking place in 46 countries.
They protested opposite parliament as the Budget was being delivered inside,
with speakers from groups supporting women, including the victims of domestic
violence, the disabled and the victims of family courts, as well as other
women's groups and SNP MPs.
Police tried to stop them using their PA system but were persuaded to let
the protest go ahead. It ended with a short play by the All African Women’s
Group about sexism and racism of the immigration system by the Borders Agency
courts and in immigrations detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood Detention
From Russia With Love
Parliament Square, London. Wed 8 Mar 2017
The young Russian men are briefed before handing out
Women tourists and others in Parliament Square on International Women's
Day were surprised when young Russian men in white jackets and caps stopped
them and handed them red roses.
The action on International Womens Day was part of an action in this and
other world capitals by the 'Make Her Smile Movement' and appeared
to be a stunt for Russian TV. Some women refused the flowers, but most took
them and seemed pleased if rather confused by the gesture.
Deal or Brexit Vans
Parliament, London. Tue 7 Mar 2017
The people are speaking - Is Parliament Listening?
Abolish the House of Lords - who were discussing the Brexit Bill that day.
The English TUC and Workers of England are organisation run by ultra-right
Tory Cuts Kill Disabled
Westminster, London. Tue 7 Mar 2017
The UN found the UK to be abusing disability rights
- and DPAC want action
The day before Budget Day, campaigners from Disabled People Against
Cuts and Mental Health Resistance Network come to protest at Parliament
against the long series of cuts inflicted on the disabled by the DWP.
After talking with MPs including shadow ministers they marched around Parliament
Square before sitting down to block traffic. The latest cuts in Personal
Independence Payments (PIP) will lead to the ineligibility of a further
160,000 disabled claimants, mainly with mental health conditions.
DPAC claim disability tests for ESA or PIP are used simply to save £3.7
billion on benefits rather than meet the needs of the disabled, many of
whom has lost essential mobility cars and other support while the government
has added over £550 billion to the national debt and are prepared
to spend £200 billion on Trident.
Politicians who came to speak with the protesters included shadow disability
minister Debbie Abrahams, shadow minister for disabled people, Marie Rimmer,
shadow minister for pensions, Alex Cunningham, shadow minister Margaret
Greenwood, Andrew Gwyn MP, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard and Green Party co-Leader
Save our NHS March
London. Sat 4 Mar 2017
Campaigners raise fists at the pre-march rally in
Many thousands marched though London from Tavistock Square where the
BMA have their headquarters to a rally in Parliament Square in protest against
the cuts and privatisation of the NHS which they say is at breaking point.
At the rally before the march, local councils who had turned down the Sustainability
and Transformation Plans for hospital closures and cuts in services were
loudly cheered and others were urged to follow their example as the cuts
have already caused many premature deaths. These plans and other measures
are a part of a rapid stealthy privatisation with medical services increasingly
being run for private profit rather than public benefit, threatening an
increasingly under funded public service which delivers high quality service
at low cost and remains the envy of the world.
It was a large march, but the organisers estimates were clearly very much
larger than those present, perhaps 30,000 rather than the 250,000 they claimed.
Of course many like myself will only have covered a part of the march and
rallies, and I felt exhausted by the time I'd walked as far as Trafalgar
Square, partly because of a lot of walking backwards and forwards while
taking pictures. Walking backwards is rather more tiring, and going back
and forth greatly increases the actual distance.
Three Mills & Stratford
London. Thu 2 Mar 2017
High water level in the Three Mills Wall River
North from Bow Locks, the Leaway runs on a narrow strip of land between
the Lea Navigation on the west and the still tidal Bow Creek on the east.
Just south of Three Mills, the tidal stream becomes two, with the Channelsea
River coming in from the East and the Three Mills Wall River continuing
north under the House Mill. There has been a tidal mill here for at least
a thousand years, although not now in use - and the building a a new lock
on the Prescott Channel and a dam on the Three Mills Wall River at Three
Mills Green means there is less of a tidal flow.
Virtually all the buildings around Sugarhouse Lane between the Lea Navigation
and the Three Mills Wall River have been demolished and the whole area is
in the throes of a massive redevelopment, creating more luxury flats like
those that have sprung up along Stratford High St. I doubt there will be
much if any social housing.
Although the new lock was supposedly to allow the use of barges to take
bulk materials in and out of the Olympic area, there were only token movements,
and the real purpose of this and the dam was to lessen the risk of flooding
and storm release of untreated effluent from the Abbey Mills Sewage pumping
station into the Channelsea River being carried upstream by the tide, making
this and other riverside sites more popular and profitable for developers.
At Stratford High St I walked along to the navigation, going down to it
and under the High St to reach the north side of the road, making my way
along it to Stratford High St station where I caught the DLR back to Canning
Leawalk to Bow Locks
London. Thu 2 Mar 2017
Reeds on Bow Creek, Poplar and Canary Wharf
The riverside walk has fortunately been renamed the Leaway, doubtless because
I and many others complained about it having been christened the Fatwalk.
Leaway is a much better name.
This part of the Leaway is also a part of 'The Line' sculpture trail, which
rather roughly follows the Meridian from Greenwich to Stratford - with a
couple of gaps where public transport is needed. The first gap is across
the Thames, where the cable car provides a scenic route, though the underground
and DLR is cheaper, and the next is between East India Dock Rd and Cody
Dock, which hopefully will soon be open - if Newham Council get their act
The walk up to Twelvetrees Crescent (named after a Mr Twelvetrees who built
a bridge there to his factory) is pleasant and becoming more used, with
a newly opened ramp taking you down from the bridge to the path at Bow Locks
- which previously required a longish detour beside a major road.
West Ham, London. Thu 2 Mar 2017
Cody Dock, Bow Creek and Poplar gas holder
After a meeting at Cody Dock about my forthcoming show there I took
another walk around the site and made some more pictures.
Bow Creek - Canning Town
London. Thu 2 Mar 2017
The riverside walkway at Canning Town still ends a short distance south
I was going to a meeting in Canning Town, but came early so I could make
some pictures. I took the lift up from the underground station and walked
along the riverside walkway, hoping to cross the bridge over the DLR and
come out on East India Dock Rd.
The bridge was open at the bottom, but when I walked up I met a firmly
locked gate and had to come back down. I decided to keep going and hope
I could get out through the Ecology Park, which I did, but it meant another
ten minutes walk, and meant I didn't have time to take any photographs from
the north of the road but had to hurry back to the station to take the DLR
to Star Lane.
Later in the day, after my meeting and a walk to Stratford I came back
to Canning Town to photograph from the north side of East India Dock Rd.
By then it was getting late and the sun was rather low down, making some
pictures impossible and others a little tricky. After making a number of
panoramas and other pictures I went under the main road on the path by Wharfside
way and made some more before walking along the main road back to the station.
South Molton St and Davies St from the top of a Bus
on Oxford St
As usual some pictures from my train journeys in and out of Waterloo
and various bus journeys - I do wish the windows were cleaner - and a few
as I was walking around.
THis month I also made a number of walks around London where the pictures
are included in the main section - see the menu at left. These included
a number of visits to Canning Town and Stratford, Wapping, Colindale and
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