09 March 2010

comings and goings::2

In the balmy days of October last year, I had to run an errand to Canning Town and rode down the romantically named Twelvetrees Crescent which crosses over the River Lea in Bromley-by-Bow.   It is, for the most part, a modern industrial estate but there are the looming remains of Victorian gas towers, a neglected planting of trees and, intriguingly, a dead end with a set of locked gates .  I found out later that this was probably the home of the now defunct London Gas Museum (There is, you'll be pleased to hear, a National Gas Museum elsewhere).  I went back last week hoping to find the old building, or at least a cache of spring flowers among the trees. No success on either score.  It turned out that the little wood was overgrown and littered with discarded cans.  There was a clearing on the edge with a memorial to the men of the Gas Light and Coke Company who had died during the Great War.

And, quite touchingly, a gas lit lamp burning high up  surrounded by the overgrown trees.

I cycled home in the coolth along the canal to Fish Island hoping to find a bit of nature.  Some birds were flitting around in the ivy, a few water birds fussed around and a cormorant flew low over the water.  Then around the bend, the Olympic Stadium lorded it and it was time to turn off and head back home.


Rattling On said...

The memorial is beautiful, and the idea of a gas lamp as a sort of eternal flame is wonderful.
You are so lucky to have so much within cycling distance. We have a lot of history, of course, but to get to some things on a cycle would require the stamina of a Tour de France polka dot jersey holder!

knit nurse said...

ooh, crosses the river just next to that funny little footbridge over the locks. I will have to detour to that lane next time I do my East London waterways route - hopefully this weekend if the weather is obliging!

colleen said...

RO - there's a lot within cycling distance that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, the potholes along the main road and the disregard of the bus drivers for example.

KN - That's the spot, It's a sad little spot really. Let me know if you if ind the old museum.