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.

3 comments:

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.