Take me to the river

August 2, 2010   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

East London has a proud history of using waterways to provide prosperity and leisure and London 2012 is making a contribution to reviving this tradition.  I joined British Waterways’ board recently in a review of the potential for the rivers and canals around the Olympic Park to contribute to the Games and a sustainable legacy. Various presentations took place during the day to start to illustrate the potential of this water city region. One of the most compelling was by Councillor Paul Brickell who neatly linked past and present by telling the audience that his great-grandfather had drowned in the Thames before setting out his perspective on the huge potential of the area for regeneration. The best stories however were from the rivers themselves. We travelled very slowly from Old Ford to Limehouse and very quickly from Limehouse to Canary Wharf. The trip from Old Ford gave a unique perspective to the Olympic Park, taking in the Forman and Field salmon smokery, a 100 year old business that was on the Olympic Park site, relocated just over the canal and now boasting an art gallery and swanky restaurant. They have purchased a plot of land next door to provide canal …