All pictures © 1970-2005, Peter Marshall.
Contact Peter Marshall for permission for use, high res files and fees.

lea valley


Peter Marshall

stratford station (C) Peter Marshall, 2005
Stratford Station, 2005 with London 2012 Olympic bid advertising




Upper Lea: Leagrave to the M25 (Waltham Abbey)
     includes Leagrave, Luton, Hertford, Ware, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Cheshunt

Enfield: M25 to North Circular
     includes Enfield, Brimsdown, Ponders End, Edmonton

Tottenham: North Circular to Hackney Marsh
     includes Tottenham, Clapton.

Stratford: Hackney Marsh to Bow Lock
     includes the Bow Back Rivers, Hackney Wick and the main Olympic site

Limehouse Cut: Bow Lock to the Thames at Limehouse
     includes Limehouse Cut and Limehouse Basin

Bow Creek: Bow Lock to the Thames at Leamouth

There is also related material on another site,
My London Diary including pictures from Manor Gardens Allotments and a continuing series of work showing the development of the Olympic site.

The winning of the bid to hold the 2012 Olympics in London will mean great changes for the lower Lee Valley, with a vast building programme over the years up to 2012. After that, the future is uncertain. Some of the facilities will have a longer term use, but much will be oversized and unused. There will be considerable costs - financial and environmental - in putting the area back to a normal footing.

Without the bid, considerable development would have ocurred in the Lee Valley, especially in the Stratford area, with developments such as Stratford New Town and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link well under way. The Olympics will bring in more money but will obviously alter the pattern of development.

On this site, I simply want to make some kind of record of changes to the area, without explicit comment on the politics or other issues that produce or arise from these changes. However, photographs always have a point of view. Mine should express some of the liking I have for the area as it is, where I've found great pleasure in walking and cycling. There may be positive features in the redevelopment, but there will also be losses.

For this part of the site I have divided the Lee Valley into broad geographical areas. Starting in the north we have the largely country river of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, although it rises on the edge of the industrial sprawl of Luton and passes through or by a number of small towns on its way toward London.

Olympic Update

Olympic Stadium, Dec 2008 © Peter Marshall
Olympic stadium from the Greenway, Dec 2008
Three Mills, May 2008 © Peter Marshall
Barrier across the Three Mills Wall River just above Three Mills, May 2008

As predicted the promises made in the Olympic proposals about the use of water transport for bringing in building materials and removing waste from the site by barge have now been abandoned - exposed as the 'greenwash' they always were.

The new lock which has been built on the Prescott Channel will stop the tidal flow on the lower Lea - which, on days of heavy rainfall, carried the overflow from the overloaded sewers through the Olympic site. The over £20 million spent on the lock project will be of great benefit to developers with the sweeter smell and recreational boating boosting the desirability and prices of riverside properties.