Autumn Review


Contemplating after a morning’s DLR ramble into the ever-changing Docklands, I was astonished to spot the arrival of ‘Esperanza’ – the Green Peace flagship – bearing a Sainsbury’s banner too.  Buzzed by a press launch, she steamed up on the top of the tide.  Registered in Amsterdam, she looked very meaningful and super-trim.  I wonder where she was bound – watch this space!

Early this morning I had received a warning from the Barrier people about possible flooding, so was anxious to be back at home in time for tea!

Every so often, I take to the DLR to keep on top of the extraordinary developments which are still happening in Docklands.  It was this time last year that I reported on the state of play at my exhibition at Tony Othen’s Royal Hill Gallery.  The drawings on show may well need updating, especially in the Royal Docks area.  A trip to Canning Town to take the City Airport branch amazed me, so as usual I took my coffee break at Pontoon Gardens where you can find the delightful refreshment room set in Barrier Park.  I was much impressed by the maturing parkland trees in their autumn glory.  There an old friend from the Docklands Business Club serves consistently delicious coffee, as he has done since the millennium.  There I caught up with the parish news sheet The Wharf, an informative weekly, to discover a report on a £1.2bn Chinese investment to create a third financial centre, and on the first phase of an Asian business park by 2018 in the Royal Albert Dock area adjacent to City Airport.  Take the Beckton line to view.  By coincidence, the closures of the Galleons Reach marina and its boating community have been given the heave-ho.  This remote part of Newham has become the campus of the University of East London and maybe the site of a much-discussed river crossing.  Who remembers the giant Beckton Gas Works and R. White’s Lemonade factory?!!

May I suggest an outing on the Docklands Light Rail to view the amazing changes along both the Beckton and the Woolwich branches.  Join at Poplar or Canning Town to see views of cross-river developments on the Greenwich Peninsula, which will surprise as well!!


About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

One response to “Autumn Review”

  1. Mark Baker says :

    Hello Peter,

    It has been a while, but I find myself returning to London next month, escorting my 20 year old daughter to college in town.

    Was hoping you might have time for a pint sometime during the week of 1/21-1/28.

    Mark Baker

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