Stratford Then & Now

When I left Stratford a little under a year ago, I took a few photographs of the area for posterity, with the hope of seeing how it might change with the imminent arrival of the Olympics in June of this year. This Saturday, I finally got my bicycle back on the road and went for an early morning cycle to have a look around those areas I explored previously.

I came away with the feeling that Stratford is very different to the place I remember, but then equally it is very much the same. It’s a hard feeling to describe…aesthetically, on the surface, it is a very different place. A multitude of new residential buildings seem to have sprung up in every available space, radically altering Stratford’s horizon. and general appearance as you enter the area. However, turn down any corner or back street, and the Stratford of ‘old’ is never far away. The new tower blocks surround the old council estates, almost swamping them with their slick modernist facades…but nothing can hide the fact that they are still there. I am not saying by any means that those estates should be removed, but Stratford almost seems to be trying to paper over its own cracks rather short sightedly instead of thinking about long-term planning for the future.

It will be interesting to see how the area changes again, as July creeps ever closer – it seems that there is still a large amount to do to make Stratford into the ‘Olympic City’ it is being touted to be.









New footbridge spans the road into Stratford. I think that this is part of the redevelopment of the ‘Greenway’ walkway which allows people to walk directly alongside the Olympic stadium.

This is the corner of the road I used to reside on, and both of these buildings were not there one year ago.

The derelict building opposite my old apartment is STILL there, but now surrounded entirely by new builds. The Anish Kapoor Olympic sculpture can also now be seen in the distance.

Anish Kapoor sculpture [The “ArcelorMittal Orbit”]

The last time I saw this site, it was a garage.

Demolition of the canal side factory buildings in progress.


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