Had to find the venue: The way into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from Stratford/Westfield is a drag drag drag. You cannot avoid Westfield shops and shoppers and you know there’s a walk ahead on desert shingle. Only the security guys knew where were Carpenter’s Lock Road and the art installation entitled “Newton’s Cottage”.Up in the clouds.
Once found, what an excellent location and speaker. Jeremy Batch was once a lock-keeper. He not only knew his stuff but had prepared all his visual aids. Passers by dropped by to join we five who had booked ahead. The history of the waterways in QEOP was outlined from the 19oos and “The Park is a waterway”.
It was great to hear about camaraderie and responsibility, rules and regulations, historical and present-day lock-management all under a mirrored canopy. One attendee reminded us how the Olympic Park Authority (aka ODA?) had assured us public during the planning and persuading days how the region’s clogged and polluted waterways would be sanitised and used as transport links during the Park construction. Twas a dream. The uplifting of the waterways in 2015 and the restoration of working locks is all about leisure.
Cup of tea afterwards at a kiosk on the Park was £1.60. Not too bad. But the macaroon was £2.50. Nice though. I’d accomplished something for myself today educationally-speaking and almost got over my dislike of getting to the place.
Carpenter’s Lock was being constructed in 1934.
I’ve done the narrow boat trip with the Stuart Low Trust in Islington. Now that’s how to see a lock in operation at Little Venice/Regent’s Canal.
There’s arty performance stuff on the horizon:-
25 October, 2pm – 3.30pm
Join former lock keeper Jeremy Batch to learn more about the daily life as a keeper of the canals and waterways.
8 November, Stratford Pier, 12noon – 6pm
Come aboard the magical Floating Cinema for an afternoon of tours and screenings exploring the waterways of East London in collaboration with UP Projects. (Fully booked but a “waitlist” occurs).
23 November, 12noon – 4pm
Join students of the MA Narrative Environments course from Central Saint Martins who will be leading activities that weave a narrative relating to Newton’s Cottage and the history of this unique and historically significant lock.
29 November, 4pm – 8pm
Come and enjoy a performance specially commissioned by East London Dance responding to Newton’s Cottage. This immersive piece of dance will interact with the artwork and bring it to life for its final afternoon on the Park.