Bit sad today despite I gained materially. I was walking very slowly with a push chair down to Pictorem Gallery at Bakers Arms. Where?
Bakers Arms which is not E10 mind you. It was shuttered and shut like The Mill, and Hackney Museum. Note The Mill times are a-changin’.
So I walked much faster retracing my steps to be first to covet three thrown away garden chairs and a framed mirror. Call me fregan. I call myself canny. Worry about Pictorem tomorrow.
What I am worried about is the consideration to be given by Waltham Forest Council about new build flats corner of Burwell Road and Lea Bridge Road. Remember this council botched up our roads. The arts awards group of aforesaid council seems to have assumed the destruction of abandoned industrial outlets to make way for the private high rise because a local artist has completed a project about the Lea Bridge Station and the transforming area with a nod to the new.
Burwell Residential Estate forty years ago was a quiet turning with an Asquatum factory on its edge which folded up, scarpered and left a space for Harkwell which made cartons for M& S before it fell into disrepute allegedly leaving workers grappling for their pension rights. After the industrial estate became derelict the one way system vanished, houses became flats, old Jewish owners left for Gants Hill as Idi Amin’s Indian victims moved in with cash and B&Q arrived nearby responding to builders and plumbers whose business was to extend the 1930s bay-windowed terraced houses outwards and upwards into skylit roofs. The houses held their prices and people were loath to leave mattresses in their front gardens.
If we can have gentrification then so too can we have slummification. From the noughties, the estate was no longer a Union Jack flag flying tribute to every English Man’s castle. No longer did Hindu wives clean their fronts. People aged and got poorer so that Bank Holidays never brought the promise of white-washed front walls, creosoted fences and washed-down plastic double glazing window frames. Single men multi-occupied three bedroomed houses and where once stood many windowed factories up sprung new one storey maisonettes wherein lived more strangers. The old Burwell Estate community was no longer. House prices still held.
Last Spring as houses fetched half a million in poor parts of the Borough, in the socially and educationally deprived Burwell and Clementina Road end of Lea Bridge Road prices soared to half a million too and property developers were out like ravenous hounds.
In 2015, an aggressive proposal was made by a property developer to bash down the corner of Burwell Road next to where Roma people built up their own tarmac roofed concrete holes and build a cuboid representing new Londoners and their ways. Slumsville created by governments unwilling to house their people and not even called an estate now will worsen in the shadow of optimistically predicted bicycle-flourishing newcomers who will need more than sixty car-parking spaces and delivery slots for the security gates they’ll install to keep out the people behind them who’ll be shopping in Aldi since B&Q gave up on the area.
Any argument now is a waste of time because LBWF is not a people developer. But neither are we Trappist monks. Leyton becomes more divided as a coming together of people as more and more flats grow. Why here? People from green Haringey are astounded when they bus up Lea Bridge Road, smell the spaces and marvel at the trees.
So how is Lea Bridge Station doing?