My bike circuit today got me as far as the old Lesney’s Matchbox toy factory in Clapton. I spent the summer of 1970 working there, putting the wheels on toy cars – my first and only production line job, at £9 a week. The factory is now minimally used for some small engineering projects. And – surprise – redevelopment plans include its total demolition and the building of a fifteen storey tower block. It looks as though decency may have prevailed here as LB Hackney have rejected that idea, while giving overall approval to a rebuild. So presumably over the next few months I will watch it come down and be turned into housing and artists’ workshops. More building on the flood plain, how are they going to design in security there? There is masses of new build housing going up along the canal perimeter. I hope their plans include power supply points a meter above the floor and plenty of overhead storage…
There’s still a lot of open space in the area, I guess too boggy to build on, or why else has it been left? – apart from the land grab for the Olympic site.
These filter beds used to clean up the water for all of east London, now they are a nature reserve.