Looking at three pieces of engineering that have influenced East London history - the Royal Docks, the Thames Barrier and the Woolwich Ferry, this walk will thread its way through an area that has slowly been evolving for the last 30 years. The pace of change is about to quicken though with new business and residential areas planned in the next five years.
The Royal Docks were constructed between 1855 and 1921 and formed the largest docks in the world at that time. We will look at the history of their construction, the kinds of goods that were traded there, and hear about the docks in wartime. Since their decline in the 1970's there have been numerous plans for redevelopment - we'll look at some of the schemes that failed as well as what is planned for the future.
The Thames Barrier was built as a response to the horrendous floods of 1953. Today it keeps London safe from flooding without many Londoners giving it a second thought. From Thames Barrier Park - one of London's best kept secrets, we will get a close look at the barrier, and talk about its construction.
From there we will walk through the edge of some of London's largest surviving factories, visiting Lyle Park a curious riverside survivor created by the Tate and Lyle company.
The walk finishes with an optional but highly recommended trip across the Thames on the Woolwich Ferry, one of London's last retro experiences.
Please note the walk involves several flights of steps and is 5.5 miles in total, ending at Woolwich Arsenal DLR.