Archive for the ‘Tower Hamlets’ Category

Cotall St squatters part II – gone

April 30, 2011 8pm in Tower Hamlets | Comments (2)

I haven’t been past Cotall St since I wrote this post – the most commented on post on my blog by far, that was over 18 months ago. But I went past there last week… and everything’s gone.

Site of former Cotall St squatters

Commercial Road – a bit dangerous perhaps?

April 30, 2011 8pm in Tower Hamlets | Comments (2)

I’ve just moved to Commercial Road. I haven’t been here long, but already I’ve seen two “incidents”! The first one was a guy getting arrested right out Limehouse Station, which is very close to my house. It’s not clear what it was for, but I took a photo with my phone, which doesn’t have the highest resolution – but you can click the photo to see more.

Guy getting arrested outside Limehouse Station

Then, a week later, I went to the Costcutter which is on the next block, and it was sealed off. The cashier in there had blood running all down his face, it was like he’d been hit with a bottle. I didn’t take a photo of him directly, the police were telling people to go away.

Costcutter Commercial Road cordoned off

Luckily I don’t spend much time on Commercial Road – it’s all Chicken places and dodgy restaurants (actually, the New Garden Thai is really nice). But still a bit scary. I make sure my door is locked at night. The area north of Commercial Road is Stepney – I’ve mentioned the area before in this post. I live in an area called Ratcliffe… bordering Stepney.

Back to Tower Hamlets

March 26, 2011 7pm in Random Ramblings,Tower Hamlets | Comments (0)

So after my big bout of travelling last year, I went back to my old job at UBS for three months, but I’d given up my flat to go travelling, so I had to move somewhere else, and since I’m now a contractor I can’t commit to living in a rented place for longer than 6 months.

So I moved south of the river, gasp!!!! To the borough of Southwark. People say there’s a big divide between North and South London and now I think I see what they mean.

But this month I moved back to the north side of the river, back into Tower Hamlets! And it feels like home again. I can walk to work again, which is great, and all the roads and pathways are familiar again. And people aren’t as loud north of the river. Everyone in South London is very loud.

Homeless people have all the fun

October 10, 2009 4pm in Random Ramblings,Tower Hamlets | Comments (0)

The Aldgate pedestrian subway system in Tower Hamlets is a forboding place at the best of times.

It’s a series of complicated underground tunnels to get around all the busy roads near Aldgate Station.

I walk through them every day on the way to work.  I’m guaranteed to find at least 2 or 3 homeless people down there each time.  But today, in amongst all the trash they leave down there, I had to smile when I saw this:

Next to a place set up for sleeping was a “How to use Durex condoms” booklet.

It’s reassuring to know that even the homeless are getting more action than me. (I hope my Mum is not reading this!)

But it’s okay. Because I get to go to work! Woohoo!

In case you can’t tell… I’m being sarcastic.

Tower Hamlets – a borough of real contrasts

July 26, 2009 4pm in Tower Hamlets | Comments (2)

Tower Hamlets, the London borough in which I live, doesn’t have the greatest reputation, but for some strange reason I’m proud to live here.  I haven’t yet worked out what that reason is! I went for a walk today around the borough and took some photos.  You can click any of the photos to see a bigger version.

We’ve got some nice canals:

And some not-so-nice canals:

We’ve got a church… with a bar in the basement, which always seemed a bit wrong to me.

We’ve got stunning architecture and silly street names.

Note… I was being sarcastic with the stunning architecture.  In fact, I was absolutely mortified to learn that the name of the first building is Gordon House.

We’ve got the three tallest buildings in the UK.  And we’re not even compensating for anything.

See?  Our buildings are bigger than your buildings.  And our traffic lights are bigger than your traffic lights.

We’ve got Whitechapel Road, the second cheapest street on the Monopoly board.

The 25 Bus that is in the picture is the bus I got on to get out of Stepney as quickly as I could.  I was walking down Whitechapel Road through Stepney and I was quite scared.  There were some people looking at me as if they were going to mug me.  I quickly got on the bus and went down the road about 5 minutes.  Stepney is evil.  Don’t go there, ever.

Here’s an interesting sight I saw on Whitechapel Road…  first time I ever saw a real penny-farthing:

Some other photos I took on my walk:

Feeding time in Tower Hamlets
Feeding time in Tower Hamlets

According to the sign, this area had regeneration that finished in 2001.  Wonder how bad it looked before that.
According to the sign, this area had regeneration that finished in 2001. Wonder how bad it looked before that.

I walk down here on the way to work each day.  Its got no offical name, but I call it Diarrhea Alley, or Dead Rat Passage.
I walk down here on the way to work each day. It’s got no offical name, but I call it Diarrhea Alley, or sometimes Dead Rat Passage.

Oh yeah, we’ve got Tower Bridge and The Tower Of London. But you don’t need to see those. They’re far too touristy.

Cotall St squatters (The most disgusting block of flats, anywhere in the entire world, right here in Tower Hamlets)

July 26, 2009 4pm in Tower Hamlets | Comments (26)

When Mum came to visit in June, I pointed out an ugly block of flats in Old Kent Road which I thought were the ugliest I’d ever seen.  I was wrong.  These flats here are the ugliest I’ve ever seen.  Ever.

They are in Stepney, part of Tower Hamlets.  Stepney scares the hell out of me.  And my sister, who had to get her National Insurance number from the Job Centre in Stepney.  I was almost too scared to take these photos.  They take up almost the whole length of Cotall Street, Stepney.

All the graffiti and disrepair must be a recent thing though… because Street View doesn’t show them to be in quite as bad condition as the photos I took today (from the Street View link, you might have to rotate the camera 180 degrees to see the flats).

I was sure these flats were uninhabited, waiting to be demolished.  But believe it or not, that’s not the case!  There were people everywhere!  Click the photos to see them up close.


I go past these flats a lot, as they overlook the Limehouse Cut canal which I like to run down. 

The worst bit is there’s a brand new fancy apartment block going up on the other side of the canal that, when finished, will have a view directly onto this eyesore.  Poor them.

EDIT: I read this Page:
Apparently they were due to be demolished.  But they’ve been completely taken over by squatters.  Lovely.  Makes sense though.

It’s official, I live in the Swine Flu Capital

July 23, 2009 11am in Health and Fitness,News Stories,Tower Hamlets | Comments (0)

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Yay, it’s official. Where I live – The London Borough of Tower Hamlets – is the UK’s swine flu capital.…/tower-hamlets-is-swine-flu-hotspot

I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of London locked Tower Hamlets in using a very long length of barbed wire.  (I’m surprised London hasn’t done that even before the borough got Swine Flu.)

Lucky that I’m antisocial, and don’t know anyone else in the borough, so I don’t have swine flu… yet!