please empty your brain below

Thanks for that DG. Quite strange seeing those photos, the site of my school, from age 11-14 (Cardinal Wiseman Junior High),was at the end of Claremont Road. I'm almost missing it.

Going through a few of those links lead me to which has maps and photos of all sorts of unfinished motorways. The M12 page answered a lot of questions I had about silly bridges out in east London.

I never new about this DG...must investigate. Thanks!

Those road names bring back memories of house searching in the area in 1997 when strangely all the residences were much cheaper in those streets.

As someone who used to travel through the Blackwall Tunnel every day to nearly the foot of the M11 that link road did make a big difference but boy when it jams (as it often does these days) it's actually much worse than it used to be as, like most link roads, once you're on it, you're stuck.

I remember seeing the Claremont Road community from the Central line: it stood out a mile because of the wonderful mural that adorned the houses, courtesy of the protesters.

How incredibly reassuring that it's still working!
I'd know about it for years and never got round to doing it. Must do it soon before its funding gets diverted into the Olympics.

Only a couple of the 20 transmitters aren't working - one of those (in Hackney Wick) because it's now inside the Olympic perimeter.

I lived in the area at the time, Claremont Road was a lively place.

Anyone else remember the days when the cows held up traffic by wandering across the Green Man roundabout?

Yes, SSS, I do. I always thought it very quaint and reminded me of my childhood when cows were herded down our road every day...stopping to eat our flowers etc...

Ah I remember it well, especially old Dolly Watson and the end of the protest which culminated in that giant tower. Other events of the era spring to mind, too. Swampy & the Newbury Bypass, John Major and his brave campaign against those evil "new age travellers", illegal raves on farmland etc etc.

Those protests were derided and campaginers portrayed as dirty, long haired, layabouts. But when the government stops listening sometimes direct action is the only way.

Alas, it seems society has changed in 15 years and we're now happy to just sit back and take what the govt give us (such as erosion of our civil liberties) with a lot of moaning but little else.

As I've said many times previously, IMO the bulk of the protestors were from out the area, and although a lot has been sacrificed to get the road, a lot more has been gained - both Wanstead and Leytonstone are revitalised in ways that would not have been possible before. Not all roads are, but this was a good road.

I featured an interesting side effect of the process a couple of days ago. The Tfl compulsory purchase zone included a few commercial properties in Grove Green Road that were owned by Apostolides, a safe merchant. When they were not knocked down the opportunity came to buy them back, they shilly-shallied over "491" until after the expiry date of when they could buy back at the sale price, and hten refused to buy back at todays commercial value. So, Tfl had a bit of a problem on their hands - a derelict property with no takers, and so Gallery 491 was born.

It's an ill wind that blows no good.

Fascinating idea!

I know a similar thing happened with the destruction of Interstate 5 in Seattle, where neighborhoods were torn out for a massive freeway.

I don't think this could ever happen again, as the mindset of this age is so politically charged with political correctness (which just means endless argument).

I've come accross a couple of similar projects. Murmur, originally from Canada but now set up in Leith and Dublin as well, has a set up a series of listening posts around the cities. You dial the number on the post and type the code, and it plays you a message.

The Playwright Judith Adams has written a couple of site specific 'headphone' plays, where the audience wander along a designated path, taking in the subtle changes to the landscape engineered by the writer and actors.

New technology creating new types of art. Great.

I visited Gallery 491 during the last car free day and was really pleasantly surprised by the strange little gallery-cum-commune -cum-dance-venue.

Nice garden out the back and a nice cup of tea. We ended up buying one of the paintings ... seemingly much to the surprise of the people there.

But Ham, really - Leytonstone High Road revitalised? Really? Not since the bypass was built. The oneway system is a terrible joke the queues of traffoc up the high road are almost identical, as is the choice of shops, except there are more cafes and Polish food shops now.

Thanks dg, excellently researched as usual. There is quite a bit of YouTube footage of Claremont Road, which is worth watching...


== Leytonstone High Road revitalised? Really? ==

Yes, really. Still a long way to go, but compared to the way it was, those are not traffic jams. Really. I remember the old ones well. There are quite a few chi-chi cafes that have opened down the high road, not just the polish (and south african) ones, an increasing number of places I would choose to eat, not just the McDonalds and KFCs. It no longer feels as threatening walking around the area as it used to. It's a long process, but it has started. And I won't mention the Barburchi Barbecue

Ham, thanks for solving a mystery for me on the Grove Green Rd properties.
Leytonstone is a completely different place now than it was. 'Revitalilised' is not the word I would use. Although I no longer live there, I was there a few weeks ago. Some of the shop keepers there were complaining about the poor business prospects for the High Rd (and slow trade). I suspect the shops now no longer represent the needs of the people living there so that there will be a period of decline...hopefully not as pronounced as Ilford.
It was only as a result of the protests over the M11 Link that part of the thing was made into cut and cover...thus preserving a little of the 'quiet' environment.

Is the walk still active?

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