The Changing Face of the Thames

Yesterday’s run along the Thames from Woolwich to Greenwich is a standard one in my ‘repertoire’, but it was made all the more special due to the light created by the bright winter sun that had emerged from the gloom as I reached the Thames Barrier. The light and shadows along the aggregate jetty at Angerstein Wharf were almost perfect.

I have been running variants of the route for around 18 years, when I first ran in the area there was no path around where the O2 Arena is now and there was a tortuous trek across the ‘peninsula’. The Doomesday reloaded maps comparing the 1986 and 2011 ‘peninsula’ highlight the changes well.

Industry has all but disappeared upstream of Angerstein Wharf with little more than the aggregate wharves at Victoria Deep Water remaining with most of the rest having been cleared. The flattened wharves, factories and docks will no doubt suffer the same fate as most of the sites upstream and be turned into riverside apartments, many of which will be bought by investors and speculators. The Thames should be a transport and industrial hub rather than a backdrop for expensive housing but is rapidly losing that potential.

As for the running, it was a comfortable 10 miles or so which saw no after effects of the tightness in the peroneus longus tendon (in the ankle) which stopped me running for a week over Christmas.


6 thoughts on “The Changing Face of the Thames

  1. Steve

    That stretch makes up one of my absolute favourite walks. The industrial bits are always the most interesting and inspiring, sad to think that part of the Thames may soon be nothing but flats, with very little good architecture either.

    1. runner500 Post author

      It is one of my favourite sections of the Thames for those very reasons, it still feels like the working river that cities need but we are in serious danger of losing in London. The destruction somehow seems worse than upstream as there have been attempts to at least keep a nod to the history in Southwark, with warehouses being retained and re-used, but other than the sadly neglected Grade II listed Enderby House, Greenwich seems content to let the history be razed to the ground and allow Barratts and others produce boxes of limited architectural merit. It is all very depressing.

    1. runner500 Post author

      Thanks – the light was fantastic on Friday and with the photos at both Angerstein and the one with the backdrop of Canary Wharf I was lucky with where the sun was too. Happy New Year!

  2. Pingback: A View From The Point | Running Past

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