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.