Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Transform the 21 Wapping Lane ASB area into a park

By on March 10, 2014 in 21 Wapping Lane

Anyone got a crow bar?

As we all know there have been problems recently with the area just opposite 21 Wapping Lane.

Area? What area? This area!

 

View towards Wapping Woods, car park behind fence.

View towards Wapping Woods, car park behind fence.

As you walk along the canal path opposite 21 Wapping Lane you will see a black wooden fence. Ever peaked behind it?

Well the Love Wapping Generally Nosy Team (Canal Branch) did a couple of years back. And guess what they found?

This!

Our lovely dock stones! Our history!

Our lovely dock stones! Our history!

On close inspection you will see that these are not just stones. They are some of the originals stones from Wapping’s docks. Our heritage.

The stones are number and are (were) carefully stacked. But then abandoned. Well apart from the wild cat who lives there.

And there is more.

Look at this photo.

'Concrete' on left is the original dock.

‘Concrete’ on left is the original dock.

The concrete is not just concrete. Again it is the original dock wall. Hidden!

So here’s the plan.

We get a crow bar, maybe two, and tear down the fence. Simples!

This will do three things.

  1. Stop anyone hiding behind the fence getting up to all sorts of naughty things.
  2. Convert a problem area into a positive are.
  3. Display our lovely dock stones.

So we convert an Anti Social Behaviour area into a nice area.

With a little bit of work this could become a gem of a park that people (nice people not naughty people) can enjoy on a summers day and eat their lunch as they listen to the water gush along the canal.

And the people in 21 Wapping Lane get something nice to look at. (And as more people move into 21 Wapping Lane and the side entrance on the canal becomes busier the less likely it is for ASB people to get the chance to congregate in the new park.)

Some of the dock stones could be used as seating. They have done this in St Katharine’s Dock.

Below is a schematic showing the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ layout of the area.

 

Schematic of Micro Park project

Schematic of Micro Park project

Here’s the science bit.

Tempting as it is we can’t just go and do this. Although…. no. Let’s be responsible. For the moment.

We need to get a few things agreed before we do the crow bar thing.

  • Check with MPS Tower Hamlets and see if this would be a sensible thing to do in terms of reducing crime (design crime out people!)
  • Check with the Council if they are OK with the fence being removed
  • See if the owners and residents of 21 Wapping Lane would like this done?
  • Ask the nice people at Tobacco Dock if they might put some nice lighting in on the rear wall maybe?
  • See if residents could work with the Council Parks Department to make it into a real ‘micro park’ over the summer
  • Ensure that people sitting here would not get run over by cyclists zooming past at speed
  • Ask the squirrels if they would co-ordinate the project?

There is probably some other stuff too but what is not going to happen is this gets bog down in paperwork and in a years time nothing has been done.

That is not going to happen.

That fence could be down this weekend. Why not?

This should be a low cost, ideally zero cost, venture. We all do our bit and contribute what we can. We would need a few residents to help with fence removal, cleaning the area properly (although one company has already started!) and we would need some form of small crane (not the feathered type, the mechanical type) to move the dock stones into the right place.

And it really is just a matter of removing that fence.

Anyone up for it?

Here’s some more photos to look at.

View from Wapping Lane towards Wapping Woods

View from Wapping Lane towards Wapping Woods

View towards Tobacco Dock, fence to be removed on right.

View towards Tobacco Dock, fence to be removed on right.

 

View towards Wapping Woods, fence to be removed on left.

View towards Wapping Woods, fence to be removed on left.

Dock stones on left, ASB problem area on right.

Dock stones on left, ASB problem area on right.

 

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  1. Jamie says:

    Hi,

    I’m up for lending a hand (in whatever capacity), if you’re still considering this.

    I’m moving into 21 Wapping lane shortly, and will actually look over that area from my apartment. Your proposed park scheme sounds promising.

    Feel free to get in touch
    Jamie

    jamports@mac.com

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