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

The Siege of Wapping: Update 17 February 2018

By on February 17, 2018 in Big Half Marathon, Events, Lock-Ins, News

Further to our previous story revealing that the Big Half Marathon event is scheduled to come through (yes, through) Wapping on Sunday 4th March here is a brief update.  If there is demand LW is quite happy to organise a ‘Wapping Wander’ for tomorrow Sunday 18th February to meet and discuss action.

Thanks to all the local residents who have helped with this.

Time is not on Wapping’s side so we need to organise and act quickly. Well, that’s what we think anyway.

Siege of Wapping Status Update

Key points

  • Should residents meet ASAP to organise resistance?
  • No Council response until Monday 19th February
  • No response from the press offices of other organisations involved
  • Vehicle tow signs spotted (well, one) in High Street
  • Majority of people in Wapping completely unaware of event
  • Cllrs. Andrew Wood & Julia Dockerill’s previous work
  • Something stinks with all this

Should residents meet tomorrow to organise resistance?

If there is demand LW is quite happy to organise a ‘Wapping Wander’ for tomorrow Sunday 18th February to meet and discuss action.

As with all Wapping Wanders this will take place irrespective of weather conditions. And may not even involve any wandering!

If you are interested in coming along either respond via Twitter or Facebook or email or just turn up 12 midday Wapping Green.

Got something else planned for tomorrow? Well best you cancel it because this is an issue that is only going to get solved by Wapping residents taking action.

Note to politicians: You are welcome to attend this event as a Wapping resident but it is not a party political issue and so if you turn up and start bigging up your own political agenda it will not go down well. We do appreciate the numerous efforts by all the main parties (see below) to find out what is going of course. 

No Council response until Monday 19th February

The long suffering press officers at Tower Hamlets Council have told us they need a bit more time to get clearances and a response to the questions LW asked on Monday.

No response from other press offices involved

LW also emailed the press offices of the various organisations involved – Big Half, Vitality UK insurance, London Marathon Events Ltd – and we have received no response of any kind. No surprises there.

Vehicle tow signs (well, one) spotted in High Street

Many thanks to keen eyed LW reader Beatrice Freeman who spotted this sign on Wapping High Street today:

Majority unaware – spread the word #wappingsiege

LW only found out the Big Half Marathon is scheduled put Wapping under siege by pure chance and it seems that most businesses and residents have no idea what is going on.

So please tell people you meet and share this widely using Twitter, Facebook and email or any other means. Let’s try to use the hashtag #wappingsiege

Cllrs. Andrew Wood & Julia Dockerill’s previous work

Andre Wood and Julia Dockerill have been engaging with the Council on this issue since last year. Here are just some of their questions to both Will Tuckley and Mayor Biggs:

Written question by Cllr. Julia Dockerill 2017



Written response from Councillor Amina Ali


Email from Andrew Woods to Will Tuckley 29th April 2017 (Click image for larger version)


Big Half route map published on 29 April 2017 forwarded to LW by Andrew Woods



Something stinks with all this

As we wrote our first story on the Big Half Marathon the whiskers of the Wapping Mole started twitching. There is something not right with all this.

The obvious issue is that Wapping residents have not been consulted about having their entire neighbourhood taken over for commercial purposes (flogging life insurance). But there are some others too.

There is the curious fact that Will Tuckley, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council, is a director of London Marathon Events Ltd which “created” the Big Half Event.

Either Mr Tuckley does not have a clue as to what is happening in the borough or he does not have a clue what London Marathon Events is up to.

Either way one of his current positions is a conflict of interest with the other. Time to make a choice maybe?

Measuring the Big Half Marathon route

One excuse as to the complete lack of engagement with Wapping residents (that’s you folks!) will be that the original Big Half Marathon route was only going to go along The Highway then it was changed to go through Wapping at the last minute.

Which is of course complete bollocks.

Yellow highlight shows Big Half Marathon event route through and around Wapping as currently published. (Click for large image)

Sir Mo doesn’t just run from A to B

World class athletes like Sir Mo Farah are not paid vast sums of money to just run from A to B. Marathon routes have to be precisely 42.195 kilometres (26.219 miles, or 26 miles 385 yards) so at a wild guess half marathon routes have to be half that length. Precisely.

Which means that some nameless person is some organisation has at some point precisely calculated the Big Half Marathon route from St. Katharine’s Docks, down Vaughan Way, along Wapping High Street then up Garnet Street.

Make sense? It’s about the only thing that does in all this nonsense. Let’s see what response we get from the Council on Monday.

As mentioned above ‘Wapping Wander’ tomorrow Sunday 18th February meet Wapping Green 12 midday. #wappingsiege




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  1. Mark says:

    Appreciate that this will be annoying for some residents, but for others this is an exciting event going through the heart of London which wapping would like to be involved with. Particularly for those without cars, this doesn’t make that much difference on the day, so happy to enjoy something different happening in wapping!

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