Wapping Woods: is Tower Hamlets Council incapable of fixing lightbulbs?

Evening all!

As some of you may know the entire Love Wapping team has been slightly incapacitated recently and as part of their recovery plan they are undertaking several short walks a day.

In a probably forlorn attempt to show some leadership I joined them this evening and decided to walk through Wapping Woods to Shadwell basin.

As I was proceeding in an easterly direction I suddenly thought: “Blimey, it’s dark innit?”

Wapping Canal - would you want to walk down here at night?
Wapping Canal – would you want to walk down here at night?

How could this be I wondered?

The lighting in Wapping Woods has only recently been fixed.

Puzzled but undeterred I wandered on.

And I noticed one of the lights was not working.

And that might explain why it seemed dark in the Woods.

Because it was.

Being exceptionally sad I took a photo of the light in question to report it to the Council. Then, without even considering calling for backup from the rest of the team, I walked on.

And found another light not working.

Then another.

And another.

And another.

And to be honest it seemed to me – and I might be completely wrong here – that the lights that were working were not very bright. I wonder if these have been secretly turned down to save some cash? Apparently it has happened elsewhere in the Borough. Who knows. Not us. We just live here.

As my idea of a good night out is being able to walk to the chip shop unaided, I decided to walk around the Woods and check every lamp. Exciting, huh? And some people accuse me of never having any fun.

‘Well, it’s like this officer..’

The photos I took you can see below. And then if you are of a mind to you can look at the post I did about the broken lights in Wapping Woods some time ago and see if you think there are more or less lights not working now.

Anyway some people, well everyone to be honest, might think it odd to spend Sunday night taking close up photos of broken lighting in an East London wood.

The uniformed MPS officer who stopped me certainly did.


He was very polite and when I explained what I was doing he undid the strait jacket immediately.

We had a brief chat about the state of the lighting and went our separate ways.

On the plus side at least I wasn’t accused of being a ‘pervert’ for acting in the public interest. (I hope that does not give away my proposed defence for future cases…)

Top marks to Limehouse MPS for being on the case. It’s appreciated.

Intent on finishing what I had started and now really just wanting to know how many lights were broken I continued my task.

What really annoyed me was that the lights backing on to the houses at the north east corner of the Woods were all out.

One of the many reasons for the lights to be fixed in the first place was that the people living in those houses often walk though the Woods to enter and leave their homes.

No need to hide

Now that part is pitch black. I could hardly see to walk.

If you wanted to do harm to someone you would not need to hide.

I then walked under the Garnett Street bridge and found another light out. Then several more between the bridge and the Basin.

Next victim of Tower Hamlets Council’s complacency?

Now it might be that some of the lamps I spotted were old ones that had been turned off. But I don’t think so. And some were definitely the new ones.

Either way I don’t really give a stuff.

The lighting in Wapping Woods is appalling. Will you be the next victim of Tower Hamlets Council’s complacency over this issue? I hope not. But unless the lighting is fixed again and then properly maintained someone is likely to come to harm because it is too dark in the Woods at night.

Photos taken, ducks fed, I walked back through the Woods towards 21 Wapping Lane looking forward to the debrief with the rest of the Love Wapping team.

As I did so I noticed the blue flashing light of a police vehicle.

It was parked just where I had been, er, photographing a lamp post.

Oops again.

I thought it best to come clean in the hope of a light sentence and so walked over to the vehicle and spoke to the two MPS officers inside. I explained what I had been doing and that I had already met one of their colleagues. They were really nice about it and I left them to their duty.

Just another nutter Sarge.

I could have sworn I heard the sound of someone saying “Yeah, no problem, it’s that nutter photographing lamp posts again Sarge” over a radio, but it was probably just the wind.

As I approached the canal by 21 Wapping Lane I was amazed at how dark it was (see photo top of page). It was so dark I could hardly see the pathway, let alone if anyone was walking towards me.

What on earth is going on? Are Tower Hamlets Council incapable of changing light bulbs? Or is it that they just don’t give a stuff about the people of Wapping and Shadwell? Probably a mix of both I think.

Don’t send me any more PR letters Mr Mayor

So there we have it. Inadequate lighting in Wapping Woods yet again.  Normally I positively encourage people to walk in such areas because that is the best way to force the criminals and general scum bags out. But to be honest at the moment I would not recommend anyone to walk through Wapping Woods at night until the lighting is fixed. That’s just a personal view of course but it just seems sensible.

And of course to rub salt into this particular wound is the fact that Mayor Lutfur has been sending me letters about how the lighting in Wapping Woods has been fixed! FIXED FFS!!!!!


No more nonsense PR letters thanks. Just do your job and get this sorted. If you can’t organise changing light bulbs let us know and we will do it ourselves.

Oh and Top Tip of the Day – if you can’t change light bulbs you aren’t likely to get many votes, are you? Shiny leaflets don’t impress. Action does.

Below are really bad grainy low quality photos of the rubbish lighting in Wapping Woods.

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