London Plant Associates
preview the London Olympic site
Wednesday, July 7th 2010
Wednesday, July 7th 36 Associates and guests set off by coach for a guided tour of the London 2012 Olympic Park site where the Main Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, and the Olympic Village will be located. Our first stop was Stratford where we picked up our knowledgeable guide, Jan Gamble, a good name for a guide for a Procter group, who told us what was planned for the day. The coach then took us to the nearby Railway Tavern for coffee and biscuits before we got back on the coach to start the morning tour.
A welcome coffee before starting the tour.
It is not possible to drive inside the construction site but the coach drove around the perimeter with the guide who traced the history of the modern Olympic games, identifed the buildings, and gave us lots of statistics about the sheer numbers that will need to be catered for, and described how the site will evolve in the coming months.
The site is not so vast - only 500 acres in fact, but the ground work needed has been daunting. We saw the mounds of contaminated land that was being treated so it could be reused; the areas that were being cleared of ramshackle workshops but recycling as much as possible.
Diggers work on the mound of reclaimed and recycled soil
The guide also stressed how much effort was going into creating legacy assets. The Olympic Village will become 3,000 units of mixed community housing; the stadium will be downsized and sold and the Aquatic Facility will become a state of the art pool for future generations. The river Lee is being cleaned up, the green spaces that are being created will remain as a recreation area - a major new green space for London, and infrastructure is being put in place to cope with 500,000 visitors a day.
After the drive around the perimeter we left the coach at Pudding Lane tube station to walk to the viewing platform - The Tube - where the guide gave us more information, and described how the site will evolve in the coming months. The site is a hive of activity - literally, as you look across it from the vantage point the workman are like ants and the machinery like small models, such is the scale of the activity.
The guide briefs the group before we enter the site to access the viewing platform
The viewing platform is close by Pudding Mill Lane. It is called the View Tube
Information boards in the viewing area highlight the different facilities that are being built.
An Associate tests the prototype seating for the planned Green Recreation Area.
The information boards highlight the use of each facility during the games, and their planned future use.
The best way of describing what we saw is through the pictures we took - see below.
The Olympic Stadium.
The Aquatics Centre
The Olympic Village and the Basketball building.
We returned to the Railway Tavern for lunch.
Associates enjoy an included lunch.
Afterwards rejoined the coach to see another Olympic venue in London Docklands. On the way we passed along Green Street, full of shops selling saris, and Asian markets, we passed West Ham stadium (who might bid for the Olympic stadium) and saw the statue of Bobby Moore holding aloft the flag of St George. The tour concluded with a crossing on the Woolwich ferry (from where we saw the Princess Pocahontas sailing back to Gravesend) and tour round Woolwich Arsenal and a cup of tea.
Our coach tkes us to Woolwich Arsenal on the Woolwich Ferry.
Our favourite excursion boat, the MV Princess Pocahontas, sailed by as we cross the river.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and it made the Olympics project come alive.
|Text: Tony Hill, Ron Suttling (Trip organiser)
||Photos: Brian Bloss, Tony Hill