On a previous walk from Three Mills near Bromley-by-Bow, down the Lea Navigation we forked right at Bow Locks and continued down the canal to Limehouse Basin. Yesterday we crossed the River Lea which runs parallel as far as the lock, before it forks left to make its own way to the Thames. We were in search of Cody Dock which Mike knew of, but not much about, and we’d never been. Walking along the left bank of the river at low tide on a wide asphalt path we passed empty gas holders and light industry, an Amazon and Sainsbury’s depot on our left and on the right bank , mass dereliction with one of the world’s biggest financial centres (for now) in the distance. As we rounded another bend we came across the end of the path and the entrance we had been looking for but didn’t expect would lead to such a great example of what Mike likes to call ‘a little bit of wonderland’.
It is well worth having a look at this website, http://www.gasworksdock.org.uk/, for the interesting history of the site and an account of the inspirational vision that has led to its redevelopment to date and the formulation of a long term plan to provide ‘an arts and small industries community asset’.
It is most certainly worth a visit, either approached by foot along the river as we did, or by road or to the DLR station at Star Lane and from there a short, unsightly, walk to the main entrance under the arch. A warm welcome awaits, an al fresco café providing light refreshments and an opportunity to explore and then sit and … breathe.