Cody Dock Summer Event

EFOG members have visited Cody Dock a few times since we discovered it a few years ago, and for those that hadn't yet been the big summer event on June 15th was a good opportunity. As can happen, particularly at this time of year, the event clashed with numerous others, including EFOG's annual trip to Ireland, plus an alternative group event in the form of a walk in Epping Forest.The weather also clashed somewhat, with lots of rain during the preceeding week, and showers forecast for the day.

cody view 190615 1214artCanary Wharf from the River LeaThoughts of trekking through Epping Forest with plenty of mud and damp to foot persuaded me to choose the Cody Dock option instead, so - together with Jinan, who I had met at Stratford - we walked through part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park towards the River Lea. Having known the area when it was mostly unknown - and generally called the 'Bow Back Rivers' - I now have some uncertainty about what route leads to where, so - recognising the 'View Tube' (as much by its colour than its distinctive shape) - we made our way to that, not pausing this time to have an excellent breakfast or pleasant tea or coffee. The View Tube is near Pudding Mill Lane DLR station, and is on that stretch of Bazalgette's Northern Outfall Sewer bank, now known as the Greenway, that heads north towards Victoria Park. So - Southern Outfall Sewer the other week (see here), Northern Outfall Sewer this.

The Greenway really was green, and lots of other colours too what with all the wild flowers in bloom, and proves that walking above a sewer can be a delight. We left the Greenway to access the Lee Navigation at the point where there used to be a sign explaining that here was the historic boundary of Saxon England and the Danelaw, and proceeded southwards towards the Three Mills complex and Bow Locks. The navigation bankside was also a glory of flowering plants, with numerous water-birds and their relatively new offspring to add pleasure to the walk. What wasn't - and just isn't - a pleasure is constantly having to move aside for bikes to pass, so I can't really recommend canal (or navigation) walking anywhere around here anymore.

Leaving the navigation at Bow Locks, we walked down the river Lea itself, to arrive at Cody Dock just as the fun day was warming up. In fact, the day had been quite warm, but what with showers and that (that being wind) it didn't always feel that way.

cody shanty 190615 1441artJinan with (who's the guy in middle?) the Hog Eye MenThere were lots of events during the afternnon, including market stalls, live music, urban bushcraft workshops, natural crafts and activities for children. There was a food-sharing BBQ option, Nadia's cafe, a bar with cider as the main attraction, a free exhibition and - just generally - fun and a good atmosphere! The live music, as we arrived was being performed by a blues singer and harmonica player, at first unaccompanied and later with a band. He and they were excellent. We also enjoyed a rendereing of sea-shanties by a five-person group called the Hog Eye Men, performed aboard the River Princess. It's always nice to meet others associated with the Cody Dock project, and of course the few EFOG members who we also met there.Cody Dock is open every day, there is usually food and refreshments available at the cafe, and always a nice atmosphere. For group-members who haven't yet visited, maybe give it a try sometime?

 

Paul Ferris, 16th June 2019

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About Cody Dock

The Gasworks Dock Partnership was formed as a social enterprise in November 2009 and registered as a charity (no. 1141523) in April, 2011. The community project is working to bring the once derelict and disused Cody Dock dock on the banks of the River Lee in Canning Town back to life - not just as a dock for mooring.

GDP’s aims for Cody Dock include:

  • Helping people access to the Lower Lea’s environment and celebrate the area’s industrial heritage
  • Developing a community based arts and creative industries quarter on the banks of the River Lea
  • Forging links with the wider community and enabling them to access and enjoy the River Lea
  • Developing the site as an incubator for creative enterprise
  • Nurturing sustainable income that will enable the development to support a wide range of arts, cultural and educational programs
  • Providing new pathways into work for local people
  • Creating a regeneration vehicle for conservation, environmental and cultural benefit

For all the latest news and in-depth articles about the work, have a look at the Newsletters.

What has been achieved so far, and plans for the future

From 2015 – 2018, GDP  opened Cody Dock’s gates to over 50,000 visitors and worked with over 6,000 volunteers on the clean up and restoration of its riverside footpaths. With support from Thames Water, the Veola Environmental Trust, Kew Gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society, Newham Council and the Big Lottery, Cody Dock has established itself as a flagship vehicle for community-led regeneration.

With Phase One complete and the Leaway River Lea Park now kick started, Cody Dock is already home to a number of creative industries, social enterprises and visitor attractions, that include:

  • Docklands Community Boat
  • Cody Dock Cafe
  • Gallery and exhibition space
  • Outdoor classroom
  • Studio spaces

In April 2018, GDP successfully gained planning permission for the seven year development plan of its 2.5 acre site into a creative industries quarter. This will include:

New visitor centre & café
Exhibition space
Social and Industrial heritage archive and pavillion
International artist and respite hosting suites
10 new studios and workshop spaces
10 new live/work moorings
Visitor moorings
Dock facilities

Cody Dock, 11c South Crescent, Canning Town, London E16 4TL

Telephone: 020 74730429

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