Sunday, 16 May 2010

East London Line....

....Having lived in Goldman Close for nearly seven years, I have seen the immediate area of Bethnal Green, Brick Lane and Shoreditch transform radically. One of the proposals, way back when, was the revamping and extension of the East London Line. Well, now the building work is (mostly) complete and the line is open - to very little fan fare, (and very little use it seems).

When fully complete, the line will run from Highbury & Islington all the way to West Croydon. My local station is the newly built Shoreditch, situated on Bethnal Green road, facing Shoreditch House and the Tea Building. I haven't yet travelled on the trains themselves, but hope to do so very soon.

View of station looking up Bethnal Green Road

It is quite an imposing structure - grey concrete slabs, with a white cast iron arched bridge to span Shoreditch High Street. Personally, I love the brutalist architecture used here - I think it is brave, bold and will stand out, (for the right reasons), now and for years to come.

About five years ago, much inspired by Joel Sternfeld's, 'Walking the High Line', I decided to climb up on to the then disused and derelict former East London line.

Overgrown and forgotten about, I took photos with great excitement at the prospect of capturing a record of 'how it used to be'. I hadn't looked back at these photos for years, but dug them out recently and have fond memories. I'm really happy I clambered up there, tripod and Pentax in hand.

Heck, I even got paid once to take a photo from up there, using it as a vantage point to shoot a facing friend's design studio. It was subsequently printed in Grafik Magazine and became one of the only printed images I ever got.

Morgan Studio for Grafik Magazine by Roy Barker

I'm really looking forward to retracing my steps, this time by peering out of a carriage window, from the new vantage point of the East London Line.

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