Sunday, 15 May 2016

Treasure Island: The Hidden Gems of the Isle of Dogs

Last Sunday after a year in the planning Andrew Parnell, William Sharp and myself previewed our walk highlighting the Isle of Dogs for a group of students and friends. The students like ourselves had been on the Walkie Talkie, Introduction to Guiding course that is led by David Charnick and run through Tower Hamlets Ideas Store.

The idea for this walk came about as we split into groups after a meeting in a pub of Walkie Talkie 'graduates' and we decided that architechture was to be our theme. The Isle of Dogs is known for being a glitzy, glass financial centre but it is only with looking deeper into this 'Island' that you realise the rich heritage that is there and some very surprising places. The two areas that I talk about on the walk could be a million miles away from that glitz and glamour but yet it is only a few hundred metres in reality!

We had laid out the bare bones for a walk along with another friend as early as April last year and took many walks around the area before we decided on the final route. We hit a wall last Summer though when my son was diagnosed with cancer and William's mum became ill. Andrew, newly retired was left to carry on with the project alone for a few months with William and myself dipping in when we could. Unfortunately the fourth member of the group had to drop out totally. My son was given the all clear in early April and at that point I felt able to give the 'Island' my full attention.

After many months of trying it out we were finally able to show off the Isle of Dogs that we love. The walk lasting around 2 hours is split between the three of us who all have a great affection for the place but who also see things with three different sets of eyes. The walk has been a great collaboration and has with Andrew's tremendous input allowed us to make links with local community groups who we hope to show it to soon.

It has been a roller coaster year for all three of us in different ways and I think that last Sunday made all of us feel a tiny bit proud of ourselves. We finished up with a celebratory drink on the hottest day of the year so far at the Poplar and Blackwall Rowing Club looking out at the magnificent Greenwich Palace looking forward to our next walk.

Here are some some pictures from last Sunday....

Here are the links to our next walks on June 29th and July 10th

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