Limehouse

I have just been listening – rather belatedly – to the third of the programmes I recorded with Resonance FM about areas of East London, this one on Limehouse, which has the advantage of being a relatively coherent neighbourhood both historically as a centre of riverside industries and, more recently, as an area of Chinese restaurants, Hough’s paper mill down on Narrow Street, and early gentrification after Andrew Sinclair and Jacob Rothschild bought six Queen Anne Houses on the river to save them from redevelopment.   I liked the programme (https://m.mixcloud/resonance/east-london) because all the contributors have known or lived in the area for so long:  David Owen since 1965;  Peter Fink, the light artist, since 1973;  Nick Wates, the advocate of Community Architecture, who bought the old Sea Training Hostel in 1975;  Mike Hebbert, Professor of Town Planning at the Bartlett, who bought a house in Newell Street in 1979;  and Cynthia Grant, who worked for the once-hated LDDC and moved to Limehouse in 1985.   They give a good sense of the survival/revival of the area from the early 1970s onwards, partly owing to the strength of local opposition to the Docklands Northern Relief Road, which would have destroyed its historic character.

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