Thursday, 3 April 2008


As ever the first sign of changes on the ground is the surveyors. Roaming around Carpenters Road and Marshgate Lane (I guess this must have been late in 2006) I come across them all time, trios and quartets of men, clad needlessly in hi-vis jackets gazing through their mysterious camera-less tripods. These are the new daily inhabitants of the Lower Lea Valley, they seem to be trying to ignore the import of their job and the interest they attract from the local workers: the mechanics eye them with territorial suspicion. They are the pioneers. The first wave of hi-vis site clothing.

With them arrive the first hoardings. I think they were navy blue (or maybe purple), the all-over cyan branding of the five-mile nine-ply ring has yet to be chosen. Public relations optimism is channeled through community projects. Local primary schools have been enlisted to draw athletes and sportsmen (you can't argue with the vision of a five year old) and the products are displayed proudly, gathering industrial grime on this first partition. And not long afterwards, the first road closure, my instinct is to climb it, but it is daylight. Using the handily placed road-block bollards I get a better view and look down on a large marquee, I flash back to breaking into a festival the summer before, landing directly beside the security tent creeping out of its shadow, straight into a cluster of guards on their fag break, not to be repeated. I give this spot a miss when I return after dark.

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Bobbi said...
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