Thursday 27 September 2012

Open House Weekend: Around Newham

It has been such a manic week that this is the first opportunity I've had to post a few photos (more ehere) from last weekend's Open House visits to the Old Stratford Town Hall and to Cody Dock in Canning Town.

Every year, the opening of parts of public buildings that are usually inaccessible (and some private homes) takes place near the end of September and has meant that I was able to see inside the very grand former St Pancras Hotel in Kings Cross when it was still a building site, before it was transformed into the luxury St Pancras Renaissance. This year, I chose to stay closer to home and although I've been inside Stratford Town Hall many times, I've never made it up into its bell tower - or down into its former cells.

One of the former holding cells beneath Stratford's Old Town Hall

Then it was on to Abbey Lane DLR and Cody Dock, for a tour organised by the Gasworks Dock Partnership. This is a community project that has carried out some amazing work in transforming a derelict site into a open space for local people. The tour took in a memorial garden in the shadow of the former gasworks, but one that is largely inaccessible to visitors as it is now in the middle of Twelvetrees Business Park. Try walking in and you run the risk of security guards turning you back.

Next year's Open House London Weekend takes place on 21 and 22 September 2012. For information visit

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