Author Tony Henney explains:
"On the 6th July 2005, the International Olympic Committee, meeting in Singapore announced London was the winner of the vote to hold the 2012 Olympic Games. A £530,000,000 stadium in Stratford would host the event and for two weeks in August 2012 a small part of East London would be at the centre of world attention. The News made me smile.
When I heard that the local football club, West Ham United, was bidding to use the Olympic Stadium as its new home after the Games were finished I smiled again and immediately thought of Bazalgettes Northern Outfall sewer, linking in a wonderful straight line West Ham United's first purpose built stadium in 1898 to their ultra-modern new home.
My imagination then turned to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will be coming to the area to see the Games. Will they go straight to the Games and leave the area immediately after? Will they want to explore the area? If I made a trail would they want to go on it?
My question was answered by the tourist industry. Already a thousand visitors a month embark on the "Blue Badge" walking tour of the Olympic site area which leaves daily from Bromley by Bow station at 11am and a downloadable audio trail of the area is available online at londonwalks.lisyn.com.
I want to make my own (very) small contribution to the history of the area and my claim to fame will be that I managed to tempt a few dozen Olympic visitors to London on my Net based trail. I want to make digital history.
My contribution is a trail based on the Northern Outfall Sewer, (The Greenway). Apart from linking the West Ham United of 1898 to the present, it passes 160 years of industrial and social development.
Starting at West Ham Station, opened by the influence of Charles Hill, the Managing Director of the Thames Ironworks Shipbuilding Company , the trail takes us to the Memorial Park which was home to the companies football team which became West Ham United and housed a large stadium and sports complex. The trail ends at the Olympic site which will become the new home of West Ham United. I feel this gives the project a nice circular flow and allows the trail to introduce Bazalgettes wonderful pumping station and examples of the areas history in a manner which reinforces the walkers sense of place and space."
To visit the trail website, click here