Walthamstow and the Lea Valley

By Chris Guy posted on April 2, 2015 in Urban

At nine miles, this was one of the longer walks of the circle that I’d completed to date – I began at Wood Street and walked via Walthamstow and the Lea Valley to Lower Edmonton and Edmonton Green Shopping Centre. I enjoyed coming back to Wood Street – it feels like a proper high street with independent shops and a market. It’s bit quirky and has some rough edges. At the top end is this mural by Vic Lee.

Vic Lee mural

Vic Lee mural

We Are Wood Street

We Are Wood Street

Wood Street shop parade

Wood Street shop parade

Opposite the Corner Coffee Shop is Willow House, an ex-council office block now closed and scheduled for demolition and re-development to provide a mix of residential, commercial and social uses.

Along Forest Road I pass the William Morris pub (named after the Victorian poet and designer born in Walthamstow) and come to the very grand Waltham Forest Civic Centre, comprising Town Hall, Assembly Hall and Magistrates’ Court.

Waltham Forest Town Hall

The Town Hall and Assembly Hall were both designed by Philip Dalton Hepworth in the simplified classicism style with art deco details. They were completed in 1941.

Waltham Forest Magistrates’ Court

Waltham Forest Magistrates’ Court

To the left of the Town Hall is The Magistrates’ Court. This was built later – in the 1970’s by the GLC Special Works Department and makes use of Portland Stone, not commonly seen in brutalist architecture. The building was saved from potential closurein 2010.

Back on the North Circular Road I reached the Crooked Billet Roundabout – famous for its tailbacks. In the subways beneath the roundabout are some great examples of what I presume to be 1970s tiling and above ground on the Chingford Road is the architecturally modernist ‘Catholic Church of Christ The King’.

The Crooked Billet Roundabout

Just up the road from the Crooked Billet is Walthamstow Stadium. A Greyhound, Speedway and Stock Car racing venue that opened in 1933 and closed 75 years later in 2008.

Walthamstow Stadium from the footbridge over the NCR

Walthamstow Stadium from the footbridge over the NCR

The famous Walthamstow Stadium frontage

The famous Walthamstow Stadium frontage

The front and back album cover of Blur’s Parklife were shot at Walthamstow Stadium. And now, despite considerable local protest, the site is being re-developed by L&Q to provide homes and local amenities. The plans include the retention of the grade II listed facade.

On the other side of the footbridge – and the North Circular Road – is this urban meadow, complete with trees, shrubs and grazing horses and bordered by light industrial units.

Urban Meadow – Lea Valley Park

Urban Meadow – Lea Valley Park

Outdoor Advertising Juxtaposition

Outdoor Advertising Juxtaposition

From here I walk past the Banbury Reservoir and up towards the River Ching, River Lea, and the industrial landscape of Harbet Road and the Hastingwood Trading Estate.

Industrial Landscape, Harbet Road, N18

Industrial Landscape, Harbet Road, N18

Demolition on the Hastingwood Trading Estate

Demolition on the Hastingwood Trading Estate

Silvermere Drive, Hastingwood Trading Estate

Silvermere Drive, Hastingwood Trading Estate

Hastingwood Trading Estate

Whilst parts of the Hastingwood Trading Estate appear to be in the process of being demolished the estate is also, I discover, home to the Warehouse LDN nightclub.

Lea Valley Business Centre (demolition)

Lea Valley Business Centre (demolition)

Beneath the Lea Valley Viaduct

Beneath the Lea Valley Viaduct

Cyclists on the tow path of the River Lea Navigation

Cyclists on the tow path of the River Lea Navigation

Pylons on the River Lea Navigation

Pylons on the River Lea Navigation

View from the bridge on Picketts Lock Lane

View from the bridge on Picketts Lock Lane

Matalan seaside billboard in front of Walbrook House

Matalan seaside billboard in front of Walbrook House

Edmonton Baptist Church – The Church on the Green and the Edmonton Green Estate

Hertford Road, The Cresent and Edmonton Baptist Church

Hertford Road, The Cresent and Edmonton Baptist Church

Old-School Tesco supermarket signage

Old-School Tesco supermarket signage

Edmonton Green Shopping Centre

Edmonton Green Shopping Centre

Edmonton Green Market

Edmonton Green Market

Edmonton Green Market

Edmonton Green Market

Edmonton Green Shopping Centre and Estate

Edmonton Green Shopping Centre and Estate

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