Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Brick Lane

I was in the Shoreditch area on Saturday, and thought I would share these with you.

I worked on the construction of this building on Cheshire Street (off Brick Lane) as a trainee site manager and engineer many years ago – before Shoreditch became trendy.
Whitechapel Jan 2014 (7)
The developer was years ahead of everyone else in choosing this as a location- possibly too far ahead.

As we poured concrete slabs we watched Canary Wharf going up by one floor a week. Both Canary Wharf and our project (of live and work units) were hit by the late 1980s recession (yes the 1980s had two recessions) – we had to reconfigure what we were building as we went along in order to fit with what the developer considered as likely to sell in a changing market. Although the project wasn’t designed as Fast-Build (as we called it then) our concrete gang foreman said it was the fasted built project he had ever worked on – and he had a great deal of experience.

The design is nothing to shout about but, as I say, the area wasn’t trendy then. And the thought of high-rise, as can be seen below of sites a few hundered years away, wasn’t even in anyone’s deams:

Whitechapel Jan 2014 (6)

And, of course, this is nothing compared with what we will be getting on the site of Bishopsgate Goods Yard with its forest of mega-rise towers.

The old Royal London Hospital where a few of us ended up in A & E, mainly to get anti-tetanus jabs (we were just about managing to get site workers to wear hard-hats in those days), has been replaced with a modern new building, making up for many years of under-investment:

Whitechapel Jan 2014 (1)

The old hospital buildings in the surrounding area now offer many redevelopment opportunities.

Oh, minutes after posting the above I came across this, about the 7 high rise Bishopsgate Towers:

Worth a read I think.

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One Response to Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Brick Lane

  1. David Cannon says:

    Gherkin, Mobile Phone & Shard each contribute something but the Cheese-Grater does not so I’m sad to hear Bishopsgate Goods Yard will add to the clutter. Too much greed…

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