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The derelictlondon.com website is now entering its 12th year and following a sellout of all the 2013, 2014 & 2015 dates so far Paul Talling is giving only a handful more tours of his favourite derelict sites in the Limehouse and Poplar area before the area becomes regenerated.As well as dereliction this tour focuses as much on hidden sites of interest, social history and change in the area.
** Today's tour is a special 5 1/2 hour extended version of the regular tour taking in a few extra sites including a former railway station building and the remains of an original Banksy (subject to it still being in situ by the time of this walk). As its a Sunday most cafes on our route will be closed so we shall stop in a pub for half an hour when in Poplar.
This tour views the exteriors of sites covered in the Derelict London book such as the decaying premises of a Victorian sail makers & the soon to be refurbished art deco Poplar Baths. Other sites include the remains of St Saviours Church which survived the Blitz but not a recent fire, the Limehouse Accumulator tower built in 1869 for regulating one of the first hydraulic power systems. We pass some 1970s graffiti proclaiming that "George Davis is Innocent", numerous derelict shops and industrial units, redundant pub & shop signs in odd places and stories of the mysterious Black Ditch which is featured in Paul's other book London's Lost Rivers.
Highlights along the way also include stories of London's original China Town, the 1951 Festival of Britain, visiting the first purpose built pedestrian shopping centre in the UK (with a toilet & refreshment break) and even a short stroll along the Limehouse Cut.
This is a circular tour which ends up at Limehouse Station (unless of course you wish to join Paul for a pint in a friendly local pub).
Dogs are welcome. The walking tour goes ahead promptly on time regardless of the weather. The tour does not involve trespassing on private property. No refunds due to inclement weather are given. Please check www.tfl.gov.uk before travelling as engineering works may affect your journey this weekend.