Queen Mary University of London is on the Mile End Road and adjacent to the Regent’s canal. Part of the campus borders the canal and there is easy access from the University entrance. I was at QMUL for a conference but took the opportunity to explore the tow path. My first tow path walk was in the early morning and took me down to Limehouse basin and onto the river Thames. My second walk was northwards up to Victoria Park and took place in the late afternoon. Both walks allowed me to photograph people, boats, wildlife and buildings along the way. This is my photographic account from those walks.
From QMUL to Victoria Park.
There was a break between presentations and the evening dinner which gave me the opportunity of exploring the northern part of Regent’s Canal from the Mile End Road to Victoria Park. This was another busy stretch of the towpath and Mile End Park is also adjacent to the towpath. The first interesting feature was what is known as a portrait bench which features three well known figures. The statues are in cast metal that then rusts giving an authentic look to the artwork. There was a casting of Ledley King, a professional footballer who grew up in the area and spent his entire playing career at Tottenham Hotspur FC. Nearby is a statue to Sylvia Pankhurst, the suffragette campaigner who worked on improving living conditions for destitute mothers. Finally there was a canal horse commemorating the animals that towed boats along the towpath. The park was lit up in patches as the sun broke through gaps of the high living flats on the other side of the canal. There was more art work with the Bow Bottle and fish tail sculptures further along in the park. These random pieces of work are intriguing and add to the charm of the canal.
There was an interesting cut called the Hertford Union Canal. This short canal links up to the Lee Navigation in Tower Hamlets. The start of the canal looked attractive but my walk was to carry me past this canal to the nearby Old Ford Lock.
The area has been renovated and with the low sunlight highlighted the beauty of the place. I then encountered Victoria Park where many people were enjoying the sunshine on this hot September Day. Although I only touched briefly on the park, I came across the bridge at Bonner gate. The bright blue painting of the iron work contrasted with the greens and darker colours of the canal which was in the shade. Other interesting features I saw were the Dogs of Alcibiades and have a fascinating history. The statues were donated by Lady Regnart in 1912. I got lost in the history of the dogs that were described on the accompanying board. Victoria Park looked inviting but time pressed on and there was a conference dinner to attend. The park was also full of police as they searched for an escaped prisoner and so I left the beauty and the noise retracing my steps to QMUL.
To follow up this blog, please read my earlier accounts of my walks along the Regent’s Canal.