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The Black Path to Walthamstow High Street, January 2012

Both Tuesday and Sunday walks were attended by people alert to the history of the route and to future good and bad developments.  Sunday had a clear sky but was cold.  We looked at the black poplar trees along the boundary between Leyton and Walthamstow, between the River Lea and the footbridge on the railway line from Stratford to Tottenham Hale.  We had short discussions about plans to have a temporary, but large, sports hall on the marshes, and talked of the hope, rather long term, of reopening Lea Bridge station on the railway line and reinstating a service between Stratford and Walthamstow and Chingford.  We speculated about the origin of the Black Path (see this link) .  We noticed that a section of the ‘tramway’ which linked the Low Hall incinerator and sewage works with the Stratford railway line, still existed, fenced off, and wondered whether it could become a heritage line to the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum.  As the Black Path threaded its way between industrial and warehouse premises, and we came to an interpretation board, it struck us that the Black Path probably still only existed because it is a useful link for those cycling to work in central London.

Some of us now receive our Waltham Forest Guardian news by email, and had recently heard that 5,000 people are to camp during the Olympic Games on the sports ground off South Access Road.  This is an extraordinarily high number, and some misleading descriptions of the site location had been found on websites.  A few steps further on and the Tuesday group found a Waltham Forest Council officer putting up a notice about the campsite.

Our walk ended at ‘The Mill’ a lively community centre that has replaced a branch public library closed a year or two back.

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