1st and 3rd February 2017
Writing: Dan Le Grys (Year 9)
Photography: Vandan Somani, Luke Amos (Year 9)
Editing: George Corby (Year 11)
Last Wednesday and Friday, geographers in Year 9 visited Stratford, London, to investigate what has happened in the local area following the 2012 Olympics. Everyone was extremely excited and eager to see such a place.
The day began with a visit to the Aquatics Centre. Here, we took notes of how the place had changed since the Olympic Games. Rather than becoming useless and derelict, like many of the venues used in the Athens 2004 Olympics, the area is open to the public for many purposes. We learned that for a small fee, you can even swim in the pool itself!
Next, we travelled to the outskirts of Fish Island, stopping in front of the Olympic Stadium (now owned by West Ham). Here there was construction work taking place, preventing us from viewing Fish Island from afar. Refusing to be beaten, we ventured over the bridge onto the island itself. On our journey we enjoyed the huge variety of street art, much that was extremely controversial.
Straight after this, it was time for the velodrome. In the half hour we had to eat our lunch, professionals had cycled around the track 127.2 times, while we enjoyed the free WiFi.
We were then on our way to Carpenter’s Estate. The estate has suffered from great dereliction over the past 30 years and, unfortunately, a lot of the houses have been cleared out, destroying the local community - without the possibility of 'right to return'.
Finally, we went to Westfield. Purchases varied hugely - from a smashed iPhone 2 to pancakes. Everyone had to ask people at Westfield what they thought the Olympics had done for Stratford and we were surprised to hear a lot amount of people responding negatively. They believed that the Olympics brought unnecessary attention to Stratford, and that the buildings would now be forcibly rebuilt, evicting people from their homes, not being able to return since the new gentrified houses would cost more.
Overall, it was a great day and we learnt a huge amount about the long term effects on the Olympics on Stratford.