Fun day staged to save Shadwell’s Memorial Park from Thames sewer

Campaigners fighting to stop their park being turned into a construction site for London’s proposed ‘supper sewer’ under the Thames demonstrated at the weekend what they thought the historic public open space should be used for instead—putting on family fun days.

They staged free entertainment at Shadwell’s King Edward Park on Saturday and had stalls, a bouncy castle, face-painting, arts and crafts, sports, music and a barbecue.

A little girl called Hannah won the children’s poster competition with the simple message: “We Love our park.”

It’s a message the campaigners have been pushing to Thames Water for the past three years to stop them churning up the park for seven years for access to build the sewer running 17 miles along the riverbed.

The memorial park—given as a gift to the people of the deprived, overcrowded East End a century ago—is the only public open space on the Thames waterfront between Tower Bridge and the Isle of Dogs, they point out.

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The campaigners also don’t want the legacy of having four huge sewer ventilation shafts towering over their homes left permanently on their riverfront scene.

They are pressing Thames Water to use an alternative ‘brownfield’ site “rather than destroy the only park in the area”—a sentiment backed by Tower Hamlets Council, London Assembly’s John Biggs and Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick.

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