Keep East End’s traditional townscape, says urban author Ken Walpole

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 January 2014

View from Cambridge Heath looking at Hackney Marshes—but for the houses in between

View from Cambridge Heath looking at Hackney Marshes—but for the houses in between


You might just see Hackney Marshes standing at Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green—if it wasn’t for the houses in between.

That’s the view—or lack of it—put forward by author Ken Worpole in a public talk he is giving urging the preservation of the East End’s traditional townscape.

His theme is the famous East End music hall song by Edward Bateman and Gus Elen which has the refrain: “With a ladder and some glasses, you could see to Hackney marshes—if it wasn’t for the houses in between.”

His talk includes observations and photographs of the contemporary east London townscape in which he stresses “the importance of conservation for its rich social history as well as architectural heritage.”

Ken is the author of several books on architecture, landscape, urbanism and social policy. His principal interests are planning and designing new landscapes to include parks, playgrounds, libraries, cemeteries and urban green networks.

“All express a commitment to the democracy and pleasures of life in the open air and public realm,” he adds.

His talk for the newly-formed East London Preservation Society is at the Bishopsgate Institute on March 3 at 6.30pm, seats booked in advance.

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