Local history including story of Bow Bridge inspires Olympic Park names

A competition to name the five future neighbourhoods of east London’s Olympic Park has clearly captured the public’s imagination, judging by entries from Tower Hamlets.

Matthew Lewis, 26, of Devons Road, is one of many to draw on their historical knowledge to suggest names for the areas in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham to be built following next year’s Games.

He came up with Queensbridge to title the Tower Hamlets neighbourhood, which will sit in the south-west corner of the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Ahead of the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s May 18 deadline for entries, he was inspired by Queen Matilda’s Causeway, built in the 12th century to cross the River Lea and now better known as Bow Bridge.

He said: “It sounds like a name that has been around for a long time.

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“I didn’t want to pick anything too modern or commercial-sounding because people won’t go for that.

“Queensbridge sounds like somewhere you might stop on the tube to me.

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Rita Edwards, of Arnold Road, Bow, has lived in the borough for 30 years after growing up in Stratford and is equally hopeful of her ideas being selected.

For the Tower Hamlets neighbourhood, she plumped for Bow Bridge Park but with her childhood in mind, she also sent in suggestions for two of the Newham areas – Yardley Park and Carpenters Park.

Growing up on Rosher Road, now Rosher Close, Ms Edwards was inspired by her memories of the Yardley’s perfume factory and the bustling Carpenter’s Road.

She said: “It’s nice to see the area getting upgraded.

“It was very rundown and lots of factories were closing down.”

Other suggestions include White Post Wharf, based on the industrial history in White Post Lane; Manning Dock to recognise Henry Manning who built schools for the poor in the East End in the 19th century and Mount Olympus to reflect the neighbourhood’s status as the highest-point in the park.

To make your suggestions, visit legacycompany.co.uk.

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