As part of our series of monthly Infrastructural Explorations in which we consider the impact of infrastructure on the urban landscape and vice versa, you are invited to join us on our upcoming walk. As we open our sociological imagination to the city, an emphasis is placed on collective experiences, on the unexpected and on happenstance conversations.
This time we will explore the district of Beckton. Since 1870 this site in East London was occupied by the now-defunct Gas, Light and Coke Company. It supplied gas to over four million Londoners, as well as manufacturing by-products such as creosote, fertilisers, disinfectants, ammonia, and dyes. Following the demolition of the industrial buildings in the 1960s, several massive toxic spoil heaps remained on the premises and became known as the Beckton Alps. Subsequent redevelopment in the 80s and 90s reduced them to just one hill which has been used as a dry ski slope until 2001. Today, the Beckton Alp(s) is a nature reserve surrounded by housing estates, retail parks and logistic depots, as well as the Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, the DLR Beckton Depot, and London City Airport.
The route is approximately 3 miles long and will involve a mixture of paved and unpaved paths. Please wear weather-appropriate clothes and footwear and bring sun protection, water, and snacks.
Please let us know if you would like to join and do get in touch if you have any questions or accessibility requirements.
The Infrastructural Explorations are generously supported by the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths.
Laura Henneke is a PhD candidate in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths. With a background in Urban Design and Architecture, she researches the visible and invisible impacts of the China – Europe rail corridor on the urban landscapes it connects.
Louise Rondel is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Goldsmiths. She is researching London’s beauty industry and its vibrant materialities to examine the co-constitutive relationship between bodies and cities.
Dates & times
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|26 Jul 2019
10:00am - 1:00pm
optional stop at the pub following the walk
If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.