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 Introduction 
 
In the 80s, the London Docklands Development Corporation was set up under Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government, Michael Heseltine was brought in to help re-develop Docklands, Bob Mellish an ex Labour MP from Rotherhithe and Reg Ward were chosen to Head the new Corporation, together, in 8 remarkable years, they had successfully transformed a barren wasteland into a massive commercial infrastructure.

As new massive re-construction of Docklands went ahead taking little account of local sensitivities, some significant local history was being bulldozed, including 'Public Rights of Way' Walkways, and historic stairs to the River Thames. People felt the need to do something about it so it was decided to set up a new environment pressure group.

In 1983 a concerned group of Citizens in East London came together to form 'Wapping recycling Group', their aims and objectives were to improve the local environment, to 'act locally and think globally', the 'green' campaigners were soon to convince our local Authority to introduce recycling units Borough-wide but it was soon realized that a wider range of activities would be needed if we were to get Councillors to respond to local community concerns.

We formed'New Deal' ('New Docklands Environment And Leisure') and joined the 'Docklands Forum", then recognised as East London's leading Community umbrella organization. (later became known as the London Thames Gateway Forum).

During the 1980s We were to meet many times with representatives of The London Docklands Development Corporation to discuss local development and environment issues, many positive meetings were held at the 'Docklands Forum':



From 1990 'New Deal' began to widen and strengthen its green campaign and focus more attention on the loss of Public access to the Thames and to help protect important local heritage sites from the developers bulldozers. Our work came to the attention of a number of important organisations, at home and abroad, helping to convince our local Authority that they had a moral and legal duty to address the neglect of our local heritage and environment.

We had discovered that the historic 'first settlers monument' representing the voyage to the 'New World' had been stripped of its original plinth 'mermaid' figure and its plaque had been put in a museum for safe keeping, it was sad to find such an important historic Monument in a decimated state with a burnt out cycle across its base, it took 6 further years of campaigning to convene a meeting with the, Director of Barratt Developers and the APVA of Virginia, it was only then, that prompt action was taken to restore this historic monument, the Barratt's site was aptly re-named 'Virginia Quay'

In 1997 the 'LEA Heritage Group' was launched to replace 'New Deal' so as to avoid any further confusion with New Labour's youth policy.

In 1998, LDDC supremo Reg Ward, led a group of local Docklands businessmen 'Island Garden Associates' 'in order to launch his new idea for a 'waterscape city', they invited the 'LEA Heritage' Community group to support them, all met with local Council leaders to discuss their new vision of the future a plan to stimulate more tourism to East London and its important historic sites, something the Olympic games would later fulfil.

On September 23rd 1999, after almost 10 years of local community campaigning to save one of Britain's most important historic sites, President Clinton's American Ambassador, the Hon Philip Lader, attended a special dedication ceremony to unveil the newly restored First Settlers Monument at Leamouth in East London.

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 Blackwall 
 
Over many centuries the strategic placement of Blackwall had made it a main embarkation and arrival point for Ships, England's most illustrious sea Captains had embarked from Blackwall stairs on their epic voyages of discovery, here had stepped Drake, John Smith, Nelson, Cook, Frobisher, and many other famous names. Blackwall was the main point for emigrants and immigrants until 1932 when the Station leading to the Pier head closed.

Blackwall Stairs and its surrounding area required a determined regeneration effort to create the necessary enhancements that would help to bring new jobs and local employment to the Lower Lea area and its surrounds, these important historic assetts could help create a sustainable future for local people and needed to be addressed for the benefit of all, both visitors and the general Public alike. The Long established legal rights of way to the River combined with safe Public access should be restored as part of an integrated public transport System that includes cross river ferry services to Greenwich.

Local people with local knowledge and expertise, from all walks of life, continue to volunteer their time and effort, at their own expense, to campaign for local issues, significant successes have been achieved against all the odds, people share a common concern for the environment and the preservation of local history, they want to provide education facilities for all. Without the valiant efforts of these caring people in our local communities, important heritage sites in London's Docklands would have been lost forever to the excesses of development, we owe them our deepest gratitude and respect, their remarkable achievements and efforts are helping to build a sustainable future for everyone.
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 About Us 

OUR HISTORY (with links added)

GREEN EDUCATION
We first worked with our local councillors in Wapping Neighbourhood to launch an annual 'environment action Day' for local schools, this event eventually became a Borough-wide annual 'environment action week' involving all Schools in Tower Hamlets, The first green plaque 'to 'environmental action Day' was laid by us in Wapping in 1992, it represented the first green action in the Borough.

THE SEEDLING PROJECT
We also helped the biggest inner City Farm in Europe, Mudchute Farm , Isle of Dogs, to win a 'British Telecom' award of 23000, and named the project 'The seedling project', It provided a green education centre where local School Children could learn about the living Environment and take part in Farm projects learning about planting, growing, and harvesting.

THE PENSIONERS BOAT - "One of their happiest days":
In 1995, on behalf of London's Pensioners and ex-Servicemen and Women, Lt.Com. Len Crickmar R.N. a time-served Waterman, supported by Ian Sharpe and John Bauer, launched their idea: 'The Pensioner's Boat Project', they were aware that a large majority of elderly and retired people enjoyed river trips, and they were to prove this beyond doubt when, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ending of WW2, The 'Kingwood', an heroic little Dunkirk vessel, was hired to give more than 400 London Pensioners, described as one of their happiest Days in years.

Yet a joint application to the lottery with plans for 'City Cruises' to build a permanent state of the art boat for London's 3/4 Million Pensioners and supported by the overwhelming majority of London Borough Leaders, and including the Corporation of London as a partner, was sadly turned down by the Commission, the project being described, surprisingly, as 'indistinct', could one imagine a more distinct feature than a a Pensioners Boat on the Thames?

The small Boat Project Committee under Len Crickmar worked tirelessly to organise the project and raise money from leading Trusts, businesses and local Authorities, the donors included 'News International' and Richard Branson's 'Virgin' who sent the Project several crates of his own special branded Vodka, which was very much appreciated by the Pensioners during their trip. A great Day to remember.

STILL A DREAM BOAT
Pensioners appealed to Richard Branson to consider their proposal for a permanent state of the art 'Virgin' Boat to be moored at the Isle of Dogs near Masthouse Terrace, it wouldn't need to move very often, except for annual boat trips, therefore being environmentaly friendly, being moored in the heart of Olympic East London it would be a prominent focus for the whole of London, its many visitors and the Public could enjoy Virgin's facilities 24/7.

This state of the Art boat could offer various organisations, pensioners, disabled, and community groups, 24/7 Club facilities aboard, e.g. A 'Pensioners Boat Club', a disabled boat Club, a Music boat Club, etc. Club fees could be included in a pre-issued boarding pass providing the necessary security and income before people even came aboard, this floating venue is guaranteed to be a great attraction for London and its many visitors, come on Richard, you could do great business here.

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 Dedication 
 
CREDIT WHERE ITS DUE:
Docklands Forum East London's leading Community umbrella Organisation, no longer meets but the Thames Gateway London Partnership originally headed by Eric Sorenson of LDDC fame, now functions as The Thames Gateway Transport Partnership, and has a large number of participating member community groups contributing a wide range of experience and ideas to benefit local Communities along the Thames, Monthly meetings, often with MPs and other dignitaries attending, discuss a wide range of issues affecting local people, These regular meetings can be very productive, helping to influence important decisions taken by local Authorities, Planners, Developers, and Government, and therefore contributing to local regeneration.

Local participating Community Groups are represented by informed and dedicated people elected in their communities on a voluntary basis, they give up their own time to work together with others to, help improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works or plays in London and the Thames Region. Community volunteers are caring people who merit our deepest gratitude and support, their unselfish dedication and commitment, added to local knowledge and expertise, is contributing to the regeneration of long deprived areas of East London and the Thames Gateway.

We therefore dedicate this web site to the sterling work of voluntary groups World-wide and hope it will help to inform others of the diverse daily challenges faced by ordinary people who live, work and play in our big Cities, theirs is a tale of extraordinary efforts to preserve and enhance local environment and the quality of life for all. Not all voluntary efforts succeed in getting Politicians to refrain from making poor decisions, but those that do enhance the environment and help to regenerate our neighbourhoods creating a better future for all. This site can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet so please take time to enjoy its many interesting links.


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 Regeneration 
 
FOCUS FOR INVESTORS
Despite a World-wide recession, Docklands is still a big focus for new City Businesses with Canary Wharf dominating the skyline at its heart. the big names that moved to Docklands have since helped to create many jobs and wealth.

WHAT NOW?

VISITORS
The 2012 Olympic Games proved a huge success dumbfounding its critics, people are now investing in a long deprived area, they realize the potential of East London, ie. Blackwall, Greenwich and the Tower of London have the highest visitort appeal in the Country despite the recession, imaginative investment is now preparing the way forward, providing ethical development in the Thames region consistent with 'Agenda 21'.

TRADITION:
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets once Britain's greatest International trading Port, still attracts many visitors from around the Globe, its local diversity continues to encourage trade from many distant parts, the weary traveller will always find the traditional warm welcome in East London.

LONDON IS THE MILLENNIUM CITY 2000:
TheTower of London remains one of the greatest attractions on Earth, but there is also an abundance of other important historic sites, monuments, and buildings to attract many visitors. Unfortunately, the neglect of local heritage has not helped. We trust that the National Lottery good causes will not forget East London after one of the most successful Olympic Games in history.

A COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS
This Borough has trading links with a Commonwealth of Nations around the Globe, it is an economic assett to Britain yet to be fully realised.

TRADE GALORE, BUT....:
One of the big attractions of visiting East London is its unique diversity of small trades and industry, nevertheless increasing London traffic pollution impinges on the ability of pedestrian shoppers to enjoy their shopping experience in safety, it is surely time that City planners give the pedestrian priority over the vehicle.


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 Environment 
 
GOING GREEN:
In recent years Public concern has grown about increasing levels of pollution and its affect on Public Health in our Cities, yet local Authorities and Governments are still failing to address this problem adequately despite making promises at Kyoto, etc. Our Public Transport System must improve, it is exspensive and not integrated, unworthy of a great City like London, it means more people take to their cars, and more traffic lights and road humps are created to calm the increasing traffic, thus creating more pollution and snarl-ups with dangerously high levels of pollution, toxins and hydrocarbons in the air we breath,

The effects of pollution on health put an economic burden on our NHS, Local Communities are working tirelessly to improve the environment. This great City needs to be a place where everyone can enjoy traffic-free shopping, have safe access to historic sites, monuments, walkways, canals, and the river, without being exposed to the dangers of traffic, pollution, and noise, damaging to public health,

It is vital that Cities are made as visitor friendly as possible, able to provide ample green open space, top priorities must be enhanced air quality, improved local environment, visitor facilities, cycling lanes, etc. In busy City centres, extra benches and seating and more greenery and trees are needed, not only in Parks, but along Highways and Byways, it helps to consume C02 emissions and reduce road traffic pollution, replenishing oxygen levels and providing 'breathing lungs' for the local communities and visitors.

Local Authorities must ensure that shoppers and tourists are allowed easy traffic free access to our famous Street Markets like Petticoat Lane, Roman Road, etc. Tower Hamlets diverse communities can play a leading role in helping to regenerate wealth. we hope Local Authorities will work to improve inner-city shopping precincts in keeping with 'Agenda 21', London deserves facilities worthy of a World class City as was proved with the success of the 2012 Olympics Games.




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 Guest Book 
 
It costs nothing to get advice on East London, we'll help if we can, so please visit our guestbook below and why not add your url link when you sign in?.

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 Thanks 
 
Thanks to every one who has helped us to improve our web site, we always listen to sound advice

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