During Open Garden Squares Weekend I hope you will visit Winterton House, Cable Street, and Crossrail Place Roof Garden north of the River Thames and all accessed from the DLR, to see how neglected sites and areas can be regenerated through hard work, effort, and of course investment. Cody Dock, on the River Lea, is going to undergo a similar regeneration through investment and so Open Garden Squares Weekend is an opportunity to visit before this happens. The site is managed by Gasworks Dock Parnership.
The lower reaches of the River Lea were navigable and the area was used for the manufacture (and export) of chemicals in the 19C. Cody Dock was where coal was delivered to the Imperial Gas and Chemical Works.
Today Cody Dock is a ‘community centre’ which is on the brink of major redevelopment. A cafe provides very good refreshments, and there are many ongoing activities (see the website). Planters are made in the workshop and planted with flowers and small trees as well as vegetables.
A small Sensory Garden alongside the Dock has an educational enclosure as well and the site is clearly well-used by local schools.
There are two boats at Cody Dock: the River Princess and the Corlea. The River Princess, the Docklands Community Boat, has been refurbished and is about to be refloated for trips up and down the River Lea. It was built as a passenger boat for use on the River Thames in 1985 and bought by the Trust in 2011. The Corlea was built by Harland & Wolff Ltd in North Woolwich in 1933 as a tug to handle barges on the River Lea bringing coal to the chemical factories, and to Hackney Power Station.
Open Garden Squares Weekend is an opportunity to see this site before major regeneration begins, or visit throughout the year.