AS THE COUNTDOWN to the Rio Olympics entered its final few weeks, East London looked back four years to its own Games, and forward to the reopening of the Olympic Park waterways with a special cruise around the Bow Back Rivers following their redevelopment since 2012.
More than 70 boats attended the event on Saturday 9 July, organised by the Inland Waterways Association’s North & East London Branch, the Canal & River Trust, London Legacy and the St Pancras Cruising Club.
Because of the number of boats taking part, plus a length of the Bow Back Rivers Loop still being unavailable following Crossrail works, the boats were split into two groups for the trip. One began with an out-and-back trip into the Olympic Park from Old Ford via the Old River Lee and City Mill River; the other approached via St Thomas’ Creek, City Mill Lock, Waterworks River and return – before the two convoys swapped over. Afterwards, they returned to Bromley-by-Bow for an event hosted by London Legacy and CRT at the local brewery to celebrate.
“It was fantastic to be on board one of the boats on this special cruise,” said IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge. “IWA London Region is helping to financially support the restoration of Carpenters Road Lock and everyone looks forward to the day when it is open and the full Bow Back Rivers can be explored.”