Just before we reached Trinity Buoy Wharf we passed probably one of London's least well-known and quirky pieces of art - a London taxi with a metal palm tree growing out of it. It's a full size taxi and if you're looking for it you can find it in Orchard Place. There's lots of quirky art here as well as nautical memorabilia and it's now a thriving centre for the arts and creative industries, but as recently as 1998 Trinity Buoy Wharf was an empty, derelict site.
The Wharf has plenty of character as well as studio and gallery space, a pier, boat club, school, rehearsal rooms, the Bow Creek Cafe (where we had some great bacon rolls before cycling off to the Thames Barrier Park) and Fatboy's diner (where we plan to eat on our next visit!) as well as more shipping containers, this time as sustainable Container City buildings.
It also has links to the birth place of West Ham United, yes the Premier League club. The Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company stood on the other side of the River Lea, it was a large site covering 30 acres and employing over 3,000 men and the company had offices on both sides of the creek and a chain ferry ran between sites. In 1895 employees of the Thames Ironworks formed a football club, which turned professional in 1900 taking the name West Ham United; they're known as the Hammers and their badge is a pair of ironworkers' hammers.
The lighthouse above was built in 1864 for Trinity House and was used for lighting trials and Michael Faraday also carried out experiments here, there's a small museum here too - the one I mentioned in the shed - and I'll share more on that soon. The lighthouses on this site (there used to be two) were also used for training prospective lighthouse keepers!
There's also a Tidal Sonification contraption called Floodtide which makes music from the movement of tidal water. A sensor submerged from the pier reads tidal flow data which is converted into notation and played by the listening post. It had an eery quality to it but it wasn't unpleasant!