The Olympic Park Legacy Company has just winged out a release updating on the names people have been suggesting for the five neighbourhoods proposed for the 500-acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford after the 2012 Games.
It says around 1,000 suggestions have been received so far via its website www.legacycompany.co.uk, which features an interactive map describing how the areas will look, along with historical information.
This may all appear to be a bit of light relief following a tough few months battling to find tenants at the site, but clearly getting the names right are an important element when encouraging people to move to an untested residential area.
And because of this I would urge the OPLC to ignore one of the suggestions it appears most pleased with – “Redgravia”, named after Sir Steve.
It sounds to me like a remote post within the former Eastern Bloc, or even more disturbingly a large care home for retired members of the Redgrave thespian family.
Anyway, the OPLC is offering a tour of the Olympic Park as a prize for the 1,000th and 1,500th entry and below are the names so far.
Before that though it is clear that Sport England and British Cycling’s objections to the OPLC’s proposals for the velopark and surrounding area post Games are not going away.
They have lodged joint objections to the plans which aim to open up more of the site for green space. Will keep an eye on this.
Here are those names and the OPLC’s commentary:
Area 1 – (north-east)
· Hoy Gateway – named after Chris Hoy as it is near the Velodrome; · Cosmopolitan Park – because London is a colourful, multi-cultural, diverse city; · Liddell Quarter – Eric Liddell personified Olympic ideals by the way he lived and competed and this is documented in the film ‘Chariots of Fire’ · Redgravia – a mixture of Belgravia and London and Sir Steve Redgrave · Angelplace – the loveliest street in Stratford was Angel Lane until it was demolished in the 70s.
Area 2 – (north-west)
· Plastic Fantastic or Plasticity – due to the area’s heritage as a plastics works; Templar Mills – Temple Mills were water mills belonging to the Knights Templar, used mainly for grinding corn from extensive lands in Homerton and the Marshes; Dog and Bike – after the greyhound and motorbike track; The Cut – the area between the canals used to be referred to as The Cut where the entrant used to swim and fish as a boy; Speedy Danes – because Danes invaded the area and there used to be a dog track.
Area 3 – (west)
Olympic Park Hill – the highest natural point on the Olympic Park development; The Sweets – named after the confectionary factory based in the area; Altius – from the Olympic motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ – Altius means higher. This is the highest natural point in the Park; Populas – Latin for people and named after the great people of the area; Petropolis – as the term petrol was coined here and it is part of a great metropolis.
Area 4 – (south-east)
· Little Athens – birthplace of the Olympics and waterside theme; Flying Scotsman – after the locomotive which used Stratford as a base for many years. Also the epithet applies to Eric Liddell, as featured in Chariots of Fire and more recent Olympians such as Chris Hoy; The Sidings – when I worked in the area in the 1970’s it was referred to as The Sidings; · The Rings – Olympic significance especially with the area dominated by the main stadiums; · Freshwater Village – because the village has connections to water through the past in Pudding Mill and City Mill rivers. And today through the Aquatics Centre, and riverside setting; · Lavender Lane – because the old Yardley factory which manufactured perfumes and cosmetics in the area
Area 5 – (south)
· Poseidon – named after the Greek God of the sea; · Henry Croft Park – named after the founder of the Pearly Kings and Queens; · Lea Fields – named after the proximity to the River Lea and a planned new school; · East Metropolis – the fleet of engineering on the Olympic Park is beyond belief there is a sense of the Park being somewhat like world within a world. · Winalbion Cross – the name links the ancient Roman name for England ‘Albion’ while ‘Cross’ links with the ancient causeways and the integral crossing aspect of the area. ‘Win’ illustrates the impact of water across the area and its proximity with the Bow Back rivers, River Lea and her waterways.