Welcome to my website

This site features photographs taken in the Lea Valley from the early 1980s to the present day.

I took my first photograph of the River Lea in 1982 and have been photographing it on and off ever since. In the early 1980s the southern part of the Lea Valley, particularly around Bow Creek, was still mostly industrial. The industry has now almost all gone and much of the land redeveloped either for housing, warehousing or recreational use. 

The area around Stratford has been transformed by the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and, to the north of Walthamstow Marshes, the extensive reservoir system is about to be redesignated as the Walthamstow Wetlands. 

Between the North Circular Road and the M25 there has been less change, but now the river is host to an almost continuous line of lived-in narrow boats owned or rented by those who cannot afford a London house or flat.

The photographs are grouped into six sections, starting at Bow Creek. This is now the only part of the river which is still tidal. The pages that follow are:

Bow Back Rivers and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Hackney Cut (Lee Navigation)

Walthamstow Marshes and Reservoirs

Lea Bridge to Ponders End

Ponders End to Waltham Abbey

My intention is partly to show how the river has changed over the last 35 years, but also to draw attention to the fact that London, and the Lea Valley in particular, was until relatively recently also the country's largest manufacturing centre. 

© Mike Seaborne 2017