28 February 2015

Kick out the ads

A depressing corner of Walthamstow, defaced by dereliction and advertising posters. This is the junction of Forest Road and Higham Hill Road, and it’s been an ugly vacant plot for as long as I’ve known the place. The plot is fenced off by a crappy timber fence, but the worst part is the giant board structure 8 metres high, made of old boards shored up with a rickety framework of blackened timbers. The expanse of tarmac pavement alongside is a bleak waste of space, somewhere to pass through as soon as possible. It’s been like that for a long as I’ve known the place: since WW2 for all I know, perhaps bombed and never repaired.

With all the townscape improvements targeting key areas, it’s about time this sort of thing was tackled. Imagine this corner, with two of the best chemist shops in the area and the solid Edwardian architecture of the Lord Palmerston pub opposite, if the mess was replaced with a bit of green public space. A popular cafe with flats upstairs and bike racks outside? And then perhaps the downmarket row of single-storey shops (No. 1 for Beds! 100’s in Stock!!) might start to do a bit better.

Note: keen advert-spotters will know these posters date from 2013. It wasn’t sunny enough to take a new photo today, and anyway I was pleased with the dour-looking group of individuals captured in this shot. Just don’t ask what the street sweeper is up to.

There are plenty more of these eyesores around Walthamstow. Next week, the fag-end of Hoe Street.