As part of Open House, I skipped off round the East End of London. And as part of the Canary Wharf Film Festival, I skipped even more around by the banks of the river.
I have known about Trinity Buoy, the lighthouse at the confluence of the Lea and the Thames for a while. You can get a fuller history here or here. As a local, I really wanted to see a piece of hidden history. As a film maker I wanted to check out what I hope one day would be a fantastic film set. And as myself, I really wanted to see the lighthouse! The big kid was finally going to fulfil the fantasy.
And what a fantasy!
There is something quite magical about this location. And it isn't the number of artists in this one area or the views (spectacular as they are). It is the sheer fact that right in the midst of the urban jungle, there is a lighthouse, looking out over the river. It may not be Alexandria, but it is a wonder for me.
And also, they were screening films here as part of the CWFF. Wow, wow, wow. It's not the magic of seeing it on the big screen, but for pure FUNK, this had to be the place to watch the films. In the basement of one of the warehouses, against a back wall. It just felt so cool. And such a hidden gem!
Back outside the warehouse, I climbed my first steps of a lighthouse. A fantasy that I have wanted to complete since I was a boy was coming true. As part of the Open House, the organisers had set up a sound installation in the building. Personally, I liked it. The sound fitted in well with the nineteenth century engineering of the tower. I am no architect, but was that wrought iron, stone and brick? Whatever it was, the building was a joy to behold and wander round.
But the best was for last. Simply the view across the Thames. To the East was the murky waters of the Lea coming towards an end. In front of you was the Dome (no Oxygen here) and to the West the Glories of Canary Wharf and the place where my my film was to be braodcast a couple of hours later. My visit was not long enough, but I will be back.