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Gasworks Dock Partnership GDP is proud to be a Leaway strategic delivery partner

Cody Dock, 11C South Crescent, Cody Road, Canning Town, London E16 4TL Charity registration number 1141523 Company registration number 7135282

N E W S L E T T E R Issue 1 September 2016

GASWORKS DOCK PARTNERSHIP GDP is proud to be a Leaway strategic delivery partner Cody Dock, 11c South Crescent, Cody Road, Canning Town, London E16 4TL Charity Registration Nr. 1141523 Company Registration Nr. 7135282

______________________________________________________________ Board of Trustees Peter Ellis – Chair Chris Westwood - Vice Chair David Asuni - Treasurer Secretary – Vacancy Bianca Mawani - Trustee – HR Lead Julia Briscoe – Trustee – Engagement Lead Marcus McKenzie – Trustee – Legal and Planning Lead Suzanne Rankin – Trustee - Arts Lead Committees & Specialist Advisors Celia Cummings – Communications Tom Randel-Page – Architect and Planning Committee Sandra Fryer – Planning Consultant Acknowledgments Simon Stone – Trustee, Company Secretary, Legal and Property Lead 2009-2015 Steve Rattray – Trustee, Treasurer 2009 -2014 Clive Dutton – Trustee, Regeneration and Planning Lead 2011-2015 Simon Myers – Founder, former Trustee 2008–2015 and current CEO

Contact us Volunteer Programs Corporate engagement GDP would like to thank the following organisations for their support

WELCOME TO CODY DOCK Peter Ellis, Chairman Welcome to Cody Dock’s first quarterly newsletter at what is an exciting time in its development. Gasworks Dock Partnership (GDP) is the charity behind Cody Dock. I have been the chairman of GDP for the past 7 years, and it has been one exciting journey. What first attracted me to the role of chair is the synergy of GDP’s aims and vision with my experience and professional role over the past 17 years as Chief Executive of Richard House Children’s Hospice, also based in Newham. Both projects started as an idea on a blank sheet of paper and both projects are now cherished within their communities. With a background in healthcare, a passion of mine is the need to engage with our local community and to understand how we can work together. Having lived in and around Newham for over 28 years, I also understand the hugely diverse, complex yet exciting community that lives and works in Newham. This is why GDP’s work is so interesting to me. GDP’s innovative approach has enabled Cody Dock to begin to rise out of this previously hidden area of Newham so that it can now be shared with people locally. What has been achieved in the last 7 years has been astonishing, and led with persistence and tenacity by Simon Myers, our Chief Executive. Some of the key achievements along the way include securing a 999-year peppercorn lease from Thames Water, securing full support from Newham Council and generating £2.3 million of grant funding, pro-bono support and investment. Cody Dock is being beautifully transformed by thousands of local and corporate volunteers. It has been a lot of hard work, but it has led to a place that has opened access to the Lower Lea river and kick-started the Leaway Footpath project, leaving a legacy for generations to come. We have a small board of trustees (7 in total at the moment) and they have given their time and expertise voluntarily and tirelessly over the years. I cannot thank them enough. We are now ready for the next stage. Our ambition is to develop a range of social enterprises (art studios, boat maintenance, education, moorings, etc.). For further information check out our webpage on More importantly, come and visit us. We need ongoing support from anyone who would like to get involved.

AUTUMN ROUND UP Simon Meyers, CEO Gasworks Dock Partnership

As we approach our 6th year since work first started at Cody Dock, it is great to finally have our very own newsletter to share previous triumphs and provide a little flavour of what is coming around the corner. After the completion of our Sensory Garden, Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) pergola garden and Leaway paths in 2015, Cody Dock has received over 14,000 visitors. Since being chosen to be the launch project for the RHS three year ‘Greening Grey Britain’ campaign we have collected a Level 4 RHS ‘Britain In Bloom’ gardening award and were presented with the award for best ‘Transforming Public Spaces’ by the Veolia Environmental Trust at the House of Lords. Highlights for me this year include working with the inspirational children and key workers from Tower Hamlets schools and Toynbee Hall, the development of our new vegetable garden and the discovery of Cody Dock and the Lower Lea River by so many new people. It’s hard to believe that we have had something in the region of 3700 individual volunteers having now contributed to Cody Dock’s redevelopment and it is important to remember that all that has been achieved would not have been possible without their contributions.

There are simply too many people to name everyone who have so generously made donations to our charity, this at times has made all the difference and we cannot thank you all enough. I do however want to thank Duncan for the gift made in his late wife’s name, Anne Lowther, towards our new rolling bridge and to which after will be named when finally constructed sometime in 2017-2018. We now have 18 tenants and 5 businesses based at Cody Dock and it is fair to say that this project could not have happened without their epic support and belief in what we are doing. We will begin to share some of their stories and introduce you to these amazing people in future issues.

We also have a small but growing number of amazing staff now helping to insure that Cody Dock goes from strength to strength, many of whom started out as volunteers or visitors themselves. With the recent support of the Big Lottery, Thames Water and local business IOD Skip Hire, we are delighted to be providing employment for a core team of 6 and regular project-based employment for a further 15 people.

Things to look out for over the next quarter include: new evening and daytime art classes within our gallery, a new season of Healthy Sunday classes, a Saturday gardening club, the Cody Dock CafÊ’s autumn menu, our now notorious Halloween celebrations, a new quarterly breakfast club for local businesses and a mountain of volunteer opportunities as we kick-start our one year restoration program of the Docklands Community Boat. With the long awaited riverside connection to Three Mills and the Olympic Park nearing completion and expected to be open by the time this newsletter goes to print, the future for Cody Dock and the Lower Lea River looks bright.

Left to right: Simon Myers, Amanda Davies and Mathew Grisenti at the House of Lords Veolia Environmental Trust awards

HEALTHY SUNDAYS Dominique Rivoal

We are pleased to announce that the Healthy Sundays Program is coming back! Healthy Sundays was a program of wellbeing classes that ran over the summer at Cody Dock.

The program was produced by Dominique Rivoal and Vicky Maddox and made possible thanks to a “Go For It” grant from Newham Council. Due to popular demand, Healthy Sundays is coming back with the theme “Transition into Winter”. This time there will be a small charge for the workshops. Look out for ongoing Yoga sessions devised to support us through the change in season that will be followed by a relaxation to the wonderful sound of the gong. We will also welcome back Feldenkrais classes. Feldenkrais is a relaxing method to improve ease of movement and is open to all. Instead of her regular sessions in Auric Health, Vicky will be offering a Drumming circle with nods to the Shamanic traditions of the Native American and Celtic traditions. Other sessions will include Dominique leading a class in Mind Clearing to develop our communication skills for better relationships. We have also added a taster Qigong class which is a form of gentle exercise to connect with our vital energy as this was suggested in your feedback forms. And last but not least, an “Embodied playfulness session”. Expect spontaneity, movement, massage and sharing. Everybody is welcome, all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes.


Chapter 1 A background Anybody visiting Cody Dock, and arriving via the main gate off South Crescent, near Star Lane DLR station, will see that the 2.5-acre site is situated within a mix of modern business park and light industry. Anybody visiting Cody Dock, and arriving via the main gate off South Crescent, near Star Lane DLR station, will see that the 2.5-acre site is situated within a mix of modern business park and light industry. As you walk through the gates and down the approach road the vista opens out to a view across the River Lea – with a background complex of run-down looking industrial premises, 60's high-rise and maisonettes and beyond that the towering financial institutions clustered around Canary Wharf. It is the river itself that has given rise to Cody Dock, and it would be worth looking at something of the history of the Lea and the company that built the dock to begin to appreciate its place and potential now and in the future. This is the first of a series of articles which will explain why the dock is here and what it was used for, why it closed down and became lost, how it was rediscovered and cleaned up, what it is used for now, and by whom, and what the plans are for the future. We will also be looking at the status of the wildlife around the dock, and what might be done to enhance this for its own benefit and for the benefit of people too. The River Lea is one of the major tributary rivers of the Thames, and stretches for something like 40 miles from its source at Leagrave, near Luton, to the Thames at Bow Creek. Like many place names – and perhaps particularly those of rivers – the origins of the name “Lea” (or Lee) is uncertain. A suggestion is that it might be from a Celtic root “Lug” - meaning bright - and this might also refer to the name of a deity “Lugh”. Interesting to think that our river - which may not be quite as bright nowadays - may be named after a god! The lower part of the Lea – in which Cody Dock sits – is a navigable tidal river and has been much used in the past for shipping, much of this serving the rather more noxious industries that were established towards the east of London.

Water power had been used to power mills in the area for many centuries. Stratford Langthorne Abbey, which was situated just a short distance north of Cody Dock, had three mills during the 13th century. These mills were grinding flour for the bakers at Stratford-atte-Bow, who supplied the City of London market. However, in 1588, one of the mills was described as a "gunpowder mill". In 1872 one of the mills was purchased by gin distiller J&W Nicholson & Co of Clerkenwell and although production ceased in 1941, the premises were used for bottling and warehousing by Bass Charrington and Hedges & Butler until the early 1990s. Other industries included dyeing and the production of calico during the 17 th and 18th centuries, and being downwind of the more affluent area of London, in the 19th century the Lower Lea became an important area for the manufacture of chemicals. The value of the area for the latter was in part based on the supply of by-products such as sulphur and ammonia from the Gas Light and Coke Company's works at Bow Common. With the coming of the railways both industry and population in the area grew rapidly. Stratford had become a junction on the Eastern Counties Railway in 1839-40, and the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway from Stratford to North Woolwich opened in 1846-7. Just a mile or two downriver the Thames Ironworks shipyards had been established in 1837 and in 1855 Victoria Dock was opened, shortly followed by the Albert Dock. The use of gas for industry, for lighting and in the home was becoming increasingly common.

11th June 1918. Women workers mixing Prussian blue at the Gas Light and Coke Company, Bromley-byBow, London. Photo by A. R. Coster/Topical Press Agency/ Getty Images

To serve the increasing industry and population in the area, in 1870-73 the Imperial Gas Light and Coke Company built a new gasworks at Bromley-byBow, on the site of a former explosives factory. It was at this site that Sir William Congreve is thought to have done experimental works on rockets which were used during the Napoleonic Wars and during the American War of Independence. Indeed, Congreve’s early work with gas production may have paved the way for the Imperial Gas Company’s Bromley-by-Bow works which were later taken over by the larger and more successful Beckton based Gas Light and Coke Company. The company had a large and diverse transport fleet including ships, barges, railway wagons, locomotives and road vehicles to bring coal into their gasworks, and to take coke and by-products out. As the new gasworks was conveniently situated by the River Lea, it would have been sensible to take advantage of transportation by water as a major factor. Thus, at the same time that the new gasworks was built, a dock was built for the company to allow lighters to unload cargoes of coal for their gas works. This may have originally been known as St Leonard’s Dock and is the dock we now know as Cody Dock. Between the early 1870s and for something like a hundred years afterwards, the dock would have been a busy site. The company's fleet of sea-going colliers – bringing coal from Newcastle - would have been too large to enter the dock, so cargoes would have been loaded onto lighters and manoeuvred by tugs to and from the dock, from either nearby in the Thames or perhaps wharfs on the Lea itself.

Bromley-by-Bow Gas Works, Lea River and Canning Town, 1924. Reproduced with permission from The English Heritage Archive

The dock, with horizontal retort houses in the background. Coal is unloaded by hydraulic–electric cranes, 1955.

After the Second World War, ever increasing cost of coal forced the industry to begin looking for alternative gas supplies. Britain did not have a plentiful local supply of natural gas, so the British gas industry was already looking elsewhere for new sources of gas. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) was first imported from the Gulf of Mexico in 1959 to a facility at Canvey Island. From 1964, regular trips started between Algeria and Canvey Island, importing up to 700,000 tonnes of LNG per year. In 1965, the first offshore discovery of gas in Britain was made 40 miles off Grimsby, followed by other finds in the North and Irish seas. With this apparently plentiful local supply, in 1966 the Chairman of the Gas Council, Sir Henry Jones, formally announced that Britain would be switching to natural gas, and production at Bromley-by-Bow gasworks closed shortly after. With the closure of the gasworks, the dock became redundant. Years of neglect followed; part of the dock was in-filled and the whole site was used both legally and illegally for the tipping of rubbish. It was in this state, with thousands of tons of waste – some even toxic, that the dock was first discovered by the charity’s founder in the summer of 2004, and the process of regaining the site for its historical value, and its potential for the local community and as a valuable wildlife habitat began. In the next newsletter we will share something of the story of this discovery, some of the people involved, the work that has been done to make Cody Dock what it is today and what the plans are for its future. If you have any personal stories about the dock, the gasworks, or the industries and communities around here, we would love to hear from you.

OH MY GOURD! Vicky Maddox Thanks to Toynbee Hall, our first year of food growing got off to an enthusiastic start with a large group of youngsters helping to assist with the making and filling of almost all of our vegetable planters. After a crash course on how to grow organically my newly inducted growers got to decide what, how and why they were to plant up the beds with the vast array of veg plugs that we had purchased.

They did a grand job and by the end of three days I was left with a miniature farm to take care of. This I have done with tender loving care and kept up our commitment to grow without chemicals. Despite an infestation of Black Fly and Codling Moths we had a good start to the year with plenty of rain. The late arrival of summer provided a welcome boost to the growing as did the Comfrey Tea I managed to acquire from a friend. The Cucurbita family of plants had the best response to the extra nutrients delivered and resulted in one of our Butternut Squash plants growing a massive Gourd. This year has also seen the start of our Edible Entrance, in which the focus will be on fruit growing. We have planted Strawberries, Raspberries, Loganberries, Blueberries, Goji and Thorn-less Blackberries. I hope in the next year or two, visitors to Cody Dock will feel free to forage and help themselves as they wander through. Plans for next year include a Herb Garden for the Café and possibly a plan to grow to sell salads. We also hope to recruit for our over 50’s volunteer gardening and social group ‘Elder-Flowers’. Where the focus will be upon the maintenance of our already established and beautiful Sensory and Pergola Gardens. For more info, please contact Vicky at


In 2015 Tim Beswick a long standing supporter and volunteer at Cody Dock approached the charity with the idea of starting some art classes at the dock. At that time the dock had no suitable facilities but it was agreed that a building capable of hosting such activities was much needed. Miraculously a timber framed building created for Adidas as a 3 day pop-up shop in Shoreditch’s Truman’s Brewery was donated to the charity a week later and construction of Cody Dock’s very own gallery and arts space started soon after. Tim redesigned the layout of the building and reconfigured the roof and introduced windows into the design. An army of volunteers then descended and despite a lot of wet weather the building went up at high speed. By the spring the roof was on and the Gallery was complete.

As an opening show for the gallery, Fred and Maureen Waite a couple of older local residents put on an exhibition of their life’s work, paintings and sculptures of a high standard. The exhibition was a great success, with a large group of visitors and at one point, four generations of the Waite family were all together in the gallery. This opening exhibition was an example of the opportunities Cody Dock is providing local residents. Following the closure of his sculpture department at Kensington and Chelsea College, Tim was able to transfer all of his equipment, tools and materials to Cody Dock and set up the Art School. A trial summer school was run in July 2015 and following its success a weekly programme of classes was started that September and has run all though the year to date.

Life drawing, clay modelling and sculpture workshop classes continue 3 days a week, with excellent work produced. Students come from a variety of backgrounds with a wide range of skills and experience, from absolute beginners to professional artists, including job-seekers, young mothers, retired people and lately groups of school children coming for special projects. The gallery space now provides accommodation for a wide variety of activities including yoga classes, workshops, corporate and community events. The Cody Dock Art School will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from September 2016 with a new evening drawing class on Tuesday nights run by Alicia Fidler who is currently studying for an MA in art at The Slade. All classes are available for people over 16 and no previous experience is needed. All materials, equipment and expert tuition are provided, please refer to the events listing and Art School schedule for details.

If you are interested in booking a group session with the Art School for schools or under 16s, please contact us at or Information about the Art School can be found on the Cody Dock website and you can see Tim’s art work at

NADIA’S CAFÉ Nadia Mesbah Lots of people have been commenting on our lovely blueberry tart and jam. Here’s the recipe for our blueberry jam.

INGREDIENTS 5 cups crushed blueberries

2 tbs fresh lemon juice 7 cups jam sugar Add blueberries, lemon juice and sugar to a large, heavy pot. Mix well over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened for around 30 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into clean hot jars leaving ¼ inch head.

Bon Appetit!

So why not have a go yourself, you can exchange blueberries for any type of berry.

NEWS UPCOMING EVENTS AT CODY DOCK – and look out for our new Autumn menu!

Open House London/Harvest Fair 17 – 18 September You’re welcome to explore Cody Dock in a guided history tour. At the same time, we’re hosting a Harvest Fair where you can get hands-on with harvest and herb cultivation workshops, taste our unbelievably sweet and good fresh juice from an apple press and buy delicious, homemade jams.

Halloween 29 October, 5pm-9pm A family event with workshops, entertainment and prizes for the best home-made costume and for those who bring the best carved pumpkin!

Elder Flowers (September, October, November) A Saturday volunteering opportunity for older people to come and help with gardening. For more info, please contact Vicky Maddox at

Healthy Sundays For more info and prices, please contact 25 September 10am-1pm – Yoga with Indira Nandha 2 October 11am-1pm – Drumming circle with Vicky Maddox 9 October 11am-1pm – Mind Clearing with Dominique Rivoal 16 October 11am-1pm – Feldenkrais with Juliana Brustik 23 October 10am- 1pm – Yoga with Indira Nandha 6 November 11am-1pm – Qigong with Francesca Jaggs 13 November 11am-1pm – Feldenkrais with Juliana Brustik 20 November 11am-1pm – Embodied Playfullness with Emma-Jane Crace 27 November 10am-1pm – Yoga with Indira Nandha

Cody Dock Art School For bookings or enquiries, please contact Tim Beswick at Sculpture and Drawing Classes: Autumn term starts 13 September, half term break between 25–27 October, end of term finishes 15 December. Tuesdays Life Drawing, 11am-2pm. New! Evening class, 6.30pm-9.30pm Price £12.00 per session plus £3.00 model fee Wednesdays General sculpture workshop class, including mould making, carving and mixed media, 10am-4pm Price £20.00 per session plus cost of materials. Thursdays Figurative modelling, 10am-4pm Price £20.00 per session plus £5.00 model fee




GDP is a


social enterprise

based in Newham, East London which is working hard to bring energy and life to disused and former industrial



If you have a particular skill or area of interest or just want to get involved and find out more,

we would love to hear from you, just email us at

Cody Dock Newsletter #1 Autumn 2016  

Gasworks Dock Partnership is a registered charity based in the London Borough of Newham. We are leading the regeneration and development of...

Cody Dock Newsletter #1 Autumn 2016  

Gasworks Dock Partnership is a registered charity based in the London Borough of Newham. We are leading the regeneration and development of...