Southside | Start: 12:50 | End: 14:43 | Duration: 1:53 mins
For this final Look up at the Sky walk, I was joined by a group of eleven writers, photographers, musicians and happy strollers to explore this unusual part of London. We met at a designated point in Greenwich where I introduced the project briefly before setting everyone on the route to take in the journey at their own pace.
We began to walk. I noticed how quickly the river doubled in width beyond the Cutty Sark and also how rapidly we lost our group formation, drifting off in twos and threes. Some people fled towards the finishing line, others stopped at each interesting point, while a few individuals took a cheeky shortcut to reach the end first.
Parts of the Thames Path were blocked so we had to make a detour through strangely quiet residential streets, passing graffiti, a shrine, blocked entrances, the churn of building works and a main road. There was a tremendous shift of mood when we were finally able to meet the river again. We edged closer to the Dome, our halfway point.
I asked the participants to write about their experience. A collaborative piece for the first part of the walk incorporating these responses is below, as are a selection of images.
The second stretch was all barbed wire, handwritten signs and cranes. The river was colourless in a blank shade of taupe, slim waves of brown. Seven of us reached the regal fins of the fabulous Thames Barrier. Finished.
Our responses are shown below, in text and photographs.
For both parts of the day, I tried to create a portrait of our journey – including where we started and the stopping points that punctuated it – using the experiences of the group. Through this charting, I hope to capture the spirit of the walk, as well as find a way to make sense of this part of the city.
Thank you to those who joined me: Amy Racs, Clare Gill, Debs Butler, Kamala Katbamna and Rachel Cherry. And those who received medals for reaching the finishing line: Andy Rushton, Bram Arnold, Claire Reddleman, Mathew Hanratty, Oli Graham and Stephen Nash.
Text contributions by Andy, Claire R, Debs, Gemma, Kamala, Mathew, Oli and Rachel.
Images by Amy, Andy, Gemma, Kamala, Mathew, Oli and Stephen.