I spent years living in one of these system built monsters and yet it seems that “the housing crisis” demands that developers build more and more high rise. The Legacy of the 2012 Olympics seems to be that I can see less and less sky as I pass through Stratford. High rise living does not engender a happy life , noise travels indiscriminately and whilst promises are made I don’t believe any lessons have been learnt from previous disasters. Old blocks remain like ticking time bombs and new builds seem to go up quicker than your nipper playing with Lego!. Poem below voices my feelings and a couple of videos at the end of this post reinforce the view.

Where the Houses Used to Be.

Affordable homes

For Disposable people.

Cold Glass and Grey Steel

Continuously replace,

Warm Red Bricks and Bright Blue Skies.

Skies once punctuated by Hawksmoors Steeples,

Being blotted out by High Rise,

Upon High Rise,

Upon High Rise.


Ronan Point.



Multi Storey Tombstones

With inquiries in their name.

The pretty colour cladding

They wrap these buildings in

There to remedy

The rust and crumbling concrete

Of the original shoddy build.


Where the houses used to be

Elsie sits alone on the fourteenth floor

Down to her last quarter of tea.

And as the flames lick past her window

She sees the cranes in the distance

Building more towers,

Promising Luxury,

Replacing streets,

Replacing communities.


In years to come

There will be plaques of remembrance and cemeteries

Where the houses used to be.


Further reading….


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