If we lost our heritage would there still be cultural relevance?

Project Launched: 16/02/2021


Stories of East London told with contemporary street photography and local reflections by the people who live there.

Sold By: Happy London Press



London’s waterways are going through a revival, after the decline, coming to a head in the winter of 1963, where coal gas was replaced with piped North Sea gas, became the final straw and for barges transporting heavy loads up and down the country. Luckily for us now, it was difficult and costly for the government of the day, to close the canals. Thanks to enthusiastic amateurs, who maintained the waterways and the pleasure of boating.

But what massive economic change has caused this sudden recent revival in East London’s canals? Simple, the cost of housing is at an all time high. Rents now require two salaries to occupy a small one-bedroom apartment, mortgages are unobtainable, as banks no longer want the risk of loans and transport is an expensive crush with over-crowding. Taking these points into account – doesn’t the tranquility of the waterside, suddenly have a lot more appeal?

Hundreds of young people are buying abandoned, decrepit barges, to make as their homes and motor across locks to the nearest mooring bank, to get to their place of work.

The book is a photographic narrative; boater’s stories of these changing times of east London’s canals, with stories from the canallers and moving images of the tough and challenging life young people face.

Previous titles

‘Little London Adventures’ series

1. Cockney Curiosities
2. SURREPTITIOUS CITY (forthcoming)

Clare Newton says…

Since 2004 I have been cycling up and down East London Canals, in search of heritage to photograph and rediscover its story left in its remnants and historic richness.


About The Author - Clare Newton

Clare Newton FRSA is an accomplished artist, designer and writer who is also an inspirational social entrepreneur. Her projects have included the Power Paralympian Tennis Champions documentary, the 'Spirit of Legends' Paralympian exhibition, the Thames Memorial campaign to commemorate people who drown in the river, a celebration of the second female Lord Mayor of London in 900 years and Jump4London, the world's longest photograph (which earned Clare a double Guinness World Record) to promote in the inclusion of disabled and socially disadvantaged people in the community in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Additional information

Dimensions 24 × 16.2 × 1 cm



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External Reviews

'A very handsome book.'

Artwords Books Shop, Hoxton (on Cockney Curiosities)>

'A delight to have in our photography book collection'

Waterstones LeadenHall Market, London (on Cockney Curiosities)>

'A charming little book about London'

Canary Wharf Magazine, (on Cockney Curiosities)>

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