The Odd Guides

A series of printed and audio guides that capture an eclectic and multi-layered perspective of the Lower Lea Valley through the eyes of local teenagers

The Leaway is a new project that provides a continuous walking and cycling route connecting the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the Royal Docks and the River Thames. Parts of the River Lea have been made fully accessible to the public for the first time.

At this time of dramatic change for east London, Create worked with artists and people living locally to understand the important contribution the River Lea and its landmarks have made to the lives of Londoners.

In August 2015, a series of live events took place to explore the incredible natural history of the River Lea, uncover the role of the river in the story of dirt, pollution and sewage in London, pay tribute to the cultural story of east London through Grime music, and share stories of the epic industrial history of the area.

Meanwhile, teenagers from the Lower Lea Valley and artists Leigh Clarke, Dash N’ Dem and Gayle Chong Kwan made alternative guides to the Leaway. Part artwork, part trail and part map, each captures an eclectic and multi-layered perspective of the Lower Lea Valley and the new Lea River Park route through the eyes of young people.

There are three guides in the series: Dirt, Nature & Food and Trade & Industry, as well as the Odd Soundtrack: Grime up the River. The printed guides are available to pick up for free from dispensers installed at various locations (Cody Dock, Olympic Park: Aquatics Centre and Trinity Buoy Wharf) along the Lea River Park walkway.

To listen to the Odd Soundtrack and also watch an accompanying Grime video supported by Goldsmiths University of London, Design Department Research Grant, please check out the project’s Band Camp page.

The Odd Guides were designed by Joe Hales and cover illustration by Jonny Hannah.

The Leaway project is being delivered by the London Legacy Development Corporation, London Borough of Newham, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Poplar HARCA, supported by the Mayor of London and Transport for London.