Saturday, 30 July 2016

Inside the Iconic Millennium Mills

The Iconic Millennium Mills

I remember the first time I stepped into a derelict building. It was a house I had lived in during my final year in school and both the roof and floor had rotted away. Stephen’s instinct was to get out of there immediately, mine was to explore. And so began my love of all things derelict. I can’t explain it and many people won’t share it but I love the idea of exploring crumbling down buildings.

I’m less sure when my love affair with Millennium Mills began. I recall seeing the sun glinting off it one day as the DLR trundled past. I promised myself that I’d take a walk down there one day to get a closer look. I featured it in a blog post last year called Millennium Mills: Past, Present and Future and focused on how it had been used in music videos, TV shows and films and how it would soon be redeveloped.

Then something truly exciting happened – the developers contacted me and invited me to take a look inside! How thrilling!

And so it was that one cloudy morning, we took a boat from Royal Victoria Dock to the iconic Millennium Mills and got to take a look inside.

Amplify Your Voice - Millennium Mills

Amplify Your Voice (taken from the water).

Looking up at the side elevation of Millennium Mills

Looking up at the side elevation of Millennium Mills.

Reflections in Water - Millennium Mills

Reflections in Water

From the inside looking out - Millennium Mills

From the inside looking out

Laying the Foundations of Floors - Millennium Mills

Laying the Foundations of Floors

The Green Door - Millennium Mills

The Green Door

Greenery and reflections - Millennium Mills

Greenery and reflections

Shadows of the Mills - Millennium Mills

Shadows of the Mills

Escape or entry - Millennium Mills

Escape or entry

A Concrete Perspective - Millennium Mills

Concrete Perspective

Roof to roof - Millennium Mills

Roof to roof

The view of the river - Millennium Mills

The view of the river

Arches and rooftops - Millennium Mills

Arches and rooftops

Green Perspectives - Millennium Mills

Green Perspectives

Stairs down - Millennium Mills

Stairs down

Broken windows - Millennium Mills

Broken windows

Warning floor level obstacles - Millennium Mills

Warning: Floor level obstacles

Looking up at Millennium Mills

Looking up at Millennium Mills

Spillers - Millennium Mills

Spillers

Definitely visit my post Millennium Mills: Past, Present and Future to learn more about the history of the mills which were built in 1905 during the heyday of the East London docks. There are also graphics of how the proposed development will look.

The Millennium Mills redevelopment is a massive £3.5bn project that is due to be finished in 2017. The aim is to deliver 21,000 jobs and 3,000 homes and a public space where local businesses and start ups can afford to move in. In every part of the process, the developers say that they are keen to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Mike Luddy from the Royal Docks Management Authority has stressed that they won’t ignore history like they did at Canary Wharf and that the development will respect the history of the former flour mill and the working class people who made the area great. If you meet Mike he will tell you that the docks became disused not because they weren’t looked after but because modern ships were too big for the shallow waters.

Likewise, Simon Webster from The Silvertown Partnership promises to take on board the history of the area and reflect it in the development. He has said that the renaissance of the area has been a long time coming. In June this year, the development was shortlisted for the ‘Planned Economic Growth’ category of the Planning and Placemaking Awards.

I was quite wary of the proposed development initially but even I have to admit that something has to be done with the building to prevent it falling into dereliction. From the sound of it, they seem to be doing something right with the development if they are winning awards.

What do you think? Would you like to explore a place like Millennium Mills? Perhaps if you wore a hard hat and steel-toed boots like I did on the day?

I'm linking up with #CityTripping again today. I really love this weekly linkup and the chance to visit cities across the globe. My post today was a little different than usual but dereliction is a fact of city life and so I thought it fits the bill! Click below to join in.

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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