London 2012 Olympic Meltdown Countdown – Host Boroughs To Be Military Bases!

April 30, 2012

I hadn’t been caning it the night before, and I didn’t eat cheese before I went to bed. Yet waking up on Sunday to the news that a gated apartment block would soon have surface-to-air missiles placed on their roof, here in sunny Tower Hamlets, had me scratching my head, then laughing hysterically. It had to be a joke, right? Wrong. This is for real, ladies and gentlemen. For real.

Thunderbird 1 aircraft

The Tracy family don’t know it yet, but their new launch pad is going to be on the roof of Bow Quarter… FAB!

The residents of Bow Quarter, a former match factory in Bow that was transformed into luxury apartments in the late 80s, with a gym and pool, will have the added cachet of the military hunkering down for the Olympic period. It is, but a small price to pay for having a great view of the stadium (but not the activities inside, obviously).

The first these poor people knew of this occupation was finding a leaflet in their post boxes, informing them of this lucky draw. It looked like this:

Bow Quarter missiles leaflet

You know, that image of the helicopter reminds me of something. Now, let me think…

Do you think the residents will get a free ride over the Olympic Village on one of those fine machines, as a thank you for putting up with all this? If I was living there, it would be the very least I’d expect from them!

It has since been revealed that there are other sites rich for the military picking, including Blackheath Common, Epping Forest and another set of lucky people residing in a tower block in Waltham Forest. I don’t think they have a gym, or a pool.

But we’re not worried about the debris raining down on us if anything kicks off. We’re from the East End. We’re tough. We’ll gets through it somehow, ‘cos we knows our place, we do. Maybe The Queen’ll come an’ see us, like her muvver did when we was bombed aaht in the woaahr. Gawd, bless ‘em, one an’ all!

I hope you have a spare bed or couch well away from Londinium, dear reader. I may be paying you a visit.



  1. Great post, I live in Tower Hamlets. But not Bow thankfully!

    • I lived in Bow for many years. The most excitement you were likely to get was a bargain in Roman Road market (when it used to be good) and the odd punch up when the pubs shut. It’s one way of putting us on the map, I suppose. I don’t know if I should be more upset about this, or the alleged vote rigging in our borough with the London Mayoral election. It doesn’t make us look good, whichever way you look at it.

  2. Pie,
    … there’s a very very fine line between paranoia and ready for every eventuality to the point of overkill, and being under prepared should anything untoward happen.

    We have to be in the UK the weekend of the Opening Ceremony and annoyingly the meeting we will be at is close to Stansted airport, we were hoping that it would be further away from London (ie as far as possible) because accommodation and restaurants etc will be ridiculously inflated in price.

    We’ve already ruled out hiring a vehicle in the UK, for this very reason as it will be cheaper to hire one here in the Netherlands and pay the ferry costs (we will have a visiting guest and our little hatchback won’t do 5 plus luggage).

    On the up-side I get to eat fish and chips again LOL, so maybe it will be worth putting up with Olympic mayhem.

    btw, I bet there probably was another tower block suitable but probably not with pool and gym… so I’m sure some “suitable ” reason was found to scratch it off the list…
    … do the soldiers get to just do shifts on the roof, or do tenants get kicked out in the name of patriotic duty to accommodate them as well?

    p.s gotta laugh.. “will this presence make us a target”?
    Well they were hardly going to write “yes” in the reply were they?

    • You gots to laugh, aincha!

      Well, Stanstead’s pretty far, but perhaps Liverpool would be a nice safe and far enough spot. The UK is incredibly expensive at the moment. The Olympics has added a bit more, thanks to the greedy who hope to cash in, but I think you would’ve been paying out an awful lot for your few days here anyway.

      Maybe the soldiers will live with some of the residents as lodgers, with a gun as their sleeping partner.

      I hope you find your fish and chips. I’m sure you’ll write about it soon enough, with pics to go with it.

  3. Pie, you’re more than welcome to stay with us in the US. Just bring some Picadilly artwork with you for my living room.

    Sheesh. Over-the-top is putting it mildly.

    That video was so, so sad.

    • If I had the money, I’d certainly consider it. You’re asking too much of me to bring a piece of Piccadilly artwork. I do have some pride, you know!

  4. Slightly different to the above slant on the Olympics but I have recently been researching the copyright around the Olympics name and logo and came across this rather cute product page which, considering the name of your blog, I felt you might like to be aware of:


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