Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

juliettellewellyn:

Excellent post on Queen Elizabeth Park by London based travel blogger Davide

Originally posted on Travelling Dave:

View of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

After the very successful Olympic Games in London in 2012, the area where many of the events took place was closed to the public and gradually reopened in 2014 as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Picture from London 2012 Olympic Games

Olympic Park sign, London

Some of the temporary structures used during the Games were dismantled and the remaining buildings have been made accessible to the general public. The Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid has lost its “wings” built to accommodate the spectators; the wave-shaped building is the first of the iconic Olympic venues that visitors to the Park will see when accessing the area from Westfield Shopping Center.

View of the Aquatics Center in London

View of the Aquatics Center in London

Inside there are two Olympic pools, a diving pool and boards, a gym and a crèche. They can be accessed daily either by joining a membership scheme or on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.

View of one of the pools of the Aquatics Center

View of a lifeguard in the Aquatics Center in London

The diving pool at London's Aquatics Center

Leaving the Aquatics Centre, walking over a bridge crossing the canal, a nice tree-lined promenade leads to the…

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‘I Made London 2012!’

Adrian in Character

Adrian in Character as a Working Man in Pandemonium

 

GUEST POST:  ADRIAN MILNER

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1. What was your Olympic Volunteer Role and where?

I was a working man from the Victorian times. The Opening Ceremony in “Pandemonium“.

2. When did you volunteer?

I volunteered for 150 hours over 24 days starting at the beginning of May 2012 – mostly in the pouring rain. 1st at 3 Mills Studios – then at the old Ford Motor Factory in Dagenham and finally from June in the Olympic Stadium.

3. Describe your uniform

Distressed – grey corduroy trousers up to my nipples with belt – grey corduroy cloth cap – shirt covered in oil – cravat – black leather gloves – ripped black jacket – black steel toe capped boots and a sooty face. I was a working man from the Victorian times!

4. What did you do?

It varied – but all Working Men and Women in the Pandemonium sequence had to learn how to dismantle the “Green & Pleasant Land” set of the opening sequence. We needed to learn how to move fences – hedges – flowers – crops – and turf, LOTS of turf.

1200 of us were divided into counties from A-J. I was assigned Fife and we were located by the huge water wheel – in front of the press tribunes – near the mosh pit and the great bell (we called it the bell end – phnarr phnarr)!

We also had to learn choreography dreamed up by Toby Sedgewick the man behind all the choreography in War Horse. These moves were code-named: shovel pickaxe – sliding door – shut the boot – lever handles – chisel hammer. These had to be learnt and were quite elaborate – all had to be put together in a chain. We used this choreography during “Convergence” – when the Olympic rings were coming together.

5. What was your highlight?

Meeting so many wonderful people from London and all over the country and the world. It was such an honour being in the ceremony – to represent the country and this wonderful city of ours!

The day of the opening will remain with me forever - the walk down from our holding area at Eaton Manor (site of the Paralympic Tennis venue)  to the Olympic Stadium and seeing the Red Arrows fly over the Stadium. The world’s press clapping & taking pics of us.The noise coming from the stadium and the anticipation of the spectators – all of us booing when there was a slight shower outside the BBC Studio (fortunately it cleared for show time).

Waiting in the bowels of the stadium for our big moment and seeing Kenneth Branagh rehearse for one last time and then being on the stage & all the animals coming off the field of play. The tumultuous cheers when the rings went up. The gasps of the audience as the Queen said “Good evening Mr Bond”! Finally the walk back to Eaton Manor and seeing all the athletes starting to queue to go into the stadium – was wonderful! One of the happiest days of my life!

6. What did you gain?

Meeting so many people from different backgrounds and learning that I can do things when I put my mind to it. Also learning that it’s great to volunteer – the feeling of a sense of purpose.

7. Are you inspired to volunteer further?

I would look at it again but it is exhausting when you have a full-time job – I had no weekends for nearly 3 months!

8. What’s your lasting memory of the Olympics and Paralympics?

Joy – happiness – smiling faces – London and Britain putting on the best Olympic Games ever. Team GB inspiring the nation!

The proof that if governments invest long-term  - we can still be a great country (take note Cameron and Osborne). Realising that even though we are a tiny country we still have an influence in the world that outweighs our size and that we can be a force for good in the world!

Finally – the smell of the stadium will always be with me (akin to new carpet)!

 
Adrian Milner is my 4th Guest Post. He was a Performer in the Opening Ceremony. Over these coming years, I am featuring a number of Games Volunteers and Games Visitors talking about their experience of London 2012!

**Lord Sebastian Coe in his closing speech at The Olympics Closing Ceremony said all the Volunteers had the right to carry the phrase ‘I made London 2012′ as a badge of honour.

Still Here…

hyde park 1

“a symbol of that restless physical impulse to seek the still unachieved in the domain of material things”

I want to let you know I am still posting about my Olympic / Paralympic Volunteering Experience 2012 with Guest Posts.

It felt appropriate that I made it to the centre of Hyde Park to the Physical Energy Statue after the recent London Ambassador training in July 2013. Yes I am partaking again this year.

hyde park 2

As unfortunately I lack in the above (physical energy) due to Fibromyalgia and M.E. It can affect my ability to function and thus post on here. I also suffer with Electro Magnetic Sensitivity and so my time on computers is limited. If you don’t see me on here for a while, like past months, this is usually why.

green park 1

So until I post again I’ll  leave you with a favourite image I found whilst on the tube this trip: Lego Underground!

Module One Training

Casting your mind back to this time last year 2012, I began writing up my London Ambassador Training, starting with Module One. However, the ‘Olympic Experience’ took over. I had to put on hold documenting until now. Last year I got as far as Module One training trip Day 1 and Module One training trip Day 2. So here it continues…

Day 3 – Module One Training 30.03.12

At The Lighthouse

I’m up early to allow myself just over an hour to travel to North Kensington (old style) from the tip of North East London. Something I have to get used to as the distances are far longer here in London, compared to Cardiff. After a walk, a few tubes and another walk, I arrive just after registration starts.

Again we are in The Lighthouse -Terrence Higgins Trust, which makes it easier as I came here for my interview. I know that it is an environment, which is suitable health wise…

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity MCS can make life difficult at times in terms of venues. However, a lady from London Ambassadors has checked through with the venue and they haven’t decorated in the last few month and they offer to air through the room and reduce the amount of cleaning fluids that day.

moduleone2

A full days training comprising mainly of presentations and teamwork exercises. Working in groups is a highlight as getting to meet others is one of my major motivations for being a London Ambassador.

We have a lot of fun as well as absorbing a large amount to information as regards details of what to expect the coming months: our uniform arrangements, POD locations, teamwork, where London Ambassadors fit in to the bigger picture of the Olympic & Paralympic Games.

I come away full of enthusiasm for the work in the summer!

Tube Travel

Finishing a little earlier than expected, as it is a sunny day and feeling happy that I completed the day health wise, I catch the tube to South Bank to remind myself again of the place I will be volunteering…

Spring At South Bank

View across Thames to Big Ben

Strolling along The Thames to Riverside Terrace Cafe for a cuppa, it’s exiting to think I’ll be a part of this in the summer…

Jubilee Gardens

At this stage Jubilee Gardens was still being re-constructed. By the time we volunteered at the Jubilee it was completed… as were the jubiloo’s!

Blue Easter Egg in the Easter Egg Hunt

Lots of these eggs were dotted about London, they were part of the Big Easter Egg Hunt last year. It is happening again this year throughout the UK and in London, just had a February stint and will be back mid March. Keep up on Twitter @Big Egg HuntUK

Blosson on Trees on South Bank Spring 2012

Close up of People relaxing on Riverside Terrace with a drink