Ontelly

Lives in a Landscape - Series 6 - The Hall


In the heart of London's former docklands on the Isle of Dogs, surrounded by the steel and glass of Canary Wharf stands an outpost of an old London that's all but disappeared. St John's Community Centre is a little hall that's used seven days a week by a staggering variety of people, from the devout evangelical Christians who hold services there to the Moslem worshippers for whom the same space is their mosque. But for tango dancers it's the East End's equivalent of Buenos Aires, while for the bingo brigade, it's Full House - and for those who fancy a pint of an evening, St John's is simply the Local: at St John's, when one group have finished, another one is poised to move in. At the hub of these extraordinarily diverse groups and juggling the space's complex timetable is George, now in his 70s but still working as piermaster just down the road at Canary Wharf. As a fifth generation stevedore, George Pye has seen the ships disappear from the river and the old wharves nearby transformed into gentrified pads for wealthy loft-dwellers. With Christmas approaching George has his time cut out to meet the many demands on the the little space that's been home to so many people for more than three decades. Producer: Neil McCarthy.

Broadcasts

  • 2010-12-15 11:00:00 - 2010-12-15 11:30:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,