Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

02 Greenwich: from white elephant to regeneration hub

January 25, 2009

The 02, formerly known, loved and hated as the Millenium Dome: it was a Tory white elephant inherited by Labour who waded in with similar hubris and incompetence to get it sorted by December 31, 1999.  Nine years later and it seems to be the epicentre and symbol of regeneration and development in south-east London.

By the way this is just an excuse to feature the rather appalling video below, which is an experiment: I am reviewing a Flip Ultra camcorder for ttgbusiness, and wanted to see how easy it is to shoot something, upload it and  add it to my blog.

Anway, it worked pretty well, although I don’t think Danny Boyle will be losing any sleep.

The Dome was born on a toxic wasteland next to the southside of the Blackwall Tunnel, and grew up to be the first billion-pound tent, a monstrous joke at the taxpayers’ expense (though actually it was mainly Lottery money). One of New Labour’s first major embarassements, who can forget a boot-faced Queen enduring a ghastly new year’s eve, dragooned into singing Auld Lang Syne with Tony Blair?

Since being removed from the clutches of blundering politicians, it’s become a highly credible major entertainment venue.

There’s been some headline-grabbing shows here, from the Rolling Stones to Prince, as well as art exhibitions such as Tutenkhamun, and it’s one of the main Olympics venues. It should also be high on the radar for the MICE industry.

And there’s so much construction going on around the 02 it could soon be blocked from the east London skyline.

Bin bags, WTM and the Olympics

November 18, 2008

Last week we rang the council to order some compostable bin bags, which it sells so residents can recycle organic waste. “No problem,” said the lady at the council. “They’ll be delivered within 3-4 weeks.”

If it takes 3-4 weeks for a government body to deliver some bin bags – it’s no surprise that 1,000s of distinguished foreign visitors found themselves stranded at Canning Town in the pouring rain on the first morning of WTM, because the DLR had gone kaput.

The question on all those foreign lips was: “How on earth will they cope with the Olympics?”

Since any challenge – from bin bags to Olympics – to a government department seems met with blithering incompetency, how indeed?

From Dr Beeching’s wholesale destruction of our rail network in the 1960s to John Major’s hopelessly botched Railtrack privatisation, to the current shambles, politicians seem to have a blind spot when it comes to any form of travel in the UK.

So who can we turn to for answers to our problems? What about those in the know – all the travel professionals out there? Please help!