Flood? What Flood?

Today was one of those days when curiosity got the better of me. You may have heard on last nights news that the Stratford Shopping Centre was flooded yesterday. The thing is, there are two shopping centre in Stratford: the older, smaller Stratford Centre, and the Westfield centre, one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe. (Reference for northerners: it’s like having the Trafford Centre and the Potteries Centre in Stoke just across the road from each other.) The thing was, it wasn’t clear from the news report which had been flooded, and, being rather fond of Stratford, I wanted to find out.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: I could just have googled it. Yet I suspect that would have just been ambiguous. Far better (and more fun) to hop onto the tube and head the three stops up the Jubilee Line to see for myself.

That, then, is exactly what I did. It took less than forty minutes to get there. First I headed for Westfield, only to find it functioning normally, and as insanely busy as ever. Then, after a quick shop for the sausages I knew I needed for dinner tonight, I went in search of the Stratford Shopping Centre. Despite the two being so close, it took me a while to navigate the streets of Stratford, now highly developed save for the occasional old, derelict pub, left standing as if to remind you what that area of London used to be like not that long ago. There is an easy, direct route between the two, but I chose not to take it, preferring to explore instead. Yet, when I got there, I found the Stratford Centre perfectly fine too, with no sign of any flood. There were a few signs of damage, but the clean up must have been really fast. I was impressed: I’d expected at least one mall to be closed.

That, then, answered my question, and I decided to head home. It may have been a bit of a pointless exercise, but having got to see a bit of Stratford other than the Westfield Centre and Olympic park, I think that area is ripe for exploration. And at least I got my sausages.

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