Lower Lea Valley – wonderfully strange and unaccountably mysterious, is now facing an identity crisis. We all knew that the Olympic bid would change its desolate air. But we never imagined just quite how much.

Until now.

Dystopian visions of the future are juxtaposed with the engagements of the legacies already apparent in the area. The marshes by the River Lea provided ample room for industry and number of day to day products that we associate with the modern world were actually invented here. For years this was a fertile ground for gasworks, distilleries, and factories that have long made this edge-lad their home.

Visions and promises of the legacy have been widely uses to legitimize the 2012 Olympics. These telescoped conceptions of the future are in stark contract with the daily experiences of those living and working under the Olympic shadow.

The printers, clothing manufacturers and cake makers are as buoyant as the once prevailing noxious manufacturers of gas mantels, paint oils, soaps and chemicals. It is still home to hundreds of thriving local industries, many established over generations. Industries that are seen but unseen. Looked at but not into.

Through series of photographs and drawings this book aims to reveal the atmosphere and processes of the workplaces that call this edge land their home, alongside with short account of their personal histories.