West Ham score Westfield backing for Olympic Stadium move

Cornered: Will fans have any say over Hammers move?

East London football giants West Ham are edging closer to moving into the Olympic Stadium after 2012.

The club – with its new(ish) owners – have wanted it for some time, but now we’ve had the first real suggestion from shopping centre owners Westfield that they’d be delighted with the move too. Westfield’s Stratford City director, John Burton:

“Clearly there are statements saying we are opposed to West Ham and that is simply not correct. We will work with West Ham or anyone else for that matter in the delivery of a further use. The only criteria we would put around that is, given our role around access, that we have regular communication and co‑ordination to deal with any organisational issues.”

Two possible spanners in the works: AEG, the company behind the O2 have also bid.

And, understandably, many of the West Ham faithful are firmly against it. Not that that’s ever stopped a club moving in the past – just ask a Wimbledon/Millwall/Arsenal fan.

West Ham’s hopes of moving to Olympic Stadium after 2012 given boost | Football | The Guardian.

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No rail work during Games, but plenty before it

It’s all about rail news lately, it seems, but this one is worth mentioning.

Ugly scenes: Less of this, we hope

The ever-dependable (mostly) Press Association reports:

Transport for London (TfL) said non-essential engineering upgrade work on London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and Tramlink would be suspended from July 17 2012 until the conclusion of the Paralympics on September 14.

Good. Surprised it was even an option to be running engineering works while the Games were on, to be honest. But a bit lower down in the same article is something that will be of more interest to us:

However, NR warned of “additional and enhanced maintenance work” on the Olympic routes in the weeks and months leading up to the “work-free” period to get the track ready for increased demand.

It’s a bit of give and take I guess. I just hope we don’t find ourselves looking stupid in the face of more strikes.

The Press Association: Rail work to be suspended during Olympics.

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British Fencing looks to inner-city projects to stretch beyond London 2012 Olympics

Nice piece from the Telegraph today talking about Newham Fencing – a local club (more information about them to be found here).

Chief exec of British Fencing Piers Martin had this to say:

“We are looking to make the sport sustainable and we want our clubs to go out into the community and create a social network.

“Our vision is to make a world-leading fencing family and we want to shatter the image that fencing is a rich, middle-class sport.”

British Fencing looks to inner-city projects to stretch beyond London 2012 Olympics – Telegraph.

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DLR strike days announced

Going nowhere: Could strikes destroy the Games?

Workers on the Docklands Light Railway will begin a 24-hour strike at 4am on 23rd July.

There will be more similar strikes on the 27th July and 6th August.

The row – if you hadn’t heard – is over a third carriage being added to the trains. Something long overdue if you ask anyone who has had the pleasure of squeezing on at Bank.

You have to wonder what would happen if Tube/DLR workers decided to strike during the games. How would it be dealt with?

A very real proposition with Bob ‘My members, my members’ Crow at the helm of the train workers’ union, the RMT.

BBC News – Workers to go on three days of strikes on DLR over pay.

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London 2012 website aiming for 10 billion visitors

It’s not just in the real world that builders are hard at work – behind the scenes at London2012.com their team are knuckling down to build at site which they hope will attract no less than 10 billion visitors over the course of the Games.

It will be an Olympic record, apparently.

Social Media Influence caught up with Alex Balfour, the chap tasked with making sure it all happens. Lots of interesting things said.

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The London Olympics in 1908 and 2012

Tom Wilts has written an ace blog about the differences between the 1908 Olympics – the last time we had them here in London – and the Olympics we can expect in two years’ time.

There are some great facts in there. For instance, London was in fact the second choice for the Games that year – as Rome had to pull out at the last minute. Mount Vesuvius had erupted.

The budget of the 1908 Olympics was a minute £80,000.

The Games were home to a few firsts. It was the first time the teams paraded around in the opening ceremony with their flags, and it was the first time a special stadium was built explicitly for the purpose of hosting Olympic events.

Bicycle polo, tug-of-war and motor-boating were all included in the 26 sports that made up the competition. And a stand out moment was Dorando Pietri winning the marathon despite collapsing no less than five times in the process.

He was later stripped of his medal after being helped over the line by officials. Crazy.

Anyway – it would be unfair of me to list any more of Tom’s research efforts here. So for loads more – take a look at his post.

The London Olympics In 1908 And 2012 | Tom Wilt News.

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£240,000 Newham boss quits in shock departure

Britain’s highest-paid town hall chief executive quit his £240,000-a-year job at Newham council suddenly today.

Joe Duckworth will leave the borough – one of the poorest in the country – after only two years. He was going on a family holiday before taking his career “in a new direction”. The council would only say Mr Duckworth would be “moving on”, and would not comment on speculation he was pushed.

via £240,000 Newham boss quits in shock departure | News.

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