Hammering down a stadium and community

Dressing room Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater

Last year I ran work by lifelong West Ham fan Marcus Drinkwater who had been documenting the final year of the football club's time at the ground they called home for 112 years - Upton Park.

West Ham now play their football at the Olympic Stadium, in Stratford, east London, but Drinkwater has continued to record both the demolition of the old stadium and the businesses that remain in the surrounding area, this time in black and white.

"Now the stadium is halfway through demolition and the songs are no longer being sung in Upton Park, many businesses are feeling the strain," says Drinkwater.

Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater

"West Ham's decision to up sticks and move over three miles west has left a big hole in the community, a hole being filled with 842 'luxury dwellings'. The flats are estimated to be completed by 2022 so it could be a little too late for the local business owners in the area."

Drinkwater feels that the story of Upton Park, known as the Boleyn Ground in latter years, is the story of London today.

He says: "Profits overshadow people and property developers are shaping our city. Another one of London's iconic areas is being gentrified and local people, for now, will have to learn to adapt regardless of the loss of income and loss of community."

Here are a selection of Marcus Drinkwater's pictures from his ongoing project.

Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater
Image caption Brenda (right) has worked at Nathan's Pies and Eels for more than 41 years
Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater
Image caption Nathan's Pies and Eels has been part of the matchday ritual in the East End since 1938, with fans queuing down the Barking Road for a taste of the East End. Richard Nathan, the fourth generation owner, feels that Newham Council has let down the local community since the stadium has moved. "There has been no help at all, the council has put quite a substantial amount of money aiding the club in its move. All they have done for us really is left us behind and put up our rent," he said.
Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater
Image caption Boxing is synonymous with east London and the East Ham Working Men's Club, which would leave a big hole in the community if it was to close.
Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater
Image caption Generations have boxed here and many of their boxers travel from Essex to fight for the Club.
Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater
Image caption George and Elsie are lifelong members of the Club and are concerned about the changes to the area in which they grew up. They feel the football club is the last piece of history being removed from the area and fear for the future of the Working Men's Club, with George saying: "Oh, this will close. I've been a life member of this club, now more people are dying off. We are just ticking over now."

You can see more work by Marcus Drinkwater on his website.

Image copyright Marcus Drinkwater