The latest

17.2.2021 – An appearance in Landscape Artist of the Year on Sky Arts

On a very hot day in August 2020 I provided a short history overview of Woodberry Down as part of an episode of Landscape Artist of the Year. It was fun experience, which allowed me for the first time to stroll along the south bank of West Reservoir that is otherwise closed.

3.12.2020 – Stoke Newington History Talks no. 14

The 14th Stoke Newington History Talks event on December 3rd was attended by 130+ viewers on YouTube and included talks from myself, Billy Reading and Caz Richards. It was a very different experience than the usual in-person setting I got used to in the last 4 years, but it was still a great evening nonetheless. £573 was raised for the Hackney Foodbank and each talk generated interesting questions from the remote audience. And now I can start planning the next event!

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4.11.2010 – Hackney Gazette: Hundreds delve into Hackney’s history at online event

Connie Dimsdale wrote a piece in the Hackney Gazette about my talk in October, which drew an online audience of 315 people.

From the article: “Hackney’s Cllr Sophie Cameron (Clissold, Lab) said she feels “heartened” by how popular the history of Stoke Newington is: “One of the things that is so amazing about the local area is that there are so many people invested in the history…and it really affirms their identity. “It gives people a connection to the past that sometimes they feel is missing in modern life.”

You can read the full article here

20.10.2020 – Online talk: A Glimpse into Hackney Archives’ photos of Stoke Newington

Yesterday I gave an online talk on YouTube, which was attended by 315 people, out of the 580(!) that booked tickets. Both were incredible numbers and it was great to be able to share old photos of Stoke Newington Church Street with such a large audience. The 45min talk was structured as a tour of Stoke Newington Church Street using photos I was given kindly by the Hackney Archives, when I first gave the talk a few years ago. Special thank you to Nick Perry who organised and orchestrated the event.

The talk was organised by and

14.08.2020 – An article about my campaign to save old street signs across Stoke Newington

Dynevor Rd off SN High St

Clara Murray from wrote a short article about my campaign asking the council to save old street signs. Earlier this year I learnt through correspondence with the council, that irrespective of their potential historical significance, street signs are removed and destroyed if they are considered no longer fit-for-purpose due to their condition. This prompted Nick Perry, Chair of the Hackney Society, and myself to ask the council to reconsider its policy given the historical significance of street signs that include the former ‘Borough of Stoke Newington’ or the abolished ‘N’ postal district. After a number of chaser email to various people in council since February, a few weeks ago the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, got involved on Twitter and we received the reassurance we were hoping for that the signs will be protected.

06.08.2020 – Online talk about the campaign to save Clissold Park in the 1880s

On August 6th I live streamed on YouTube via Zoom a 50min-long talk about the campaign to save Clissold Park. It’s my favourite talk and the one I presented the most number of times. The last Stoke Newington History Event was held on March 2nd and I don’t know when I’ll be able to run the event in a physical space again. I’ve been considering running the event online and this was a useful, small-scale trial.

Stoke Newington’s Lost Pubs Walk

pubs 23.05.49

I wrote a self-guided 6.5km walk visiting 22 locations of ‘ghost’ pubs within the boundaries of the Borough of SN. Probably the driest pub crawl in history, but also one of the most informative! Here it is. Hope you enjoy it!

05.07.2020 – An appearance in Joolz Guides’ Stoke Newington history walk

‪It was a pleasure taking part in Joolz Guides’ latest film, this time all about Stoke Newington. It’s a great piece with LOTS of local history goodies. I make an appearance from 11:25-15:00 spreading coalhole cover appreciation and other bits. Enjoy! ‬

Annual Stoke Newington Church Street Shopfront photo-survey is up

Stoke Newington Church Street survey 2020_small

Here is the 6th edition of my annual SNCS Shopfront photo survey (minus the queuing). 30% of the shops I photographed in 2015 have changed. Of the 118 commercial properties (excl. pubs), 6 are vacant currently. You can see the previous surveys here.

Stoke Newington Boundary Walk

Screenshot 2020-06-21 at 00.08.26

I created a self-guided ‘Beating the Bounds’ walk of the former Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington. It’s roughly 9km and with a couple of breaks should take about 3 hours. It’s a great walk which takes you to the four corners of the former borough and makes you realise how big, or small depending on your perspective, the borough was. Enjoy!

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30.03.2020 – BBC ‘Boring Talks’ podcast


I was chuffed to be invited a few months ago to record a BBC ‘Boring Talk’ podcast about my fascination with coalhole cover designs. It was great fun to record in the BBC 4 studio and also in the streets of Stoke Newington. You can listen to the podcast here.

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02.03.2020 – Stoke Newington History Talks #13

SNHT no.13

The 13th Stoke Newington History Talks event was held in St Matthias Halls on March 2nd in front of a packed audience. Brilliant talks by Alan Denney and Andy Wells. Proceeds from this event were donated to Hackney Playbus. Thank you to all who attended.

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03.12.2019 – Stoke Newington History Talks #12

SNHT no.12

The 12th Stoke Newington History event of the year was held on December 3rd in St Matthias Halls, as usual. All 155 Tickets were snatched in 22 hours, which was incredible. Proceeds from this event were donated to Pets Against Loneliness; a group of volunteers bringing together older members of the community with well-behaved dogs and their owners for the purposes of joy and the alleviation of loneliness.

All three presentations are available here

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16.10.2019 – Nerd Nite talk: The Beauty of Victorian Coal-Hole Covers


I had a great time presenting my survey of Stoke Newington coal-hole cover designs as part of the October Nerd Nite London event. It’s very niche and ultra-geeky, which is why Nerd Nite is the ideal forum to share my interest in these decorative cast iron beauties.

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22.09.2019 – Clissold House Open House event


I had the pleasure of presenting my talk about the dramatic campaign to save Clissold Park from development in the Drawing Room in Clissold House as part of a festive Sunday celebrating 130 years of Clissold Park, which coincided with the Open House London weekend. Giving this talk in Clissold House always feels special.

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12.09.2019 – ‘Old road signs should be protected’ – Stoke Newington historian / The Hackney Gazette


Sam Gelder from the Hackney Gazette wrote an article about my recent photo-survey of the 17 surviving street signs that include ‘Borough of Stoke Newington’, meaning they date back from the the period of 1900-1965 when Stoke Newington was an independent metropolitan borough. I’ve been fascinated by these old signs for a while and finally got around to documenting them all. You can read the online version of the article here.

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