I am a passionate local historian dedicated to uncovering the captivating history of Stoke Newington; an ancient parish and former Metropolitan Borough that’s now part of the London Borough of Hackney. Since settling here in 2002, I have immersed myself in the exploration of this area’s past, and my journey began in earnest in 2011.

Amir Dotan

Upcoming events

  • 13.07.2023 – Stoke Newington History Talks no. 19 (Tickets will go on sale a month before the event. Join the events mailing list to be notified when tickets go on sale).

Latest blog updates

03.06.2023 – Stoke Newington Literary Festival

I had a great time giving a talk at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival in the historic Mildmay Club. 175 people was my biggest audience to date! My talk covered various aspects of Stoke Newington’s rich history using 10 eBay finds. From the story of the Town Hall to a Jewish confectionary works, High St businesses in 1982, the Church St library and much more!

25.05.2023 – Stoke Newington History drop-in session no. 3

It was great meeting people on May 25th who came to Revere the Residence in Stoke Newington Church Street to get their local history questions answered by Nick Perry, Richard Young, Rachel Tobyn and I. As with the first and second sessions, we were presented with a wide range of interesting questions from the history of St Mary’s Lodge in Lordship Road to whether the Hackney Brook runs under the railway line in Rectory Road!

20.04.2023 – Stoke Newington History Talks no. 18

90 people attended the 18th Stoke Newington History Talks event in St Matthias Halls and it was a great evening with talks about local ghost stories, the area’s pre-historic past and rare archeological finds and my talk about local history items I got on eBay.

15.03.2023 – Nerd Nite talk: The Segregated Pub

I had a great time giving a talk at Nerd Nite London titled ‘The Segregated Pub – A History of Class and Gender-based Drinking’. It was my 3rd Nerd Nite talk and it was good being back in a packed Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green.

12.12.2022 – Stoke Newington History Talks no. 17

80 people braved the icy pavements and cold evening to gather in St Matthias Halls for the 17th Stoke Newington History Talks event on Dec 12th. It was great to be back hosting an in-person for the first time since the pandemic and seeing many familiar faces. The event sold out in less than 24 hours, which was amazing.

30.11.2022 – Interview with Liam Davis on Shoreditch Radio

I was invited to talk to Liam Davis about Stoke Newington’s history on his online radio show on Shoreditch Radio. We touched on a variety of topics during a 30min chat such as municipal boundaries, gentrification and Abney Park. You can listen to it here from 28:34min.

22.11.2022 – Stoke Newington History Pop-up #2

The second Stoke Newington History Pop-Up event was held on November 22nd and it was a pleasure meeting people who came to see Nick Perry, Rachel Tobyn and Richard Young and myself to ask us local history questions. From a couple that moved into the area and wanted to learn about the history of their street to a woman who wanted to know the history of the nursery building where she’s working. It was great fun and hopefully we’ll do it again in a the spring.

Local history adviser on BBC’s Antique Roadshow

I helped the director and researcher of BBC’s Antique Roadshow with their research into the history of Clissold Park as part of the filming of three episodes there, which is taking place on July 10th. The first of three episodes filmed in the park was aired on October 9th. The other two episodes will be aired in 2023.

4.10.2022 – Private talk to CAMRA’s London Pubs Group

On October 4th 2022 I had the pleasure of giving a talk to members of CAMRA’s London Pubs Group about Stoke Newington’s lost pubs. It was an extended version of the first part of my recent talk in the Stoke Newington Literary Festival about Stoke Newington’s ‘ghost’ pubs and cinemas. By the way, have you tried my free self-guided walk ‘Stoke Newington’s Lost Pubs’ yet?

01.08.2022 – Interview for Hackney Social Audio podcast

I was interviewed for Hackney Social Audio and talked about my Stoke Newington history hobby. It was good fun and a chance to reflect on the last 9 years since I started this account. You can listen to the interview here from 7:26min into the episode.

05.06.2022 – Stoke Newington Literary Festival talk

On Sunday, June 5th I gave a talk as part of the Stoke Newington Literary Festival about some of Stoke Newington’s lost pubs and cinemas. It was great being in front of an audience for the first time since early March 2020 in the historic Mildmay Club in Newington Green.