06.04.2021 – Stoke Newington History Talks #15

The 15th Stoke Newington History Talks event yesterday was terrific. 197(!) tickets were sold, which is a record and the event raised £638 for the local branch of National Food Service North London. I’ve been meaning to give a talk about historical street signs in Stoke Newington for a while now, so it was great to finally be able to do that. James Watson’s talk about the history of electricity in Stoke Newington, which included a private tour of the substation in Wordsworth Road and Edwards Lane filmed especially for the event, was captivating. Mark Barnes’ brilliant photos of Stoke Newington he took in the late 70s coupled with his stories and personal memories growing up in the area, brought the period to life.

My favourite comment from someone after the event was: “Rose and I attended your talk last night and again really enjoyed it. You and your friends are the most fascinating nerds with wonderful quirky interests, very professionally produced. And we are not local!”

The next event will be in 3-4 months. Join the mailing list to know when tickets go on sale. 

Nick Perry the technology wizard who made the event possible

A couple of people shared photos showing how they were viewing the event, which was nice to see!

Shared by Twitter user @atelierschork “enjoying the nice tv-dinner with some Stoke Newington History”
Shared by Twitter user @_AlexBogdan

The complete 90min recording of the event (Includes an introduction and Q&A with the speakers)

A Visual History of Stoke Newington Street Signs by Amir Dotan

You can download the 100-slide presentation file in PDF format here

Original (short) version

Extended version

Powering Stoke Newington – 115 years of electricity supply by James Watson

My photos of Stoke Newington in the late 70s by Mark Barnes


That was a wonderful evening last night. You said it would be special and it was. That chap talking about electricity … James? He is a star! How can anyone make substations sound interesting. Brilliant. And Mark was just great too … so relaxed and cool and calm. To think that Stokey looked like that at the time I was spending time there. I do not remember anything … we just used to go to the pubs and hear music. No cameras with us of course.


Thank you Amir for the wonderful talk tonight. It was all so interesting! Mark and James were great too so please pass on thanks to them for sharing. Look forward to the next one


I loved your street signs talk last night. In fact all the presenters were great. Thank you so much for your dedication and energy in setting these evenings up.


I can’t be doing with zoom etc, but I sat at my computer all the way through. Marvellous. James is astonishing. How the hell does he hold all that knowledge, all those facts, and convey it all so articulately? He is a born communicator.


Many thanks again for an excellent event. You and your guests help us enjoy and appreciate our common local history and urban landscape in massively entertaining ways.