04.06.2017 – Stoke Newington Literary Festival: Back in Five minutes – The Evolution of Church Street 1847-2017, A joint-talk with Ken Worpole

Amir Dotan (@HistoryofStokey) recently completed a gazetteer of every shop or trade premises on Stoke Newington Church Street since 1847 (along with a photographic slide-show). From a time when oil shops, boot-makers, drapers, tailors & pawnbrokers dominated Church Street, to today’s wine merchants, cafes and boutiques, this unique project charts the changing social and cultural composition of Stoke Newington over the past 170 years. Amir talks to writer Ken Worpole on the street’s deep social history, discussing whether terms such as gentrification hide more than they reveal about one of London’s fastest-changing ‘urban villages’.


28.11.2016 – Stoke Newington History Talks #1: Ghostsigns, Photo Mashups & Pleasure Grounds

Photo mashups by Amir Dotan

Curator and publisher of The History of Stoke Newington, and documenter of the late Victorian campaign to save Clissold Park from the clutches of developers. Amir will guide us through his latest work showing archival images superimposed on their contemporary settings, and why he obsessively undertakes his work documenting the area that has become his home.

Pleasure grounds by Lee Jackson

Author of Dirty Old London, creator ofwww.victorianlondon.org and Victorian twitter fiend @victorianlondon. Lee is currently researching Victorian entertainment and will talk about Highbury Barn, our local ‘pleasure garden’, demonised and demolished in the 1870s.

Stoke Newington’s Ghostsigns by Sam Roberts

Ghostsigns researcher, tour guide, writer and archivist. Sam will share some of the material from his local ghostsigns walking tour, providing insights into the history that is conveyed through the fading paint on Stoke Newington’s walls. He’ll also cover what he is doing to increase people’s understanding and appreciation of these signs, which in many cases are antiques.

27.02.2017 – Stoke Newington History Talks #2: Pubs, Simpsons factory, Conservation & Preservation

Stoke Newington’s Pubs by Amir Dotan

Curator and publisher of the History of Stoke Newington Twitter and Facebook feeds, Amir will guide us through the history of some of Stoke Newington’s pubs, which over the centuries have been rebuilt, converted to flats or demolished. From Georgian Teverns and Inns to Victorian Saloons and 1970s Punk venues, Stoke Newington’s pubs have been important social and cultural landmarks for centuries.

Conservation & Preservation by Nick Perry

Nick is a local amateur planning and conservation activist and director of The Hackney Society. He regularly get involved in planning matters in the borough including the abandoned Sainsbury’s development by Abney Park. In this talk Nick will explain his approach to conservation of our built heritage and how that differs from preservation, at a time when London faces a housing crisis, business rents are sky high and the planning system starts with a presumption in favour of development.

The story of the Simpsons factory by Sean Gubbins

A talk about the Simpson factory in Stoke Newington Road and the family firm behind it. Started by a 16-year old tailor in the East End’s Petticoat Lane in 1894, his business grew into a world-renowned manufacturer of menswear, building its state-of-the-art factory in Stoke Newington in 1929 – (now Beyond Retro). With a passionate interest in history, Sean Gubbins trained as a guide in neighbouring Islington. Realising Hackney is as interesting historically – if not more so – Sean started devising and leading history walks here in 2002, including Stoke Newington. Now as WALK HACKNEY, Sean offers 2 walks per month in 15 different parts of the borough – see walkhackney.co.uk.

22.05.2017 – Stoke Newington History Talks #3: Images from the 70s-80s, Church St property survey, Garden City Movement

Stoke Newington Church Street property survey 1890-2017 by Amir Dotan

Curator and publisher of the History of Stoke Newington Twitter and Facebook feeds, Amir will guide us through his recent research which traces the history of every building on Stoke Newington Church Street. It paints a vivid picture of the changing commercial landscape over the decades as tobacconists, tailors and bootmakers made way for manufacturing, sewing machine repair shops and later restaurants, cafes and estate agents. Amir will share insights, trends and stories of different shops since the late Victorian period.

Images of Stoke Newington in the 1970’s-80’s by Alan Denney

Local resident Alan Denney has been photographing Stoke Newington since he moved to the area in the mid 1970s. His vast collection of photos from that era offers a fascinating and colourful view of pre-gentrification Stoke Newington. Alan will share his favourite photos from his collection and talk about life in Stoke Newington at the time.

The birth of the Garden City Movement in Stoke Newington by Ken Worpole

On 3 December 1898 at Rectory Road Congregational Church in Stoke Newington Ebenezer Howard gave his first public lecture on his proposal for a ‘Garden City’, an idea that became one of the most influential town planning concepts throughout the world in the 20th century. Local writer and social historian Ken Worpole will discuss the religious and political milieu of Stoke Newington, where Howard lived for many years, as a key influence on his thinking and his ideas for shaping a better world.