Editor’s comment: Local history lessons are bittersweet
- Credit: Archant
I’m still relatively new to Hackney, so I love reading the Gazette’s weekly history features.
I’ve walked past the GreatArt building in Kingsland Road dozens if not hundreds of times and never known it spent nearly a century making stained glass that was shipped across the world: Westminster Abbey, Utah, even the Middle East.
Goddard & Gibbs left a few years before the company dissolved, and today it’s an art supplies shop – run by nice people, I’m sure, but probably a bit less exciting than the craft that once took place there.
And while it’s fun to find out what this or that building used to be, it’s also sad to learn about another industry Hackney has lost, and another local community that no longer exists around it.
That’s why I think it’s important, through our business page, to champion the industry we do have: firms like Freed of London, hidden away in Well Street for 40 years making internationally renowned dance shoes, or start-ups like Benjamin Venus’s record shop, run from his Graham Road flat after starting life in Broadway Market. It’s why we let you know about schemes to help you make the most of the area’s shops and traders like the East London Pound and the Local Buyers’ Club.
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You and I may not routinely buy stained glass or ballet shoes, but the livelihoods of the people we profile each week depend on us – and some of them will be right up your street. The Gazette is part of our local economy, too, and long may it remain that way.
Our borough is changing all the time, and not always in ways we would choose. Too often it feels like we are powerless to stop things happening.
- 1 Mare Street Narroway see's queues for Primark and independent shops reopen on April 12
- 2 Haggerston tenants 'in the dark' after scaffolding left up for a year
- 3 Hackney and Islington have some of the loudest neighbours in London
- 4 Three men charged following Hackney shooting
- 5 Hackney schoolgirl and actress Bukky Bakray wins Bafta
- 6 New Exhibition celebrates Hackney scenes
- 7 Hackney welcomes back eager gym-goers and swimmers
- 8 Jailed: Newham men who raped and robbed women in Hackney home
- 9 Delivery service helps local shops in Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets
- 10 Hackney's great beer gardens reopening on April 12
But Hackney’s history is one not just of loss but of struggle and creativity – and those things never go out of fashion.