Hackney hair salon Toppers reopens in push to revive traditional shops

A traditional hairdressing salon has reopened as part of the campaign to revive a historic Hackney street that saw singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor swing by on the royal wedding day.

Toppers in Wilton Way, Hackney Central, was brought back into business on Friday May 6, with the help of its former owner of about 30 years.

Hair stylist Frederika Houghton visited her old shop, which closed more than three years ago, to meet the new managers that hope to bring it back to life.

The launch was part of a push to rejuvenate the street by re-opening shops in their original uses.

David McHugh, owner of Wilton’s Caf� and driving force behind the campaign, said: “I suppose it’s a creative exercise.

“Life has moved on and people don’t really go to their local shops as much any more, but the idea is to have lots of little, independent stores and create a community around them.

“The footfall is pretty small but the street has got a nice ley line running between the town hall and the Hackney Empire.

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“We’d like it to be a nice little road with independent shops in it, a more grown-up and alternative version of Broadway Market.

“You could see the benefits it could have at the street party. It was really quite an amazing day.”

Up to five thousand people joined the celebrations in Wilton Way on April 29.

Among them were popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who wandered around in a vintage wedding frock, and members of her husband’s band The Feeling, who live nearby, played an impromptu set in the street.