Friday, September 20, 2019

Some 75 years have passed since the V2 bombings began the 'mini Blitz' in September 1944. Kim Willis interviews her great aunt Kathleen Bateman, who was a nurse at the Mothers', about her memories from the time, and the bombs that prompted her evacuation from the maternity hospital

Tamara Stoll has filled a 250-page photo book with the stories of Ridley Road's traders - some of whom are descended from generations of stallholders. But she needs Hackney's help to get it into print. She speaks to Holly Chant

The iconic St Mary's Lodge in Stoke Newington will finally be redeveloped 14 years after being gutted in a fire.

A Stoke Newington historian who became fascinated by the vintage street signs for the old metropolitan borough has carried out a survey to document them all.

The Pitcairn Islands might well be the most remote country on earth to issue its own stamps - and one features St Augustine's Tower. Emma Bartholomew finds out how John Adams - who the capital Adamstown is named after - moved from Hackney to the South Pacific after taking part in the Mutiny on the Bounty

A war memorial at Stoke Newington's only Grade I listed church has undergone much-needed repairs thanks to a £3,000 grant.

It's 50 years since the Peter Bedford Housing Association was founded off the back of a project set up by a Pentonville Prison officer to boost ex-offenders' self-worth. Emma Bartholomew speaks to an original tenant who remembers the pioneering, supportive communities established as a result

Chris Garnsworthy has amassed loads of information about Hackney's community library service since beginning his research - except the name of the woman whose benevolent wartime actions inspired the whole thing.

Pupils dressed up in 1940s style on Friday to celebrate Benthal Primary School's 70th anniversary. Emma Bartholomew looks back at the history of the school that Hackney Council threatened to knock down in the 1970s and again in the last decade

The campaigner who wrote a book detailing the history of Finsbury Park is to update it to mark its 150th birthday.

Antoinetta Saviano was surprised on her wedding day when a horse-drawn carriage turned up to take her to church instead of a Rolls Royce, the Gazette reported this week 30 years ago.

Poems and stories about African women's experiences during the First World War are detailed in an anthology that's just been published - but the writers had to use their imaginations to pen the tales due to the dearth of historic material.

Hackney's Caribbean Elderly Organisation stole the show at a tea party celebrating the Windrush generation at Stoke Newington town hall on Saturday.

​Emma Bartholomew finds out about a radical 18th century chapel and the people who worshipped there - who are now buried in a secretive graveyard with no way in or out (except to jump over the fence like we did)

Ken Worpole tells Emma Bartholomew about meeting Alexander Baron - a Stoke Newington novelist who's gone under the radar - but whose book about the D-Day landings is being republished by the Imperial War Museum this autumn

A campaign has been started to raise the cash for what might be the world's first hand-cracked rolling footbridge planned for a disused dock on the River Lea.

Concerns were raised that staff shortages at a hostel run by Hackney Council were risking the lives of the mentally and physically disabled people who lived there.

A bakery firm was fined for selling a loaf of bread containing a "dismembered" cockroach, this week 60 years ago.

Hackney bus conductor, family man and pillar of the Afro-Caribbean community James Augustus Boston has died at 91.

A woman has been ordered to tear down a pricey bike shed she had built in her front garden - or face prosecution.

TV historian Dan Cruikshank is spearheading a campaign to stop an historic 18th century Huguenot silkworker's house in Shoreditch being bulldozed to make way for a luxury block of flats.

More than 500 members of the Turkish community came together on Newington Green on Sunday to commemorate 100 years since the start of the war of independence.

Floating islands are literally being launched on the Regent's Canal to help east London's wildlife flourish.

A 'touchy feely' sensory mural has been unveiled in Shoreditch for the deaf and blind close to the site where Shakespeare's original Curtain Playhouse was discovered.

At a time when posters were the best way of sharing ideas but printing was pricey, a workshop in Lenthall helped ordinary people with campaigns from Gay Liberation to anti-racism and feminism. Emma Bartholomew finds out more

This may seem like just a cheap plastic comb that you can pick up in any local corner shop—but it has a history that has impacted around the world for two centuries.

Playwright and community activist Ray Barron Woolford is on a mission to bring Kath Duncan - who he argues is the most important civil rights activist in the UK in the past 100 years - out of the shadows. He tells Emma Bartholomew why.

​Richard Gee tells Emma Bartholomew about a campaign in the 1980s to persuade politicians and bureaucrats to re-open a train line that had been closed to passengers for 35 years - and which most people had forgotten about.

When the Gazette caught up with Bob Cooke 10 years ago, he vowed his family would keep the pie and mash shop that's been in his family for four generations going as there would 'always be a little niche' for the East End tradition. Next week it's closing down. Emma Bartholomew finds out why.

The developers behind the multi-million-pound renovation of Haggerston Baths have vowed to "celebrate the original features of the building".

A flick knife was flashed at the monthly meeting of Stoke Newington Borough Council, the Gazette reported this week 60 years ago.

"Male chauvinist pigs are to be rooted out of libraries, leisure centres and swimming pools," declared the Gazette this week 30 years ago.

Frederick Wirth left a huge photo archive when he died 40 years ago - much of it depicting a very different Stoke Newington from the one we know today. His son John tells Emma Bartholomew what he found when he delved into his fascinating family history

A "prostitute plague" was gripping Stamford Hill, reported the Gazette with something less than sensitivity.

Leaked plans dreamed up by the London County Council Parks Committee to set up groups of three 27 inch television sets in six parks over the summer was ridiculed by the Gazette, this week 60 years ago. 
"This was a foolish fancy from the start, and the wonder of it is that a committee of sober-minded councillors could have entertained the idea even for a moment," the paper commented.

Emma Bartholomew hears how Syd's coffee stall was deemed so important during World War Two that a top-secret RAF mission was disrupted to bring Syd back to Hackney to run it. His daughter looks back as they celebrate 100 years of trading

​Hackney's disinfecting station was opened to deal with infestations and deadly infectious diseases before antibiotics, vaccines and the NHS came on the scene. Emma Bartholomew finds more about the gas chambers where bed bugs, lice and fleas were zapped

More than a century after the stars of music hall graced its stage, the Rosemary Branch Tavern on the Regent's Canal is bringing it back for two special nights.

Sue Selfe is behind a campaign to put a blue plaque where Anthony Newley grew up in Stamford Hill, to mark 20 years since his death. She tells Emma Bartholomew about their love affair and life-long friendship.

Three years ago, staff at The Rio were sifting through various trinkets, paperwork and memorabilia from the cinema's past when they found something extraordinary.

Customs officers swooped on a cellar in Stamford Hill where they found a watch maker surrounded by illegally imported watches worth £20,000.

"The guy who turned down the Thompson Twins", Alan Rossiter tells Emma Bartholomew about when the Muppets came to Chats Palace and how the arts venue which grew out of Homerton Library "changed people's lives"

To this day, Martello Street Studios remains a campus for some of the most exciting voices in contemporary art. Emma Bartholomew looks back to its radical roots in the '70s, when some of its tenants were dubbed 'wreckers of civilisation'

This is the inventor responsible for producing a chemical process at Hackney Wick that probably led to plastic pollution on the Thames and around the world 200 years later.

Some of the Krays' former gangland henchmen are planning a 'meet' in the East End to help east London's former Page 3 model Maureen Flanagan raise money for cancer care.

In 1873 the Gazette reported that a group of freed slaves from Tennessee were coming to sing in Hackney on a tour to raise money for their university. Nearly 150 years on the story how they became beacons of the civil rights movement is being told at a stone's throw away from where they sung. Emma Bartholomew reports.

Alan Gartrell tells Emma Bartholomew about the missionaries buried in Abney Park who went to all corners of the world

"It is intolerable that children who have done wrong should be kept waiting for their punishment," the chairman of East London Juvenile Court stated this week 60 years ago.

An escaped snake wiped the smile off the painted faces of the 120 clowns gathered for the annual church service in honour of Joseph Grimaldi.

Hasidic teenagers in Stamford Hill learned 'not to take their lives for granted' through a heritage project focusing on the pioneers who founded businesses and community groups in the area back in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Emma Bartholomew finds out more

Hackney's figurehead mayor Medlin Lewis had to axe nine social engagements because of an overtime row involving her two chauffeurs.

A group of friends were told by their old school they couldn't plant a memorial to their favouirte teacher - because no one there knows who she is.

The name Tilley has become synonymous with portable kerosene storm lanterns worldwide, in much the same way that Hoover is used for vacuum cleaners. The great granddaughter of their inventor, Frederick Tilley, tells Emma Bartholomew about her family history - and how it all started in Hackney

The large archway, Edwardian-Baroque facade and distinctive bullseye windows make 44-45 Newington Green one of the square's most recognisable buildings.

On what would have been David Bowie's 72nd birthday, we look back at his legendary performances as alter-ego Ziggy Stardust at the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, in 1972.

Over 2,600 local primary school children have Hackney Museum since October, taking part in interactive workshops to explore the borough's African and Caribbean heritage.

Red post boxes can be seen all around London and the rest of the UK.

Three libraries, two holiday homes for old folk and the Hackney Museum were all facing the axe in the New Year this week 30 years ago.

A board game designed by former Labour councillor Patrick Vernon is being marketed worldwide by an educational games company based in Hoxton.

Brian Belton tells Emma Bartholomew about the characters you'd find at Clapton Dog Track - where Joe Coral, a former bookkeeper there, had founded his betting empire - before it closed 45 years ago on New Year's Day.

A genealogist was astounded to discover letters sent home from the First World War trenches by her great uncle describing the unofficial Christmas Day truce - which she had thought was the stuff of legend.

A team of festive ghostbusters swooped on Hackney's oldest building for a spooky exorcism.

Stonebridge Gardens - now known locally in Haggerston as the "snake park" - was officially opened by the London County Council this week 60 years ago.

An estate agent was shot dead in his own office in Stoke Newington - and 30 years on his murder remains unsolved.

Fresh plans to redevelop the dilapidated Stoke Newington mansion St Mary's Lodge are to be displayed this weekend so the public can have their say on them.

Gino Marchese stood in the doorway of his Stoke Newington barber shop, admiring the view. "Still swinging London," he said.

The man who saved Clissold Park 130 years ago has been honoured with a plaque thanks to the Stoke Newington historian who unearthed the dramatic details of his campaign.

Stoke Newington's Labour Cllr Hugh Brock expressed concerns that Strontium 90 - a by-product of H Bomb explosions - could cause bone cancer and leukaemia.

Dalston art therapy charity Studio Upstairs empowers some of the most vulnerable in our society through making art. Co-founder Claire Manson tells Emma Bartholomew about its origins 30 years ago and how she's thrilled it still exists.

A fireman who posed as a cop to take a £20 bottle of whisky from a pub landlord was found guilty of fraud.

Town Hall chiefs in Hackney realised they had no legal responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of Victoria Park, and that they had forked out over half a million pounds without needing to.

Mavis Jackson was born nine days after the Great War ended on November 20, 1918 - making her a "peace baby" despite her grand old age of 100.

The 50s pin-up model and actress Eve Eden helped raise £2 to fight cancer at a pub night in Mare Street.

Seven police officers were under investigation following a £20,000 out of court settlement to a man wrongly arrested five times.

An old people's home opened in Hackney Wick where one of the new residents told the Gazette: "We have never known comfort like it".

Three men were gunned down in what police feared could be a copycat shooting, inspired by a brutal gang warfare film which MPs had tried to ban.

Optician director Jayesh Maru has seen his way to the ancient mountain-top Inca capital of Machu Picchu and has found his way back to east London.

Youngsters at a Hackney school fell silent at 11am on Wednesday to remember the 439 students and teachers who fought during the First World War.

When the sound of rockets was heard across north London on November 11, 1918, some feared for their lives.

Paul Oliver's father joined the army at 17 thinking the war would be over in months. But, as many of his generation found out, the reality was totally different.

Kenrick Hanson tells Emma Bartholomew about his time as Mayor of Hackney in the 80s, and his personal campaign now to get the plaque stating he opened Homerton train station - which TfL appears to have lost - reinstated.

Hackney saw another dramatic week as police faced an armed siege, a Yardie boss was deported to face a murder trial, and six schoolboys saved a pensioner trapped by flames in his blazing flat.

Crowds gathered outside the North London Magistrates' Court in the hope of seeing a 22-year-old housewife who had been arrested in connection with the theft of £20,000 from the Stoke Newington High Street branch of the Midland Bank.

Hackney Wick's famous 59 Club is set to feature in an animated documentary about rocker culture - if enough money can be raised to fund it.

Police were cracking down on the "drugs-related dance craze", acid house, the Gazette reported 30 years ago.

The Gazette let off steam in a rant about youngsters going around asking for a "penny for the guy".

For a generation of people surrounded by dereliction, isolation and squalor, there were places of artistic salvation - and it brought together the vibrant and eclectic Hoxton community.

Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe stopped traffic and fought her way through 1,500 yelling, pushing and scrambling school kids as she opened a new furniture shop in Mare Street. 
Sabrina, a 50s pin-up whose real name was Norma Ann Sykes, achieved fame for her 41 inch chest and 18-inch waist.

It's 60 years since the Gazette moved its staff - and its printing presses - into a newly built premises in Kingsland Road. Today, it's the HQ for Christian group Congress Global Breakthrough Network. From what is now the paper's Newington Green office, Emma Bartholomew looks back

Shoreditch's first ever week-long carnival came to an end when over 3,000 people who had crowded into Hoxton Street saw the Mayor Cllr Robert Tallantire cut the first slice from a pig sizzling over a barbecue at a bomb site.

A 13-year-old who won a competition to come up with a flag for Black history month has seen her winning design hoisted above the Town Hall.

A Caribbean tea party gave the Windrush generation in Hackney the chance to celebrate their achievements, and saw a sing-along to "Swing low", chats with old friends and rum punch all round.

A scrap of unused public land in south Hackney could soon be transformed into a hang-out area for all ages by children who live nearby.

Entertainers who run tots' classes in Clissold House have complained a new pram ban there will threaten their livelihoods.

The Gazette pre-warned readers about an upcoming emergency planning exercise, in which a plane "will be imagined to have crashed" on the Stonebridge Estate in Clarissa Street, Haggerston.

The watchdog for local government finance launched an investigation into why a council worker had been paid £56,000 to do absolutely nothing for four whole years

Drumming legend Jah Bunny tells Emma Bartholomew how meeting his idol as a teenager in Jamaica has stuck with him for the whole of his life. Now aged 69 his story is included in an upcoming Hackney Museum exhibition about how Black musicians have influenced the borough's cultural scene

The name Kench Hill may not mean much to Hackney's newcomers, but it might strike a chord with anyone who grew up here.

Parishioners joined faith and civic leaders on a canal barge yesterday to get the Bishop of Stepney's official blessing for their new Hackney Wick community.

Plans have been submitted to demolish the front of the historic Clapton Tram Depot site and build two industrial units adjoining the existing sheds.

Emma Bartholomew hears from John Tomaszewski, 94, who is possibly the last remaining survivor who lived in Dalston's German Orphanage. He recounts how it was closed down by the British government after a teacher was rumbled recruiting boy scouts for the Hitler Youth Movement

Two teenagers from Hoxton were accused of murdering Alan Henry Compton at a dance at the Wenlock Manor Hall.

The Hackney Kestrels speedway stars skidded into controversy over apartheid after three of the members were said to be considering places on a tour of South Africa.

​Children's author Heather Maisner was just three when she moved into a prefab home in Homerton. She tells Emma Bartholomew about the fond memories she has of community life and a happy childhood there

A magistrate said he would have "no gang warfare in this area" and vowed to dish out the maximum penalties to any youths who came before him charged with GBH.

Thousands of angry council tenants are threatening a rent strike over the poor standard of cleaning on their estates.

This weekend, TfL is celebrating the half-century of the Victoria line. Ahead of that celebration, we spoke to the transport body's former heritage chief, Mike Ashworth, for the lowdown on its origins.

An appeal has been launched to find family members of a Stoke Newington soldier who died in battle during the First World War.

A young barman who nicked £480 from his employers at The Flower Pot in Tottenham and embarked on a spending spree to "start a new life" was jailed for two weeks.

Hackney's rubbish collection service was thrown into chaos with a new union deal that halved the number of dustcarts.

The V&A will move its collection and research centre into a "world class" new facility at the Olympic Park.

Police demanded to speak to everyone who attended a dance at Wenlock Manor in Cropley Street, Hoxton, where 18-year-old Dalston man Alan Compton was stabbed to death.

A commuter who was arrested for trying to prevent a potential Tube tragedy walked free from court and vowed to sue the police who put him in the cells.

Tributes have been paid to Betty Shanks, the former Queensbridge councillor and mayor who has died aged 88.

The beloved London Fields Flower Sellers statue has been restored to its former glory after 30 years of exposure to the elements.

Two children were killed in a pub fire 15 years ago which left two others with horrendous burns. One of the survivors Vicky Knight tells Emma Bartholomew about its impact and how starring in a film helped overcome at least some of the trauma

Hackney is the first council to officially oppose the criminalisation of Windrush familes, celebrate Windrush Day and call for a public enquiry into the scandal.

A former Arsenal and Scotland footballer became the licensee at The Greyhound pub in Balls Pond Road.

Police blamed greedy shopkeepers for the death of 16-year-old solvent sniffer Calvin Radleigh, and set up a special hotline to trap them.

Erkin Güney, whose father founded Masjid Ramadan, the first Turkish mosque in the UK, speaks to Emma Bartholomew about his father's ambitious and successful conversion of the abandoned synagogue in 1977

A rare Jewish festival which only takes place every 28 years takes centre stage in photographer Neil Martinson's new booklet. Emma Bartholomew chats to him about his work and his memories of the sun festival Birkat Hachama, which took place in Stamford Hill in 1981

Campaigners have been working around the clock to save a historic Grade-II listed building in Lower Clapton, but it's now been sold for £460,000.

A historic Newington Green building that has been home to radical thinking for more than 300 years will be given a vital £1.7million restoration.

N'Goma Bishop knows a thing or two about community campaigning.

Until the Clean Air Act 1956, coal was used to heat homes and was delivered to cellars through a hole outside front doors or pavements.

Kelly McLean wants to reveal a different side to her dad in her debut book after learning more about her own mental health

Campaigners are in a race against time to "save" a derelict Grade-II listed school building in Lower Clapton before it sells at auction.

Listed Victorian buildings in Kingsland High Street are no longer under threat from Crossrail 2, the Gazette can reveal.

Hackney's Caribbean elders came together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of MV Empire Windrush docking in Britain.

Ronald Gibson's photography studio was "the place to go" if you wanted to get a photo taken in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

As the Gazette's environment correspondent Will McCallum, who works for Greenpeace, publishes a book about 'How to give up Plastic', Emma Bartholomew looks back to where the problem first began - at the world's first ever plastic factory in Hackney Wick, set up by Alexander Parkes.

A pigeon fancier claimed he found seven of his stolen birds on sale in a livestock shop, this week 60 years ago.

A mystery plague of flies was making life miserable for Pembury Estate tenants.

A display in Hackney town hall's newly refurbished vaults will shed light on the building's 1930s origins, and the amazing relics unearthed during its £16m revamp. Emma Bartholomew speaks to curator Jacoba Mijnssen about democracy, regalia, and the mysterious cleaning unit uncovered by workers

Jodhi May became the youngest ever recipient of the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, aged 12.

As the Kingsland Waste market is about to relaunch in July, Emma Bartholomew looks back at the market which started out as a tool market over a century ago, where you could buy TV sets that "never worked" and a man called Flash would sell the latest in gingham shirts

As Meghan and Harry prepare to get hitched, Emma Bartholomew looks back at how Hackney celebrated his mum and dad's royal nuptials, with street parties, majorettes - and an anti-monarchist festival in Clissold Park that was delicately called Funk The Wedding

When Marsh Hill News opened, the regular customers came from the Lesney Products Matchbox factory, the words artisan coffee had never been uttered and the Olympics were something that took place on the telly. A lot has changed since 1978, as Jan Patel told the Gazette ahead of next month's anniversary.

Seats sold out for a two-hour keep-fit performance by the Stoke Newington's Women's Institute.

Martin Goodrich tells the Gazette about the mural he helped create in Daubeney Road - which could be given protected status if campaigners get their way.

The 59 Club was the world's most famous biker club in the 1960s at the height of the rocker scene. It all started in a Hackney Wick church, and now it's going back. The Gazette spoke to the man behind the revival.

A film about former East End gangster and Kray twin hitman Fred Forman has been had its premiere screening at the East End Film Festival. Fred, now a reformed character, tells Emma Bartholomew about being a 'respectable' criminal and the 1983 Shoreditch Security Express heist.

A Dalston vicar asked parishioners to send him postcards stating what they thought about prison sentences.

The battle is on to save a Stoke Newington RAF cadets squadron after armed forces chiefs announced it was being shut next month after 77 years.

Homerton's Toe Rag Studios is 20 this year. It's best known for being the studio where The White Stripes recorded Grammy-award winning album Elephant. The Gazette dropped in for a chat with owner Liam Watston.

A group of heritage enthusiasts will embark on a walking tour of the NE postcode area - but not the one up north.

Reggae pioneer and co-founder of Dalston's legendary Four Aces Club Charlie Collins, aka Sir Collins, has died aged 81.

The man accused of murdering "Father Christmas" appeared in court this week 60 years ago.

Emma Bartholomew discovers how a boxing match between two women sparked outrage in Hackney 90 years ago - with the mayor blasting the idea as 'gratification of the sensual ideas of a crowd of vulgar men', and the home secretary lamenting his inability to step in

Tory Environment Secretary Nicholas Ridley ordered the closure of Hackney Council's house building department.

Tory and Labour councillors were furious that "hard-up" Hackney Council was planning to give a £150,000 gift to buy the Hackney Empire from bingo giant Mecca.

Lavinia Co-op travelled the world as part of radical drag troupe Bloolips and performed at venues from Jackson's Lane to the Empire. As photos and memorabilia from the group's remarkable past go on show at Hackney Museum, he tells Emma Bartholomew his story

A woman who found a burglar in her home gave him a meal before calling the police.

Policemen had to hold back the crowds as the winner of several beauty contests, Gina Hickey, wed Thomas Heslop at St Mark's Church in Dalston.

Publishing stalwart Gillian Harris tells Emma Bartholomew how she co-founded Letterbox Library in Hackney 35 years ago - after looking at her daughter's shelf and being shocked by what she saw. Her goal? To promote books about equality, feminism, strong girls and 'gentle, caring boys'

"That place on Hackney Downs is constantly being broken into," a judge noted after three teens admitted breaking and entering at a refreshments hut and stealing sweets, biscuits and a clock worth £9.

The newly re-launched Far Eastern community centre in De Beauvoir could be turned into an Asian version of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, a leading Chinatown restaurateur has revealed.

Custom-made wallpaper is now on show at Hackney Museum for LGBT history month. It's inspired by the experiences of older queer people - and the prejudice they still face 51 years on from the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. The Gazette speaks to two of them

Coco the Clown visited children at the Super Cinema juniors' club to give them a lesson in road safety.

When Auro Foxcroft first walked into forgotten Art Deco gem the Savoy Cinema two years ago it was covered in pigeon poo, cobwebs and piles of junk.

The project to transform Stoke Newington's derelict ABC Cinema into a new venue known as the Hackney Arts Centre has received £1.9million in funding.

Women in Hackney were shaping public opinion way before their rights were recognised in Parliament. The Gazette finds out about the remarkable journalist Olive Malvery who went undercover to expose appalling conditions of workers at the turn of the 20th century.

Hackney Downs School cancelled its subscription to The Beezer comic, because of its "racist" new character - True Brit.

Born and bred in Hackney, Neil Martinson captured a period of the borough's working class history on film. While some things have changed, like the Matchbox factory's closure in 1981, others - like the pressure on housing services - haven't. 
He tells Emma Bartholomew his story

Manfred Goldberg used to be unable to discuss the traumatic experiences he endured in five Nazi concentration camps.

Typewriters were a thing of the past as "new technology" was introduced at the Gazette newsroom.

The death of Rashan Charles, and its aftermath, has tragic echoes of the case of Colin Roach. The 21-year-old was shot inside Stoke Newington police station 35 years ago, with the community convinced cops had a hand. Poet Benjamin Zephaniah was at the first protest after his death, he tells the Gazette.

A cafe owner was accused of "diabolical mental cruelty" by a magistrate for playing music full blast on his record player until 10.45pm.

Emma Bartholomew catches up with Marcia Linch, whose parents set up the Clapton Beauty Parlour 88 years ago. Their clients included Barbara Windsor - who refused to clean up after her dog

A 15-year-old boy from Clapton stole his aunt's life savings of £32 and used them to fund an international trip.

This week marks 15 years since the bloody culmination of a two-week siege that ground a Hackney street to a halt. The Gazette looks through the archive and speaks to those who played major roles in the drama to find out what they remember about January 2003 in Graham Road.

The Hoxton man credited with saving a Hampshire village from destruction by diverting a wayward tank was given a certificate for his bravery.

A musical about rival Victorian girl gangs links in with the music hall history of Hoxton Hall, where it is set. Emma Bartholomew finds out more about the women behind the Forty Elephants - a notorious gang that was driven to shoplift and pickpocket because of the extreme poverty its members faced

A 12-year-old from Stamford Hill was dubbed the rising young star of television.

Former Hackney councillor, activist and "great bloke" Cam Matheson has died at 75.

Hackney's Tree Musketeers tell Emma Bartholomew about the 20 years they spent transforming parks by planting hundreds of trees - and the logistics involved in watering them afterwards

"Pinball Geoff" Harvey loves pinball so much that as a teenager he gave up his bed so he could have more machines in his room.

A gun shop sited near two schools and a sweetshop used by children was given permission to stay open despite massive protests from parents, teachers, councillors and MPs.

Wayne Asher tells Emma Bartholomew about the 'lunatic' ring road scheme that threatened to plough an eight-lane motorway through Hackney - and was only scrapped after 30 years of destroying the local property market

Stoke Newington Bobby Pc Clifford Fox embarked on a journey to discover the tales behind the deaths of six policemen buried in Abney Park Cemetery - but the story of one eluded him for months. Now, thanks to his efforts, Pc Richard Lillicrap will be given a proper headstone, reports Emma Bartholomew.

Flames were 50 feet high as 80 firemen battled a blaze in a kitchen cabinet makers' in the heart of Shoreditch.

Free holidays for pensioners were stopped by Hackney Council to save money, the Gazette reported.

Not long after TV celebrity Bob Monkhouse was mobbed at the anniversary celebrations at Ridley Road Market, he was mobbed yet again - this time at the opening of a shop in Bethnal Green Road.

Potter and BBC Great Pottery Thrown Down judge Kate Malone is inviting the public into her De Beauvoir studio this weekend - for the last time before she moves out. The Gazette finds out about the three decades she has spent living and working there.

Hackney Council has rubber stamped a plan to refurbish and redevelop the Haggerston Baths building into shops, community spaces and offices.

The fate of Haggerston Baths will be decided on Monday after a consultation found most people would rather see it turned into shops than a hotel.

A journalist was forced to drive into London at gunpoint after picking up two boys who had escaped from a borstal.

Carolyn Clark tells Emma Bartholomew about her book, The Lower Clapton Tales, which recounts the past century of what used to be known as Clop-Ton.

To mark what would have been her 100th birthday, the son of Betty Layward tells Emma Bartholomew how proud the veteran governor she would have been to have a school named after her.

It's exactly 100 years since one Hackney teenager was killed in the battle of Beersheba. Emma Bartholomew speaks to his nephew ahead of Remembrance Day, remembering those who fought and gave their lives

A new exhibition at an art shop in Kingsland Road will celebrate the craft of glassmaking that began on the same spot more than a century ago - and continued until the turn of the millennium. The Gazette speaks to a pair of glass makers who once worked in the studio about why it was so special.

A former plastic works, cardboard factory and printing press in Hackney Wick is on course to be transformed into a hub for beer lovers.

A "kitchen champion" is being sought as part of plans to turn a dilapidated toilet block into a thriving community café.

The former editor of the Gazette - who was also a famous ventriloquist - died aged 95.

To mark the centenary of the October Revolution, the Gazette looks back at a "way-out" church in De Beauvoir that hosted Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky for a crucial conference - and put the Bolsheviks on the road to power.

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987. Emma Bartholomew catches up with a former Gazette reporter, still chuffed his photo of the aftermath made it onto the front page that week

The gay and transgender community have won Tower Hamlets Council's green light for a new venue on the site of the Joiners' Arms that was shut down in 2015.

Lower Clapton woman Evadne Gordon is celebrating becoming the longest serving female member of the Royal Naval Reserves.

The old Passing Clouds venue could reopen as a music spot after plans were submitted by the landlord - complete with an extra storey on the roof.

Tim Smith speaks to Emma Bartholomew about his father's photos of the Caribbean - a window into a world that no longer exists, which he believes will stir up memories for migrants who moved to Hackney decades ago

"Eastenders are renowned for droppig their H's, but whoever painted this sign outside Haggerston School was taking it too far," the Gazette joked.

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our two-minute Met Office video forecast.

The Hackney Society was born 50 years ago to preserve the borough's history. But a hefty book marking its half-century proves there's more to heritage than old buildings. Emma Bartholomew, one of the tome's authors, reports on its launch.

A derelict mansion in Stoke Newington could finally be brought back into use after the council announced plans to redevelop the site.

It's 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised gay sex. To mark the anniversary, Kat Hudson is curating an exhibition at Sutton House on the queer nightlife scene in Hackney and beyond. She tells Emma Bartholomew about the 'golden age' - and whether those really were the days

The Abney Park Trust is celebrating the bicentenary of William Hones' victorious court battle against government censorship in 1817. It marked a turning point in the fight for the freedom of Britain's press. Emma Bartholomew finds out more.

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