Residents in riot zone enjoy community dinner to mark anniversary

Residents gathered for a community meal together last night to mark the anniversary of the Hackney riots and celebrate the efforts made to restore peace to the area since then.

Lower Clapton residents tucked into tasty Sri Lankan food provided by shopkeeper Siva Kandiah, whose convenience store in Clarence Road was almost destroyed during the disturbances.

The same group famously held a “reclaim the streets” tea party one week to the day that saw a violent mob smash up businesses, torch cars, and attack police on August 8, 2011.

The anniversary dinner was held at the Senior Citizens Hall, in Hindry Road on the Pembury Estate, last Wednesday (August 8).

Children blew out a candle on a cake, and Cllr Ian Rathbone told them: “The flame of the candle represents the light we shone in what had overnight become a dark place, and a sign of hope which burns in all our hearts for a better world.”

The councillor proudly showed guests his Team London Award from Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The certificate praised his “outstanding contributing to improving London”, and Cllr Rathbone said: “Any such award for the good work done in the community is for the whole team of volunteers in the Clarence Road, Clapton Square, and Pembury Estate area, who have worked hard to try and improve the area and help people recover from the shock of last year.”