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HACKNEY HISTORY

Many towpath users will enjoy seeing the two Regent's Canal gasholders that form an iconic view from London Fields. But not many will know their days could be numbered. Emma Bartholomew finds out why local historian Tom Ridge is calling for their preservation

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

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

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

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.

​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

​Plans for the Lea Valley Regional Park at one time mooted turning Hackney Wick woodland into a Japanese garden and to build a fairground at Lea Bridge to "rival Tivoli Gardens". Long time critic of the authority which runs the park, Laurie Elks, tells Emma Bartholomew about his campaign

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

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

The father of Colin Roach who died of gunshot wounds in the foyer of Stoke Newington police station won £12,500 damages from the police.

A man who was arrested five minutes before the execution of Roland Marwood at Pentonville pleaded not guilty to being drunk and disorderly outside the prison.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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"

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 new father was found guilty of making a phone call to Hackney Hospital where his wife had just had a baby, without putting any money into the telephone kiosk.

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.

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.

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.

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.

An obsessive school teacher was sentenced to life in prison for shooting dead a pupil and his father, an exploding fireball killed a man, and a teenager was left in agony after falling 40 ft off a block of flats.

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

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.

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



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