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HACKNEY HISTORY

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

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

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

​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

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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