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Introducing Hackney’s first History Festival


Passionate local historians are joining forces this May to launch the first Hackney History Festival.


The event, which takes place from May 10th to May 12th features talks and guided tours of some iconic buildings and spaces; including the recently restored Abney Park Chapel.  Guests will be able to hear from local people about their memories of the area.


The festival has been organised by Hackney Society, Hackney Archives and Hackney Museum.


Stokey historian Amir Dotan is among the guest speakers. On Sunday May 12th he’ll be at Sutton House talking about Stoke Newington’s transformation during the 1930s, when roads were widened to accommodate more traffic, council housing estates began to appear and Church St’s Town Hall was constructed. Did you know that Stoke Newington has its own coat of arms?


A spokesperson for the festival said: “We aim to bring together residents, local businesses, and history enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the fascinating stories that have shaped our neighbourhood.

“With its roots dating back to the Roman era, Hackney has a long and storied past. From its medieval origins to its role in the Industrial Revolution, our borough has witnessed significant historical events and transformations.”

Other highlights include an interview with local rapper turned broadcaster Professor Green- billed as “a lively history of our 'hood heroes, from Malcolm McLaren to Labrinth, Rudimental to Paloma Faith.

Photographer Neil Martinson, who has been documenting Hackney since the 70s, will be showcasing his work. His images are of bombed out houses, kids playing in the streets and factories abuzz with workers.


The Old Fire Station in Leswin Road will be throwing open its doors on Saturday May 18th with free tours and activities offering a chance to learn more about the histories of those who have worked and played there.


For a full list of events, visit


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