Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Cycling Club Hackney

The Cycling Club Hackney is a new club dedicated to promoting cycling & cycle sport at all levels, especially to youth.

Although based in the Hackney area it is open to all cyclists whatever their level. Club runs meet at the Lea Valley Ice Centre at 10am on Sunday mornings. During the summer key club members may be absent due to racing/coaching commitments..."riders may have to improvise a route for themselves"

One of the main aims of CCH is that it should be geared to assist Hackney's young people to access the sport of cycling. CCH intends to provide a youth-friendly atmosphere; free and subsidised equipment and coaching; and encouragement to take advantage of the nearby countryside in Essex and Hertfordshire for enjoyment and exercise.

Please check their blog out at:

You may not have had the pleasure of knowing Kier personally - but you have probably seen him in & around Hackney Wick.

Whether it's in his youth leader guise with the amazing Purple Hype bus ( - or as he & this incredible Cycling Club go whizzing by!

Kier is one of Hackney Wick's unsung heroes, and as such needs as much support as he can get. Please feel free to approach him at either the cycling or Hype Bus events, and offer to volunteer, join, support, write letters, etc for him. He helps keep the kids of Hackney busy - with the kinds of things they actually want to be busy with!!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Vote for Victoria Park - Mayor's Park Grant

We all love Victoria Park with all it's ponds, trees, sports facilities, cafes, playgrounds - but most of all - it's green!!

But it could do with a bit more work - and we can all make it happen!!

Boris Johnson has decided to give a few parks some extra money, but we need to do a bit of work for it.

Please visit and click on 'Vote For Victoria Park'. Then we could get some improvement of the gateways at the southern end, improved footpaths, new signage installed, natural play areas created & plenty more benches for people to relax and enjoy the view.

Please Hackney Wick - even if you don't spend too much time in Viccie Park - please vote as many times as you can - and then you will want to spend a lot more time admiring your handiwork this summer!!

Voting ends on 5pm, 30 January 2009

Vantage Square in Hackney Wick

Hey Hackney Wick!! We have new neighbours!!!

I know that we are world famous for our welcomes, so please make our new friends very welcome to the Wick won't you?

But did you know that just below the flats in Vantage Square, there is a huge amount of retail space!? This is actually quite a serious subject for us here in Hackney Wick.

Just what kind of shops & services occupy these outlets is so very important to us all in hackney wick.

If it simply gets filled with bookies, fried chicken shacks & more off-licenses - then it will attract some serious anti-social behaviour at all times of the day & night.

But put in a lovely supermarket, a deli, a greengrocer, fish monger, bakery, butcher, cycle shop, bookshop, etc - then it will start feeling like the village that the Wick is!

I have spent a few hours outside in the freezing cold all along the sidewalk, and this is the wish-list of what some of you want so far......

Art gallery/art store, bookshop, world deli, cycle shop, pharmacy, bakery, library, comfy coffee bar, computer games shop, green grocer/plant nursery, general store, creche, lidl, hair dressers, local crafts shop.

The rest is up to all of us. There are some seriously talented people here in The Wick. Please suggest some more ideas for what shops you would like to browse around in.

But then....... please start talking to all your friends & family - and convince some of them to actually propose approaching the developers Family Mosaic on 020 7089 1315

Please check out:

Old London Bridge Alcoves in Victoria Park

If you ever happen to be caught out by a sudden thunder storm in the South Part of Victoria Park - then head for Cadogan Gate!!

There you will find these two amazing stone alcoves for sheltering under.

But have a closer look at the inscription on the walls. By rights you should be sitting - staring out over the River Thames.

You see - these two stone alcoves were once on the Old London Bridge spanning the great London River!

The inscription reads:


Please visit the incredible Hidden London website (for hours of fun &) to see another of the Old London Bridge Alcoves hidden in the grounds of a cluster of low-rise flat blocks in Wandsworth. Few residents have any idea that their garden ornament comes from old London Bridge. The alcove is the only surviving feature from the gardens of a mansion that stood here until the 1930s.

There is this other one of the alcoves in the courtyard of Guy's Hospital - right next to the Thames (opposite the Houses of Parliament) - but I'm not too sure if there are any more? Any ideas anyone?

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Let's move to Hackney Wick, East London (the Guardian)

I know Hackney is the most diverse of any borough in the UK, and as such, must have the most diverse newspaper readership.

So for anyone who doesn't know about the Lets Move To........ series in theGuardian - they pick a different part of the UK each week - & give a very short, concise summary of the area - just in case you were thinking of moving there!

Well...... here's their Hackney Wick pitch (from the 27th September 2008).

What's going for it?

Since Andy Warhol bedded down in Manhattan's SoHo in the 60s, thereby grabbing himself a decent return on his property portfolio as well as a hip venue for his happenings, all estate agents worth their salt have kept a sharp eye on the avant garde.

From Chelsea to Camden Town, Clerkenwell to Shoreditch, arty-farties have a neat nose for squirrelling out the gentrified burbs of the future, but with even Dalston gone posh, where's a penniless artist to suffer now? The Wick.

Hackney east of Well Street Market is where you'll find genuine bona fide artists in genuine bona fide crumbling warehouses. See through the dour landscape of flyovers, lock-ups and lap-dancing clubs, and you'll discover a neighbourhood of Somalian cafes and tasty Turkish grills, vast, atmospheric green spaces such as Victoria Park and Hackney Marshes, and a fierce local community.

And prospects: the Olympics site abuts.

The case against

You'll need unbridled, Pollyanna-ish optimism or the imagination of an artist not to feel glum most mornings. It's had its heart ripped out once already by the roaring A12. Now the Olympics promise more ripping, plus endless politicking and HGVs. Crime, misery, poverty and dirt, etc.

Well connected?

The A12 at least gets you in and out. Other roads east and west are tortuous. Beware the rush hour. But when the North London line becomes the London Overground, up to 10 trains an hour are promised by 2010, connecting Hackney Wick station to the underground and Eurostar at Stratford.


Gainsborough primary and St Dominic's RC primary rated "satisfactory" overall. Kingsmead primary 'good' overall, as is Cardinal Pole RC secondary. The new mixed City of London KPMG Academy opens next year, with a specialism in finance.

Hang out at ...

Mapps Cafe on Chapman Road.

Where to buy

As close to Victoria Park as you can. The western side of the park has come up in the world, especially around Lauriston Road. The eastern side still feels scruffier, though the roads east of Well Street Common and Cadogan Terrace (which backs on to the A12) have nice, often sizable, Victorian terraces. Plenty of new-build infill, too, from the 90s, and fancier apartment blocks currently being built.

Market values

One-bed ex-councils, from £130,000; two-bed, from £150,000.
One-bed terrace conversion and new-build flats, £150,000-£200,000;
two-bed, £225,000.
Period terraces, from £300,000-£600,000.

Bargain of the week

Two-bed modern terraced house on Daintry Way, £255,000, with Harbour Residential (020-7474 9313).

From the streets of Hackney Wick

Bernard McGuigan "I have had a studio at Hackney Wick for 15 years (I am a sculptor). Since the likes of the Chapman brothers set up here, it now has become known as Hackney Chic."

Simona Dell'Agli "Hackney Marshes are a paradise for dog-walking, the space is huge and empty. The walk along the river Lea might be muddy, but the area's so far removed from London zone two, and in spring resembles a jungle."

Hilary Powell "I spent three years living in one of the factory studios on White Post Lane. We've seen the area changing rapidly. Although it's still pretty 'out there', we've really noticed it being 'cleaned up and cleared out'."

Hidden Oasis's of Hackney Wick

Do you know any smallish, hiddenish - but most importantly - neglected bits of land in Hackney Wick?

If so - then please click on the 'comments' tab below & let us all know.


Well then we could ALL start working on getting them spruced up. A few shrubs here, some daffodil bulbs there, a sunflower forest in that corner, a willow tree draping over that path, a virginia creeper climbing up that neglected wall!

Come on Hackney Wick - this is OUR home! Let's turn OUR home into a fantastic oasis that will make us all feel great walking, riding, cycling, jogging through!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Wick Ward Councillors

I am sure most of you need no reminding just how lucky we in Wick Ward are by having 3 of the most outstanding councillors representing us.

Even if you did not personally vote for them - you have got to admit that they look after the Wick fantastically!! Please take advantage of their surgeries and email addresses for any queries you may have about living in Hackney Wick. If they can't help you themselves - they will definitely be able to point you in the best direction.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Arena Fields - Where's my Legacy Dude?!

Pic: London 2012

Remember when the whole of Hackney Wick got so very excited about the Legacy for Arena Fields?! We thought the International Press Centre & Media Centre were going to be built in Arena Fields.

This in turn would convert into a fantastic venue for some massive Media Company to base themselves. BBC, NBC even MTV were whispered about.

Then came along the Credit Crunch!!

So what next? Is there anything we Wickers can do? Does anyone have any connections in the Media world that you could have a chat to? Anyone on first name terms with Bill Gates?

Let's all discuss this serious problem on this site. Surely with all the creativity bouncing around The Wick - we should have some answers to this horrible predicament the international bankers have put us in?!

Eastway late 19th Century Terraced Houses

Is this the oldest terrace of houses in Hackney Wick?

According to 'Hackney: Homerton and Hackney Wick', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 51-59 - "The only long terrace from late 19th-century Hackney Wick survived, partly neglected, north-east of the former baths as nos. 61-79 (consecutive) Eastway."
So - now - we all need to do some investigative research now: Does anyone know anyone who lives there? Are there any residents that have lived there for many years? Does anyone have any old photos of this terrace? Did any famous people live there? Anyone have any anecdotes about the houses? Does anyone have anything to write about anthing to do with these houses?

Please click on the comment link below - and share your stories.


Friday, 19 December 2008

Lord Napier in Hackney Wick

Yes - I know this is the first site that greets you when you come down the westbound slope of Hackney Wick Train station - but surely this pub must have seen better day?!

The name - LORD NAPIER - alone says it must have had higher aspirations than the bunch of squatters that hibernate there now!

Come on fellow Wickers - let's get scratching around for more history, anecdotes, people, landlords, meetings held, etc - in the rooms of this pub.

Please click on the 'comment' section below - to add any titbits of research you may dig up.


Thanks to toby150 for this amazing shot of the Lord Napier!! It was taken by his dad - who took it from the upstairs window of 44 White Post Lane in the 1940's or 50's. His house was where the Bagel Factory is now - looking straight over to The Lord Napier Pub in its hey day.
Notice the yard of Carless Capel and Leonard that is still there to this day and where Petrol was invented/given its name as we all know it.
His Uncle Clem Ward and his brother BIG John Ward - were piano players in all the local boozers 1940's /50's including The Lea Tavern.
toby150 also found an article where it mentions a big flood at the turn of the century - which made the petrol tanks in CC & Leonard overspill into the streets and someone dropped a match or ciggy and the whole area went up in flames.
Now THIS is exactly the kind of brilliant information I was hoping we would get on this site!! toby150 - thank you a million times over!!
(For more of toby150's writings - please go to our sister-site - and have a read!!

55 Wallis Road

As you come down the east side slope of Hackney Wick Station - you see the quaint & lovely 55 Wallis Road building right in front of you.
Granted it's not as lovely as some train stations first impressions - but as far as buildings in The Wick go - it's not too bad.
At the moment it's home to many artists and a few furniture & mirror manufacturers - but does anyone actually know what it used to be?
Please ask around and bug your relatives, friends and anyone in the area - to find out if they know.
Please click on the 'comment' button below to add anything you may know about it. We want to get as much info as possible about this (& many other interesting Hackney Wick landmarks) building before the area changes much more.
Just think - you could be an integral part of placing Hackney Wick firmly in the historical minds of future minds by helping out.

2012 Aquatics Centre

Pics: London 2012

Can you believe what an amazing local swimming pool we are going to have in a few short years?!

Yes - Hackney Wick - about 5 minutes walk from the train station - and you can be cooling down in the middle of summer under Zaha Hadid's stingray roof!!

Okay - so in these crunch credit days - we've lucked out on the kids leisure pool alongside it - but still this is going to be an incredible local facility for all of us to enjoy.

Please check out for the Olympic spin on it - but all we need to know is that we are going to be the envy of the rest of London!!

Eton Mission Rowing Club in Hackney Wick

The dedication stone above the front entrance reads:

A.D. 1934







ETON 1864 - 1868 1868 - 1874 1874 - 1877

Spegelstein & Sons Ltd in Hackney Wick

This is the old entrance to the Spegelstein & Sons factory in Wallis Road in Hackney Wick, East London.

If you know of anyone who worked in the factory, has any old pics of it, knows any of it's history, has any of it's products - anything - please send them to us here on this Hackney Wick blog.

We are desperate to start recording all of our amazing areas history before the Olympic Juggernaut obliterates everything in its path - and anything you may have about Hackney Wick will be ever so greatly appreciated!!

There is some interresting history on this webpage of daro:

PS: Robert Stone of Daro was kind enough to lend some of the archive pics from Spegelsteins/Daro to this blogsite. Robert - thank you so very much - the more we all show & tell about Spegelsteins - and all of Hackney Wick - the more we keep it's history alive!

The following pics are all credited to Spegelstein Daro Archives:

1950's street shot of our premises which have changed considerably over the years to what you see today. The only car in the street belongs to Mr Spegelstein

This is probably a 1940-50's shot of what was known as the "Press Shop" where metal components would be pressed from steel strip.

Another shot of the new plating plant that looks like it is yet to run in anger and was used for many years plating the Lesney Matchbox Car chassis which were selling like hot cakes back then

1940-50's of the "Assembly Shop" where bits and pieces would be assembled into various furniture fittings like hinges, locks, stays and catches to name just a few of 100's of different products that were made at this factory each month
1970's shot of the then new "Plastic Injection Moulding Dept"

Very early 1960's at the commissioning of a very new and back in the day high tech piece of plating plant used for finishing the fittings

1940-50's shot of the plating shop area before it was modernised in the 60's

Central Books in Hackney Wick

This is the huge Central Books warehouse in Wallis Road - Hackney Wick. It's a wonderful brick building with loads of charm and character!

It is still in operation - so if you know anyone who works there - please ask if they have any old pics, anecdotes, history, etc for our local blogsite.
According to - this warehouse has been here since 1939.

Clarnico Factory in Hackney Wick

This is a view of the old Clarnico factory from the other side of the canal. The 8 cranes behind it are the main Olympic Stadium cranes getting it ready for 2012.

This is the only building left out of the whole Kings Yard. All the surrounding factories were demolished to make way for the bio-generator for the Olympic site.

Pic London 2012

Please check out this site as well, as it shows a pic of the Clarnico Staff choir, outside the factory.

Plastic invented in Hackney Wick

Right - this is a plaque on the side of a building on the corner of Wallis Road & White Post Lane - here in Hackney Wick.

I'll try & get a better picture of it - but in the meantime - please start sending me as much information as you can about it. The best kind of info would be if anyone remembers any factory standing here - or any relatives having worked in this Parkesine factory - or if anyone has any old photos of anything related to it?

Alexander Parkes 1813 - 1890

© Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library

Come on Wickers - let's get hunting for some of our heritage!!!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Hackney Wick Community Association AGM

Public Notice

The Hackney Wick Community Association gives notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Board is to be convened 19 January 2009 at 7.00 pm.

For business to be conducted at this meeting we require a minimum of 25 Full Members of the Association to attend.

At the meeting it is proposed to elect three (3) Full Members to the Board of Trustees for the Association. Nomination forms are available to collect from HWCA, requested by phone (020 8986 1999) or email (

Nominees must be Full Members of the Association and proposed and seconded by existing Members.

Members of the public wishing to become Full, Associate, Affiliated or Junior Members of the Association are invited to request a membership form using the above contact details or to visit our building to complete the form.

All residents of the local community within the Parish of St Mary’s of Eton are eligible to become Full & Junior Members. Residents outside of this boundary are welcome as Associate Members. Local training, education, sports, and other organisations with an interest in our community are welcome as Affiliated Members.

We look forward to welcoming you at our EGA.
The Board of Trustees
Hackney Wick Community Association
The Old Baths, 80 East Way, Hackney Wick, London E9 5JH