Friday, 19 December 2008

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.


Dave said...


I know you are trying to big this building up for the visitors to the Wick as they come from the station.

But if it really is full of artists, then they are really the very boring, self centered kind of artists that don't consider their own neighbourhood that much.

I magine if they all attached giant, colourful, succulent, oppulent, greenulent window boxes below each window. The plants & flowers could drape & hang down all over the boring bricks, making a visual, orgasmic, exciting greeting to all the visitors (as well as all of us coming home from work) each day.

Is there any way you could point some of the artists to this blog, and they can easily work out that if they contributed a little more to the amazing community right here in The Wick, that they will stand a much better chance of being treated much more fairly by their landlords when rent reviews come along.


Tagger X said...


I know some of the amazing artists living here, and will definetley have a word in their ears.

I sort of agree that it could look a lot more homely and friendly. I'm just not too sure if the landlord will allow and planting all over the building.

But then, as long as it's looked after with an eye to the dreaded Health & Safety police, I s'pose no one could complain, innit?!

Tagger X


These windows don't open and I don't have a long enough ladder, a big enough wallet or enough hours in a day to climb up and adorn this place with "giant, colourful, succulent, opulent, greenulent window boxes"...Is greenulent a word Dave?.... NO

Sorry Dave, you'll have to walk down the ramp staring at the cold, functional, industrial Victorian facade of the Lionworks sans pretty things mucking up its lovely architecture, making up words and muttering to yourself about how lazy and selfish artists are in Hackney wick because they don't put flowers outside their studio's! Since when was it an artist's responsibility to make the world pretty anyway? And since when did a chintzy flower box make any building, let alone the glorious 55 Wallis road, look any better?
What do you do to make the wick better for other people?

Ms MoneyPenny said...


A full-on Blue Blooded TORY artist coming out in an East London studio!

James - I love you!!!! Come on over to Chelsea and feel right at home amongst us rich bored daddy's girls/boys being cool & edgy!

I am serious! Since when did an artist EVER have to owe his/her community ANYTHING? Our main purpouse is to suck and leech the life out of the oiks around us - then represent them back to themselves in whatever format we choose.

That's what they taught us at Slade anyway! Hold up a mirror to society - for them to see just what pathetic no-hopers they really are. These whingers & whiners in this Wick place sound too disgusting for words. Probably a bunch of unclean greenie hippies!! What do they want growing things for anyway? How is that ever going to make the world a better place?

Keep up the good righteous fight on the east London Art Scene James, and we'll do the same over on the west!!

Miss MoneyPenny

MATAHARI said...


As an artist squatting around the corner from you, I can't tell you how much I despise these locals as well!

They fall into two groups - pensioners who have never did a thing for hackney wick when they were younger anyway & do-gooders who keep bothering us all to join the community.

I'm with you JAMESBOND! Artists have never been part of the community! We need to be apart from them and view them disspationately.

Stick to your artistic principles JAMESBOND - artists will NEVER be members of any community - our role in society is far too important.


The Real James Bond said...


Arrogant, selfish, upmyhole, self-centred, inconsiderate, anti-social, dimwit, Tory, egotistic, Daily Mail reader, imperious, pompous, cocky, pretentious, too-cool-4-skool, smug, assuming, vainglorious, highfaluting, mincing, snobbish, elitist, pedant, upstart.....

..... we could have gone on & on - but The Wick Cafe downstairs doesn't have big enough napkins.

But these are just a few words (some probably made up) that 5 of us having Sunday English Breakfast this morning came up with. Please don't assume to speak for all artists okay?

If you had met Dave at the Hackneys Wicked Festival - you would have known that he cleans up after ALL of us every day in the streets of the Wick.

But Dave - not ALL of us are boring & self centred - only James Bond.

paul said...

Awwww come ON!!!

I always thought you artistic types were supposed to be cool people?!

I'm going to excuse JAMESBOND as a young naive person who will still learn a bit of tolerance and respect for his community.

Me? I think the building COULD do with a bit of greenery. But maybe a lovely green ivy adding character & lovliness to the Wick!

stephanie Grace said...


I live in said building and have done so for nearly four years now. I cant sing its praises enough- i think its architecture is beautiful and it makes me smile everytime i walk done from the station. Much more interesting than being confronted with modern boxes that pass for housing. And as for us being boring and not caring about the communtity its quite laughable. The reason i have stayed here so long is its amazing sense of community. I know nearly all the people who live in this builing and the adjecent liquid stuidos. I have never met a nicer or creative bunch of people- direcotrs, photographer, carpenters, illustrators, journalists, designers, film-makers, etc... And we all go out of our way to help each other and to socalise. We know our community- Dennis who works in the local shop, the guys who work in the Kebab shop, John at the ticket office. We put on a great event in the summer as mentioned in the blog. For which we decorated the alley next to the building with bunting we made from recycled plastic bags. For anyone reading this who also lives in Lion Works, i feel so blessed to know you all, thankyou so much for everything.


Anonymous said...

The factory was occupied by George Hensher - upholstery and soft furnishings from 1950's to the early 80's

K Foster said...

As an 'oldie' 64, knocking on 65, I've found this blogspot having searched on Wallis Road because I'm doing research on Great War munitions factories!
What has this to do with Wallis Road you ask? Well jolly old Britain choose a chemical factory at Number 38 in 1915 to produce material destined for trench warfare against the Huns: ie gas. Reference at National Archives(Kew) for more reading.
Oh, ps It doesn't take 'A' Levels to uncover what existed at 55-57 Wallis Road from early days. Hackney Archives, you know the resource everyone learns about at schools?! providing the teacher's teach, and students listen that is. Their brillaint holdings include many late 19th Century street directories which clearly reveal all. The firm called Archille Serre were dyers, and they later moved (date not researched) to larger premises in Blackhorse Lane(Uplands House), Walthamstow where they carried on a steam-cleaning(clothes) business. No charge for info to put your minds at rest about site history.