Friday, 19 December 2008

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


Steve said...


I peered through the window yesterday, and it appears that it is a show room for door hinges.

I'm not too sure if this is what Spegelstein's is, or if it's another company who just use the premises now, and have kept the Spegelstein's name above the door.

Hope this helps?


daro said...

Company is alive and well after trading from the same Wallis Road Hackney Wick site for the past 86 years!

In our archives we have some photo's from the 50's & 60's of both the Spegelstein factory, staff and the street as it was back then.

Leabank Square said...

Hi Daro
Thanks for that!

86 years!!!!

That is amazing, I bet the place has seen many changes! Who is the longest serving member of your staff just now? Thay must have a few stories to tell!

I must admit, the entrance to your showroom has the most stunning mosaic in the whole of Hackney Wick! It reminds me of the bottom of a art deco swimming pool.

Thanks for getting in touch, I hope you have many MANY more years in the Wick! If you are able to scan a couple of pics - please could we paste a few up here on this blog?

It looks like its you, the rowing club & Central books who have been around the longest in Wallis Road. Please fight ANY redevelopment plans to turn you guys into high rises!

daro said...

I can't figure out how to post digi's on this blog so if you can email me ( I can let you have the jpegs to post as that will be easier than re-training me :-)

We use to have 3 ex employees who had all done over 50 years service and 49 who have/had done the gold watch 25 years

Longest serving today are 42 years

Leabank Square said...

Hi Daro!

I still can't believe how long you've kept some of your staff there - it must be the greatest place to work in all the Wick!

Also - to be honest - I'm not too sure how to post pics directly onto the blog as well. So I guess your idea is the best. If you could email them back to me - then I think I can work out how to post them up on the blog. Please also tell me what to write as a credit for each pic.

Thanks a million for doing this!!! I really mean it! I have only been in Leabank Square (just off Berkshire Road) for just over 10 years now - but already I have seen a bit of change. I can't imagine what you Daro/Spegelstein bunch have seen!?!

The more we show off the history of this amazing area, the more we keep many memories alive!


Anonymous said...

I've got a box of small cupboard locks with "Spegelstein - Made in UK" stamped on each one. I'd guess that it's the same company. I googled to find out something about them before listing on eBay and came to this site. A photo is here:!BpuBCG!CGk~$(KGrHqYOKjQEu,uNtHZzBLslOF0jGw~~_12.JPG

Anonymous said...

Dear sona
i worked for spegelstein for 26 year my brother worked there for 5 year my dad worked there for over 30 year and my mum for 2 year,also my grandad worked there for over 30 year ask robert about the fortts mum and dad and grandad were from prince edward road

Leabank Square said...

Hi Anonymous (Fortts?)

What an incredibly long history you & your family has had with Spegelstein & Hackney Wick?!

I bet you have enthralling stories to tell!

You must know loads of Wickers - either through Spegelsteins - or from just walking around Hackney Wick & chatting to residents.

Do you still visit Wallis Road? What do you think about the new bridge planned at the bottom over the Lea? Have you seen the plans for all the high rises all around the station? Where did you Spegelsteiners go after work? Have you been to the fantastic new Hackney Pearl up the road?

Please tell us all more!

Thanks for writing up here. The more we get you original Hackney Wickers memories - the more many more future generations will know & respect all that went before them.

Bit preachy - I know - but just you watch! In years to come - newer residents are going to be hunting high & low for the history of Hackney Wick!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I have wanted to add something for a while now but didn't know how to.
I was born in Hackney Wick in 1945 and went to school at Gainsborough rd and Berkshire rd.I worked at setright registers and homerton sorting office. I lived in Trowbridge Place in the fifties and later moved to Anderson rd near Well st. I have lots of memories of the old days.

Jack Enright said...

Ref. the picture of "the new plastic moulding shop, taken in the 1970s", it was actually up and running in the 1960s. I worked as a machine setter operator there from 1964-66. The woman I worked with, Winnie, had worked there since about 1940, when Spiegelsteins were making ammunition boxes for the armed forces.
The largest machine shown at the end of the shop was an electro-hydraulic machine. I was having problems with it one day, and pressed one of the motor start buttons on it. I've no idea how or why, but there was an almighty bang and flash from the fuse box on the wall - I'd blown up 41 fuses, and the arcing was bad enough to have burnt away the ceramic fusewire holders! Even Charlie, the electrician, couldn't work out what had gone wrong.
In 1966, when I was still learning to ride a motorbike (BSA 250), Wallis Road was awful in wet weather, as the road was cobblestones - granite stones about the size and shape of a hen's egg, and polished smooth as glass. Talk about 'slippery when wet'!
Later on, I had an old Norton 500 with a sidecar, which had a nasty habit of dying on me on some of the one way roads around there - so I had to get off and push it uphill. It did it once too often one day, so I pushed it to the far end of Wallis Road and dumped it there in disgust. It cost me £17 - about two weeks pay, before tax - nowadays, a combo like that would sell for over £5,000!
Mr Spiegelstein's son, Gerald, drove a huge American car - but he was so small he actually looked underneath the top of the steering wheel to see where he was going.
I left London for good about a year after leaving Spiegelsteins, and have never regretted it. I now live on a small farm up in the hills in the Peak District. I can look out of my window, and see for miles. Peace and quiet. So good for the soul.

mark lovell said...

Hi hackney wick bloggers are you still
going, as I have a couple of staff photos from the fifties , my mum is part of the fortt family , mentioned above ( my cousin I would guess )
If you are intrested let me know .
Also I worked for a small printing firm in the mid eighties in one of the units backing the canal called Riviera studios , in the ninties I also worked
For Grangewood printing in Queens yard.
Cheers Mark

mark lovell said...

Hi hackney wick bloggers are you still
going, as I have a couple of staff photos from the fifties , my mum is part of the fortt family , mentioned above ( my cousin I would guess )
If you are intrested let me know .
Also I worked for a small printing firm in the mid eighties in one of the units backing the canal called Riviera studios , in the ninties I also worked
For Grangewood printing in Queens yard.
Cheers Mark

Leabank Square said...

Hi Mark
We haven't posted anything for a long while, but intend to soon.
But please do send any history, stories, pics, bio's, annecdotes, etc through as there are loads of people getting in touch all the time who are also keen to read up on the local history.
Who knows, some may even have info you may be interested in as well.

Hercules Editions said...

Some of us are still reading this, it is a great resource, thanks for setting it up. I was researching Spegelstein and it's so wonderful to find all this info. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

My father in law James Holden worked at Eisenstein for many years starting as an apprentice in 1939 and retiring in 1989 having worked 50 years with 2 years interrupted during 1943 to join the RAD when he retired they presented him with a watch.He wasa toolmaker and
He became a Foreman in the 1960s he was even given a company car in the 1970s.He unfortunately passed away on the 6th if September 2017 aged 82 and his funeral is on the 20th September at Upminster Crematorium