Friday, 16 October 2009

Hackney Wick Station Closes for 4 Months!!!

While doing the spring bulb planting earlier this week - the main topic of conversation was the closure of Hackney Wick Station -and several other along the line!

I did a lot more homework - and although the exact date is still being kept a secret - it will be happening just after the turn of the year.

So - Leabank Square - lets do a short review.......

Public Transport more or less shapes this part of Hackney Wick. Besides us being the 'This Bus Terminates Here' end of numerous bus routes - we are also one stop (Stratford) from the end of the North London Line. We are too far away from the new East London Line (nearest station will be Dalston) for it to be too viable to start travels. And then there are the ever changing bus stops that keep being dug up for very long periods of time.

Most Hackney Wick residents do not have a car - and are completely at the mercy of public transport - and some of us have been very active in keeping the tenuous links still passing by Hackney Wick. Now it seems that the most reliable travel link will be taken out for at least 4 months!!

Of course it is necessary to lengthen the platforms in preparation for all the Olympic traffic - but what we were all discussing was - if it was absolutely necessary to completely close the station?

Can't they somehow keep the station open at peak-times - and work during the middle part of the day? Couldn't they keep one side's platform open while they work on the opposite one? Could they not erect temporary platforms & steps further along the tracks? Oh we had many wacky ideas - best of all was Tony offering his paid services to piggy-back passengers down the embankment!

I'm sure they are going to lay on replacement buses - but we already have them on Sundays - and all know what an absolute joke they are!

So - the only suggestions we can all offer are:

  • Join us cycling residents for regular shopping trips

  • Start planning alternative arrangements now

  • Get Tescos to deliver your groceries - and charge the £5 delivery cost to TFL

  • Notify all your friends and families - so that they can use alternative travel arrangements

  • Get to know a local taxi firm a bit better

  • Gather a few more take out leaflets for days you just can't make it to the supermarkets

.......... there! Just a few we managed to come up with in between planting next springs daffodils. Please send any more suggestions to us all if you come up with brighter ideas!

Olympic Park cuts off Hackney Wick

I'm not in the habit of bigging up any of Murdock & Co's newspapers - but this excellent article is well worth reading. Rest assured - by reading it online he doesn't make too much more money!

But it deals with the loss of Carpenters Road. This was the road we all used to get to Stratford from Hackney Wick. Sure it was a cycle hazard - I remember a wheel come rolling out of one of the dodgy breakers yards - and just missing my son on his tag-a-long!

But it was so crucial to get to the library, the brilliant Discovery Centre, the cheaper markets, the ever-changing Stratford Shopping Centre - and of course the station.

But the along came the Olympics and cut us off. Ever since - there has been an eroding friendship effect between the two old East End neighbours. The Greenway is still an alternative to cycle along - but it regularly gets closed for some or other construction reason.

That just leaves the North London Overground. But soon into 2010 - this too closes for 4 months while the platforms are lengthened on a few stations!!

It is as if the options for visiting friends and old neighbours are being slowly taken away from all of us by the ODA. Anyway - please read this article - and see what you think - please feel free to comment on either this blog - or the linked Times one.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Save the Hackney Empire

Okay - so I know it's not exactly Hackney Wick - but so many of us Wickers go to the Hackney Empire - that it feels a part of the Wick somehow.

Right - so the news is that it will shut for 9 months after the year-end panto season. This will save them some money - and they should be able to open again - this time next year in a better financial position.

Then work you way up to the Prime Minister if you have to - but please get them to do or say anything to make sure that the Hackney Empire gets to re-open. Sometimes these temporary closures have a way of becoming permanent - and the more of us that keep the pressure on the decision makers - the better chance there is of making people stick to their word.

Any ideas for what we might want from a future Hackney Empire posted up here as comments - will be passed on to the board at the Hackney Empire.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Historical Tour of Hackney Wick

As if the Hackney Wick Festival and the Hackney One Carnival aren't enough to satisfy you this weekend..........

Find out about the history of people and places in Hackney Wick with on a guide tour this Saturday (September 26).

In a joint event between Hackney Archives and the Hackney Society, a tour guide will take residents around places of interest starting at Gainsborough Primary School in Berkshire Road from 2pm.

Some of us went on this tour in the spring and it is absolutely fascinating to see where plastic was invented, see the drawings of the original Hackney Wick Mansion (I know!) - and see just what Atlas Wharf used to look like.

But there are many more very interesting facts to be experienced - so please come along the Gainsborough School at 2pm. Actually - if you get there a bit earlier - you could pick up a hot dog at their barbie - as part of the Hackney Wick Festival!!

Hackney One Carnival 2009

Hackney Wick Festival - Saturday 26th Sept!

Hackney One Carnival - Sunday 27th Sept!!

What an amazing weekend in stall for all of us in just a couple of days time!?

The very next day after our own festival - is the incredible Carnival down the road - starting at the Town Hall in Mare Street - and processing along to Hackney Downs park!! The fun starts at 11.30 am - but pretty much lasts all day long - so please get there.

If its anything like as good as last year - you are going to have the last great blast of Summer this weekend!!
See you at both the fantastic days out!!

Many More Lovely Neighbours coming!!!

We all absolutely love living along the Lea River Navigational Canal - it's what makes The Wick so special.

You simply cannot fail to notice the humongous Olympic Park growing on the other side every day. But what of any new developments our side? The Fish Island end has the fantastic Omega Works complex on the corner of Regents & Lea Canals - leading on to the Artists District down to the Old Peanut Factory.

And the Leabank Square end is soon to have two brand new developments!

About 10 minutes walk along the tow-path - the Paradise Park development will open any day now. This is where the old Victorian dock built at the height of Empire - had a glass works, Indian rubber factory and carbolic acid plant. More recently it housed QTV. It was quite squalid until the new development - but should bring a lot more cyclists & ramblers along the Lea.

And more closely - the Old Matchbox factory - Lesney's to you & me - is soon to be pulled down and replaced with many great artists live/work units managed by London & Quadrant. This is sure to pull in some more amazing talent to the Wick - and should be completed in time for the Olympics as well.

Speaking of which - there is huge pressure being put on to the Olympic Legacy Company to convert the International Press Centre & the International Broadcast Centre into similar artistic artistic units.

The long & short of it all - dear readers - is that Hackney Wick is set fair to be the most incredibly vibrant artistic community in the entire UK!

There is not going to be any more hooked-up, networked and artist friendly place on the planet! So if we think we have it lucky to live here now - just wait a few short years - and we'll be living amongst even more great neighbours!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Hackney Wick Guerilla Gardeners Strike Again!!

With only a few short weeks to go to the Hackney Wick Festival 2009 - our VERY friendly Guerrilla Gardeners have delivered a stunning raised bed for us!

Thank you to everyone involved!!! You have really made this little corner of the Wick beautiful!!

Please - Hackney Wick - go for a lovely stroll over the weekend - and spend a few minutes on the new wide corner of Berkshire Road & Wallis Road. There's a fragrant bay tree surrounded by loads of busy lizzies & pansies!

Hackney Wick Guerrilla Gardeners - we all love you!!!
See Also:

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Reece's 83 000 match canoe!!!

Just about everyone who knows Reece will know that he recently had a bit of time on his hands. Did he just sit & watch day-time telly?!


He only went & built a canoe out of 83 000 matches!!

And it is completely watertight! This afternoon he paddled all the way from Omega Works - to Walthamstow Marshes & back!!! He didn't have to get out once!

Reece - absolutely good on you mate! Not only did you use your time very productively - but you made an absolute beaut of a boat!

Please look out for Reece on the Lea & Regents Canals this summer - and when you see him - please give him all the compliments he deserves! He does so much for our community - and now he's not wasted a second of his time by creating an practical work of art!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Hackney Wick Sunflower Avenue!!!!

Please make this summer the best one Hackney Wick has ever had - by planting Sunflowers all the way through it!!!

There is going to be a stunning avenue of sunflowers starting at the Hackney Wick Community Centre - in The Eastway - running along Osborne Road, coming down Berkshire Road, turning into Wallis Road - and over the footbridge into Viccie Park!!

A veritable River of Yellow flowing right through Hackney Wick!!

You can make it look even more amazing by planting as many sunflower seeds as you can all along this route - and even in side streets to the route!!

Pop down to Lidl, B&Q or even any pound shop - pick up a few packets of seeds - and get planting!! By the height of summer - these flowers will unite the whole of Hackney Wick in smiling, happy, yellow sunflowers!!

Come on Hackney Wick - let's show ourselves off this year!!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Womens Institute in Hackney Wick!!

Starting a WI in the WickHackney Wick Community Centre (Old Baths)Monday 30th March 2009Hosted by Niki Stevens (President of Eastend WI)

Calling all women in the Hackney Wick

… okay so the picture of the preserves is a little twee – but we have the opportunity to form a really interesting group here in Hackney Wick.The WI may conjure up images of baking cakes and charity calendars – but we can create a group that fits all our needs.

Just imagine meeting new people and making lasting friendships with women who live right on your doorstep.

Taking time out of from children, jobs and day to day stresses can all be just the therapy we need to make us feel human again!

So why not come along on Monday evening (6.30pm – 8.30pm) for a cup of tea and a chat and we’ll see what great ideas we can come up with.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hackney Wick Festival 2009

Just a reminder that if you are interested in getting involved with this years Hackney Wick Festival on Saturday 26.09.09 - Tracie & Niki are very keen to hear from you.

Please check out all the confirmed activities on: or send an email to for up-to-date info.

We all remember just what a great time was had by all last year - and this year it will be even bigger & better!!
See you there!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Hackney Marsh Big Litter-Pick

The Big Litter-Pick

HMUG and Hackney Parks Rangers will be holding a litter-picking session on Hackney Marsh and East Marsh.

Date: Wednesday 15th April 2009
Time: 9:30am to 12:30pm
Meet: Homerton Road entrance to the car park

Come and join us to remove this eyesore from our green spaces. Everyone welcome. Tools and gloves provided.

Buses W15 and 308 stop on Homerton Road. Buses 236 and 276 stop near Kingsmead Estate - a short walk along Homerton Road.

Hackney Marshes User Group.
Hackney Marshes User Groupare volunteers who:
Organise walks round the Marshes, and explore and enhancetheir wildlife through planting and caring for trees and hedges.
Work to improve the Marshes for all sectors of the community,and campaign to protect them from inappropriate development.
Organise free activities and skill-sharing days, and runHackney Community Tree Nursery & Forest Garden.

Hackney Marsh Sports Hub

This email came from our ever-impressive Hackney Wick friend - Steve Dowding:

Hackney Marsh Sports Hub planning application - have your say!

The consultation period for the development proposals for Hackney Marsh closes on Monday 16th March 2009. Please have your say, to protect the Marsh from further loss of green space and encroachment on Common Land.

HMUG will be submitting a number of objections, which are posted on the website.� Please use this link �to find out more, and submit your objections by Monday at the latest.

Hackney Marshes User Group.
Hackney Marshes User Groupare volunteers who:
Organise walks round the Marshes, and explore and enhancetheir wildlife through planting and caring for trees and hedges.
Work to improve the Marshes for all sectors of the community, and campaign to protect them from inappropriate development.
Organise free activities and skill-sharing days, and runHackney Community Tree Nursery & Forest Garden.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Is this a Pill Box?

This amazingly concrete structure is at the cross of the Greenway & the Lea River Navigational Canal - and looks very similar to some 2nd World War pill boxes.

Does anyone know the history of it, what it actually is, why it's there, what are the three concrete structures in front of it?

At the moment - it is almost as if it's the frontline of the Olympic Park - against the rest of Hackney Wick. This coupled with the electric fence they are busy surrounding the whole park with - really re-enforces the whole no-mans-land atmosphere of the site.

Aaaaaaanyway - any guesses about the concrete bunker?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Restuarant Review: The Wick Cafe

The Wick Cafe
28 Felstead Street
Hackney Wick
E9 5LG

020 8533 7575

Mon - Fri 5am to 5pm
Sat - 6am to 5pm
Sun - 7am to 5pm

Although we have either eaten in - or took away - from The Wick Cafe quite a few times before - we've never written about them up on this blog before.

For that - we must apologise!

The Wick Cafe was the pioneering cafe this close to the old Trowbridge, Leabank Square & Wick Village residents - and as such needs to be given all the support they can get.

Not that they need it that much - as they are almost always very busy!!

The Wick Cafe is such a cheap, delicious, fantastic, friendly, green, peaceful & delightfully communal place to eat! The staff are always very helpful and easy going. The service is fast and efficient. The bills always surprisingly low.

And they have the most spectacular green creeper growing the whole length of the cafe. It truly is an amazing plant - which always brings a smile to your face - as you stuff it full of utterly scrumptious food!

During the week - it is normally crammed with local workers. Whether it's Olympic constructioners, McGrath skippers, Hackney dust carters, Gainsborough teachers - lunch time is a great time to people watch. You get to see a fantastic picture made up of all the people who make Hackney Wick tick.

In the afternoons & evenings - it's mostly locals having a late lunch or early evening meal. Artists, musicians, parents, toddlers, media-types - all having a great meal in quieter hours.

At the weekends - it's mainly us lazy locals again - having a late breakfast after a lie-in. The pic above is us as a family having a Sunday brunch before a long cycle work-off!

Needless to say - the food was scrummy, portions very generous & bill highly affordable.

The Wick Cafe opened up here in Hackney Wick when no-one else was investing in us. This - plus the amazing plant growing across the ceiling - and reasons enough for us all to support this amazing place!!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Beating the Bounds of the Games - a Hackney Wick Walkabout

‘Yes, this was Hackney Wick,
my dears,
this was Hackney Wick,
Do the rounds and beat the bounds
And make the memories stick’

Poem © Ralph Rochester, 2009. Illustrations © Zara Slattery, 2009.

Please come for a fantastic walk with storyteller Diana Olutunmogun for a chance to find out about the history of people and places in Hackney Wick;
including local boxer Harry Mallin, the Eton Manor Boys Club,Hackney Speedway and loads more!
Come and share facts and info that YOU know about your local area.

Saturday 21 March 2009, 2pm
A circular walk starting on our riverbank with loads of hot chocolate and cake provided. The walk is suitable for children 7 years and upwards, and their parents.

This event is free, but booking is necessary.To book contact Lisa on 020 8806 4003 oremail

For a FREE copy of the Hackney Wick HeritageTrail email:lisa@hackneysociety.orgor call020 8806 4003

This project has been generously funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Renaissance London; and supported by the Hackney Heritage and Built Environmrnt Partnership.

This is a joint event between the Hackney Society ( and Hackney Archives (