Shops, Houses, A Library, Car Sales 1988

Shops, Houses, A Library, Car Sales 1988 – a walk around Lower Clapton, and Hackney which continues from post Jews, a Bishop and the Sally Army.

Gulluoglu, A & A Jewellers, Golden States, Chinese Takeaway, Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney,  88-10b-11-Edit_2400
Gulluoglu Bakery, A & A Jewellers, Golden States, Chinese Takeaway, Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney, 88-10b-11

Shops at 63-67 Lower Clapton Rd two of which are still under the same names in 2021. Even the jewellers is still a jewellers though under a different name. Some businesses are more essential than others and family businesses like these often survive longer than some others.

Median Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney, 1988 88-10b-13-Edit_2400
Median Rd, Lower Clapton, Hackney, 1988 88-10b-13

I stood shocked and wondering how these three houses, at 61-65 Median Road had got into the state they are in. I imagine the when built 61 and 63 had similar windows – and what had possessed someone to replace those of 61 something so much plainer. Was it a matter of bomb damage or owner derangement. Equally a sore thumb was the cladding imposed on 61, quite out of character. These houses have changed little since I took the picture, though fortunately the trees in the trangle in front of them have grown considerably and they are rather less visible.

I turned around and walked back into the centre of Hackney, probably mainly to buy a snack to keep me going.

Hackney Central Library, Mare St, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-01-Edit_2400
Hackney Central Library, Mare St, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-01-Edit_2400

Hackney Central Hall and Library was built in 1907, its architect Henry A Crouch, and was still in use when I made this picture. Hackney now has a new library just across Mare Street, appropriately at 1 Reading Lane. The building was converted into a music venue and community arts centre, the Ocean at a cost of £23m (including a £15m Arts Council grant) and opened in 1999. Music events were supposed to fund the community projects, but failed to do so and Ocean Music Trust and Ocean Music Enterprises ceased trading in 2004. In 2010 it was leased to City Screen who converted it into the Hackney Picturehouse which opened in autumn 2011.

Clarence Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-65-Edit_2400
Clarence Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-65-Edit_2400

I’m unsure whether these shops were in the part of Clarence Road (then called Back Street) which were built by 1821 as Down Terrace or were built later in the century. At extreme left is a part of No 22 and at the left is No 42.

Almost all of these except those at the far left have been extensively re-furbished or rebuilt since 1988 and only a couple remain with shop fronts, the rest of the row being simply housing, with an added second floor stepped slightly back.

Sutton House, Homerton High St, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-41-Edit_2400
Sutton House, Homerton High St, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-41

Sutton House is a Grade II* Tudor manor house owned by the National Trust, built in 1535 for Sir Ralph Sadler who was the Principal Secretary to Henry VIII and an aide to Thomas Cromwell. Although the building was later given a Georgian frontage its interior retains many Tudor features.

Its name is the result of a mistake, named after Thomas Sutton, the founder of Charterhouse School who lived not in this house but next door. His house was demolished in 1806. As the plaque on the wall records, W A Robertson gave money as a bequest in memory of his two brothers killed in the First World War which was used to buy the house. Although it bought the property with his money in 1936, the National Trust appears not to have been very interested in it.

Sutton House, Homerton High St, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-42-Edit_2400
Sutton House, Homerton High St, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-42

From the 1930s it was leased to various tenants including the ASTMS trade union. After they left in the 1980s it fell into disrepair and was squatted in the mid-80s as the Blue House, holding parties and music events. After the squatters were evicted it continued to decay until the Save Sutton House Campaign, founded in 1987, campaigned for its renovation and it was first opened to the public in 1991, though only fully in 1994. You can now book guided tours.

Mehetabel Rd., Hackney, 1988 88-10c-43-Edit_2400
Mehetabel Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-43

Mehetabel means ‘how good is God’ and was the name of the wife of Hadar in the biblical book of Genesis and a patriach in Nehemiah. One of John Wesley’s six sisters was the poet Mehetabel Wesley Wright (1697–1750.)

Mehetabel Road is a short street with close to its centre the Chesham Arms pub, declared in 2013 as Hackney’s first Asset of Community Value to protect it when the owner wanted to convert it into flats. The houses at the far left are in Isabella Road.

Morning Car Sales, Off Morning Lane, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-45-Edit_2400
Morning Car Sales, Off Morning Lane, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-45

Morning Car Sales is in one of the railway arches of the North London Line, I think Arch 200 is just to the left of Link St, where the ‘Hackney Walk’ fashion development opened in 2016 – and is now ‘To Let’.

Car showroom, Morning Lane, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-46-Edit_2400
Car showroom, Morning Lane, Hackney, 1988 88-10c-46

Inside the office were a strange selection of pictures, including Maria Whittaker from the Sunday Sport along with a pastoral riverside and a more maritime painting, with a couple of calenders for September 1988 and a table with tea-making facilities. Although pictures such as this half-naked woman might not now be suitable for Parliament, they were common in many workplaces back then.

The walk will be continues shortly. You can see a larger version of any of the pictures by clicking on it to go to my album 1988 London Photos.


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One Response to “Shops, Houses, A Library, Car Sales 1988”

  1. […] and Printers – continuing my walk in October 1988 from where I finished the previous post, Shops, Houses, A Library, Car Sales 1988 on Morning Lane in […]

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