Posts Tagged ‘Homerton High St’

Homerton to Hackney Wick

Monday, May 9th, 2022

Homerton to Hackney Wick – This walk I made in October 1988 continues from where my previous post Morning Lane, Paint, Handbags and Printers ended.

Homerton High St, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-01-Edit_2400
Homerton High St, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-01

Immediately east of Mackintosh Lane on the south side of Homerton High St at No 178-84 was an unusual arched brick wall, which attracted my attention. Thistle House at 178-82 was a hostel with 33 rooms in multiple occupation. Part of the wall shown in this picture has now been demolished to allow storage of large rubbish bins. The wall goes in front of two distinct houses, both of which have one circular window – but in the joined house it is above the second floor window.

Barnabas Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-63-Edit_2400
Barnabas Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-63


Barnabas Rd runs south from Homerton High Street past Homerton Station. In 1988 the premises of printers Alan Moor & Co at No 24 was up for auction. It is still there and remains a handsome villa – my photograph doesn’t really do it justice. I suspect it dates from around 1860 when Barnabas Road was called Church Road, (it was renamed in 1936) but can find no details. The rather ugly porch has I think been extended since 1988.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary & St Dominic, RC, Church, Kenworthy Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-64-Edit_2400
The Immaculate Heart of Mary & St Dominic, RC, Church, Kenworthy Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-64

Originally called the The Church of the Immaculate Heart and St. Dominic it was designed by C A Buckler and built on what was until 1939 Sidney Rd two years after a mission was founded here in 1873. The church, completed in 1883, was badly damaged by bombing and fire in 1941 and was rebuilt in 1955-57. My picture shows it with shops on the corner of Wick Rd, where there is still an Indian takeaway.

Hackney Hospital, Homerton High St, Kenworthy Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-65-Edit_2400
Hackney Hospital, Homerton High St, Kenworthy Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-65

I went up Kenworthy Road back to Homerton High St, stopping on the corner of Ward Lane to make this picture of the East Wing of Hackney hospital, which I think is Pavilion B, built in 1880-82, designed by William Finch, a typical design for the time with long airy ‘Nightingale Wards’ and towers at the corner containing sanitary facilities. (I stayed on a similar ward in a south London hospital in 2003 just before it was demolished – and collapsed in the disconnected sanitary area after an operation, fortunately in reach of the red emergency cord which I came around sufficiently to pull and bring medical staff running to my aid.) Although Hackney Hospital closed in 1995, parts are still in use for mental health services and a notice calls this the John Howard Centre, which provides low and medium secure mental health services for North East London.

Shops, Homerton High St, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-66-Edit_2400
Shops, Homerton High St, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-66

These buildings are still there at 201-205 Homerton High Street, though in different hands. Back in 1988 a Bookmakers next to a Turf Accountant (a rather upmarket term for the same thing) seemed excessive, while F A MURRELLS business was completely hidden by shutters. It seemed to be some kind of miniature business, the whold width of the property perhaps around 7 ft with a tiny door only suitable for a slim child in the shutters. Whatever was going on inside – or rather had once gone on inside – obviously involved something of some value, worth protecting with an AFA Burglar Alarm, perhaps a jewellers or pawnbrokers? But this tiny shop had obviously been fairly recently sold – and now appears to be a residential property.

The Adam & Eve, pub, Homerton High St, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-51-Edit_2400
The Adam & Eve, pub, Homerton High St, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-10d-51

There has been an Adam & Eve tavern in Homerton High Street since at least 1735, but its fine frontage is dated from 1915 and was recently restored. Its cream terracotta front includes a large relief showing very chastely the couple before the fall but underneath an apple tree. In 1988 it was a Taylor Walker pub (though Taylor Walker had been taken over and closed in 1960), now it is described as a gastro-pub, with fresh food from the farm daily and offering “CURING – MICROBREWERY – ALLOTMENT”. The Taylor Walker pub sign was rather better and had above the field gun that came from the Clerkenwell Cannon brewery they took over in 1929.

East Cross Route, Hackney Wick, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-10d-55-Edit_2400
East Cross Route, Hackney Wick, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-10d-55

The East Cross Route was a part of the disastrous Ringways plan for concentric motorway rings around London. This was one of two major parts of the of the innermost Ringway 1 which actually got built between 1967 and 1973. The cost and environmental devastation caused by the building of the Westway in North Kensington led to a huge backlash which led to the cancellation of the remaining parts of the scheme.

The East Cross Route was less controversial, partly because it was in East London and most politicians and others didn’t much care about what happened there, but also because it largely replaced an existing rail line which had long separated the communities on each side. For much of its length there was in any case little between the road and the natural boundary of the River Lea and the Lea Navigation.

There were relatively few roads which ran across the area, and the links across the new road were maintained with both Wick Lane and Wick Road still leading to Hackney Wick. Olf Ford Road no longer led to Old Ford, except by a footbridge, but for vehicles the detour was relatively short. The bridge I was on when I made this picture carries a footpath across Victoria Park from Cadogan Terrace to Rothbury Road in Hackney Wick. The Trowbridge Estate built in 1965-9 had 7 rather striking 21-storey tower blocks. Demolition of these had begun with Northaird Poiont in 1985 and all had gone by 1996.

The final post in this series, appearing shortly, will include my pictures from Hackney Wick where my walk ended.


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Shops, Houses, A Library, Car Sales 1988

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

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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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.