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Stoke Newington History Talk No9

What do Marc Bolan, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, The Pretenders, The Jam, a Methodist Church on Green Lanes and Stoke Newington Church Street have in common? They all feature in Stokey History Talks No9 which we are proud to be hosting at St Matthias on Monday February 25.

Organised by passionate local historian Amir Dotan, the event features three talks on Stoke Newington’s history from different perspectives lasting 25 minutes each and illustrated by a mixture of archival and contemporary images, showing the area through the respective lenses of local historians, researchers, writers, photographers and others interested in Stoke Newington’s colourful past.

Tickets £5. All proceeds go to Hackney Migrant Centre.

Doors and cash bar 6.45pm, talks 19:30, with a 10 minute break in between. Q&A afterwards.

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Talk no. 1 – A visual history of Stoke Newington Church Street by Amir Dotan

Now a gentrified street with fashionable restaurants, boutiques and trendy gift shops, Church Street is as old as Stoke Newington and has seen many changes as it evolved a residential country road with large mansions surrounded by fields and meadows, to a bustling inner-city district. This talk will provide a visual history of this historically significant and fascinating street, offering a glimpse into its rich past and unraveling its many layers.

Amir Dotan has been researching and sharing the history of Stoke Newington as a hobby since 2011 on Twitter and Facebook . He started ‘Stoke Newington History Talks‘, a quarterly event, in late 2016.


Talk no. 2 – A Stoke Newington life: Frederick Arthur Wirth’s unseen photos 1920-70 by John Wirth

Frederick Arthur Wirth lived in Stoke Newington from 1910 to 1946. He gave his service to the old Green Lanes Methodist Church for over 40 years up until the late 60s. John’s presentation will focus on unseen photos from the archive of his father from the 1920s to the late 1960s, interspersed with related historical information. Covering a time span punctuated by both world wars and the destruction and subsequent change that they brought about, many of the photos document buildings and views that no longer exist.

John Wirth’s family history research has led him to find that generations of his ancestors had lived in Stoke Newington since the late 1800s. Fascinated by local history, he has found it to be inextricably intertwined with family history, each illuminating & informing the other. He is currently photographing and transcribing war memorials in Stoke Newington to be added to the National War Memorials Database, and is also researching a once famous Stoke Newington resident from the Victorian era.


Talk no. 3 Stoke n’ Roll: Stoke Newington’s musical heritage by Craig McLean

What do Marc Bolan, Amy Winehouse, Bad Manners, Leona Lewis, Eddy Grant, The Pretenders, The Jam, Labrinth and Adam and his Ants have in common? They all lived, worked, gigged and recorded in Stoke Newington– or at least walked through Abney Park Cemetery for the purposes of a pop video. Roll over Camden and tell the Kings Road the news: Stoke Newington has long been the heart of musical London, and this talk will explain why.

Craig McLean is a Stoke Newington-based arts journalist, editor and ghostwriter (Phil Collins’ Not Dead Yet). He writes for the Evening Standard, Observer Magazine and anyone else who’ll have him. He hosts the Red Lion’s monthly pub music quiz Sorted For Beers & Quiz.


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