St Matthias Halls, Wordsworth Road, London, N16 8DD
020 7923 2726

The 11th Stokey History talks

Delighted to be hosting the 11th Stoke Newington History Talks – a chance to immerse yourself in three different aspects of old Stokey organised by local history enthusiast Amir Dotan.

Tuesday 10 September 2019, St Matthias Hall.

Stoke Newington’s seven long-lost cinemas – Amir Dotan

Victorian gardeners of Stoke Newington – Anne Wilkinson

The Blitz and after: How they rebuilt Stoke Newington after World War Two… even the bits the bombs had missed – Nick Higham

Doors and cash bar 18:30. Talks start 19:30. Each talk is 25min followed by 5min Q&A. There will be 10min break between each talk.

Tickets £5. Profits to North London Action for the Homeless The speakers donate their time for free, and the last three events have raised a total of £1,100 for local charities.

In the spirit of keeping it local, we are running our cash bar featuring beers and ales from Redchurch Brewery in Bethnal Green, including the famous Shoreditch Blonde pale ale and popular Redchurch lager. Wine and soft drinks also on sale throughout the evening (recommendations for local, good quality, reasonably-priced wines gratefully received).


Talk no. 1 – Stoke Newington’s seven long-lost cinemas by Amir Dotan

Vogue Continental, Albion Cinema, Astra, Biograph Cinema, Coliseum, Savoy, The Alexndra Theatre. Cinemas, large and small, were a main feature of Stoke Newington throughout the 20th century till the early 1980s. There were seven altogether, though not all were active at the same time. Four were in close proximity along Stoke Newington Road. All closed down and most of the cinema building were demolished. This talk will provide a visual tour of Stoke Newington’s seven long-lost cinemas and show how they changed over the years. Don’t forget to bring popcorn.

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

Talk no. 2 – Victorian gardeners of Stoke Newington by Anne Wilkinson

In the mid-nineteenth century Stoke Newington was on the edge of London and still rural in character. It was known for its plant nurseries and horticultural associations but there were many amateur gardeners living there too, many of whom made their mark in periodicals and books of the time. This talk will summarise some of them and plans to get you interested in finding out more.

Dr Anne Wilkinson specialises in Victorian amateur gardening and, having lived in Stoke Newington for many years, has researched and written about its gardeners and written three books on the history of gardening.

Talk no. 3 – The Blitz and after: How they rebuilt Stoke Newington after World War Two… even the bits the bombs had missed by Nick Higham

Stoke Newington was badly affected by wartime bombing. You can still see the results. Nick Higham compares the bomb damage maps compiled for the London County Council with today’s streetscape, and reveals where the bombs and rockets fell and what replaced the vanished buildings. But he also shows that much post-war rebuilding involved the demolition of houses and entire streets that survived the war but then fell victim to the local authority’s determination to clear away what were seen as slums and to municipalise much of the area’s housing.

Nick Higham is a former BBC correspondent who is currently researching a history of London’s water supply: a niche topic, but not as dry as it sounds. He lives in Stoke Newington

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11th Stokey History Talks
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