The 12th Stoke Newington History Talks event


You are invited to the 12th Stoke Newington History Talks event; an evening of three talks about Stoke Newington’s history from different perspectives organised by local history enthusiast Amir Dotan. The majority of the content of the previous 11 events is available here:

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

Tickets are £5. Ticket sale goes to charity (this time Pets Against Loneliness), the rest pays for costs. The speakers donate their time for free. The last four events have raised a total of £1,654 for local charities.

Join the mailing list to know about upcoming Stoke Newington History Talks events.

A message from our lovely hosts in St Matthias Halls: 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 – 130 years of Clissold Park by Amir Dotan

Clissold Park, Stoke Newington’s beloved green space, has seen many changes since it was saved from being built on and opened to the public in 1889. This talk celebrates Clissold Park’s 130th anniversary with a glimpse into the park’s past as a public space when its notable features and attractions were a miniature railway, boating lake, bowling green, the original New River running along Church Street and a bandstand next to Clissold House to name a few.

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

Talk no. 2 – Small builders of Stoke Newington by Wendy Forrest

Stoke Newington’s terraced streets went up very quickly. How exactly did that happen? What did it take to be a builder? Who chose the look of the roads and the houses? Who did the work and who made the money? One story gives some answers.

Wendy is on the committee of Friends of Hackney Archives and a trustee of the Hackney Society. Her Stoke Newington ancestors arrived in 1874.

Talk no. 3 – Thinker, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: mapping the residents of Church St past by Lucy Madison

Stoke Newington Church Street has been home to many important figures over the centuries, some more famous than others. ‘Thinker, Sailor, Soldier, Spy’ will focus on just four: the chemist, philanthropist and slave abolitionist William Allen; the cross-dressing sailor Hannah Snell; the Puritan soldier and son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell, General Charles Fleetwood; and the literary ‘Jack of all trades’ – including spying – Daniel Defoe. Historical records will be used to paint a brief story of their lives in Stoke Newington, while Lucy also shows you how you can find further records of Stoke Newington’s former residents using Hackney History’s collection on the Layers of London website.

Lucy Madison is a Stoke Newington resident currently working with the Friends of Hackney Archives’ “Hackney History” group to generate local history records for the Layers of London website. Elsewhere she runs ‘Bring Your Baby’ and ‘Bring Your Kids’ guided walks and pub quizzes across London, which started off right here in Stokey.

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