“London’s Lost Narratives”

From Gareth @ The Marshman Chronicles

14th May 2014


I’d like to invite you to a special event at the Stoke Newington Literary festival on Saturday June 7th.

I’ll be talking about ‘London’s Lost Narratives’ with John Rogers, author of This Other London: Adventures in the Overlooked City (review of his book in The Londonist here)

We’ll reveal how the practice of walking helps us uncover alternative histories and mythology in London’s landscape. We’ll look in particular at why London’s post-industrial wilderness, common lands and outlying districts are such exciting, multi-layered places to explore.

During the event we’ll intermingle extracts from our books with their insights and experiences. This will be followed by a lively open discussion, with questions and feedback from the audience.

The gig is at The White Hart pub, 69 Stoke Newington High St. N16 8EL. We’ll start at 3pm and wrap up proceedings at around 4:45pm.

Should be fun and there will be beer, wine, juice, whatever tickles your fancy.

So that’s Saturday June 7th, 3pm – if you can make it, then stick it in your diary. It would be great to see you.

Oh, and if you’re on Facebook, maps and more details are to be found here – click ‘join’ to let me know you’re coming.

Mount London is looming!


I’ve written a chapter about Upper Clapton, Springfield Park and the view over the marshes for a new anthology called Mount London: Ascents in the Vertical City. It’s an unusual, experimental look at what it’s like to move through the city, imagining its various elevations – natural and manmade – as part of one big mountain.

You can order a hardback copy here.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the rest of your week.


Adult Learners’ Week with Hackney Historic Buildings Trust

A programme of entertaining and informative talks about Hackney to celebrate Adult Learners’ Week 2013


Iain Sinclair: Celebrating Unbuilt Utopias and other Notable Follies: Monday 20th May 2013 @The Round Chapel Auditorium

Iain Sinclair has written numerous works on Hackney and the East End including Hackney: That Rose Red Empire. In this talk he will look at some of the consequences of imposing grand-project parks and computer-generated palaces of vanities on East London. He outlines a few absurdist strategies for countering such ruinously expensive activity from the attractive but untenable position: that there is nothing wrong with any extravagant plan or proposition, so long as it is not actually constructed.

Seats must be booked in advance. For Iain Sinclair’s talk at The Round Chapel 500 places can be offered; for this talk only HHBT are asking for a minimum donation of £2 per head to cover expenses.

All bookings can be made with Lisa Pressland, Venue Manager for Hackney Historic Buildings Trust. Please email info@hhbt.org.uk or call 02089860029 to reserve a place.

Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start, with the exception of Kate Colquhoun’s talk on Thursday 23rd May, for which doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

More information – especially upon the other talks of the ALW – can be found here.


The book the “reaches the parts of Hackney Iain Sinclair doesn’t reach”

I found this book review on The Londonist:

You might think a book of short stories about redevelopment in Hackney would be a rough and tumble of Olympic gripes. You’d be wrong. As Stewart Home says on the cover quote, Acquired For Development By… “reaches the parts of Hackney Iain Sinclair doesn’t reach”. Instead, we get a literary dolly mixture of alternative takes on the borough, with barely a mention of the Games.

Hackney redevelopment is often in the news agenda. Witness the recent battle over modern tower blocks in Dalston,  and the ongoing encroachment of the City into the edge of the borough. It’s a singularly fascinating issue. Redevelopment can bring affluence and amenities to an area and provide much needed new homes. But the same developments can also have a negative effect on lives, pricing out existing residents and shops. It’s an emotive subject and one which Acquired For Development By… covers from many inventive and unexpected angles.

Three short stories look to a dystopian future. The Battle of Kingsland Road by Paul Case is a bloody burlesque charting the rivalry between a gang of gentrifiers from Stoke Newington and the fashionistas of the Hoxton Liberation Army — both of whom claim Kingsland Road as their own. Ashlee Christoffersen’s 2061, meanwhile, conjures a ghettoised, neo-feudal future for Clapton. Best of the three, in our opinion, is Kit Caless’ The Finest Store, in which the trend towards high street homogeneity reaches a hideous natural conclusion. This one deserves a longer treatment.

The non-fiction writing is also top-notch. Natalie Hardwick’s Alevism and Hackney hangs out with the area’s Alevi population, a cultural group rarely in the spotlight (even our spellchecker claims ignorance). Nell Frizzell’s account of a boating life on the River Lea is also enlightening.

Add in plenty of poetry, haikus, a ghost story and the tale of a man who falls in love with an electricity pylon, and you have a superb collection of original writing about London’s most fascinating borough. This is Hackney without the hackneyed, and a must-read for anyone who cares about the area.

Acquired For Development By…A Hackney Anthology is out now from Influx Press. 

Book signing at Broadway Bookshop, 6 Broadway Market on 21/04/2012

Ian Sinclair. Saturday Signing

Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 12.00am

Come and meet the ever popular Iain Sinclair, author of Hackney, that Rose Red Empire, who will be signing copies of his remarkable and compelling memoir, Ghost Milk. New in paperback, Ghost Milk is a personal and powerful exploration of the impact on local landscapes such as his and our home of Hackney, when transformed by grand projects such as this year’s London Olympics.

Iain will be at the shop from 12am – 2 pm during the Saturday market.

No need to book, just come along.

If you would like to reserve a copy of the paperback of Ghost Milk contact us at the shop.

Hackney Hear iPhone app launches Thursday 8 March

Hackney Hear – the trial users speak from Hackney Hear on Vimeo.

Thanks to Sam Bonham for the following post:

Hackney Hear iPhone app launches Thursday 8 March. Made by the award winning Hackney Podcast, this is a world’s first in sound and storytelling, right here in the borough!

 Triggering sound via GPS-location, Hackney Hear provides an innovative way to explore and rediscover London’s east end by combining immersive sounds and storytelling.

Made by the Sony-Award winning team behind the Hackney Podcast, Hackney Hear works anywhere in London Fields or Broadway Market (London, E8). After putting headphones on, users can explore the area – standing still to hear more of each story or moving on to hear something new.

The phone app can be downloaded and used on location. Users can hear the stories of residents and local celebrities, as well as sound archive and new commissions from artists in the area.

Stories include:

  • Writer Iain Sinclair unravels the layers of history in his beloved local park
  • Performance poet Shane Solanki performs his ‘Lido song’ at Hackney’s outdoor swimming pool
  • Photographer Tom Hunter tells tales of the 1980s Hackney squatting scene
  • Local residents tell secrets behind their neighbourhood, from first kisses to gang etiquette

Francesca Panetta, founder of Hackney Hear, said of the app:

“We wanted to take listeners on an exclusive journey through this amazingly eclectic borough in east London – uncovering previously unheard stories, histories and personalities.”

“Hackney has the highest concentration of artists in the world, and we’ve selected some of the best across different genres to create works specifically for this app.”

The iPhone app is free to download and launches March 8 2012, coinciding with the start of an historic year for Hackney.

Hackney Councilor Jonathan McShane, said of the app:

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Hackney Hear to the borough. Its launch marks the beginning of what is set to be a fantastic year for the area.”

“Francesca Panetta and her team have collaborated with such a diverse range of artists, residents and local organisations, using sound and music to tell the wonderful stories of Hackney.”

“Moreover, Hackney Hear is a world’s first. Using new technologies and innovations in sound, Hackney Hear helps users to rediscover Hackney in a way that has never been possible until now.”

Hackney Hear is more than just an audio guide. The app uses “tri-sound technology” to ensure that listeners hear multiple combinations of words, music and sounds.

This innovation is the first of its kind and has already been shortlisted for the Radio Academy Techcon Technical Innovation Award 2011.

Hackney Hear will be holding a series of events throughout 2012. The team is currently looking for funding to expand the geographical area within which it covers, as well as launch an Android version

For all enquiries and interview requests please email press@hackneyhear.com.

Free iTunes download: will be available 8th March.

The podcasts: 

Broadway Market


Bob Cooke in his Pie and Eel shop on Broadway Market

Iain Sinclair and the Pearly King and Queen in London fields

Outside London Fields Lido



Twitter:  @hackneyhear