Online talks relating to the radical history of Hackney I have enjoyed recently – and hope to enjoy soon…
(If I’ve missed any feel free to add a comment below…)
Earlier this week Newington Green Meeting House hosted Dan De La Motte’s superb presentation on Molly Houses – “spaces where gay and queer men, sex workers and the criminal underclass engaged in ceremonial ritual, sex parties and even spoke their own language.”
I especially enjoyed the revelation that the historical information we have on Molly Houses is thanks to the meticulous documentation by moralists of the era who were trying to close them down. Dan was fabulously entertaining (although the links with Hackney were… slightly… tenuous) but the recording is unfortunatey not online yet.
NGMH’s forthcoming events include Women and Work for International Women’s Day on 8th March (Free). Speakers include Dr Eleanor Janega on her research on the history of sex work and Professor Jane Holgate on the Fords women machinist strike in 1968 and how it led to the Equal Pay Act.
Abney Park Cemetery recently hosted a “virtual walking tour” about the Tottenham Outrage by Alan Gartrell:
It’s an action-packed tale of a 1909 botched wages heist by Latvian nihilist-anarchists leading to a police chase through North London. PC William Tyler and Ralph Joscelyne, a young boy, were both killed during the chase and are buried in Abney Park.
Details of forthcoming virtual events run by Abney Park are here, including their International Womens Day Event on March 8th on women buried in the cemetery (£6.00).
Hackney Society Trustee Wendy Forrest interviewed Alan Denney about his own photographs of Hackney in the 1970s and 1980s. (Alan has had a lot of attention recently because of his work on the Rio Tape Slide Project book, which features vintage photos of Hackney taken by others.)
There was slightly too much focus on building conservation in this for my tastes, but don’t let that put you off. The clip includes some incredible photos and Alan is a brilliant interviewee. Protest and general working class existence are covered admirably.
Unfortunately the Hackney Society doesn’t seem to have many of its previous events available online to view, but there are some stormers coming up:
March 4th: Mark Gorman: ‘Down With the Fences!’
The extraordinary growth of London in the Victorian age swallowed up huge areas of green space. Fields, commons and woods – the leisure spaces for ordinary Londoners – were built over at an unprecedented rate. Across east London, much loved and heavily used open spaces like Epping Forest and Hackney Downs were under threat, and local campaigns were started to save ‘the people’s playgrounds’. The story of these struggles usually concentrates on the actions of middle class ‘respectable’ campaigners, while the key role played by ordinary Londoners has been forgotten. This is their story.
March 25th: Sue Doe and Lucy Madison: Women from Hackney’s History
This new book from the Hackney Society, in collaboration with Hackney History, is published on 8th March, International Women’s Day. It was written and designed by Hackney women.
The book contains 113 brief illustrated biographies of women from Hackney’s history who lived or worked, were born or buried in today’s borough. Drawn from widely differing backgrounds, none of these women are still with us but their stories cover five centuries and show us how times have changed for women and for Hackney.
In this talk, Sue Doe and Lucy Madison take a few of these women, and tell their tales, showing some of the places they knew. A series of walks is being developed to explore more lives and more places.
The book can also be pre-ordered from here.
I must confess I’ve never made it to any of Amir Dotan’s Stoke Newington History events, but he has a tonne of slidesets from talks available on his site including: