N16 Magazine, PO box 44624, London N16 5WN,
I love your mag, it's great... but what's with this month's cover (girl)? I'm not specially PC but the leather babe approach just doesn't seem right to me. Now I know you don't normally do this and yes, of course, she's a talented artist in her own right, blah blah... I know that.
But you know what I'm getting at, I'm sure. And while you've got me ranting, have you ever
criticised a restaurant in one of your reviews? Of course they pay the bills, but how about a little objectivity?
As I said at the start, I love your mag, I really do and I don't know how you earn a crust from it but good on you for doing so - it makes living where we do even better than before.
Having lived in Stoke Newington for most of my life and worked here through my adult years,
I come into daily contact with many of the locals... however it never fails to surprise and
confuse me to hear the term 'village feel' used in the same sentence as the word 'stokey',
though I do not wear sandals out nor do I suffer from any trendy eating disorders, such as
vegetarianism. I can't help but think the lack of these character traits hinder my vision when out and about in Stoke Newington.
I often ask myself if the people who live in Stoke Newington have ever been to or seen a
village. I know most of them disagree with televisions but have they avoided the
beautiful sights of Postman Pat's village through their childhood, or never managed to catch glimpse
of Last Of The Summer Wine's scenery to use as a comparison?
Maybe if they had they would notice the significant absence of dry stone walling and sheep
throughout N16, as well as realising that sofas on the corners of streets, yellow signs that say 'commercial robbery', care in the community candidates who walk about and shout at themselves, and parking restrictions don't really fit into the back drop of a Yorkshire village, nor would a cemetery be classed as park land.
Please help me to understand and fit in!
Ps : What is wrong with genetically modified food ? Surely if it wasn't a good thing it would be called genetically sabotaged food. Do the same people who shop at Fresh and
Wild reject paracetamol?
Eagerly awaiting a response,
I stumbled upon your mag and must say 'well done'. I read the Luddy Samms article (Issue 20) with a broad smile on my face and can recall the James Brown concert at the Knokke blues festival he mentioned. I too played at the Three Crowns for many years and the story of how the then tenant was treated by the police and subsequently framed but found not guilty at Crown Court was typical of a political move to shut down live music venues at that time.
Please feel free to contact me for the full story as I was very much involved and appeared
at the trial. Good luck with the mag.
With some embarrassment I read the letter from Ms Betty Gough about the piece in Issue 19 that purported to be from the diary of the great Charles Dickens. It is, of course, a spoof.
When the publisher of N16 and I dreamed up this series we wanted to find a way of celebrating the extraordinary wealth of literary associations in Stoke Newington, avoiding, if possible, that Monty Python tone of earnest didacticism that sometimes bedevils local history. The intention was to amuse, not to deceive. Please pass on my apologies to Ms Gough and any readers who feel tricked - though I must confess to a
moment's ignoble glee when I heard that the Mary Shelley piece (Issue 21) took in the Islington Gazette.
By the way, I have a copy of Tallis's beautiful 1851 map of London and would like to assure my critics that - despite its other failings - at least the geography of that
particular entry in Dickens's diary holds good.
Albion Road, N16
(Read Nick's latest historical 'discovery' on page
Publish and Be
By Rab MacWilliam
As editor and publisher of N16, I am on occasion stopped on the street and questioned - indeed, sometimes harangued - about an article with which a reader disagrees. I explain that we do not have a political or editorial line, other than to print what we feel may be of interest to our readership. We see ourselves as a platform, a sounding board, for local expressions of opinion, points of view and interest groups. We are here to air your concerns and spread your message across the Stoke Newington area and beyond. If an
article angers or upsets you, or if you disagree with its content, we guarantee to print your response, so long as it is not obscene, defamatory, libellous or critical of Arsenal.
Our editorial policy may be wide-ranging, but we are far from cavalier in what we allow to appear in print. Although the odd error does slip through our vetting process, we try to ensure that all quoted attributions to individuals are on the record, in context and
recorded and/or checked for factual accuracy with the interviewee. Opinions are opinions but facts are sacred. Reliance on hearsay only serves to enlarge the already bulging bank accounts of our learned friends.
However, with this caveat in mind, we welcome all articles, letters and comments from our readership, in keeping with the historically dissident tradition of Stoke Newington. We look forward to hearing from you, including Spurs supporters.
Clissold Centre Update
By Mike Roberts
Local residents and Clissold Leisure Centre users seem to be even more in the dark as to the future of the centre following a series of Hackney Council Scrutiny Panel meetings.
The three meetings seemed to have been arranged so that the fewest number of people would be able to attend, with two arranged for a 4pm kick off, while the final one was arranged for 6pm on the night that England played Portugal (no don't remind me of the final score). Because of various ongoing legal actions, almost anything that might have been of value to the public could not be discussed. It is estimated that court actions could take up to three years. So don't hold your breath.
At the same time a local campaigning website - www.clissoldleisure.com
- revealed a letter sent by Sport England to local MP Diane Abbott setting out a string of complaints with regard to the Centre. One of the jewels in the letter was that a temporary pool could easily be erected for about £600k, with further costs for changing rooms and staffing. However, the council considers that the costs outweigh the potential benefit.
As one of the campaigners commented, when almost everyone who attended the final meeting adjourned to the Defoe to watch the match - the campaigners at one table, the councillors at another, while the team from Leisure Connection sat at a third - 'the estimated legal cost to the council so far is much higher than the total cost of running a temporary pool for the next three years'.
For more information, we have placed copies of the official minutes and the Sport England letter on
this website www.n16mag.com/info/news.