STOKEFEST will be taking place on Clissold Park on Sunday, 24 September, the day after this issue is published. You will recall that its original date in the middle of June was cancelled due to a screw-up by Hackney Council, but it’s great news that it’s returning. It takes place between noon and 7pm, so make sure you go there and enjoy the blend of live music, sound systems, art workshops and craft and food stalls. Stoke Newington is fortunate to have an event like this on an annual basis, so please support it. We will be reviewing Stokefest in our next (2 December) issue along with a selection of photos of the festival. To ﬁnd out what’s on, visit www.stokefest.co.uk.
ITALIAN FOOTBALL has recently been hitting the headlines. But how many of you knew that the man who created Italian football – the father of calcio – came from Stoke Newington? Dr James Richardson Spensley was born in this parish in 1867. He arrived in Genoa in 1896 and set up the Genoa Cricket and Athletic (later ‘Football’) Club in order that expats could play against the crews of visiting British ships. He only played two games for the club (apparently, he was a useless goalie) but he was president of the club until 1907. Several sources claim that he also created the worldwide scouting movement. He died on the front line in Mainz, Germany in 1915. Now, there’s a piece of interesting information.
IN AN ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE with well-known problems of social apathy, a new residents association – the Shakespeare Residents Association – has got together in south Stokey to ﬁnd imaginative ways of making the environment more enjoyable to live in. Meeting regularly at the ever-popular Allen Road pub, The Shakespeare, the group welcomes anyone who’s interested in adding their voice.
If you live in Church Walk, Albion Grove, Milton Grove, Allen Road, Shakespeare Walk, Clonbrock Road or Neville Road and have ideas, criticisms or suggestions as to how the area might be improved (tree planting, rubbish clearance etc.), why not get involved? Or why not just come along to meet your neighbours and be part of the community? The next open meeting at The Shakespeare will be at 8pm on Wednesday 13 December. Equally, if you live near, or enjoy using, the open spaces of Butterﬁeld Green, the Residents Association is keen to hear from you. Hackney Council are committed to improvements to the park, and local residents have already been getting together to make that a reality. Why not join them on their regular workdays? If you think things could be better in the area, don’t just sit there, join in. For further details contact Keith Magnum on 0207 254 5515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Bron Jones on 0207 241 6841.
ABNEY PUBLIC HALL is increasingly functioning as a central hub of Stoke Newington, offering a diverse programme of regular events (visit www.abneypublichall.co.uk). On Tuesdays and Thursdays a regular table tennis club is held for all ages from 4pm-8pm for the bargain price of £3 per session. We’ve no idea what the rules of table tennis are but that didn’t seem to matter as everyone – including absolute beginners like we are – is welcome. There’s just one cardinal rule: don’t call it ping pong.
LOOK AWAY FOR A MOMENT and more shops open up on Church Street. A new optician – Askew – has taken over the former site of Joanne’s Plantique on the corner of Albion Road; another estate agent – Location, Location – has joined the fray on what used to be John Williams’ agency; Demo Silver is the occupant of what is probably the smallest shop in London on the junction of Ayresome Road; and the quaintly-named Olive Loves Alﬁe is selling an eclectic range of clothes and gear for kids up to eight years old on the spot where the short-lived McGeko plied its trade. On the High Street, opposite the end of Church Street, a new bar, Base, has appeared, while it appears that Bar Lorca, currently being refurbished by the owners of Birdcage and Londesbrough, will be opening in October. N16 welcomes the new arrivals and wishes them well.
BEWARE OF RAPACIOUS TERRAPINS, little Clissold Park ducklings. According to BBC’s Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme in mid-September, the little carnivores are lying in ambush, leaping out and attacking the fluffy duckies. Worse, apparently they are foraging along Church Street, their beady little eyes searching out their next dinner. This seems barely credible, given that the little beasties seem to move about one yard every two years, a view supported by local councillor, who dismissed the idea as a moral panic. But be careful out there.
DO YOUR BIT FOR OXFAM and visit Bardens Boudoir, 36-44 Stoke Newington Road, on 19 October. Local bands The Rain and Balla Louda are organising a beneﬁt night for the charity – under the name Oxjam – with all proceeds going to the charity.
THE NEXT KEEP STOKE NEWINGTON TIDY meeting will be at Yum Yum on 28 Sept at 7pm. The agenda includes litter reduction, elimination of overﬂowing bins, getting the wheelie bins off the streets, ‘hot spots’ (A10, Wilmer Place, 1-20 Stamford Hill) and deﬁning what constitutes an ‘acceptable standard’ for litter control. We really need to get rid of all the crap on Stokey streets, including the increasing incidence of ﬂytipping which is a deeply selﬁsh and anti-social activity. All welcome. For more info contact email@example.com.
THE HACKNEY YOUTH CARNIVAL PARADE marched through Stoke Newington on Sunday 10 September (see picture). The annual event began at Stoke Newington Town Hall and ended up at North Millﬁelds Recreation Ground, where the crowd was entertained by local DJs and rappers. Trafﬁc on Church Street was reduced to a crawl by the Parade, but for a change no-one seemed to mind. There’s nothing like a splash of colour on a Sunday morning to cheer people up.
UPDATE ON HAMDY. High Street newsagent Hamdy Shahein, who won the ‘best neighbourhood newsagent’ award from the Independent this summer, is still battling with WHS Distributors over the delivery of what he considers ‘pornography’ to his shop. He has moved ‘lads’ mags’ to the top shelf and placed them in brown envelopes. Along with Diane Abbott, he is supporting legislation to ban the sale of ‘pornography’ to under-18s. He has a petition which you can sign on www.hamdyspornfree.co.uk.