At some point the streets west of London Fields passed into the hands of the GLC - possibly after the Second World War. The GLC has plans to redevelop the wider Broadway Market area to encourage employment but left properties empty for a long time.
The east side of Brougham Road was squatted from at least the early 1970s. Some became licensed through Patchwork Housing.
A building was occupied and run as a nursery by a black group, becoming the Market Nursery, whose patron was Benjamin Zephaniah. The Market Nursery is still going is Wilde Close.
Behind Brougham Road was the old Dalston Bus Garage (on the site of a military barracks) which closed in 1981 and was replaced by Ash Grove bus garage. The bus garage was occupied by travellers in 1981-82.
This area was later redeveloped as housing by LBH: Suffolk Estate (1960s-1971) and the Regents Estate (1980-88), Grand Union Crescent & Dublin Avenue (1980s).
LBH approved the GLC's development plans for the Broadway Market Area in 1975 but not much happened other than the building of Ash Grove bus station on Mare Street and Ada Street Workshops (1992).
Broadway Market used to be a thriving shopping street and market. This declined until the 1970s when many of the shops were closed and the properties shuttered with corrugated iron. Some of the properties were owned by the GLC and LBH but some were privately owned (for example, in 1983 Prudential Insurance owned no. 53-61). The GLC's plans to develop the area stopped other development happening.
Flats in the blocks around Broadway Market were also left empty, rented under the hard to let scheme and squatted including Warburton House and Jackman House.
The Council has various schemes to revive the area but little came of them. The GLC built Ash Grove bus station on Mare Street and the Ada Street workshops in the early 1980s.
In the early 2000s LBH was determined to revive the area by selling of the shops and flats above. Some leaseholders were able to buy their properties but many were sold at auction to overseas investment companies at less than market prices. Two sales were particularly contentious.
No.34, Francesca's Café, was run by Tony Platia for over 30 years. He asked the Council if he could buy the property several times but was turned down. In 2004 the building was bought by Dr Roger Wratten along with the properties on either side of the café and other properties and land in the local area (including 2, 4, 6, 30, 32 Broadway Market; land to the rear of numbers 26-36 Broadway Market; 27 Marlborough Avenue). It seems that Wratten grew up in No. 36 next door.
Tony was evicted at the end of 2005 and the property was occupied to prevent the building's demolition and as a protest against the wholesale sell-offs. The café was finally evicted in February 2006.
Tony now runs a juice stall in the market (which started in 2004). No. 34 still stands derelict.
No. 71, Nutritious Food Gallery, was run by Spirit who lived above with his family from 1993. When he starting renting it from LBH, the building was semi-derelict and he spent his own money doing it up and running a successful food shop. As leaseholder Spirit should have been given the first option to buy the property. But in 2002 when he went to the auctioneers and left a cheque he believed he had bought he building. But it was later sold at the auction to an offshore investment company than for less money than he had offered. This company then raised his rent by 1200% with the clear intention of getting him out. Spirit attempted to pay this rent but ran into arrears and was finally evicted in October 2006.
No 71 is now the FIn and Flounder.
If we had turned right instead of left we could have visited...
Darcy House was the LCC's first block in Hackney (1904), on the site of Dr Carbureting's Asylum (1830s-1850s) and Pacifico’s alms houses for Sephardic Jews (about 1851) . Warburton Ho sue was built slum clearance in 1935-38
The Warburton Estate is typical of several estates in the local area (like Goldsmiths Row and the Haggerston Estate). Under the GLC it became run down and flats emptied. Some were squatted and some were let under the Hard To Let scheme.
It rained heavily.
Sidworth Street was the site of a V2 bomb during the war and in the 1960s and 1970s industrial unties built. In 2010 one block (13018) was squatted as Urban HapHazard Squat. Some building around Sidworth Street and Mentmore Terrace are currently squatted, some with the knowledge/permission of the property owners.
Properties round here bough by local council after WW2 (bomb damage & slum clearance) and in the 1970s. During this time there were several traveller sites on Lamb Lane, Gransden Avenue and Mentmore Terrace. In the 1980s a site on Gransden Avenue/London Lane was being considered as a permanent local authority traveller site.
This building was built in about 1697, probably for a wealthy merchant, Abraham Dolins. It is the second oldest house and third oldest building in Hackney (after St Augustine's Tower and Sutton House). For the first 160 years (1697-1860). It was a merchant's family home. For the next fifty-odd years (1860-1913), like many big houses around this area, it was turned over to institutional use. It became the Elizabeth Fry Refuge for Reformation of Women Prisoners. It housed women released from jail where they learnt the skills to go into domestic service. For ninety years (1913-2004), it became a liberal/radical social club - the New Lansdowne Club. During this time a new building was built out the back with a bar and a stage. After a long period of decline it finally closed in 2004.
In 2005 it was bought for a Vietnamese community and cultural centre but stood empty since then.
In 2009 the building was squatted as a very active social centre. Events included London Free School, benefits, skills sharing and film nights.
In May 2010 this company went bust and ownership passed to the Dunbar Bank which finally evicted the centre in August 2010. Currently (July 2011) on sale for £1 million.
Currently squatted and open on Sundays - we dropped in to get dry, drink tea & play music. An ex-diving shop, it is now owned by property developers.
Some people went on to Well Furnished - 11 Terrace Rd, opposite Well Street
The Victorian terraced housing in this area was not built to a very high standard. After the Second World War the Council compulsorily purchased some buildings in the area.
In the mid 1970s LBH planned to create an Industrial Improvement Area between Mare Street and London Fields in an attempt to stem the loss of employment. The Council compulsory purchased more buildings and got rid of existing residents and businesses. It was not keen to hand housing over for short life in case it slowed down development.
Squatters moved into the empty buildings and travellers into the yards (the earliest reference we found was to 1979 but may have been earlier). Artists organisations Acme and Space persuaded the Council to hand over some buildings for studios and living but many of the other properties were squatted. Space leased a building in Martello Street since 1971 and Acme had buildings on Martello Street and Mentmore Terrace.
In 1985 the Council proposed demolishing all the buildings in Ellingfort Road, London Lane and Mentmore Terrace. Between 1885 and 1992 some of the short life housing co-ops left and more houses were squatted.
In 1995 the Council announced its intention to create a fenced off industrial area between Mare Street and the railway, taking in London Lane, Ellingfort Road and Mentmore Terrace. In 1997 the Council got EU funds for this scheme but it was bitterly opposed by local people who wanted a mixture of housing and small scale workspaces.
Some of the squatters had by now acquired ownership of their properties.
Some of the people living in the two streets, both squatters and people in housing co-ops, got together to form a housing coop to take on the redevelopment. In the end eight houses were handed back to the Council for development for live/work units and the rest remained as a co-op.
A former resident said "21 Ellingfort Road was the home of two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Sister Belladonna and Mother Mandragora. Sometimes they hung out on the street in full habit and no one batted an eyelid and came home on the 55 bus in full habit too. We once went to the 'pub with no name' next to the hackney empire in full habit to a gig".
282 Richmond Road, squatted in 2002 as a community art space
Great Eastern Buildings on Reading Lane built for railway workers) deteriorated, run as a hostel, squatted ?2005
Possibly originally Mothers' Hospital of the Salvation Army 1884-1913, then a Mission Methodist Hall.
In March 1988 it was occupied after the mass eviction of the Stamford Hill estate
In1995 and1996 it was squatted as a social space: Spikey Thing With Curves. A large mural was painted on the outside and parties were holed there.
The Town Hall was the site of many demonstrations against Council policies. In the 1980s squatters were many and organised, and about 90% of squats in council properties so there was regular conflict
1987: "Hackney Squatters Army""disrupted every monthly council meeting
1988: Stamford Hill Estate evicted, TH & Methodist Hall opposite occupied
1989:TH occupied after Lee House evicted
1993-94 Council started cracking down on squatting, offering short life & tenancies to some, evictions to others
1994 Criminal Justice Act
Totally Independent (Newsletter of Haringey Solidarity Group) Issue 20 Summer 2011
Hackney Housing History project: www.hackneyoralhistory.wordpress.com
My Delicious link: http://www.delicious.com/livingcinema/squat
The Radical History of Hackney: http://hackneyhistory.wordpress.com
Kill Your Pet Puppy: many interesting pages, this one on Brougham Road: http://killyourpetpuppy.co.uk/news/?p=792
Lost Boys of the Lido | Ms Marmite Lover: http://travelswithmyteenager.blogspot.com/2008/04/lost-boys-of-lido.html
Hackney Society: New Lansdowne Club: http://www.hackneysociety.org/page_id__22_path__0p3p.aspx
The New Lansdowne Club in 3D: http://www.newlansdowneclub3d.org.uk