I included a short account of what I saw in Mare Street on the day the trouble reached Hackney in one of my many Guardian articles about the London riots. I arrived on the scene in the mid-afternoon after most of the shop keepers had boarded-up in anticipation of trouble but, I think, before any significant trouble began. Here's a portion of what I wrote:
Some men were boarding up a section of the JD shopfront. Had looters been and gone? It all seemed very quiet. People were shopping normally, though here too [as in the Narrow Way] many stores were closed. Some cop cars came and went. I leaned against a wall to tweet and was suddenly almost knocked over by three youths riding the pavement on their bikes, their faces concealed by scarves. They too melted away. It turned out that the boarding-up of JD was pre-emptive. Was something brewing or was it not?