One August morning in 1984, my first child was born in a maternity hospital on Lower Clapton Road which stood on the site of what is now called Mothers' Square. The Mothers' Hospital was opened by the Salvation Army in 1913, replacing the Ivy House Maternity Hospital on Mare Street and serving the same purpose, that being to cater for unmarried pregnant women and girls whom most other hospitals spurned.
Last week I renewed my acquaintance with the Homerton's maternity facilities. The daughter who was born at the Mothers' gave birth to her first child there, making me a grandparent and prompting me to take the photograph above. It also prompted me to buy a piece of cake from the Gulluoglu Bakery down the road.
That is because I did exactly the same thing 32-and-a-half years ago as I wandered from the Mothers', in a rather dazed state after the Great Delivery, in search of food. Clapton was then an unfamiliar neighbourhood to me and, unsurprisingly, I did not imagine at the time that in 1992 I would move here with not only my then brand new daughter but also two small boys.
The Mothers' may be long gone, but it remains a living point of reference in the history of the area and of Hackney more generally. The borough's new mayor, Philip Glanville, was struck while campaigning for the job last year by how many residents recall it as a place of great significance for them - where they were born, or became parents or grandparents. For me, memories of the Mothers' cement my sense of belonging in this part of London and of benefiting from some of its finest traditions.