Lisa Rigg is a local resident and Development Officer of the Hackney Society. She's been in touch trying to attract new members, promising "the renaissance, revival, restoration and regeneration of the society, which has been going for 40 years. Click here to find out about upcoming events - including one on Thursday - and here to find out how to join. Lisa also brings to my attention two buildings whose future the Society is concerned about. One is the Lansdowne Club on Mare Street. The other is Pond House, which goes under the hammer on Monday. This morning someone remarked to me that it would be a good idea to ask Strettons to provide a viewing. Any volunteers? And if you take pictures, be sure to send them to me. I'd love my readers to see how it looks inside.
"A ceremony to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day has been held at Hackney Town Hall to mark the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945. The ceremony was also aimed at remembering the victims of more recent genocides and discrimination. It was led by the Speaker of Hackney, Councillor Faizullah Khan.
He said: 'Holocaust Memorial Day provides a focus to think about the continuing repercussions of the Holocaust, more recent genocides and the issue of exclusion within our society. It is intended to encourage everyone to remember the victims of the Holocaust, of all Nazi racial and social persecution, more recent genocides, and of discrimination and hate crimes in Britain today.'"
Did you know that Hackney Heritage Week is to be launched at the Museum on Thursday evening at 6.30? Neither did I until this morning. And that's about all I know about it except that it includes a series of historic walks through Lower Clapton. Click here for an excellent audioguide to these. I'll give you more on the Heritage Week if and when I get it.
Two Hackney boxers are featured in a new exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Camden. From The Gazette:
"Hackney's involvement centres around boxers in the post-war era, with the influx of immigrants from the Caribbean to the area, an immigration that spawned world champions of the modern era such as Stoke Newington's Maurice Hope (pictured), the world light-middleweight champion between 1979-81 and Dennis Andries the world light-heavyweight champion between 1986-87, who was born in Guyana."
Cllr Vernon, who represents Queensbridge ward for Labour, has alerted me to an article he's written for Chartist Magazine about the legacy of slavery and the need for Britain to apologise for its role in the trade:
"Growing up in multicultural Wolverhampton and attending a primary school which was officially opened by the late Enoch Powell, the slave trade was only discussed fleetingly in school for my O level and as part of my A level economic history at the local FE college. I remember this made me feel embarrassed and ashamed as a young person. It was left to supplementary and Saturday schools up and down the country to teach black history and the achievements of Africans and the diaspora community."
Further on, he adds:
"The only European country to apologise for the transatlantic slave trade has been France. An apology is still worth making if this country is prepared to come to terms with its past and be honest enough to recognise that a mutual healing process is needed. Resources and support need to be available to help the descendants of enslaved Africans and European slave owning families to rediscover their family history and regain their humanity...It is a great pity that this nation cannot recognise and show some respect, recognition and humility to black people in the past and today and be honest about its involvement."
The whole of Patrick's article is here. Let me - and him - know what you think of it. Patrick has expressed an interest in writing something specifically for this blog, which would be great. What, though, should he write about? He and I are in communication about that. But do readers have any suggestions?
Spotted this plaque before? It's on the right hand side of Lower Clapton Road as you head down it, roughly opposite the Salvation Army. Click the main pic for more detail and the one on the right to see the location more clearly. John Howard, founder of the Howard League for Penal Reform was born close to the marked spot nearly 300 years ago when it was all trees and respectability round here. I like to think that the best of the reforming liberal tradition he represented has survived. Maybe some of the trees have too.