St Matthias Halls, Wordsworth Road, London, N16 8DD

Stokey History Talks No13

We are delighted to be hosting the 13th Stoke Newington History Talks – an evening of three talks about Stoke Newington’s history from different perspectives organised by local history enthusiast Amir Dotan.

Monday March 2, St Matthias Hall – doors and bar 6.30pm, talks start 7.30pm. Tickets £7 here

Each talk is 25min followed by five minutes Q&A. There will be a ten minute break between each talk.

Speakers give their time for free and the money from all ticket sales (apart from a small cost) goes to local charities. The last five talks have raised a total of £2,265.

This event’s ticket sales will be donated to Hackney Playbus which brings play opportunities and support to families who need it.

The Line Up

Talk No1 Then & Now animations – exploring Stoke Newington’s changing streetscape by Amir Dotan

Appreciating old photos can often be challenging when you don’t know where they were taken. Amir’s latest project uses short video shorts to transition between historical pictures and today’s views. From the long-gone 17th century mansions along Church Street to ghost pubs and grand churches that didn’t survive the Blitz, Amir will share clips illustrating in 20 frames the changes to Stoke Newington’s streetscape over the decades.

Amir Dotan ( has been researching and sharing the history of Stoke Newington as a hobby since 2011. He shares his findings on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Flickr on a daily basis. He started ‘Stoke Newington History Talks‘, a quarterly event, in late 2016.

Talk No2 The Rio Cinema Tape/Slide Newsreel Group – Reporting Stoke Newington in the 1980s by Alan Denney

In the mid-1980s the Rio Tape/Slide Newsreel Group used interviews and photos to make short local news reports which were screened between films at the cinema. The group’s incredible collection of 12,000 35mm colour slides was rediscovered two years ago during the restructuring of the Rio basement. Alan Denney has restored and digitised this treasure trove of images and will share the Stokey ones in his talk.

Alan Denney has been photographing Stoke Newington since 1974. He’s worked as a teacher and mental health social worker. Since retiring he’s worked on the RA Gibson photo collection and is now restoring and digitising the Rio Tape/Slide Newsreel Group archive.

Talk No3 Civil Defence in Stoke Newington – the historic underground world of the town hall by Alan Wells

In the mid-twentieth century Stoke Newington had two underground bunkers built for Civil Defence at Stoke Newington Town Hall. Not well known by the majority of local residents, one is still in use. This short talk provides a glimpse into the underground world of the town hall and the artefacts found there during its refurbishment in 2002, such as WWII tin helmets, respirator, incident log and Cold War recruiting posters.

Andy Wells is the Civil Protection Service Manager for the London Borough of Hackney, has worked in this sphere for 40 years, and is currently based in one of the two underground facilities.

Most of the content of the previous 12 events is available here:

The talks sell out quickly – get on the mailing list here to be informed early about the next one.

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