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Talks at the Tower

  • St Augustine's Tower E8 1HR United Kingdom (map)

All talks are free but must be booked by calling Hackney Historic Buildings Trust on 0208 986 0029 or by e-mail at All talks start at 7.30 doors and a glass of wine at 7.

Monday 13th June, 7PM. Peter Wilson: An Eton Playing field in Hackney Wick

Peter Wilson tells the story of the arrival of the Eton Mission in the heathen shores of Hackney Wick in 1880. He will recall the Eton Manor Boys Club, enriched by his own memories of the last days in the 1960s and the legendary Major Arthur Villiers.  His talk will be illustrated with images from the Eton Manor archive.

Tuesday 14th June, 7PM. Laurie Elks: This Plashy Stream – Memories of the Hackney Brook

Laurie Elks, the custodian of Hackney Tower, will introduce a light-hearted investigation of the lost Hackney Brook - its course, its character, its ignoble demise as part of the Victorian sewage system, and its place in the history of our great Borough.

Wednesday 15th June, 7PM. Anne Wilkinson – The Villas of Stamford Hill

In the nineteenth century Stamford Hill was lined with grand villas - the Arcadian haunt of prosperous City merchants and financiers with their privileged families and hard-working servants. Anne Wilkinson will explore the rise of Stamford Hill in the early 1800s, its decline after the coming of the railway, and the lives of some of the families who lived there.

Thursday 16th June, 7PM. Wayne Asher – The North London Line - a very political railway

The North London line is the heaving artery of Hackney carrying thousands of Hackney’s citizens to work.  Yet it very nearly died in the 1960s when Dr Beeching recommended the line for closure.  Wayne Asher, whose book A Very Political Railway describes this story, will provide a richly illustrated history describing how the line came back from the dead, and the people who fought to save it.

Friday 17th June, 7PM. Julian Bowsher – Shakespeare’s London Theatreland

The Shakespearean Period has been defined as from 1567, when the first purpose built playhouse appeared, to 1642 when Parliament closed them all down. We know of eight outdoor playhouses, two inns converted into playhouses, four indoor theatres and four City inns licensed to host dramatic performances.  Julian Bowsher, archaeologist and author of Shakespeare’s London Theatreland, tells the story of archaeology, history and drama.

Later Event: June 14
Lianne La Havas concert