A December weekend of skating in Hackney – and it’s free – as council adds seasoning

FREE ICE-SKATING, mulled wine, Christmas trees, hot chocolate, handmade presents, decorations, delicious food and Santa’s grotto… just some of the features that mean we don’t have to leave home this December. (Apart from the last-minute dash to Oxford Street, near compulsory for London males.)

Hackney Central’s Christmas Cracker the celebration is called, and the council has been very much involved in its organisation.

Father RobWickham in St John-at-Hackney © ∂å
Father Rob Wickham in full flow and, above, his church and the market

The pop-up ice rink will open in the gardens of St John-at-Hackney in Clapton E5 0PD, on Sat 10 and Sun 11 Dec 2011 from 11am-5pm. Good to think that Hackney’s hero vicar, Father Rob Wickham of St John-at-Hackney, might join in the gentle activity, which takes place in churchyard gardens, 200m from Clarence Road, in Hackney E5 8HB, a contrast fromthe day he rescued an injured pensioner from violent men during the August 2011 looting.

In that road shops will offer festive food and entertainment. Clarence Mews Studios will be selling scarves, ties, lamps, furniture, cards, photography, cushions and artwork; in both streets Sat3 Dec, 10am-6pm,  and Sun  4 Dec, noon-6pm.

The 1530s Sutton House, Hackney’s National Trust property, will hold a craft fair, craft workshops, carols, mulled wine, minced pies and Santa’s grotto the same weekend, 11am-8pm (ending on the Sunday at 6pm).

David Altheer 221111

More details: see Hackney resident and travel writer Jane MacIntyre’s guide.  

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