As is clear from my photograph, the Hackney Downs Hub is still being built and therefore far from the handsome structure depicted on the sign at right.
The ugly hub-ling is the focal point of the revamp on Hackney Downs and the final bill is estimated to total £1.2 million, most of it from the Big Lottery Fund. (Yo! to all those who queue in shops to pay this voluntary tax.) The rest comes from Hackney council and the Lawn Tennis Association.
The project is unlikely to open before November, months after the planned completion date.
The scheme includes the building pictured, resurfacing of the basketball area and of two tennis courts, and the provision of two new courts and a multi-use games area or Muga, as Hackney council naively terms it.
Floodlighting is being repaired (tough, muggers) and the hub will include public toilets, described by the council as “accessible” — ie, the desperate should never have to knock on a hut door while a worker sits inside, feet up, ignoring their plea over a cuppa.
“The Hub” is a good workable name. The building could nevertheless also have an official name. Loving Dalston’s suggestions:
* the Caine Centre,
* the Pinter Centre.
Michael Caine and Harold Pinter are among Hackney Downs (high) School alumni.
HDS Old Boy Eric Bristow might also have his supporters.