Merry Christmas. More Hackney scoops in 2016

ChrisHack: Christmas @ Hackney Town Hall Mare St Lon E8 20111 © ∂å
This 2.5m tree cost £30, including delivery, from a Ridley Road Market trader

LOVING DALSTON has been taking an ill-deserved break – well, everyone else is – and will return to normal activity as soon as the rest of you do.

Twenty-fifteen has been another great year, partly thanks to you readers, who have emailed a good string of tips.

To those of you whose tips have not been followed up, I should add that there are several possibilities:

* that the information was so hot, though true, that even the hint of publication would result in legal action too expensive for this site to spend time and money on repelling. When it comes to an allegation of libel, the defendant is guilty and has therefore to prove his/her innocence, a reversal of the guiding principal of English law of innocent until proven guilty;

* that there simply was not the time to investigate;

* that the tip would stretch too far the resources of this site, which lacks even the amount of backing the hard-pressed local newspaper has.   

I have occasionally to bite my lip in regret when I read a Hackney or London newspaper running a story that I was previously offered. Of course, I am always pleased that the news has got out, news that someone somewhere was trying to hide.

Among the more fun or important scoops Loving Dalston published have been:

* Starbucks sent packing from hipster Hackney;

* vampire bites man;

* the salaries of top Hackney council executives, in some cases bigger than the Prime Minister’s pay packet;

* council pulls plug on Haggerston Baths;

* Rio Cinema fails to keep union out;

*multimillion-pound truths behind the Hackney Picturehouse;

Holly tree © DavidAltheer[at]  
In an E8 garden, from seeds brought by blackbirds

* Dalston mosque paints itself  into a political corner;

*  a mother stands up to gangs of London Fields;

* Stoke Newington tips out the turtles;

* Mr Memory, Hackney cop who cannot forget a criminal face;

* the guide to pubs around Hackney that open on Christmas Day 2015. The pub to which my family and I strolled this year was gratifyingly busy;

* the club that expelled troublemakers after Loving Dalston reported local worries;

* the making of a new Hackney film about life and death with Gypsies;   

* the coolest number plate in Dalston;

* speed up Shoreditch broadband, says MP Meg Hillier.

Loving Dalston also keeps a close watch on the activities of fellow MP and mediaista Diane Abbott, members of the London Assembly and Euro Parly and other local politicians;

* another shut-out as high finance moves on our secret East End;

* the star Hackney chef opening her own venue ;

* other Hackney stories they tried to hide.

They are just some of the stories you will not have read elsewhere, as this site’s masthead slogan not very neatly puts it. They have appealed to advertisers, whose presence, annoying though you may find it, helps Loving Dalston to exist.

The ads are from businesses that want to reach the site’s above-average-educated, and potentially affluent, readership.

The advertisers know the value of the local touch, as do public-relations offices around town, who like the character of the following of @LovingDalston on Twitter. Most of them live or work in or around Hackney. Publicists love a market that is easy to target.

David Altheer

who will be out and about early in January 2016, as will his helpers (or so they say)

* Backstory: five years ago, before the blog became a news site

* All pictures on this page, except those supplied to Loving Dalston, are ©DavidAltheer[at] and are for sale for reproduction. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. They may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. In the unlikely event that anything defamatory is posted, the sender’s details may have to be divulged. (Under UK law, this applies to any comment/discussion forum, eg, Twitter.) RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read Also relevant may be the note at the end of Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures