Signs of relief as streetwise campaigners win preservation promise from Hackney council

NEsign©DA20:© david.altheer@gmail.com lingering NE sign in Hackney (at the S end of the street) 060420 (poss since removed/stolen)
Colvestone Crescent, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 141020
High up on E8 walls: near London Fields, top; and above, in Dalston. The nameplate similarly placed opposite is gone, stolen by a neighbour

HERITAGE LOVERS HAVE WON their campaign to persuade Hackney council to save a slice of the borough’s history. The council has promised to preserve rare vintage street signs, some of them more than a century old.

The number of surviving nameplates has been dwindling fast. They bear either the northeast postal locator from the system that lingered in Hackney until at least 1917, despite having officially ended decades before, or the borough name of Stoke Newington. Stokey was absorbed by Hackney in 1965.

NEsign©DA20Ross:© david.altheer@gmail.com lingering Rossington NE sign in Clapton, N Hackney (at the S end of the street) 100920
Ugly fittings around the old nameplates shown above and below suggest that not all Hackneyites are signed up to this conservation issue

251217 © david,altheer@gmail,com

Preservationists were worried about Hackney’s policy of taking down weather-faded or vandalised signs. The town hall responded that street signs had to be easily read by the public.

Led by the Hackney Society and Stoke Newington resident Amir Dotan, the sign-savers argue that the old street furnishings are valuable reminders of the area’s past.

When Stokey was independent: a sign of the borough that was to come under the “occupation” of Hackney council © Amir Dotan
NEsign©AmirDotanGrnLns Green Lanes-Seven Sisters Road
The Stokeyan “empire” went further than Hackneyites today might think © Amir Dotan

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville, after intervening in a social media discussion on signs, sent Loving Dalston this statement: “No future heritage nameplates will be removed without [a council officer] having first consulted Planning and exploring all options to retain them.” Both he and the council were “committed to protecting these important examples of our local heritage, including how they can be locally restored”.

© NA
History hero: Amir Dotan

Hackney council said it would consult its planning department about old street signs it thinks should be taken down.

Dotan welcomes the news, saying: “Many of these signs have already lasted more than 100 years and will last 100 more with a lick of paint and proper restoration.” 

Clara Murray 141020

* Backstory: Dalston Theatre poster saved; Black, British and proud; Ancient Hackney tabernacle going to auction; History of Hackney in 50 objects 

All pictures on this page © David.Altheer@gmail.com, for sale for reproduction (see last paragraph of Contact), apart from those kindly supplied by Amir Dotan.

NEsign©DA14ram:© david.altheer@gmail.com northeast street sign (pre-1912?) Ramsgate St NE, Dalston London E8 190714
Typecast: an example of the varied typography and layout styles used on the signs

* 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. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

* Links are occasionally made on this site to The Guardian. Loving Dalston is aware that it was founded by a man who profited from slavery but considers that does not negate the newspaper as a reliable source. #BLM

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 http://bit.ly/ZnClKc Also relevant may be the note at the end of http://bit.ly/117GXmi Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures

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