The social and industrial history of Hackney Wick, a guided walk
I’m grateful to Frank Da Silva for taking this photo on a previous tour. Modern day street art co-exists with the plaque which tells you that the world’s first plastic was made here.
The Hackney Cut (canal), complete with lock gates opened in 1769. One hundred years later a big coal and goods yard opened beside Old Ford Station. It was built to meet rapid industrialisation. Soon 6,000 people were living in cheap terraced housing in this tiny area.
Another hundred years later the brutal road to the Blackwall Tunnel was built. It divided communities. Houses, streets, and even Victoria Park Station were demolished.
This circular guided walk uncovers hundreds of years of constant change. Some of the buildings are still visible, and some have gone. I’ll bring old maps and photos out with me to show you how much has changed. I’ll tell you the history of the factories, and the stories of the people who worked in them.
I’ve spent a long while reading Victorian newspapers in the British Library, compared 100-year-old Post Office Directories to the modern day streets, and had fun researching all kinds of sources to try to get a handle on the fascinating story of Hackney Wick. Do join me if you can for a two-hour history tour on Hackney Wick.
Hackney Wick is just one stop from Stratford on the overground which runs frequently from platforms 1&2. A number of buses come here too – TFL will help you.