The Anonymous Widower

The Liverpool And Hackney Puzzle

I know Liverpool well, as I was there as a student in the 1960s and now help fund cancer research in the University.

I now live in Hackney, which is a very mixed borough in London and not unlike lots of Liverpool in parts.

It puzzles me and some of the researchers I know in Liverpool, why Liverpool has a rate of the covids, which is five times higher than it is where I live.

October 14, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment

A Useful Tool

The Times has added a useful tool to its web site, which shows the latest figures for the covids, according to a particular post code. It also shows the rules that apply.

This is the display for Hackney, where I live.

And this is the one for Liverpool, where I go regularly, although, I’ve only been once since March.

I shall use these displays to check before I travel.

Perhaps, The Times or another organ, should do something of a similar ilk for countries and places, we might want to visit.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

What Happened In Hackney On Friday?

These are total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVOD-19 in Hackney over the last few days.

  • 9th May – 622, 0
  • 10th May – 623, 1
  • 11th May 624, 1
  • 12th May – 624, 0
  • 13th May – 624, 0
  • 14th May – 626, 2
  • 15th May – 626, 0
  • 16th May – 637, 11

What happened on Friday?

You have to go back to the 21st of April to find a larger figure.

Could it be that the COVID-19 testers raided an illegal gathering, care home or a house with large numbers of people living in it, in close proximity?

Or could it be the fallout from the parties in Hackney Marshes and London Fields, last weekend, that were reported in Monday’s edition of The Times.

So do you reap, what you sow?

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Health | , | 10 Comments

The Hackney Campaign To Bring The North London Line Back From The Brink In The 80s

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Hackney Gazette.

It is an interesting insight into life before the London Overground and how the section between Highbury & Islington and Stratford stations was created from a freight line, that hadn’t had passenger services for several decades.

It also talks about Broad Street station.

I used to use this station to travel from Ipswich to Metier’s offices at Stonebridge Park.

It was just a short walk from Liverpool Street station next door and then a train to Willesden along a very much forgotten North London Line, before taking the Bakerloo Line. It avoided the very crowded route via Baker Street station.

May 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Hackney Does A Bicester

Hackney is developing a name for being a centre of designer outlet stores.

It’s certainly a lot closer than Bicester Village.

There’s also quite a few railway arches leading towards Hackney Central/Hackney Downs station complex, which could make a whole lot more designer outlets or fashion workshops.

But at least the Council has its finger on the pulse and are consulting about what to do with the area.

Let’s hope they get it right!

 

April 15, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

A Bactrian Station

Canonbury station has now got two Harrington Humps.

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Does that make it a Bactrian station?

It’s certainly the sort of thing, that you’ll see in posh Islington and would never see in plebian Hackney.

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Road Improvements In Southgate Road

Southgate Road is just round the corner from where I live and it forms the boundary between the posh of Islington in the West and the plebs of Hackney in the East.

Over the last couple of weeks, the traffic lights, where Southgate Road and Balls Pond Road cross have been replaced and we now have Countdown, which makes crossing easier.

Now Islington want to put a box junction just to the South of the traffic lights, where Dove Road joins Southgate Road.

These pictures show the area.

I have a feeling that this scheme may be a little bit half-baked, as it appears to be an Islington-only scheme, when surely, it should be a scheme that is promoted by both Boroughs.

December 10, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Draft Hackney Central And Surrounds Masterplan

Last week, I went to a consultation about the Draft Hackney Central And Surrounds Masterplan in the Narrow Way by HackneyCentral station.

If you want to see the full version of the masterplan it is available at www.hackney.gov.uk/spd.

About Myself

As this article will be sent to the Council Planning Department, I’ll say a little bit about myself.

  • Widowed, in my seventieth year and living alone.
  • I’m coeliac, which I inherited from my father.
  • I always describe my politics as left-wing Tory and very radical.
  • As someone, who has helped create two high class technology businesses sold for millions of pounds, I’m very entrepreneurial.
  • My father and three of my grandparents were all born within the triangle based on the Angel, Dalston Junction and Highbury Corner.
  • My father was the least racist person, I’ve ever met. I hope his attitude has rubbed off on me!
  • My two grandfathers were of part-Jewish and part-Huguenot ancestry respectively.
  • As my two grandmothers families came from Northants and Devon, I usually describe myself as a London mongrel.
  • My late wife and myself partly brought our three sons up in the Barbican.
  • My middle son talks of that time in a tower block with affection, so I’m not against well-designed tower blocks.

After a stroke, left me unable to drive, I returned to my roots.

My Views On The Masterplan

I like lots of things about it. And especially these!

  • The prominence given to new workspace, shops and the creation of jobs.
  • The creation of new housing, where I’m only against bad tower blocks.
  • The opening up of the railway viaduct, so it becomes a feature. Network Rail get a lot of stick, but they know how to look after railway brickwork.
  • The creation of a public square at the bottom of the Narrow Way.
  • The creation of more pedestrian streets.
  • Better use of the bus garage site.
  • Improvement of Bohemia Place.

It wouldn’t be me, to not put in my own wish list.

The Overground

Truth be told, I don’t think Transport for London, thought the Overground would be the success, it has turned out to be. So the designers did the minimum they felt they could get away with and would satisfy their political masters!

But the London Overground’s success has been repeated in places like the Borders Railway, Electrification in Liverpool, new stations in Leeds and the Todmorden Curve, and it is now proven in the UK, that if you give the population a good train service, they’ll use it.

Now that the walkway has connected Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations and other improvements to the complex are in the pipeline, I think that serious consideration should be given to creating a second entrance to Hackney Central from Graham Road.

Failing that, pedestrian routes should be improved, so that access to the cluster of buildings around the Town Hall and the Empire is easier.

Hackney Central As A Meeting Point

Once the public square is created at the bottom of the Narrow Way, use of the area as a meeting point should be encouraged.

Consider.

  • Hackney Central is where two rail lines cross.
  • The London Overground through Hackney Downs gets new trains in 2018.
  • There are several bus routes passing through the area.
  • Bohemia Place and the railway arches must have potential for specialist shops and cafe/restaurants like Leon.
  • Leon was started by a Hackney resident.

Who said it’s all about location?

Learning From Other Cities And Towns

I travel extensively, in the UK and Europe and see both good and bad examples of how to develop cities and towns.

Recently, I went to Blackburn and I was totally surprised at the transformation since I last visited a few years ago.

A Landscaped square had been created between the station and the cathedral.The square is surrounded by a PremierInn, a new office block, a small bus station on one side and a pedestrian way to a supermarket on the other.

Hackney could do similar or even better.

Sculpture

My uncle was a very good sculptor and I feel it is a crime that works of art like large bronzes are kept in store because security and insurance is a problem.

However, there are places where they could be placed with little fear of theft or damage. And that is at carefully selected locations on the platforms of railway stations.

So why not?

Hackney Downs certainly has space for one, but the platforms at Central are too narrow!

Information

When I was on holiday in Iceland, every building with a historic connection, had full information displayed outside.

Is Hackney’s information up to scratch?

Other Thoughts

This is a series of pictures with comments.

Conclusions

Hackney Central has some interesting buildings on which to develop the area. Unfortunately, there is some bad examples of boring architecture.

Some sites definitely have potential.

  • Could the top floors of the Iceland building, be converted into a Southern station entrance, with perhaps a cafe and a couple of shops that travellers like?
  • Bohemia Place could be a nice oasis with cafes, workshops and individual shops, a bit like the Box Park at Shoreditch High Street station.
  • Bohemia Place will be better, when the arches under the railway are opened up.
  • The right architect could do a fine job on the M & S Building.
  • The car park at Hackney Central station might be much better as a bus interchange.

In my view the key is Bohemia Place, as this could be a magnet for people of all ages, races and classes to come and shop and refresh themselves.

 

 

 

 

October 25, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

How Could The Twenty Mile Per Hour Limit Be More Strongly Enforced?

Where I live in Hackney, in common with some other London boroughs, there is a lot of twenty mile per hour zones.

20 MPH Signs In Hackney

20 MPH Signs In Hackney

As the picture shows they are well signed.

But this doesn’t stop drivers and motorcyclists rushing around, often quite a lot in excess of the allowed limit!

Councils have been criticised recently over using box junction cameras as cash machines, as this article on the BBC details. The title of London councils raise millions through box junction fines summarises the article well!

It may be an erroneous observation on my part, but as London gets more congested and the traffic slower in Central London, it does seem that when the traffic eases as it often does in Hackney, that drivers take more than a legal advantage.

Excessive speed also seems to have got worse in this area, since the 20 mph limit was brought in. Red rags and bulls come to mind.

Why can’t we set up a network of automatic number plate recognition cameras, that locate and timestamp vehicles in the 20 mph zones.

Computers would then check all the timings and issue tickets to those, who obviously got from A to B at over the speed limit. Just like cameras on motorways around road works.

It could be a very nice little earner for councils.

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | 4 Comments

Surely The Labour Party Can Do Better Than This!

 

Just voted in the Hackney Mayor election.

What is the Labour Party’s logo? It doesn’t reproduce well in black and white on a ballot paper.

It looked like a cartoon version of Mr. Punch.

There was no difficulty with the others, especially the One Love Party, who had a heart!

Incidentally, the candidate for the One Love Party was French and their web site was a .eu one!

She’d probably have got nul votes in some parts of the UK.

September 15, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment