Forthcoming Talks and Events

Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2017

Stoke Newington Post OfficeBack in Five Minutes: The gentrification of Stoke Newington Church Street 1867 - 2017?
Amir Dotan & Ken Worpole
Date /Time: Sunday 4 June 2017, 11am - 12 noon

Local history enthusiast Amir Dotan recently compiled a gazetteer of every shop or trade premises on Stoke Newington Church Street since 1867 (along with a photographic slide-show), detailing what each sold or manufactured. From a time when oil shops, boot-makers, drapers, butchers, confectioners, tailors, pawnbrokers dominated Church Street, to today’s wine merchants, restaurants, cafes and haute couture boutiques. This unique project charts the changing social and cultural composition of Stoke Newington over the past 150 years.

Amir will be in conversation with writer Ken Worpole on the deep social history reflected in this unique survey, discussing whether terms such as gentrification hide more than they reveal about one of London’s fastest-changing ‘urban villages’.

Information & booking: Tickets £4. Further details & booking:
Venue: The Library Gallery, 184 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0JS

Urban Planning & Children Conference

Skateboarder in skate parkOrganised by the European Network of Child-Friendly Cities

Date /Time: 19/20 June 2017
This two-day conference will be looking at new approaches to urban planning in which the interests of children will be a priority. Talks, workshops and field trips. Ken Worpole will be giving a plenary opening talk on ‘Planners make places, children makes spaces’.
Information & booking: For booking and further details:
Venue: Rotterdam City Hall, The Netherlands

Talks at The Tower

There's No Home by Alexander Baron, book cover

Life during wartime: an appreciation of the novelist Alexander Baron
Date /Time: Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 7pm

2017 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Bernstein, now famously remembered as writer Alexander Baron, ‘the greatest British novelist of the last war’. Baron grew up in Stoke Newington, attended Hackney Downs School in the 1930s, and subsequently wrote more than 20 novels. In recent years there has been a revival of interest in Baron’s work - especially the wartime and post-war London novels - with six of his most memorable works back in print. Writer Ken Worpole, who knew, interviewed and corresponded with Baron at length about his life and work, reflects on the lasting achievement of this humane novelist, who had seen the worst but hoped for the best.
Information & booking: All talks are free but must be booked by calling Hackney Historic Buildings Trust on 0208 986 0029 or by e-mail at
Venue: St Augustine’s Tower, Narrow Way, Hackney Central, London E8

Essex Radical Writing Retreat

Wheelbarrow - Othona Community

Part of the Essex Book Festival 2017
Date /Time:
Wednesday 5 April - Friday 7 April 2017
An opportunity to join a residential writers’ workshop at the beautifully situated Othona Community on the Blackwater Estuary on the remote Dengie Peninsula in Essex. Walks, talks, workshops and readings with food and accommodation. Writers include James Canton, Sarah Perry, Philip Terry and Ken Worpole.
Information & booking: Cost £175. Further details:
Venue: Othona Community, East Hall Farm, East End Road, Bradwell-on-Sea, CM0 7PN
[Photo: Othona Community: photograph by Larraine Worpole]