Memories in a Garden

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is bushy and buzzing and full of aromatic wood burning and sweet rain right now. It was Hackney@50’s port today when Parallel Radio’s staff set up to interview seniors and a teenager about Hackney in 1965 and its connection to today.

The whole reception area has its brick or wooden walls adorned with Machester African wax prints. That’s like me using a frock as a curtain.It is. Anyway putting that aside then sitting on settees covered in the stuff we seniors from Up Your Street were served tea and bespoke cake.

The interviewing table was set up covered in Ghanain cloth, a sound-mixer, and a laptop complete with music and presided over by its owner, Mr Newton Dunbar. Photographers were going crazy catching seniors at the mics, eating cake, chatting away or listening to our dear teenager, Dina .

People had vastly different stories about Hackney in 1965. Racism known then as colour prejudice was rife and encouraged, Hackney was trolley- bussed, Hoxton teenagers were gathering in caffs in Levi 501s and sex was loose and plenty. Poor Dina’s jaw was dropping then she told us how she and her friends meet in the park for fun and togetherness.

Memory Lane is an exhausting trip , sometimes a boring place. As I write The One Show is down Sally’s Ally for VE Day@70. More airings. Saturation point.



Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Sunday 28 September 2014, 2 – 10pm

Celebrating Hackney Peace Carnival Mural

You are invited to a party at the Garden this Sunday 28 September, 2 -10pm, to celebrate the restoration of the ‘Hackney Peace Carnival Mural’.

The Mural, which is right outside the Garden’s front door, was designed by Ray Walker and painted by Anna Walker and Mick Jones almost 30 years ago. You can read more about its background on the London Mural Preservation Society’s website. Now Hackney Council have paid for the restoration of this cherished Dalston artwork, encouraged and supported by local campaign groups. Hirst Conservation and muralists Paul Butler and Linda James have been working all summer to bring the Mural back to its former glory.

Paul and Linda will talk (at 2 & 4pm) about the history of the Mural, about their work here this summer and about other London murals they have painted and restored. There will be live performances from local musicians, including The Turbans and DJ Newton Ace (Dunbar) of Dalston’s Four Aces Club will be playing Soul and Reggae classics. If you are a musician, it’s not too late to get involved on the day, the more the merrier, just email us at

The People’s Kitchen will be cooking up a feast for all to share and children will be able to join Hackney artist Laura Halliwell in art sessions inspired by the Mural.

Sunday’s event is an opportunity for Hackney residents (and of course others!) to get together to celebrate this iconic public artwork, its restoration and the spirit it portrays. We are asking visitors to share their memories of the Mural – the original ‘Peace Carnival’ event that took place over 30 years ago, the real people the painting depicts and what it means to today’s Hackney residents. Sunday is the start of our ongoing project to collect memories and stories about our much loved Dalston landmark.

Hope to see you all on Sunday!

Issue 52 of 52. Up Your Street

Sat 21st Dec free Dalston Eastern Curve Garden at Dalston Junction, Hackney

“There’s still time to see the Garden illuminated, as we will have ‘Light Nights’ every evening until 8pm, Sunday 22 December. The Garden will then be closed until 11am, Thursday 9 January 2014.”


Wed  25th Dec free 1.30-5pm. Christmas Dinner in Tottenham

Christmas Lunch for the Elderly and those on their own. Triangle Children, Young People and Community Centre, 91– 93 St Ann’s Road, South Tottenham, N15. Call Rona 07949 107 687 or Maureen 07940 908 150.