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Dave Hill
I write about London for the Guardian & Double Q Books
Interests: London, my neighbourhood, my family.
Recent Activity
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In 1994, a small boy called Frankie started his school life in the reception class of Millfields primary school. It was was the start of a 20-year period during which at least one child of mine was at Millfields. After... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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The local Tesco Express has been damaged on a handful of occasions since its arrival just about exactly seven years ago, to the displeasure of the local liberal intelligentsia and others. Each time, the question in my mind has been,... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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A spate of pavement improvements in this part of The Greatest Borough encompasses the spur of Lower Clapton Road that loops around the pond. It looks on course to enhance the pedestrian experience all the way round to where it... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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I liked its predecessor, Candela, with its charming proprietors and endearing air of gentle chaos. But I also like the Clapton Table. It's contemporary but not too complicated. It's friendly and the food is reliably nice. I haven't photographed any... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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This afternoon I went to fetch one of my daughters on her return from a school excursion. As is traditional, she arrived before I did and walked home a different way, which meant she got home at roughly the same... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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On Tuesday 27th of this month, my wife's mother Moira Fitzsimons died at St Joseph's Hospice in Mare Street. She was an extraordinary, generous and indomitable woman who came to London from County Cavan in Ireland after the war. She... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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The Pedro Club in Rushmore Road is one of the most long-established youth clubs in London. It began in 1929, closed, but came came back to life in the 1960s. All candidates to become London Mayor in May are eager... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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I took this photo nine days ago and wasn't sure whether to publish it or not. Some locals might recognise her even from this discreet view as one of the three or four people frequently encountered in the neighbourhood, asking... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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And so, ten years after complaints were made about the state of the legendary "former toilet" at the fork where Millfields Road and Mildenhall Road meet, a housing entity called Moore House is rising from the site. Will it turn... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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Near Clapton Pond, it says inside. So it must be true. Also fireproof. Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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As viewed from Mayola Road yesterday evening. Cosmic. Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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On Sunday, my wife and I went to the Castle Cinema above the Spar/Eat 17 shop on Brooksby's Walk for the first time. The outing was a belated birthday treat from my three younger children. It was also the keeping... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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One August morning in 1984, my first child was born in a maternity hospital on Lower Clapton Road which stood on the site of what is now called Mothers' Square. The Mothers' Hospital was opened by the Salvation Army in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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An artisanal bread shop has opened close by King's Hall. I know what some of you are thinking. I know some of you are thinking the opposite. So conspicuous a symbol of gentrification is bound to divide opinion, just as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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This fox was asleep on my kitchen roof at 6:30 this morning when I woke up. I took the photo as it finally stirred at around 3:00 in the afternoon. There's been a reduction in fox activity in my garden... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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He used to operate outside Palm 2 until his high-pressure sales technique resulted in his being asked to move on. So now he's made Tesco his pitch, which is also handy for the bus stop. You can't fault him for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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A forlorn scene on a gloomy morning during the dead zone between Christmas and New Year, but not without a note of defiance from the builders' merchant turned bar in this heartland of Remain. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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I imagine I'm like most people in that I mooch along Lower Clapton Road sometimes noticing the shops but rarely lifting my eyes to the floors above them or seeing them as part of a single parade within a built... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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"The power of social media," remarked one of the organisers of this heart-warming event. "A few mentions on Twitter and you get a lovely crowd like this." It was a lovely crowd too, which I stumbled across on my way... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at Clapton Pond Blog
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New restaurants, cafes and takeaways come and go at such a rate round here these days it can be hard to keep up, so there's something reassuring about the continuing presence of a fish and chip shop and a Chinese... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2016 at Clapton Pond Blog
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Now that there is no truly traditional English cafe in the vicinity of Clapton Pond - must be an opening there, young entrepreneurs - the Amhurst Café on Amhurst Road opposite Hackney Central station feels even more precious than before.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2016 at Clapton Pond Blog
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This is me looking amazingly chic and enigmatic in my deep green, rather Mod-ish John Lewis sale suit just before striking out to give a talk about Brexit, London and Labour to the Crouch End ward branch of Hornsey and Wood Green Constituency Labour Party. The people there - around... Continue reading
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Quite a weird looking tree, I suppose. But still beautiful. Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2016 at Clapton Pond Blog
The magazine of Progress, an organisation of Labour Party members, has carried a review of Zac versus Sadiq by the popular and greatly-respected MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck. She was chair of Khan's election campaign, effectively providing a communications bridge between it and the party leader's office. It's a... Continue reading
I'm pleased and grateful to have been asked by Guardian Books to write a piece about Zac Versus Sadiq. Here's a little excerpt: It was a harsh, illuminating and ultimately cheering battle, fought out against the backdrop of London’s rapid change, soaring growth and anxieties about Islamist terror, which the... Continue reading