Photos from Hackney’s History: Shop Fronts

Ken Jacobs has kindly shared a few more historical photos of Hackney from his collection, this time the focus is on a couple of old shop fronts in the area (a favourite subject of mine).

I had added a few more favourite shots of classic shop fronts from the past that I have in my collection. I’d love to build this set, so if you have more you would like to add please let me know

First up is James Brooke and Sons on Lower Clapton Road (From Ken Jacobs). Taken in 1937 when it was decorated for the coronation of King George VI.

James Brooke and Sons was on the corner of Clarence and Lower Clapton Road in the former Clarence Cinema and is now a Money transfer and a betting shop.

Close up showing Spokes shoe department store doorway. Spokes stood where the whole row of shops now stand that include a supermarket, estate agents, furniture store and bag shop.There is some more info on Spokes in the forums

Close up showing Pinagli’s cafe, which is part of the betting shop that is where Brookes stood.

Grays menswear shop on Mare Street (From Ken Jacobs). Taken in 1928 and still open today (

Chatsworth Rd, Lower Clapton, 1988

Chatsworth Road, Watford and Taylor, a florist, A.E. Barrow and Kentucky Fried Chicken 1988. A.E. Barrow is the only still standing shop in this row, although it has been closed for many years.

Savoy Cafe

Savoy Cafe, Graham Road taken 2008, from London Shop Fronts. Demolished in 2010 and is now a Kebab shop.

Lamberts Pet Shop, Chatswoth Road

Lamberts Pet Shop, Chatsworth Road taken 2010, from London Shop Fronts. This sign was briefly uncovered before a new shop moved in.

**UPDATE Ken has sent me a few more photos to add to this collection***

J C B Richardson & Sons Ltd, hosier on Mare Street between Richmond Road and Reading Lane. Does anyone have any more details about this shop?

And photos that Ken took himself from his car in the mid 1970s

Lower Clapton Road at the junction of Downs Road. F.A Strange, the dry cleaners and Mermaid are all still standing with slightly different frontage.

You can see the street view here:

And Upper Clapton and the corner of Northwold Road, The Launderette and the butchers (now closed) are still there.

You can see the street view here:


  1. What a nice series of photos. Grays was pretty special, as was Lamberts.

  2. sweet jesus these are special!
    i would kill for a look back in spokes.
    grays is superb!
    of course savoy & barrow….rip.
    keep up the good work!

    • I have only looked at these for the first time today, Henry Spokes was my grandfather. Sadly I never knew him but very interested & wished I knew more about the past Spokes family history.
      Susan Spokes

      • I remember Spokes very well Susan. My memory of the ladies that worked there is that they all had grey hair pulled back and wore black. Of course, we all remember the cables above carrying the payment, change and receipt to the cash desk and the return of your change. I now live in the USA but Henry Spokes’ shop is a lovely memory.

  3. Really nice Deco shopfront on Grays – Thanks for sharing these @lincsgent

  4. You should put these on Historypin to make it easier to do ‘then and now’ views –

    • very good website

  5. Great seeing these… brings back memories. My mum did most of her shopping in Chatsworth Road. Born in Hackney Hospital, I lived in Hackney, E.5 right up to 1984 when I moved to Forest Gate E.7. Moved further on since then.

  6. love these photos,look at grays my husband used to get he`s wexman trousers there and Gabicci tops,lovey photos

  7. Beautiful, has my heart jumping out my chest! Oh for a time machine!

  8. What are my chances of sharing these photos with our facebook page called I Lived In Stoke Newington is for us old fogies reminiscing of we went to School. shops , clubs and Pubs.

    • Hi @Turbs your best option is to just share the link to this blog post, the page followers can then click through to see the photos and full description.

      • Im still not sure how this all works, when they say share , does it simply mean for one to look @ the photos, Or are we allowed to download each others photos , to show to others, on the understanding that we attribute it to the individual ? The photos I placed on here are for anyone to use ,I have place a number of comments on here asking if I could use their photos to share with our facebook page I am sure the people I have sent requests too. are not just ignoring me, but I find it difficult to see if they have replied , I thought we would be sent a message to say one way or the other,
        I feel sure its my ignorance that has put me in this situation, but please can someone let me know . how it all works. I don’t want to upset anyone my email address is there for you to use,best wishes Turbs

        • Hi @turbs the photos on this page mostly belong to @lincsgent or me so please do not download and upload them to facebook without asking the relavant people. That’s just how they have been licensed in this case. If you want to ask people on facebook to look at the photos, your best bet is to put the link to this page in the facebook group, they can then click through and look at them here. It will save any waiting if you don’t get a reply.

          If you want to message @lincsgent you can add him as a friend and send him a private message. If you want to message me again, you have my email address.

  9. Hi Ewebber

    Please, Please, Please Contact me. The picture you have of the butcher shop is of much interest to me as my 2nd great grandfather used to run it back in the early 1900’s. I would like to know more information if you can share with me and if you know more information. I guess from this picture it was sold on to anther family buy the name given. My 2nd Great Grandfather was John James Garner.

    Many Thanks

    • Hi, the photo belongs to @lincsgent . Please can you get in touch with him about it

  10. My daughter is just moving to Chippendale Street. Such fantastic pictures around the area – has anyone got a picture of the west end of Northwold Street? My great grand father had a newsagents at number 5 around 1925 – 1930. Also a newsagents in the late 1890’s in Hanbury Street Spitalfields. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi there, I used to live in Chippendale Street as a child and adult. My Parents never left there till 1989 when they moved the the North Essex Coast near Frinton. Such happy memories of ‘Chips’ as we all called it. I came across this blog because I am researching my Family Tree online with Ancestry site.

  11. Number 71 Hanbury Street to be precise

  12. There is a ghostsign for J.C.B. Richardson & Sons in Stoke Newington which I stop at on my tours. To date I have found the following through my research at Hackney Archives:

    J.C.B. stands for John Charles Bayliffe. The company appears to have been originally founded some time prior to 1867 by a Mrs E. Richardson, ‘Draper’, on Victoria Park Road. It then moved to 240 Mare Street and, at the turn of the last century, settled in the eventual head quarters of 5-7 Town Hall Buildings. Its listing by that point was as ‘Hosiers, Shirt Makers, Drapers & Hatters’.

    The business opened the Stoke Newington branch in around 1912, and expanded to Leyton and Walthamstow in the mid 1950s. They also had outlets on Green Lanes and Holloway Road but, by the mid 1960s, things took a turn for the worst and they had to start shutting them. The Stoke Newington one closed in 1965 and by 1979 J.C.B. Richardson was no more.

    More details of my tours can be found at

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