How many of you folks out there remember Spokes shops in Lower Clapton Road opposite the churchyard?
As a child in the early 50’s, my mum would take me here for shoes, and any haberdashery that she may have needed.
To me it was a shop of fasination mainly because of the the money pots that used to whizz around the various departments making a wonderful whistling sound, and ending up at the cashiers kiosk, where they were once again whizzed back to the sales man or woman with the correct change enclosed. I can’t remember when the shop closed down but I do remember going there in the early 70’s to buy shoes for my young children. The building is still there but it is now used by several different businesses, or at least it was when I last visited Hackney about eight years ago.
Happy Memories indeed.


  1. I forgot to mention the X-ray machine Spoke’s had in their shoe department. You stood up against this polished woodern cabinet and put your feet through a gap in the bottom and you could then see an x-ray of your feet on a small screen, and how well the shoes were fitting around your bones. I do believe the x-ray machine ended up in the old Hackney Museum when it was in the old Methodist church, Hackney Central Hall.

  2. it’s a wonder we don’t all have foot cancer, the way we used to run it at will to xray our feet. lol. good one!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful place. Was it more of a department store or shop? The x-ray machine sounds brilliant – if not a little dangerous by todays standards!

  4. Hi Alex.
    Spokes was just on one level and took up the row of shops from Brooke’s furniture shop, up to the corner of Clapton Square. From what I can remember of the place, it was more to selling clothing as opposed to a general store.

  5. You can see two images of it from 1938 & 1955 in the Hackney Archives;
    Select Lower Clapton Rd from the dropdown menu ‘All locations’ and you’ll find them at images 39 & 40 (bottom of page 4)

  6. @lincsgent @benjamin Thanks for the info.

  7. It’s now the Winkworth estate agents
    Former Spokes on Lower Clapton Road

  8. Thank’s for the picture Emily.
    While we’re on the question of departmental stores in Hackney….Does anyone remember the one on the corner of Northwold Road and Stokey High St?
    It was called \Stevens” but I can’t remember the letters before the name I think it may have been “T.B” or something similar.

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