Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Thems Please

Thems Please is a pop up exhibition in the 'old Wrigleys shop' on Chatsworth Road of sculptures made over a fifteen year period by British artist Des Hughes. Photos and words from the Last of the Real High Streets project will make up a small part of it.

Shop open 7th July - 7th August 2011. Thursday - Sunday, 12pm - 6pm.
76 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LS

Installed in the old newsagent A. E. Barrow on Chatsworth Road in Hackney, the exhibition offers a unique glimpse at the interior of an old Victorian shop.

The shop was built in the 1870s and contains the remains of over century of local high street history. Old packing boxes of Players cigarettes, newspapers from the 50s and 60s and Melody Makers from 90s, together with tin boxes of jean button studs and old sweet jars line the dusty shelves.

See measure.org.uk for more info.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Chats Palace Exhibition

You may have read in Hackney Today (20th Sept) about our upcoming exhibition at Chats Palace.

In this exhibition, words and images we have gathered over the last year tell the story of Chatsworth Road.

Shops like ‘Chatsworth Tyre Service’ and the butcher ‘Mighty Meats’ have been run by the same family for decades. The computer repair shop doubles as a Koranic school. In the last few years, a French deli, juice bar and gourmet coffee shop have appeared alongside the Kashmiri kebab shop and Jamaican takeaway.

Each plays their own part in keeping alive this peculiar and wonderful street.

The Olympics (the site is a stone’s throw away) and the revival of Chatsworth Road street market, once Hackney’s biggest, could see this fascinating stretch of road change beyond all recognition.

We felt compelled to capture and share these diverse stories before they disappear forever.

8th October - 27th November
Open Wed–Sat
12–5pm (‘til 9pm Thu)
Tel: 0771 874 9895

Info, images, interviews
Contact Jane, jegginton@btopenworld.com

Chats Palace
42-44 Brooksby's Walk
London E9 6DF
London Overground – Homerton
Buses – 236, 242 and 276

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Juice Bar

“Chatsworth Road is raw and diverse. I love it around here” says Lumiere, owner of the local juice bar. “It’s a real community, which is something quite special in London, but it’s not too in your face: it’s just right.” All of the juices on offer are named after local streets. Berry Blurton is made up of strawberry, peach, papaya and blueberries while a Clifden Cherry is a startling combination of cherry, strawberry, banana and mint. All around are heart shaped signs, “I opened this place because I wanted to give something back.“ It is hard to define: yes, it’s a juice bar with organic elements, not least the reclaimed tree trunks outside, but there is velour wallpaper on the walls, smooth jazz playing in the background, trickling from water features and the sound of the sea can be heard when you open the toilet door. There is even a VIP room downstairs, complete with red rope. Lumiere insists it is not a café. There is no tea or coffee on sale, but then he does a brisk trade in Yummy Mummy – a mixture of fig, date, vanilla and banana that is a clear nod to the changing demographic, Clapton Carrot, a refreshing blend of carrot, ginger, orange, apple, celery and a unique combination of banana, strawberry, orange, milk and granola, which he chooses to call a Homerton Hangover.

The French Deli

“We need the market to work. It really hurts to see empty shops and landlords just leaving”, says the owner of the French deli, L'epicerie at number 56. Along with Venetia at the coffee shop across the road, Remi was something of a pioneer on the street, a local resident who has been in business in Chatsworth Road since the end of 2007. Blackforest ham, bresaola, chorizo, fennel salami, fresh hummous and campaillou sourdough bread are all for sale at what he describes as a fine food shop as much as a deli. Much of the produce comes direct by van from Rungis, an enormous wholesale market outside Paris and from fair trade cooperatives.

Regal Pharmacy

“We have been in Chatsworth Road for 45 years’ says the owner, Jay. We used to own the pharmacy in what used to be the old post office, then in 1989 we moved to a place across the road, before moving here in 1998. We also used to have a sweet shop, where the internet shop is now, next to William Hill. It would be lovely to have a market. Beautiful.” Jay remembers when the market was here. “You couldn’t move it was so busy. One of the last market stalls was called Jack and Jill and sold fruit and veg. It sadly shut up shop in 1995. Our counter sales have dropped 50% in the last ten years but we are becoming increasingly health orientated, particularly in terms of natural health and we are also offering more services to the community.

In the photo is Harish, Pinar, Jay, Vipul, the manager, and Louise

East London Locks

'I think Chatsworth, which everyone calls Chats, is a fantastic road. I have had an office here since 1998 and if I don’t come here, I get withdrawal symptoms.' Mike the owner grew up on the old Bethnal Green Road and works here with his son, Huseyin, whose mother is from Cyprus. I think the market would suit the area, which I have seen really improving. There are lots of new businesses setting up, like the toyshop, the bookshop, the deli and the funky juice bar.

Too Sweet

This Caribbean takeaway, open every day from 11.30 to 10, does a brisk trade in patties, stewed chicken, oxtail, fried dumpling and chicken foot soup. Kevin, who is Jamaican, has owned this shop, which used to be opposite the funeral parlour, for ten years. ‘We have everyone coming here, not just Africans and West Indians. Even Vinny Jones comes here. There is a really nice community here and we are always very busy. We just want the market and to make people appreciate it.” One of Kevin’s customer comes here every day. He always orders ‘rasta man food like ackee and saltfish’ and Jamaican bun, which is a kind of cake, served with cheese, saying: “I wouldn’t come anywhere else; this place is the best. You get proper food and don’t ever get a belly ache”.