Local historian publishes enormous archive

When web designer Amir Dotan emigrated from Israel to Stoke Newington, he became fascinated by the area’s history. He began collecting historic photos and documents; snapping them up on eBay, trawling the web and contacting families with longstanding local connections.

Now Amir, who runs The History of Stokey Twitter page, has published his Stoke Newington archive on the photo-sharing website FlickR. It features around 5,000 items – including maps, photos and historic documents.

He said: “People ask me what my motivation is and whether I plan to publish a book. For me the joy is being able to share this archive with the community without the commitment of getting something published.

“I’ve learnt such a lot about Stoke Newington. It had such an interesting period from rural village to affluent suburb, with post-war decline that began picking up in the early 1990s.

“In the 17th Century it was the place for nobles and wealthy merchants. Church Street was once a residential street full of big mansions with massive pleasure grounds but they were gradually pulled down and replaced with rows of terrace houses.

“People know me as ‘Mr Local History’ and one of my favourite things is being offered the chance to look through boxes of photos from families whose ancestors once lived here.”

Amir, a member of Clissold Park User Group, takes regular photos of Stoke Newington Church Street to document the changing businesses based there. He also delivers talks about the history of the area.

He added: “The term ‘Stokey’ always sparks heated discussion. Some people say it’s a phrase created in the 80s by yuppies, others remember their grandparents using the term and claim it dates back to the 1920s.”

To view Amir’s Stoke Newington archive visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53165790@N00/albums

The term ‘Stokey’ always sparks heated discussion.

Posted 21st February 2017

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