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TimeLine News

ImageDecember 2011
TimeLine has had a quiet time during the Autumn as we continued collecting up the stories and memories about Coronation Avenue.   Lots of people - from all over the world - contacted us to provide information and memories, so there is lots to write about.  We met 86 year-old Vera, who came back to Stoke Newington, where she had grown up: she told us about her family having a greengrocers shop just across the road from the where the bomb fell:  her family was the very last to escape. 

On the 71st anniversary of the bomb falling at Coronation Avenue, all of the Year 6 children at Princess May Primary School spent the day thinking about what had happened in Hackney during World War Two, and especially on that terrible day: they looked at photographs, listened to the memories of people who could say exactly what had happened; they dressed up and tried to imagine how life would have been all those years ago.  And one thing they all said was that they would do their best to make sure that what happened at Coronoation Avenue would never be forgotten.

As you can see in the Annual Report, 2010/11 had been a very busy year, and we made loads more friends and partnerships.  We were very sad that we did not have enough money to print any more issues of TimeLine Magazine, but we are hoping to change that in 2012.   

To help raise funds, and tell people a bit more about what a brilliant place Hackney has always been, we have produced the first four in our TimeLine Hackney History Mugs: each one is a little advert for Hackney telling two stories about a place in Hackney. 

We started with Stoke Newington, Hackney Central, Lower Clapton and Homerton mugs and there will be more next year.   So, if you would like to find out more about Hackney's past as you drink your tea (and support TimeLine at the same time) why not buy yourself a mug? 

The mugs are on sale at two places that have amazing histories - Sutton House (on Homerton High Street)  and at Sunstone Gym (on Northwold Road in Stoke Newington).  Or do contact TimeLine here for more information. 

With many thanks and best wishes for the holidays to all of the brilliant friends TimeLine has made and kept during 2011.

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Cllr. Susan Fajana-Thomas
June 2011

In May each year, the Councillors of Hackney have a big meeting in Hackney Town Hall, to choose the Speaker for the next year.  This time they elected Councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas, who represents Stoke Newington Central ward, to be the brand new Speaker.  She was picked for the new job just a few days after she attended the ceremony to unveil the plaque at Coronation Avenue - which is in Stoke ewington Central ward -  and this has meant some fabulous  news for TimeLine.

The Speaker heard about Phase Two  of the Coronation Avenue Campaign, which is to write and publish a book about the people touched by the Coronation Avenue Disaster:  she really wants to help and she has chosen TimeLine as one of her two nominated charities for the year!   That means that she will spreading the word about the Campaign and helping us to raise funds throughout the year. 

If you would like to know more or make a contribution,  please contact
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   or call her office on 020 8356 3350.  We have made a book called Putting on the Blitz (98 pages of memories and stories about Hackney and the Blitz, including some about Coronation Avenue): it costs £20 plus p&p, or you might like a mug with a picture of the plaque on (£6.99 plus p&p).  All the profits go to the Coronation Avenue Campaign so you might be tempted.  If you would like either of those do contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like to buy a copy.

So we are sending a huge thankyou  to The Speaker from TimeLine.



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The plaque arrives
May 2011

We are sorry that it has been such a long time since we told you about our news at TimeLine, but now we can bring you up to date.  The most amazing thing is that TimeLine helped the community in Stoke Newington to commemorate the terrible disaster which happened at Coronation Avenue on 13th October 1940.  That was the date that a huge bomb fell on the Coronation Avenue block of flats, and killed over 160 people.  

The Coronation Avenue Campaign had been collecting money so that we could put up a plaque at Coronation Avenue: and publish a book about the people who lost their lives:   we had loads of  help from lots of individuals, companies and groups in Stoke Newington and from further afield  - sometimes it was £1 from someone buying one of our cupcakes, and sometimes it was much more - like the owners of the building (IDS) giving £2,500 or the Hackney Police who donated £1,000.  During the Autumn of 2010 we raised enough money so  we could pay for Ned Heywood and Julia Land to design and make a beautiful ceramic plaque.   It was amazing how many people helped Phase One of the Coronation Avenue Campaign succeed.

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Waiting to be unveiled ...
Julia and Ned came all the way from where they live in Wales to install the plaque in Stoke Newington.  For a month it was our special secret because it was covered up - until the fabulous unveiling ceremony on May 15th 2011.  There were so many surprises and hundreds of people came along to take part in the ceremony -  local community and faith leaders and residents of all ages, the police, fire brigade and ambulance services were repersented to remind us of the work that was done by their services in 1940; there are so many people to thank for their help, in preparing the ceremony, and we want to say a special thankyou to all the older people who shared their memories of the event and to Princess May School whose pupils helped explain what the ceremony was all about. 

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Unveiling the plaque
Even The Queen sent a message of support in a letter from Buckingham Palace: seventy years after her own parents had visited Coronation Avenue on the day after the bomb fell, she sent her warm good wishes to all concerned in the Coronation Avenue Campaign, for a memorable and successful event on May 15th. 

The occasion was so important for many of the people who came along.  These are some of the things they said:

"Thank you for the opportunity to be part of such a great event".  Peter Magill

".... thank you for the time, effort and compassion that made the ceremony so educational, memorable and successful
" Hannah Corin

My father never spoke of the death of his sister. I believe that our family never came to terms with her loss. This is why the ceremony was such significance to me. It marked a public acknowledgement of the horrific events at Coronation Avenue over 70 years ago. I and my family are deeply indebted to those Hackney people who worked hard in bringing the event to fruition.”  Melvyn Brooks  

"The ceremony was so poignant after all this time.  I hope people remember what happened and that war is terrible"

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The plaque is revealed
Norman Levinson  

Everyone agreed that Phase One of the Campaign, which was all about a plaque which will last for a hundred years, was a huge success. If you would like to read the messages that were written in the In Memoriam book, please click here. Now we are getting to work on Phase Two, which is to research and publish a book all about the people who lost their lives in the tragedy.  Lots of people are helping by sharing what they know - we will really make sure that those people are never forgotten.  If you would like to support Phase Two, please contact TimeLine at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you would like to see the programme for the unveiling ceremony (including the letter from Her Majesty The Queen) please click here - and here are some photos of the day - thanks to star photographers Joe Jones and Donald Verry:


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George Alagiah speaking

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Kamil Boriel of Petchey Academy

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Tam Minh Tu of Princess May School

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Hallie Primus of Princess May School

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Revd Niall Weir reading from New Testament

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Imam Ebu Tezgel reading from the Koran

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Rabbi Citron reading from the Old Testament

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Melvyn and Barry Brooks say kaddish for their aunt

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Norman Levinson remembering his mother who died at Coronation Avenue

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Eleanor Kennedy had a lucky escape in 1940

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Melvyn Brooks remembering his aunt

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Louisa Thomson speaking on behalf of the Campaign

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Camilla Loewe speaking about Phase Two of the Campaign

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George Alagiah unveils the plaque

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The plaque is revealed

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Coronation Avenue Campaign Team

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Beautiful Memorial Cake made by Andree Crump

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Andree Crump




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