This is a coffee table book for people who wish they had room for a coffee table. Funny, sad, confusing and intriguing, Good News Hackney presents a series of pathetic, hilarious and touchingly optimistic juxtapositions found on the streets of North East London, framing them through the prism of a decade of hyperbolic Hackney Gazette headlines.
The photographs and headlines in this book capture a day in the life of special slice of London. There are no people here, just the marks they leave behind on an impassive city that couldn’t care less.
This is a unique book. The bastard child of the inordinately popular Good News Hackney website, which has been affectionately satirising, cataloguing and chronicling the weird and wonderful since 2010.
Now, like everyone else, we’ve been priced out. As closing time beckons and the landlord turns out the lights in the Hackney we knew, we’re running this crowd-funding campaign with Unbound to create a permanent archive of an exceptional time in the history of this place. We’re not in this for the money, so every penny raised goes to producing and publishing the book. If we get anything extra (highly unlikely) we’ll make a donation to some of our favourite local charities.
Wallowing in East London
Since the very start, Hackney has been home to Londoners of every type and taste. Today 250,000 people from more than 100 countries, are crammed into less than 20 square kilometres of churning, pulsing modern metropolis.
London is changing fast and Hackney is Checkpoint Charlie in the Gentrification Cold War. If you take the time to notice the obvious you can learn a lot about the city London was, what it is today and the sometimes unrecognisable place it’s becoming.
To some extent, it has always been like this. Stretching from the digital highlands of ‘Tech City’ to the ancient mists of the Lea Valley marshes, Hackney has always been a place of extremes. Today more than ever the people that built the culture so readily commoditised by media men and soulless developers are under extraordinary pressure. Hackney carries on in the face of turbocharged change, politely making room for a seemingly endless onslaught new neighbours.
Good News Hackney takes you down to street level in a chaotic slice of London. An overwhelming, esoteric and unknowable place, overflowing with culture and subculture, with history tumbling from the cupboards, myth and legend sloshing around your feet. At once ostentatious and flash, modest and effortless, Hackney is a place where the past competes for space with the future, the very rich rub up against the very poor and the rest of us endure the ‘very cool’ in a warren of ancient streets.
All life is here, standing on the wrong side of the escalator and making you late for work.
A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an old chicken box lying in the gutter outside a £1.5million one bedroom flat. This is the London Borough of Hackney in all of its chaotic confusing glory.
Come marvel at Hackney in all of its chaotic confusing glory. Parodied to the point of obliteration; crowned the 'coolest neighbourhood on earth’ by Vogue, 'worst town in Britain' Channel 4 and ‘least affordable place to live’ by the Office for National Statistics. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder why you didn’t notice that.
Like all truly great things, Hackney is complicated and best looked at up close.
So buy a book, some swag or even a personalised headline from the famous Hackney Gazette and help us make Good News Hackney a reality before we shut down the site for good and move to the sticks.
Good News Hackney: Everything Must Go
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These people are helping to fund Good News Hackney: Everything Must Go.