Hackney Marshes from the 236Hackney Marshes

It was Gus Elen who sang in music hall:
Oh it really is a very pretty garden
And Chingford to the eastward could be seen;
Wiv a ladder and some glasses,
You could see to 'Ackney Marshes,
If it wasn't for the 'ouses in between.
The Hackney Marshes in London's East End are part of the green(ish) Lea Valley which divides east London from north to south.  After infilling with air-raid rubble during the second world war, the Marshes are now home to 88 pitches used for Sunday League football.


Despite the fact that a Hackney Carriage is a taxi, not a bus, both have their origins in horsepower, and it was the horses raised on the Hackney Marshes that gave the cab its name.

The sporting links of the area also covered greyhound racing, athletics and speedway, but part of the area is now awaiting redevelopment for the 2012 Olympic Games.  Clapton Stadium, to which bus route 208 was extended several evenings a week in the years before the war, was replaced by housing in the 1970s.

Photo © Steve Whitelegg 2006