If you would like to visit the war memorials at Hindle House please feel free to do so, however we ask that respect is given to the residents with regard to noise and obstruction. There is no parking for visitors so we request that you arrive by public transport, by bicycle or on foot where possible. If you are visiting in a large group we ask that you contact Southern Housing Group in advance to pre-arrange your visit by telephoning the Service Centre on 0300 303 1061 (option 4) this will ensure that you can gain access and that the community centre is not in use at your time of arrival.
As you enter Hindle House from Arcola Street the caretaker’s office is located immediately on your right. If the caretaker is in the office he will provide access to the community centre for the civic memorial and show you the location of the blitz memorial and the air raid shelter.
If the caretaker is not in the office you may not be able to enter the community centre. You can still see the civic memorial through a window although this window is not at a suitable height for children.
The community centre is directly in front of you as you enter the flats. The civic memorial is located inside the lobby of the right hand side door which leads upstairs to the hall. The plaque is mounted on the wall behind the door as you enter the lobby. There is a semi-circular window next to the door where the plaque can be seen if the door is locked.
The blitz memorial plaque is located in Block 121-140, this is on the far left hand corner of the flats. The blitz plaque is located between the ground and first floors above what was flat 121 the home of Mrs Edith Appleby. This is the section of the flats that was destroyed by the high explosive bomb dropped from a German bomber on September 19th 1940.
From here if you walk to the centre of the flats there is a gap between the blocks, go through this gap and turn left, walk to the end of the flats and turn left again, as you turn (you are now at the far left hand corner of the flats) you will see a small black steel door on the outside wall of the flats at low level. This is one of several doors that led to the compartmentalised air raid shelter beneath the flats. The caretaker may open the door so you can see inside. You will not be allowed to go into the shelter as it is unsafe, but it will give you an insight on how dark and claustrophobic it was inside.
There are a number of other things to see at Hindle House that would be of interest particularly to historians. If you turn left immediately after the caretakers flat and look to the wall of the flats at low level there is the building’s foundation stone. This gives the date of the building of Hindle House and also lists the Architects, Builders and Councillors involved in its construction. The Architects Messrs Josephs designed many council flats for Hackney Metropolitan Borough Council such as Nisbet House, Shacklewell House, Pownell House and Bannister House.
Inside the Community Centre on the wall of first floor hall is the opening plaque with the date of the opening and the councillors names listed. The hall upstairs remains pretty much as it was when the community centre was built, but the downstairs has been altered and extended; it once contained a laundry where residents would do their washing.
On the opposite wall to the opening plaque is a plaque that is dedicated to Mr. Harry Anchell the chairman of the Community Centre for his service to the community. He was a much respected figure in the local area and would organise many social events at Hindle House.
On the old staircase is another plaque, this is the Merchant Taylors School Mission foundation plaque. The founder Reverend W. A. Buck was educated at Merchant Taylors and also played cricket for them; he was a good all round sportsman. In 1890 he was appointed the first missioner of his old School Mission, opened that year in the parish of West Hackney. The Merchant Taylors Public School mission, a philanthropic organization, is a reminder of the area’s poverty stricken past.