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The interior wall tiling at the former Cooke’s Eel, Pie & Mash shop (now a Chinese restaurant), 41 Kingsland High Street, dates mostly from its opening in 1910, although the rear dining room was added in 1936. The plain tiling has maritime-themed pictorial insets.
The Dolphin PH, 165 Mare Street, was remodelled around 1900 with elaborate tiling by W. B. Simpson & Sons including two large hand-painted panels near the original entrances, one showing the Greek poet Arion who was saved from drowning by a dolphin. Further north on Mare Street is the Hackney Empire (1901, architect Frank Matcham), with an exuberant buff terracotta exterior (by the Hathern Station Brick and Terra Cotta Company) including twin domes, taken down for safety reasons in 1979 along with the Doulton statue of Euterpe, the muse of music. All were reinstated in 1988 after a public enquiry report insisted on their restoration in terracotta rather than substitution with another material or removal, and Shaws of Darwen produced all the new terracotta work; the building, used for bingo for many years, was returned to theatre use in 2003. At the road junction just to the north, facing Amhurst Road, is Hackney Central railway station, marked by its streamlined ‘BR’ leaning tower forecourt sign in pale blue, white and red tiles; it probably dates from around 1980.
The Suleymaniye Mosque (1993-8, architect Osman Sahan), 212-6 Kingsland Road, is decorated with much Iznik-style tiling (1999) made by the Guven Cini factory at Kutahya in western Turkey. The firm, which has produced art tiles since 1940, has supplied tiles for many recent mosques in Germany and Turkey.
The 1915 frontage of the Adam and Eve, Homerton High Street, is in purple faience with Doulton Carraraware above, the latter including a large pub sign modelled by John Broad.
In Charles Square, off Old Street, is the Charles Square Mural (1999) designed by Neil Irons and made at Hackney City Farm by Irons and S. Bird. The ceramic mural, commissioned by Hackney Council, is nearly 70 feet long and about 6 feet high, and uses on-glaze enamels to portray local scenes.
The Rise and Shine Magic Fish (1990-1, designed and made by Kate Malone) protrude from the waters of the Hackney Marshes Nature Reserve, part of the Lea Valley Park off Lea Bridge Road. The massive stoneware forms of two carp, a pike and a rudd, all English freshwater fish, are between three and four feet in height and were intended to educate and entertain visitors to the Reserve.
Inside the Rochester Castle (1892-3, architects G. R. Crickmay & Sons), 143-5 Stoke Newington High Street, is lavish wall tiling including several pictorial panels of allegorical figures.
1.^ Julia Abel Smith, 'Decorating a Revival', Country Life, 184, 1st November 1990, pp94-96.
2.^ Philip Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London. Public Sculpture of Britain (Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2003), p452.
The Tile Gazetteer is Copyright © 2005 Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society and Lynn Pearson, Richard Dennis.