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Joe Dunthorne: Hackney’s scribbler on the roof

He writes novels in a tube carriage. Critics compare him to J.D. Salinger and Adrian Mole. Joe Dunthorne shows Oliver Shah around his unusual office

Hackney’s close Shakespeare connection revealed

Forget Stratford-upon-Avon and the Globe. It turns out Hackney provided the first stage for Shakespeare's masterpieces. Beth Mellor and Clare Dickinson investigate the connections between the borough and the Bard.

Activist Yashar Ismailoglu on meeting Nelson Mandela

Community leader, Yashar Ismailoglu has had varied career but since moving to London more than 30 years ago he has worked tirelessly for the Turkish and Kurdish community in Hackney.

Leila Deen talks about splatting Mandelson with green custard

From custard to custody, Hackney local Leila Deen tells Etan Smallman why the environment is no laughing matter - and why she's happy to be basking in the limelight.

The swish new fashion craze for the credit crunch

It is the latest fashion phenomenon to come out of the credit crunch. Based around the idea that one woman's trash is another woman's treasure, swishing is the only way to update your wardrobe without opening your wallet.

Dave Hill, the hack whose heart is in Hackney

Dave Hill is hot on new media. He writes and manages three London themed blogs, including one for the Guardian. But meeting the Twitter and YouTube fanatic, one thing is apparent; his heart is with Hackney.

Hackney cyclists ride through East End rain for arts

An improbably fashionable girl prances through the door, beret in hand. "Hot chocolate, please," she breathes, leaning a 1970s bicycle and basket against dozens of others. This is Broadway Market's Lock 7 cafe, where cyclists are free to park their bikes indoors while they have a coffee.

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Gangs exploiting children for drug deals

Gang members are using children to do drug deals because they will receive a lower punishment if caught, according to a Hackney Council report.