We are an open space where people can be comfortable with themselves, express their creativity, hang out, make new friends, network and attend various workshops and events. Everyone is welcome,  whatever culture or background you have experienced, here you can share your journey and we will share ours.  The first spark of positive change in our world is when we meet and connect with others, sharing our joy and passing on knowledge.

We are non profit and run entirely on donations. All events, activities and workshops are free, however we do ask that if you can afford to donate, please do and it will benefit those who cannot.

If you have any ideas, or wish to get involved, feel free to get in contact…   and come and pay us a visit.

New email at: 52b@socialcentre.org.uk

52B Well Street, Hackney, E9 7PX.


We are now at the Locomotor service, 52B Well Street.

We are delighted to announce that there is a new home for the social centre is the Locomotor service, 52 Well Street, Hackney, E9 7PX as of January 2014.

The building is warm, bright, and will be accessible for wheelchair users. With the new space we have expanded the language school to include 3 classrooms, and have a chill out area, internet cafe, freeshop, library, cinema, book exchange, bike/workshop, dark room, gym, as well as three studios for art, music and tattoos. Some are still work in progress however!

Open social centre meetings every Tuesday @ 7pm. Currently discussing the projects continuing from 195 Mare Street, as well as new initiatives within the space.

Peoples Kitchen continues every Thursday @ 7pm. Free/donation based food followed by film screening. For full list of events see the calendar or schedule.


It begun with Mare Street…

The building was built in 1699 and was once a merchant’s house. It then became the famous Elizabeth Fry women’s refuge. She worked hard in the 1800′s to reform the conditions for women in prison, and you’ll find her face on today’s five pound (£5) notes. The building later became a working mans club. Since then it has been left the owners to fall to pieces and this beautiful beautiful building has been falling apart since. It was squatted in 2009/10 and was opened as a successful social center for 10 months before it got evicted. It then was home to a dozen people, and again in August 2013, running as an open to everyone community centre.

The owners then served us with High Court Papers on Monday (9/12/13) and we had a court date for Friday (13/12/13). The case was heard very quickly, by a judge who seemed to have already made up his mind before the hearing even started. In the end we lost the case. The owners of the building have now taken the building out of the hands of the community, either to leave it again to rot in disrepair, (as was the case before we moved in,) or to demolish this important part of Hackney’s history. On Monday 16th December 2013, high court bailiffs evicted 195 Mare St in a morning raid.  The eviction was relatively brief.

We opened a social centre on the ground floor of the building. Read more.


Come and visit us and Keep posted for updates..  

Residents/crash space

Please don’t ask us if you can live with us. This is not a crash space. We wish we could say yes, but we cannot house everyone who turns up at the front door. We are a community centre and we run activities and events. We are not a hostel.   New residents are carefully handpicked by current residents. We are currently working on creating guestrooms so we can host more people who wish to stay with us for short periods of time.

Journalists/ photographers/ students

Please do not contact us with requests to takes pictures or to write your dissertation/thesis on our project. We’re really sorry but we simply do not have the time to host that many people – we get over 3 requests a week and there is simply nobody to guide you through the process. If we want to write about 195 or make any documentation we will seek it out ourselves.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Josef Davies-Coates (@jdaviescoates)

    “Everyone is welcome, whatever culture or background you have experienced, here you can share your journey and we will share ours.”

    That is really great if true :)

    In the past, I’ve been to many a squatted anarchist social centre and have been sorely disappointed when smart/ suited friends who work for charities/ other third sectors orgs etc have not been/ felt at all welcomed by the usual suspects.

  2. T

    Sorry to hear you’ve been evicted!

    I visited on Saturday night (14th December) and listened to some excellent live guitar, do you have details on who was playing? Particularly the guy who played an extended set.




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