Old Trades Hall, Valette Street
MOTH – Memorable Order of Tin Hats
The Hackney venue, still going strong 90 years on.
Old trades hall was a working men’s club with a difference. A network where military ex-servicemen and women could attend the idea born in South Africa.
The full title on the outside of the church looking building reads The General Browning MOTH Club, built around 1912 as the headquarters of a Friendly society.
The Link between South Africa, Australia and Hackney
Charles Evenden 1894-1961 formed the Memorable Order of Tin Hats M.O.T.H in 1927. A Brotherhood of South African soldiers who had served on the front line. Evenden himself had served as a soldier in WW1 in the Australian forces. Born in London went to School in Hackney, died in South Africa. He was a cartoonist and author. His cartoons appeared in newspapers. For a long time, he worked for the Natal Mercury in Durban South Africa and went under the pen name alias of “Evo”.
After seeing Anzac parades he wondered what had happened to his comrades. After watching a war film with a newspaper editor he was given a brief that required “Evo” to draw something to relate to remembrance. A Tin hat emerged with a burning candle and strong poignant words.
True Comradeship Mutual Help Sound Memory (remembering the fallen)
This morphed into a play on images and wording like what you would expect from a cartoonist where the word FORGETFULNESS was added along with the image of a bullet-riddled allies helmet washing up on the shore.
The Head Moth reaching recognition
The Headquarters of the Moth Club is in Durban South Africa. On the 11 of the 11, 1955 “Evo” was granted freedom of the city of Durban and a parade of 14,000 members known as moths. Members extended to other countries and included people who had fought in other wars over time.
Two books are written “Old Soldiers never die” 1952 and “Like a little Candle 1959”
Seems as if the founder of a group that meets in a London old trade hall turned into being in a hall of fame when he met our current monarchy. For our Current Queen met this real-life character, which goes to show his organisation and presence must have reached notable recognition.
The enchanting modern-day club
The club’s modern interior glitters and mixes a retro feel with modern textures. It still keeps some original features. The Moth club events are produced and promoted by lanzaroteworks.com who have a portfolio of trendy venues in London and an impressive guest list of artists to be proud of? It was revamped and reopened during the late summer of 2015.
The Venue still has a traditional bar, runs themed evenings, bingo games, cinema nights. Not forgetting, cabaret, quiz nights, comedy, karaoke, gigs and concerts.
Well-known artists who have performed at the Moth Club
Lady Gaga, James Blake, Connan Mockasin, Har Mar, Kiefer Sutherland, Romesh Ranganathan, Harry Hill, the KOOKS, MOT to name but a few.
Notes of Past Performances
Lady Gaga performed a secret gig back in 2016