One summer day in 2003, the local residents of Hackney, north-east London, were invited on a tour of the abandoned site of London Fields Lido. Although closed since 1988, the pool was not empty. Squatters had moved in, and held raves in the old pool tank – much to the annoyance of campaigners, who had cleaned it up for community events. The tour was to introduce locals to a bold new redevelopment plan for the lido: to reopen the pool, install a cafe and evict the squatters.

As the locals were shown around, the squatters sat in front of the changing rooms, where purple buddleia had begun to grow above the doors, and watched them. One woman on the tour, meanwhile, enquired whether she would have to swim if she wanted a coffee. It was a moment that seemed to capture the extremes of life in Hackney: young homeless people facing eviction, and an affluent new resident who saw an opportunity for a latte.

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