The Duke of Wellington in Hackney

“The Duke of Wellington in Hackney was overflowing this Saturday evening, but the deepening darkness was still warm and a dozen or so of Flick’s friends and comrades in CORE were happy to mill around on the pavement on Balls Pond Road, drinking before heading back to Flick’s for a party.” (Lethal White, Chapter 51)

Robin, undercover as Bobbi Cunliffe, has befriended Flick Purdue in an attempt to get information on the Chiswell case. In Chapter 51, she goes to a pub with Flick and then accompanies a group of people back to Flick’s flat, where what she finds certainly impresses Strike.

“’How the fuck did you manage that?’”

“’I’m a woman,’ said Robin. He could hear her smile.” (Lethal White, Chapter 52)

https://www.frontierpubs.co.uk/your-local/duke-of-wellington-dalston-pub/

The Google Maps image below was captured in June 2008 and is therefore a bit outdated, but you can see Balls Pond Road on the lefthand side where Robin (or we should say “Bobbi”) and Flick were standing around and talking.

Google Maps

“Their group straggled out along the pavement as they headed off through the night towards Flick’s flat.” (Lethal White, Chapter 51)

The walk to Flick’s flat is one of those rare times where the text doesn’t explicitly say which direction or street name they’re taking, making it more difficult to determine exactly where Flick may live … but, of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t try! We know from Strike’s previous online searches (and later confirmed by Robin) that Flick lives in Hackney, but we’re also given a couple of clues that helped us attempt to find where she lives.

Clue 1: “They walked in silence for a while.” (Lethal White, Chapter 51) Due to this quote and the fact that Robin and Flick have a somewhat lengthy conversation about both Billy and Jimmy, it doesn’t appear that Flick’s flat is extremely close to The Duke of Wellington. It gives the impression that they walked for a while before arriving at the party.

Clue 2: We’re told that “in the denser darkness they entered an underpass.…” (Lethal White, Chapter 51)

Clue 3: And lastly, “’We’re up here,’ Flick said, pointing at three lit windows above a small sports shop.” (Lethal White, Chapter 51)

We’re also told that they use a back entrance up a narrow staircase, but Google maps doesn’t always allow us to view behind buildings. A trip to London may be in order for further confirmation!

Taking that information into consideration, we searched for sporting goods stores nearby The Duke of Wellington. Surprisingly, there were quite a few, but there were two that were in Hackney that seemed to be within walking distance and could potentially match the description of having three windows above the shop.

The first option is a Sports Direct, which is about a mile away.

Google Maps

There are three divided windows above the store, making this is a definite possibility. However, we didn’t see an underpass that they would have walked under in order to get there. (There was an underpass that they could have used on the alternate route, but the route takes us over it, not under.)

Google Maps

The second option is a JD Sports that is also about a mile away.

Google Maps

This route does, in fact, take us under an underpass.

Google Maps

If you consider that the three windows mentioned are the three on the very top, this second location seems like a better possibility. It seems to be about the right distance, has an underpass along the route and three windows on top that could be Flick’s flat.

Google Maps

Could one of these locations be Flick’s flat? Is there another sports shop nearby that also fits the descriptions? Tell us what you think!

You can find The Duke of Wellington on the map below or find more information here.

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