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The historic sound system, crafted by the late “Count Rob,” which once graced blues dances across London, is making a triumphant return to Hackney.

For a limited time, it will be on display at the Hackney Archives, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its rich musical legacy.

This project funded by Hackney Council’s Windrush Microgrant Scheme will deliver a week’s display of some of TMRSS at the Hackney Archives with educational story boards explaining the link between the sound system and its owner, Count Rob dating back to 1962, to Hackneys very own Len Dyke of Dyke, Dryden and Wade – the Ridley road Market’s Hair care Dynasty.

The project will shine a historical lens on how West Indian music and sound systems, brought over by the Afro Caribbean population played a key role in breaking down barriers during the 50s-70s. One of the major contributions to integration during the times of the Windrush era was that of the musical / DJ influences. Where sound systems and house parties were used to reminisce while reliving the stresses of starting over in the Uk. However a by-product of these house parties would not only be the mixing of various Caribbean islanders, but a safe haven for non-West Indian’s  to appreciate the new music / sounds, emerging West Indian Culture and the amalgamation of couples form different ethnic backgrounds.

This project is based around the salvage, restoration and amalgamation of engineers from 3 major sound systems (including Hackney’s Soca Sagaboys) who pooled resources and expertise to get TMRSS back to working life and who are now breaking further barriers that the late owner Count Rob, who sadly passed away of Covid in 2021, started by touring the TMRSS across the UK and internationally.

However TMRSS has other unique narratives emerging which connects it back to Hackney, which is that the late Len Dyke (of Dyke, Dryden and Wade, the first black hair care millionaires who sold from Dalston Market) cut a record especially for the Mighty Ruler Sound System. Also, Count Rob himself purchased much of the components for the sound system from Hackney’s very own HyTec Electronics in Dalston Lane!

This narrative highlights the multi-dimensional talents of the Windrush era during a time of hostility. Where the necessity to survive and do better for their children / dependants was an uphill but not insurmountable battle.

 

Special thanks to the collaborators of this project - 

The Hackney Archives are based on the 2nd floor of the CLR James Library, Dalston Square, London E8 3BQ

Follow the Hackney Archives on Instagram- archiveshackney / Facebook – hackneyarchives 

www.hackney.gov.uk/archives

R Consultancy / Soca Sagaboys

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Facebook - grenada cocoabutter / R Consultancy Carnivals

Website - www.rconsultancy.org  

Email – [email protected] 

PASSA Productions

Email [email protected]

Instagram – themightyrulersoundsystem 

Minute Business Videos

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Instagram - minutebusinessvideos 

Youtube - Vitaly Bender

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