3 March 2008
Since the nominations have been announced for the Blue Plaque for 2008, the 'News' has profiled each one on these pages. There is now only a week to go until voting closes on February 29, so here is a summary of the nominees, in case you missed them over the last few months.
If you would like to vote for any of the nominees for the blue plaque e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7525 2000.
A scene from a film made at Sands Film Studios (top left); Edward Turner (top middle); Ida Lupino (right); Samuel Jones Factory (bottom left)
Edward Turner - Motorcycle Designer and Captain of Industry
He came back from a stint in the Navy and opened up Chepstow Motors on Peckham Road. From his small base he created motorbike designs and machines that would change the way the industry worked, and create mass produced bikes affordable for all.
It wasn't long before the big players sensed his talent, and he moved to the Midlands to work primarily with Triumph. There his ideas born in Peckham came to fruition. In his retirement he was hatching plans to counter the Japanese threat to the British motorcycle industry. With his death his ideas were ignored, which would lead to the motorbike industry’s downfall.
John Thomas Trunley - The Fat Boy of Peckham
The 'Fat boy' was more than a freak show, he was a charismatic character who was a star of his time. He brushed shoulders with some of the greats, including Charles Chaplin and Fred Karno, before being forced back into education that would briefly curtail his showbiz career.
He was a hit in the silent films when he returned to the world of entertainment, but didn't venture to Hollywood on the advice of Chaplin. He instead returned to his trade as a watch maker in Peckham, and served his community. An active man who enjoyed swimming, motorbikes and boxing, he challenged World Heavyweight Boxing champ Gene Tunney to a fight, which ensured he briefly returned to the limelight.
Bert Hardy - Renowned Press Photographer
Born in Blackfriars, he would become synonymous with a series of photographs known as 'Life in the Elephant'. Over a three week period he would take a series of snaps that would capture a period of life in the borough, which in themselves would become important historical records of the area.
A self taught photographer, his photos of everyday life captured the imagination and his unique style would see him become chief photographer on a number of magazines, and he would go on to become a war photographer who took pictures of the D-day landings.
John Harvard - Founder of Harvard University
The quiet and pious butchers' son from the Borough would eventually leave these shores with a vast library of books, which would become the basis for one of the finest learning institutions in the world, Harvard University.
His father instilled in him the importance of education - a lesson that he would remember throughout his life. But his mother, who left him the Queen's Head Inn in the Borough, gave him the financial security to pursue it.
Harvard University has seen through its door a number of US presidents, writers, philosophers and scientists, who have and do still influence the whole world.
Sir Robert Hunter - Co-founder of the National Trust
Sir Robert Hunter, along with fellow blue plaque winner Octavia Hill, were co-founders of the National Trust - a body that constantly seeks to preserve all that is quintessentially British as the country changes at a rapid pace.
Having had a tough childhood, suffering a number of illnesses, it was Hunter who Octavia Hill turned too when she needed to save a garden in Deptford.
The body they set up is now one of the country's most loved institutions, preserving our history for all to cherish for years to come. The trust looks after 612,000 acres of land, 700 miles of coastland and 200 buildings.
Sir Henry Cooper - Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Our 'Enry is one of the most loved sporting figures in the country, yet strangely has no lasting monument in the place he considers his home.
The nation fell in love with him when he knocked down 'The Greatest' with Henry's Hammer, but would lose the bout on cuts, something that dogged him throughout his career.
In retirement he fully deserved his knighthood and cemented a place in the nation’s heart, with his genial nature and tireless charity work. He is one of three people to have won Sports Personality of the Year twice.
Rotherhithe Picture Research Library and Sands Film Studios - Centre for Films and Pictures
This small movie factory in the north of the Borough has seen many A-List celebrities pass through its doors over the years, but it is most proud of the role it plays in the local community.
Although involved in big productions such as Scorsese's Gangs of New York or current hit Sweeney Todd with Johnny Depp, they also bring their love of film to the borough through school workshops and tours. They have made films involving 360 local school children in their take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a documentary of the closure of the Peek Freen factory.
They also store a free picture research library, which as well as being a vital reference centre is further documenting the borough’s rich history.
Anne Shelton - The Wartime 'Forces Favourite'
The talented songstress with the beautiful voice gave Vera Lynn a run for her money, as a favourite of the armed forces. By the time she was fifteen she had secured a recording contract, and throughout her career she worked with the BBC on productions that were heard across the Mediterranean and North Africa, to the delight of the boys abroad.
In peacetime she worked with Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby, and was enormously popular on both sides of the pond. In 1979 the depth of feeling felt for her was demonstrated, when she topped the polls as troops voted for her to sing at a cabaret to commemorate the D-day landings.
Clubland - Pioneering Methodist Youth Clubs
Led by its charismatic founder and long time leader, Jimmy Butterworth, the club is synonymous with the fighting spirit of the borough, rising from the ashes despite a hefty war time bombing.
The club has guided the lives of numerous young people, always targeting those who most needed the help.
Having generated the funds needed through a huge charm initiative by Butterworth to build the club, he had to do it all again when the club was destroyed. Bob Hope was a huge friend of the club, having done much to save it.
The club still serves the borough today and the work it has done is virtually impossible to measure.
Samuel Jones and Co Ltd Peckham - Celebrated Maker of Stationery and Other Products
Yet another testament to the industrial history of the borough, the factory was not just a place of work but a community in itself, developing sports clubs and societies that helped cement the Peckham community.
The phone calls and letters that came into the office following its appearance on these pages demonstrated the great revere in which this 'place of work' was held.
The factory is synonymous with the Camberwell Beauty emblem which adorned the factory for years, and is currently situated on the side of Lynn Boxing Club on Wells Way.
Ida Lupino 1918 to 1995 - Hollywood star in the ‘40s and ‘50s and one of the first ever female directors
The girl from Dulwich became a versatile star of the big screen, starting as a shimmering blonde and moving on to play brunette femme fatales.
Her biggest achievement was not in front of the camera but behind, as she became one of the first women to direct, produce and write major movies that tackled difficult subject areas.
Ida Lupino was the second women to be inducted into the Directors’ Guild of America, and has two stars along Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to both film and television.
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