7 April 2008
Wartime forces’ favourite, boxing legend, and local film studios amongst recipients
By John Prendergast
The votes are in and the Southwark News / Southwark Council Blue Plaque winners for 2007/08 are ready to be announced. this year the panel decided to award plaques to the top six nominees, bringing the total awarded since 2003 to 40.
Five individuals picked up plaques this year, but the nominee that picked up the most votes was Rotherhithe Picture Research Library and Sands Film Studio, which gained just over half of the votes cast.
The only winner still alive is the much loved Sir Henry Cooper, who finally after many years will have a monument to him in the place he considers his home.
Votes were collected by a variety of methods, with the majority being placed over the phone or by letter, but winner Bert Hardy must have the most technologically advanced following, as all but four of his votes were sent in by e-mail.
The exact sites of the plaques will be announced shortly, as planning permission will need to be gained to erect them.
The unlucky losers this year were film star Ida Lupino and John Trunley (the Fat Boy of Peckham), who despite managing to attract some support fell just short of managing to obtain a plaque.
Robert Hunter, the co founder of the National Trust, failed to emulate his fellow co-founder Octavia Hill and only gained a handful of votes. Clubland, the long standing youth club based on the Walworth Road, fared similarly badly, despite many years of stirling work. And Samuel Jones, the Peckham Factory, trailed in in last place, despite its connections with the iconic Camberwell Beauty.
So without further ado the winners in order of votes received are:
Rotherhithe Picture Research Library and Sands Film Studios - Centre for Films and Pictures
The 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 the locals who have entered who have seen it get the most votes this year.
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's Nights Dream, and a documentary of the closure of the Peek Freen factory.
The movie side of the operation picks up the most high profile plaudits, but it is important to mention the picture research library, which as well as being a magnificent free research tool is also documenting the rich history in the borough.
Possible Location: Rotherhithe Picture Research Library and Sands Film Studios, St. Marychurch Street
Anne Shelton - The Wartime 'Forces Favourite'
A surge of votes for the talented lady with the beautiful voice illustrated it was not just the forces that fell for her, but the residents of Southwark have as well.
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 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. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1990.
Now she has once again featured well in another public vote, which will see a lasting memorial to her.
Possible location: 39 Coleman Road, Camberwell
Bert Hardy - Renowned Press Photographer
Just as the Elephant hits the headlines through its huge regeneration programme, the man who documented life in the area just after the war will forever become part of it with the erection of a Blue Plaque. We will have to make sure it isn't lost as the area is reconstructed.
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.
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.
Possible location: Priory, Webber Street
Edward Turner - Motorcycle Designer and Captain of Industry
The man who set the standard in motorbike design, creating machines that became the template of excellence in the industry, also fared well in the votes.
The ex-Navy man opened up his motorbike shop, Chepstow Motors, on Peckham Road, and from his small base the germs of his genius were created.
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.
Possible location: 87 Rye Hill Park
Sir Henry Cooper - Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Finally one of the most loved and revered sportsmen who ever came out of this country has a lasting monument to his name in Southwark.
His long and exciting boxing career hit the heights when Cassius Clay hit the canvas at Wembley in 1963, but his fallibility to cuts meant he would always be on the edge of a defeat which Clay demonstrated on the same night.
In retirement his status only increased as the nation fell for the affable giant and his polite charms, and his boxing career and his charity work once he retired meant he deservedly picked up a knighthood in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List.
Our 'Enry is the only nominee still alive, but a more deserving winner is hard to think of.
Possible location: Daneville Road, Camberwell
John Harvard - Principal Benefactor of Harvard University
The final winner is the quiet and studious John Harvard, whose donation of a massive library of books to the American university was the basis of its success for years to come.
His father instilled in him the importance of education, that he would embrace 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 influence the whole world.
His plaque is likely to be put on the John Harvard Library in the Borough once the renovations there have been completed.
Possible location: John Harvard Library, Borough
* Octavia Hill, Co-Founder of the National Trust
* Harry Cole, local volunteer, policeman and writer
* Manzes Pie and Mash Shop, Tower Bridge Road
* Peek Freans biscuit factory, Drummond Road, Bermondsey
* The Rose Theatre, Bankside
* Marianne Jean-Baptiste, First black British Actress to get Oscar Nomination
* Phyllis Persall, Creator of A to Z guide
* Una Marson, Poet and Playwright
* Manzes Pie and Mash Shop, Peckham
* Richard Carr Gomm, Founder of Carr-Gomm Housing Group
* Charlie Chaplin, Film Star
* Tommy Steele, Singer and Actor
* The Pioneer Health Centre, St Mary's Road, Peckham
* Time and Talents, St Marychurch Street
* Sam Wanamaker, Actor and Director
* The Clink, Bankside
* Borough Market, Borough
* Oliver Goldsmith, Playwright and Essayist
* Tabard Inn. Borough
* Edward Kail, Dulwich Hamlet Footballer
* Stainer Street Arch, Bermondsey
* Charles Babbage, Father of Computing
* Charles Dickens, Writer and Journalist
* Michael Caine, Movie Star
* Surrey Docks Fire, Surrey Docks
* Bobby Abel, Cricketer
* Druid Street Arch, Bermondsey
* Mary Wollstonecraft, Writer and Teacher
* Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Engineer
* Sir George Livesey, Donated building for Children's Museum
* Michael Faraday, Chemist and Physicist
* Mayflower Sailing Point, Rotherhithe
* Rio Ferdinand, Footballer
* Enid Blyton, Author
The nominations are now open for next year’s Blue Plaques, if you wish to nominate somebody or an institution then call 020 7525 2000, or send and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No comments have been posted.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale