Battersea Dogs Home founder wins vote for this year’s Islington people’s plaques

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home - Credit: Archant

The founder of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, a historic synagogue and a beloved children’s author are set to be immortalised on the borough’s streets.

Historic picture of North London Synagogue

Historic picture of North London Synagogue - Credit: Archant

A record 6,736 votes were polled to whittle 10 down to three that will now join the likes of Benjamin Britten, Lenin and George Orwell by having a plaque installed in their memory.

Top of the poll was animal activist Mary Tealby, with 2,415 votes, appealing to Islington’s canine lovers as the founder of the Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs near Sherringham Road in Holloway – which would later become Battersea Dogs Home when it moved south of the river in 1909.

In second place was the North London Synagogue in Lofting Road, Barnsbury and Carrie’s War author Nina Bawden came in third.

All three nominees will now be commemorated with Islington People’s Plaques.

Children's author Nina Bawden - New York Times

Children's author Nina Bawden - New York Times - Credit: Archant


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Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council said:

“Islington People’s Plaques recognise the huge contribution that a massive range of people and places have made to our community.

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“This year it has proved more popular than ever, attracting a record number of votes.

Mary Tealby was helped by none other than Charles Dickens in opening the now world famous Battersea Dogs home, which celebrated its 150th birthday in 2010.

Since opening, the centre has cared for over three million animals.

Second placed North London Synagogue was the epicentre of Islington’s large Jewish community from the 18th to the middle of the 20th century.

It suffered bomb damage during the Second World War and was demolished in 1958, to make way for new council housing at the now Barnes Court.

Third placed Nina Bawden’s book Carrie’s War, based on her experiences of evacuated from London to South Wales at the start of the Second World War, has been adapted for both TV and stage and is still recommended reading for school pupils.

She lived for many years in Noel Road, Islington and is also known for her role in campaigning for improved railway safety after the Potters Bar train crash in 2002, which claimed the life of her husband Austen. Nina herself was seriously injured.

“We have so much to be proud of in our borough’s history,” said Cllr Watts.

“Mary Tealby, the North London Synagogue and Nina Bawden are all very worthy winners.”

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