Final 10 announced in Islington’s People’s Plaque scheme

A SHORTLIST of ten of Islington’s most significant people, places and events has been drawn up for the People’s Plaque scheme - now the public has to decide which five will be honoured with permanent memorials.

Green plaques have already been put up to commemorate the former ANC Headquarters in Penton Street, Islington, the birthplace of actor Kenneth Williams, in Bingfield Street, Islington, and Sir Michael Sobell’s contribution to the Sobell Leisure Centre, in Holloway.

Now a new shortlist has been compiled from suggestions submitted by residents over the last three months - and now is the time when the votes really matter.

Councillor Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “We received lots of worthy nominations for people and places that residents would like to see honoured. Islington has such a rich history and it’s fascinating to learn more about some of the people and events that have had an impact on the borough.

“Now it’s up to Islington people to cast their vote and decide where the next green plaques will be put up.”

The contenders on the shortlist are:

- Douglas Adams (1952-2001), writer and dramatist, of Duncan Terrace, Islington, who was best known for his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series and books, which inspired TV and film adaptations and include frequent references to Islington. He moved to Upper Street in 1981 and to Duncan Terrace in the late 1980s.

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- The Angel Inn, Islington High Street, Islington, a pub which dates back to the 17th century and possibly as early as the 15th century and gave the Angel area its name. Islington was an important staging post for coaches travelling north from London and the pub is mentioned as a coaching stop in Charles Dickens’ Sketches by Boz and Oliver Twist.

- Bombing of Dame Alice Owen’s Girls’ School during the Blitz. The basement of Dame Alice Owen’s school was used as a public air raid shelter. On October 15, 1940 around 150 people were in the shelter when the building suffered a direct hit just after 8pm and over 100 people were killed. City and Islington College’s Centre for Applied Studies now occupies the site.

- Edith Margaret Garrud (1872-1971), Suffragette and teacher of ju jitsu, of Thornhill Square, Barnsbury, She was a self-defence instructor who taught ju jitsu, was one of the first professional martial arts instructors in the western world. She trained other Suffragettes to protect themselves from the police and she and her husband ran a school of ju jitsu on Seven Sisters Road.

- Crystal Hale (1915-1999), boat club pioneer, of Noel Road and Canonbury Square, Canonbury. Ms Hale lived in Islington for almost 50 years and led a campaign to save the City Road Basin from being filled in. She also founded Islington Boat Club, the Angel Community Canal Boat Trust and the Angel Canal Festival.

- Florence Keen (1868-1942), founder of North Islington Welfare Centre and School for Mothers in 1913. At that time, the infant mortality rate in Islington was over 10 per cent and Keen worked to prevent disease and death among women and children by educating mothers.

- Mary Kingsley (1862-1900), writer and explorer, who was born at Tavistock Terrace, Upper Holloway. She was a Victorian explorer who travelled to Central and West Africa and greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and African people.

- Thomas Lipton (1850-1931), businessman and philanthropist, who sponsored the Alexandra Trust Dining Rooms, City Road, Finsbury, and donated �100,000 “to provide people of humbler means with a restaurant conducted on generous lines”. Mr Lipton founded Lipton Tea and established offices on Bath Street, near City Road. He built an empire of shops and factories, including outlets in Islington and Clerkenwell.

- The Peasants’ Revolt (1381), Highbury Park, Highbury. The Peasants’ Revolt was triggered by opposition to an unpopular poll tax and in 1381, Wat Tyler, Jack Straw and their fellow rebels had their final major rally in Islington.

- John Wright (1907-1991), founder of the Little Angel Theatre, Dagmar Passage, Islington. Mr Wright founded the theatre in a derelict temperance hall in 1961. Since then, the company has developed an international reputation.

To vote for the person, place or event you’d most like to see awarded a green plaque from the shortlist, please go to Votes can also be cast at libraries across the borough. Voting closes on 28 February.