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'Long overdue' plaques for housing reformer unveiled in Camden

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'Long overdue' plaques for housing reformer unveiled in Camden

ORIGIN HOUSING Logo

Published by stellajones for Origin Housing Group in Housing

The contribution made by Fr Basil Jellicoe to improving quality of life through housing in Somers Town has been officially marked by two plaques.

The clergyman successfully campaigned to replace slums around St Pancras and Euston with decent affordable homes in the 1920s and 30s, thus improving living conditions of local people and helping build a strong community. His efforts were the beginnings of what is now Origin Housing, which has now been working with residents to publicly honour its founder.

The plaques commemorating Fr Jellicoe’s contribution to community life were uncovered on Tuesday 8 April at St Nicholas Flats and Basil Jellicoe Hall. They were officially unveiled by the Deputy Mayor of Camden, Cllr Lazarro Pietragnoli, at a ceremony attended by residents, councillors, Origin staff and other community representatives.

Cllr Roger Robinson, who represents St Pancras and Somers Town on Camden Council, said: “Fr Jellicoe has never really had proper recognition, so this is long overdue. I am really delighted that Origin has done this.”

Karen Wilson, Chief Executive, Origin Housing, said: “What we remember most about Basil Jellicoe is his motto that ‘housing is not enough;’ he thought improving life for people was not just about building homes but also about investing in the people and the community. We continue to embrace that philosophy at Origin and we have this opportunity to add to his story.”

Building up to the unveiling, Origin’s Community Development team worked with artist Tiziana Callari to deliver an art banner workshop for residents, inspired by Fr Jellicoe’s work. Over six weeks, groups of children, elderly people and adults with learning difficulties used various art forms to create their own unique tiles expressing their thoughts on community spirit in the 1920s and 30s, and what it means today. These tiles have been joined together to form two banners which are currently on display at Basil Jellicoe Hall.

Tiziana said: “When these pieces were finally united together, everyone could see the meaning behind the word 'community'. Fr Jellicoe was a unique character who created something amazing from just a dream. His work has created a strong and positive reality in the community.”

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