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Richard Greening: Mayor of Islington 2015-16

30 Mar

Since 2002 Richard Green, has been one of three councillors representing Highbury West ward. For much of that time he’s also been working in local government. And now he’s also Islington’s Mayor – what’s motivating him? Interview by Nicola Baird

Richard Greening, Islington Mayor 2015-16

Richard Greening, Islington Mayor 2015-16 – back at work in late January after a fall in December forced him to take a month off. “People want to take selfies with me when I’m wearing my Mayoral robes – it’s the role of a minor celeb!” (c) Islington Council

Richard Greening may not play an instrument but music has had a profound impact on his life – from where he was born right up to his choice for the Mayor’s charity. Although he was brought up in Lichfield, Staffordshire, his first years of life were in a tied-cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle. “My father was the assistant organist at St George’s chapel,” explains Richard who may be Islington’s Mayor but seems like a modest person despite his grand babyhood.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

“We moved when I was two, so I only have fragments of memories from then,” admits Richard, 58, in the kitchen of the Riversdale Road house where he lives with his wife, Patsy Bradbury – who moved here back in 1969.

Patsy Bradbury and Richard Greening with one of their cats, Roxy. Patsy was Mayor of Islington in the 1970s, while Richard is the current Mayor of Islington. “I’m unusual in having been both Mayor and Mayoress of Islington,” says Patsy.

Patsy Bradbury and Richard Greening with one of their cats, Roxy. Patsy was Mayor of Islington in the 1970s, while Richard is the current Mayor of Islington. “I’m unusual in having been both Mayor and Mayoress of Islington,” says Patsy.

The pair met in Islington in 1982 – and got married at the Town Hall in 2012.

Patsy Bradbury: “This was the builders’ house. The garden was the builders’ yard and Number 2 Wyatt Road was the office/stables.

Patsy Bradbury: “This was the builders’ house. The garden was the builders’ yard and Number 2 Wyatt Road was the office/stables.

They are an unusual power couple in that Patsy has also been Mayor of Islington (from 1972-73).

Where does Richard Greening like going in Islington?
As Councillor Richard Greening, Richard got to know Highbury West extremely well, but as Mayor he is enjoying getting to know many more people all over the borough.

  • Richard: Emirates Stadium is an amazing building and has atmosphere. Arsenal’s community work is good – they do a lot and say not a lot about it. Of course there’s a big campaign with the local Labour party and Citizens UK to get Arsenal to pay the living wage. They are paying their directly employed staff the London Living Wage and the main outstanding issue is with their contractors.
  • Richard: In Gillespie Park you could be almost anywhere – it’s surprisingly quiet and within that small area there is such a variety of nature. It’s a fantastic resource for Islington, and so is the Ecology Centre.
  • Richard & Patsy: We eat out sometimes at Au Lac, 13 Highbury Park
  • Richard: I like Round Square on Seven Sisters Road, opposite where the Red Rose used to be. It’s a really nice Chinese restaurant. They do a nice prawn dish and there are vegetable options. It’s also got a proper disabled loo. So few places have.
  • Mayor Richard Greening and his partner Patsy Bradbury are serious cat fans. They currently have two cats

    Mayor Richard Greening and his partner Patsy Bradbury are serious cat fans. They currently have two cats

    Richard: “We shop locally and use Highbury Butchers on Blackstock Road. There were three butchers when I first moved here. The couple who used to run Highbury Butchers had a hatch where the butcher’s wife took the money and they had the biggest cat…”

  • Patsy: ‘I’ve got MS and use a chair so I haven’t been on the tube for years because there are so few lifts. But I like the 19 bus. You can go on it all the way to Harrods, Cadogan Hall and The Royal Court Theatre (both in Sloane Square). I also use it to go to China Town. The 141 is a good route too which takes you to the Wesley Chapel, 49 City Road and Bunhill Fields, 38 City Road. I can’t always get on the first bus that comes if people with buggies won’t let me.
  • Richard & Patsy: “We’re looking forward to TfL’s step free access at Finsbury Park by 2018. But we may still not use the tube – you need a critical mass of tube stations you can access before most wheelchair users will want to go on the tube.”
Caption/ Despite the Mayor’s busy schedule, councillors continue representing their constituents. The weekend we meet Richard is due to run a ward surgery, and visit a newly established neighbourhood watch group. And that’s all before the Mayor’s Christmas rush.

Despite the Mayor’s busy schedule, councillors continue representing their constituents. The weekend Islington Faces met Richard (Nov 2016) he was due to run a ward surgery, and visit a newly established neighbourhood watch group. And that’s all before the Mayor’s Christmas rush. Unfortunately a fall saw him out of action for most of December/January. But he was back at work by late January, see this newspaper report.

“I never learnt an instrument as my father thought that music was a high risk career!” he says laughing. “That is partly why I chose Music First as my charity while I’m Mayor.”

According to his Islington Mayoral biography, Richard says: “Music First helps children in many ways and not just with music – it influences the other aspects of their lives. Last summer I attended a concert at the Hackney Empire organised by Music First. Children from many Islington schools were involved and both the children and the audience enjoyed the event immensely. I’ve also visited the music hub at Highbury Grove School. The energy and engagement in the rooms was palpable and I want to help many more Islington children enjoy music-making and the benefits that it brings them. So I have chosen Music First as my charity.”

Richard is good with figures – he studied Maths at Durham University. This led to IT, which he started working in back in 1977 before becoming a Highbury West councillor in 2002 while juggling with his work for the Improvement & Development Agency for local government until 2010. “At the IDeA I worked on the beacon council scheme helping councils to innovate and share good practice. I worked with a lot of rural councils and found that inner city Islington with small sites and rural areas had the same problem – unaffordable housing. The excellent work of rural councils in extracting affordable housing contributions from very small sites convinced me that the policy in Islington which at that time ignored sites of less than 10 units needed to change and could change.”

Last year he was Deputy Mayor, working with fellow Highbury West councillor Theresa Debono, who is also Labour. Now as Mayor, Richard hopes to raise £30,000 for the charity, so he’s running a dinner at Round Square on Seven Sisters Road on 11 February 2016. Anyone from Highbury Community Association/Islington Faces is welcome (see below for how to book tickets).

“Mayors have no power, but you do get to meet people who have power,” he says. Welcoming Arsenal FA cup winning team at the town hall steps and hosting the Duchess of Cambridge when she came to visit Chance UK were highlights for Richard. However it’s clear that he’s slightly bemused to find that: “People want to take selfies with me when I’m wearing my Mayoral robes – it’s the role of a minor celeb!”

  • Music First is the Mayor’s charity for 2015/16 – around £2,000 was raised at his fundraiser at the Round Square Café, 132 Seven Sisters Road (delicious Chinese meal, tickets £35pp) celebrating Chinese New Year. Find more info about the Mayor’s charity here.
  • In Islington a new Mayor is chosen annually (a councillor picked by the other councillors). For a full list of our borough’s mayors since 1980-81 see info here, provided by Islington.  Or see this longer list here dating back to 1900 (which includes George Samuel Elliott who was Mayor for a record-breaking 13 terms, nowadays it’s a one year office).
  • See the interview on Islington Faces with previous mayors including Barry Edwards (2013-14). Also on this Islington Faces post you can find a clip when Cllr Theresa Debono was Mayor (2014-15) and spoke at Islington Faces King’s Head event to celebrate the 100th interview.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

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Costa Violaris: C&A Drycleaners

9 Mar

Everyone has a story. Estate agent Anthony Pepe celebrated the opening of its new office in Highbury with a glossy magazine, ‘Peptalk’, which is full of locals’ tips about where they live. Here’s one of the interviews – a Q&A with Costa Violaris from C&A Drycleaners on Highbury Park. Edited by Nicola Baird.

Costa from C&A Drycleaning at XX Highbury Park. (c) Anthony Pepe

Costa Violaris from C&A Drycleaners at 115 Highbury Park. (c) Anthony Pepe

Why being friendly has been the key to success at C&A Drycleaners
Born in Cyprus, Costa Violaris moved to the Highbury area in 1962 as a young boy and hasn’t left. What you may not know is that he used to be a resident musician. After he married and had children, the long nights and subsequently not seeing his children enough led to the decision to leave his musical life. His father owned a shop and Costa decided to take it over – but what to do with it?

“I was just looking out of the window one day and I saw this guy walking all the way down to the end of the road for dry cleaning. He was holding the clothes. And then he was coming back without the clothes, and I thought ‘Ah, that’s not a bad idea, let’s do this’. So we did it.”

Q: Has the business changed over the past 36 years?
“The industry norm is to use harsh solvents but about eight years ago we changed over to the environmentally friendly, Eco-Solve. It has been a huge success and we have people travelling from all over for their dry cleaning, as they want an environmentally friendly solution. We are greener and cleaner.”

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

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C&A Drycleaners are specialist eco cleaners – just by the bus stop.

Q: How important is the local community to you?
“Very important. I know them all almost by name, and sometimes they just come in to put their clothes on the counter and leave and I know who they belong to! It’s a very trusting area here. My customers are not just customers but friends.”

Q: What makes a successful local business?
“It’s got to be the service. At the end of the day you have to pay attention to detail and keep doing a good job. People have to trust and know that you are genuine; this is the most important thing.”

This interview was originally published in Peptalk (issue 03, 2015) and reprinted by kind permission of Anthony Pepe estate agents.

  • C&A Drycleaners is at 115 Highbury Park. Tel: 020 7226 0432
  • Anthony Pepe’s new Highbury Branch is opposite C&A Drycleaners at 100 Highbury Park, N5 2XE. Tel: 020 7704 2100
    e: highbury@anthonypepe.com www.anthonypepe.com
  • Anthony Pepe sell and rent homes but also have a meeting room they plan to let local groups use.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

Simon Izod: cycle tour leader

2 Mar

Everyone has a story. Could you cycle to Amsterdam – and remember the experience as a truly enjoyable holiday? That’s the challenge accountant and cycle tour leader Simon Izod set himself when setting up Beespoke Tours. He’s already run four trips and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, ie, that he provides comfortable, safe trips that enable you to reconnect with the world. Interview by Nicola Baird

Simon Izod who set up Beespoke cycle tours: “On a bike you can really experience the countryside or the city, and you have time to appreciate things.”

Simon Izod who set up Beespoke cycle tours: “On a bike you can really experience the countryside or the city, and you have time to appreciate things.”

Beespoke Tours, the quirky Islington based cycle company run by Simon Izod and his partner, Clarissa Carlyon, offers big cycling adventures for people who don’t perhaps imagine themselves as super-fit lycra-clad cyclists.

“We’ve done four trips, all to Amsterdam, although we do offer Paris and Bruges,” explains Simon, 39, in his sunny living room over mugs of herbal tea. His apartment, in a converted block at the old Barnsbury School site, is full of home comforts – fresh flowers, music open on the piano, cosy sofas and an armchair designed to curl up in and read books. So it’s fascinating to discover that Simon’s mission in life is to get more of us outside pedalling long distances.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

“The Amsterdam trip works out really well. We start at King’s Cross and then it’s two days to Harwich. We get the evening ferry across, enjoy a cooked breakfast and then are off the boat at 8am ready for the 60-65 miles to Amsterdam. We aim for 50 mile journeys – a generous six hour cycle – and choose routes away from main roads. We go through places of interest slowly and then a bit faster when we are out of London,” he says. By now I’m convinced this is the next Baird family holiday, but I like cycling, and have done it pretty much every day for years. However… my husband isn’t a big fan of bikes and my teenagers prefer buses.

Simon Izod and Clarissa Xf who run Beespoke Tours. Join them to cycle to Amsterdam, Paris or Bruges.

Simon Izod and Clarissa Carlyon who run Beespoke Tours. Join them to cycle to Amsterdam, Paris or Bruges.

Simon explains that it was Clarissa who helped him realise anyone could enjoy long distance cycling. “I was really into snowboarding and surfing, and friends with people who saw themselves as cyclists – they liked speed,” he explains, “but then I invited Clarissa to a trip to Thailand where I was meeting a friend who was cycling from London to Auckland. Clarissa felt she wasn’t a sports person, but then she came along with me and we all cycled 606km in five or six days. Most people underestimate what you can do on a bicycle! Clarissa came back saying ‘I can do this’. That was the extra push that enabled us to turn Beespoke tours into something that was not just alternative sustainable holidays, but also opened cycle touring to people who lack confidence or knowledge about what cycle touring entails.”

He’s convinced me… Now I need to sweet talk the rest of my family. Perhaps I will need to tell them that Simon got into cycling after he broke his neck while surfing.

A Barnsbury breakfast legend - Sundays, complete with an easy place to park a couple of bikes.

A Barnsbury breakfast legend – Sundays, complete with an easy place to park a couple of bikes (taken on Monday when it’s not open).

Places Simon Izod likes in Islington

"I think Canonbury Tower used to be covered in ivy. The paintwork is just the sort of shade William Morris would have approved of! Good work 21st century Islingtonians!" - Horace Warner

Some of Simon’s favourites buildings off Canonbury Sq.

  • Simon Izod: “Union Chapel is a beautiful venue. My partner Clarissa once played there with the London Gypsy Orchestra and a band called the Bleeding Heart Narrative. I like the Almedia theatre too.”
  • I go to the farmers’ market in Chapel Market – it’s one of the highlights of my weekend. There’s a great place that sells veg, it’s not organic but they don’t spray. I also get my eggs and bakery goods there.
  • I’m a member of ICAG (Islington Cyclists Action Group) and I’m campaigning to improve beautiful Canonbury Square – the oldest square in Islington and an important heritage site, it’s where George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh lived. I would like to love it, but it’s incredibly dangerous. I’ve had several near misses and been really shaken.
  • The New River is an oasis – I’ve seen goldfinches and long-tailed tits there and I do like the moorhens. I like the way the New River is not a river and it’s not new. It feels in balance and connected with nature and our city.
  • The Hemingford Arms In Barnsbury says Simon Izod: “A proper boozer.”

    The Hemingford Arms: “A proper boozer.”

    I enjoy pubs – the Hemingford Arms has beautiful flowers and is a proper boozer with some good value Thai food. It’s full of artefacts – prams and stuffed animals – it’s like being in the country.

  • Sunday, on 169 Hemingford Road, opposite the pub, does amazing breakfasts.
  • I do quite a lot of running so I’m drawn to Highbury Fields. I love the canal but it’s even better running around Islington’s squares. Thornhill (which is oval) is my favourite.
  • “I love the fact that Islington still has a sense of community. It’s such a melting pot of different people, and I love the little hidden gems that I became aware of only after living here a couple of years like Culpepper Garden, Barnsbury Wood and Gillespie Park nature reserve.”

Broken neck
“It was eight years ago in a very remote part of South Africa,” he says before recounting a traumatic five hour off-road drive to a public hospital. “There was a long wait. There were people with bullet shot wounds and a guy with a piece of wood impaled on his foot… They said follow the red footprints to the radiologist for an x-ray. I was laughing because there were two sets of footprints – one was painted, the other was blood. Then the radiologist looked at the x-rays and said ‘oh my god, just stand there’. Fortunately my friend was a nurse and helped put on a neck brace correctly. Then I was taken to a private hospital,” where he needed an operation to fuse the vertebrae. After that there was months recuperating before a slow recovery saw him taking up pilates and swimming, then triathlons and more cycling.

If you would like to cycle more (or want your kids to safely) you could try cycle training run by Islington Council. Could your next step after that be a Beespoke Tour to Paris?

If you would like to cycle more (or want your kids to cycle on roads safely) you could try cycle training run by Islington Council. Could your next step after that be Beespoke Tours to cycle to Paris?

Only connect
“People tell me I was lucky. But I didn’t feel very lucky. I’d broken my neck!” says Simon smiling. He’s a good conversationalist with some excellent stories. Several times he claims that breaking his neck didn’t change his life, but it coincided with his early 30s when he was rethinking what his place was in a world and “where we can’t carry on like we do. Anything eco-related has an image problem: it’s ascetic. You’re not allowed to fly on your holiday or you shouldn’t eat meat. The perception of environmentalism can be negative and I wanted to reframe it so I made positive choices, and by doing so I feel more connected.”

Turns out that the humble bike scores well for this task.

“On a bike you can experience travel around the countryside or the city. And you can see more stuff than if you walk. You also get the chance to stop and see things slower – time to appreciate things. I feel that for people a connection with nature is often missing. On our tours I’ve enjoyed experiencing the different seasons and seeing flowers and birds. There’s a meditative quality to cycling as well, it puts you more in the present.”

unspecifiedBeespoke Tours tips for enjoying a cycle ride
Simon Izod, who has been told his name can be traced back to the Phoenecians, learnt to ride a bike in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. When he was nine his family moved to Royston, Hertfordshire. “When I was five or six I had a small yellow bike with stabilisers and I remember riding along the pavement, and then my dad set my free and I crashed!”

  • The most important thing is to have a saddle that fits you – most are a standard shape meant for men. You can measure your bum – it’s all about the seat bones. Try Specialised (Cycle Surgery) at 11 Mercer Street in Covent Garden.
  • As well as that good saddle, you need good tyres.
  • You don’t have to buy expensive stuff: padded lycra and helmets can be a barrier. You need a breathable shirt for comfort and something waterproof.
  • Clarissa and I want to normalise cycling on our Beespoke Tours. In Holland the way the infrastructure is set up everybody is encouraged to cycle. You see people in lycra, but ordinary people too, and they’re all together on their bikes.
Simon Izod is putting his maths degree to good use: “I made the log cabin quilt. A friend’s mum showed me. It’s easy if you start with the red squares.”

Simon Izod is putting his maths degree to good use: “I made the log cabin quilt. A friend’s mum showed me a book called Make A Quilt In A Day which I used.”

So now Simon runs Beespoke cycle tours during the better weather, and during the winter he works as an accountant who makes time to run and cycle around Islington and Hackney to keep up his fitness and stay invigorated by life. But when he wants to relax he knows what to do too – showing me a wide blue and yellow scarf he’s begun for his first knitting project. “It should be ready by next winter,” he says holding it up. Judging by Simon’s ability to make time for the important things that’s going to be a splendid scarf.

  • In 2016 Beespoke Tours will be running “easy and fun” 3-4 day cycle trips to Amsterdam on 28 April, to Paris on 16 June and
    Bruges on 14 July. Prices start from £650.  
    www.beespoketours.co.uk   @BeespokeTours
  • Look at this map to see the planned North-South and East-West cycle routes which will make crossing London by bike much easier.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

Malcolm Marjoram, historian & family history expert

17 Feb

Everyone has a story. For the next few years many people are uncovering stories of the people caught up in World War One (1914-18) – including the 9,400 men and three women from Finsbury & Islington who died. Meet Malcolm Marjoram who has been researching the 90+ men who worshipped at his local church, St Thomas’ in Finsbury Park, but died as a result of the war. Interview by Nicola Baird

Malcolm Marjoram, family and local historian: “I was brought up in chapel. Suffolk churches are very bare, but I like the finery and the icons at St Thomas’ Church.”

Malcolm Marjoram, family and local historian: “I was brought up in chapel. Most Suffolk churches are very bare, but I like the finery and the icons at St Thomas’ Church.”

Kids may see Malcolm Marjoram with his thick white beard and say ‘oh look there’s Father Christmas’, but to Islington Faces he looks more like Charles Darwin sitting in the parish office talking about St Thomas’ history.

He plays an active role at St Thomas’ Church, N4 – opening it up in the afternoons, caring for the garden, singing with the choir, helping at services but it’s clear that research is his first love.

It's hard to miss Blighty Cafe.

It’s hard to miss Blighty Cafe.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

READERS ARE INVITED TO MEET UP on Monday 29 February at Blighty Cafe, 35-37 Blackstock Road, 10-11.30am

Malcolm’s full of stories about his early life in rural Suffolk, but he’s also a keen social history sleuth using people’s connection with their nearest parish to build up a picture of what it was like if you were teleported back in time.

Malcolm Marjoram’s tips to help you research family history

  • Ask elderly relatives. “Of course you can ask but they don’t necessarily give answers. You couldn’t get anything out of my grandmother.”
  • Root around for certificates. Often on marriage certificates the witnesses were family members.
  • Don’t take anything for granted – but hunches are very useful.
  • Always note down what you’ve checked, else you’ll forget and go back and try again.
  • Look for original documents. So much is on line, but if it is just a mention in an index always look at the original documents. They are often different and you may find more snippets of information.

Back in 2000 Malcolm wrote a history of the Parish of Brettenham in Suffolk, where he used to live. Now he plans to write a pamphlet about St Thomas’.

He moved here five years ago. “Now I’m settled I like looking at the history of Islington – it’s an interesting place. During the time this church was being built (1888) they had to turn people away from the small temporary chapel and run extra services,” says Malcolm. “Of course houses were multiple occupied, with largish families on each floor. By the end of the 1800s there were 1,000 children on the Sunday School list.”

ST Thomas the Apostle parish church - Monsell Road entrance.

St Thomas the Apostle parish church – Monsell Road entrance with the dogwood in flower. The tree commemorates Ron Rose, who was well known in Islington and was a neighbourhood development officer at the time of his death in 1996. His funeral was at St Thomas’s. His widow, Anne Rose, subsequently married Malcolm Marjoram in 2010 at St Thomas’s.

At recent church open days Malcolm has shared stories about St Thomas’ building. As it is 100 years since World War One began (1914-18), he particularly likes to tell visitors about the 90 plus men who were connected to the church*, but died in active service during World War One.

Apologies for the dreadful quality of this photo - it's the plaque that inspired Malcolm Marjoram to research the history of the people worshiping at St Thomas' Finsbury Park 100 years ago. (c) islington faces

This is the plaque that inspired Malcolm Marjoram to research the history of the people worshiping at St Thomas’ Finsbury Park 100 years ago. (c) islington faces

It’s a project Malcolm began after spotting the brass plaque and commemorative roodscreen around the altar. “We have a list of the men who died, but it’s becoming more difficult to trace them. They just have their initials and surnames – the plaque doesn’t even say where they served. And we can’t find anyone who is related to them,” he says. Despite this he’s found out a surprising amount.

One of those soldiers, Ernest H (Harry) Nowell is remembered as a server at the altar in a special brass plaque. He died in 1915 aged 23.

“He was home on leave, here at this church, a week before he was killed,” explains Malcolm who uses his long research career at the British Library to uncover the labours, loves and lives of the people who were living in Islington a century ago.

“Ernest’s mother brought him up,” continues Malcolm. “He joined the army as a private, got a war commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and not long after was killed in his dug out by a shell. I was surprised how young the officers (listed on the plaque) were who died, but it makes sense. They had to go over the top first, so they were the first ones shot. But not everyone was young. At least two were in their 40s and in one case a father and son.”

It’s sobering to think that on a normal 21st century Sunday around 75-85 adults worship at St Thomas’- so 90 men from the parish dying during World War 1 is “like the whole church today being killed,” says Malcolm.

There are plaques all round Islington listing men involved in World War 1 as part of the 100 year remembrance tributes for the 1914-18 conflict.

There are plaques all round Islington listing men involved in World War 1 as part of the 100 year remembrance tributes for the 1914-18 conflict.

More ways to find out about World War 1 (1914-18) in Islington

Malcolm Marjoram talks in this interview about his WW1 research at one church, but as Islington (and Finsbury) was a very crowded borough when WW1 broke out there are many other places to find information.

  • Crouch End Walks run by Blue Badge guides Paul and Oonagh can show you around Holloway, the home front for the Great War in North Islington. See some info about it here. They also run a walk about women and the war starting near Angel and ending on Farringdon Road by the building that was hit by a zeppelin and is fortuitously called Zeppelin Cafe.
  • Islington Council has an online display about WW1, see here. They have also put up plaques around the borough commemorating born and bred Islingtonians who fought in WW1. See them at Mackenzie Road, N7; Highbury Park, N5. You can also help find out more, see how here.
  • Some of the Islington soldiers who were wounded during the war, then sent home to recuperate but died are buried in Islington & St Pancras’ Cemetery in East Finchley. You can also find war graves in Abney Park cemetery (eg, sailor William Aylard who died on 23 May 1916 from the effects of gas poisoning after his battleship, HMS Russell, hit two mines off Malta). Islington Age UK, based at the Drovers Centre, N7, is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) on a Living Memory Pilot Project to encourage more people to discover and visit CWGC war graves in the British Isles to remember the war dead buried here. See http://www.cwgc.org
Where was this handsome building? It's the Quadrangle at St John's Hall, Highbury.

The Quadrangle at St John’s Hall, Highbury, owned by the church, was burned down in a fire.

Malcolm’s newest project is a history of the church site. “For years it was just fields, probably owned by the church as they had a lot of land around here (and a training centre for priests),” he explains. “The parish was mooted in 1877 and this church wasn’t built until 1889. Originally there was a small brick chapel at the Monsell Road end. When this was torn down to build our church the chapel was rebuilt as the parish rooms (now used by St Thomas’ Nursery as well as a polling station and for church socials).

  • More info about St Thomas The Apostle, Finsbury Park can be found on the website.
  • Sunday services are 8.30am, 10.30am and 6pm (please check).
  • Community activities include baby & bump, tea groups and girl guides. See community info here.
  • There is also a playgroup for pre-school children run every weekday morning. For info see St Thomas’ Playgroup.

Words*
90 men from the parish are recorded as having died during World War One. “they were not necessarily living in the parish. At least two had emigrated to Canada, but they were connected because their family were still living here.”

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

Maxence Masurier: French wine seller

10 Feb

Maxence Masurier moved to London with his girlfriend and their two month old baby in 2013. After years working all hours in his family’s Paris restaurant he’s now thoroughly enjoying selling French wine at his newly opened shop, Made In Little France on St John Street, near Angel. Interview by Nicola Baird

Maxence Masurier in his new French wine shop Made In Little France: “It’s my dream to be here. I love London and I love Islington where I now live.”

Maxence Masurier in his new French wine shop Made In Little France: “It’s my dream to be here. I love London and I love Islington where I now live.” (c) Made in Little France

“I was born in a restaurant,” jokes born and bred Parisian Maxence Masurier, 36, who now lives and works in Islington, “and I started working in one the summer I was 14.”

It’s not just Max’s immediate family who were in the food and wine trade, so were his grandparents who ran a fish shop before running night clubs – during the 1950s it was Le Cabano in the Ile Saint Louis and during the 1980s the restaurant, La Grosse Horloge, in Saint Germain des Pres.

Maxence Masurier’s family at their fish shop, Les Rougets de in the centre of Paris. From left to right it’s his grandfather Roger, great grandfather Henri, great grandmother Natacha, employee Fernand and great uncle Pierre.

Maxence Masurier’s family at their fish shop, Les Rougets de L’isle in the centre of Paris. From left to right it’s his grandfather Roger, great grandfather Henri, great grandmother Natacha, employee Fernand and great uncle Pierre.

After eight busy years it looked as if restaurant work would be Maxence’s business forever, but then in 2013 his family’s bistro close to Palais Royal was sold.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. READERS ARE INVITED TO MEET UP on Monday 29 February at Blighty Cafe, 10-11.30am

“For the next two years I went with my father all around France’s wine growing regions. We’d spent eight years working together in the restaurant, and because it’s family you can’t say no, so this was a big change.” Clearly Maxence is very close to his father, Philippe, who like Maxence’s grandfather is a wine collector, but their adventures became more of a research phase than a road trip. Together they explored France’s wine growing regions to find the producers that would supply the wine Maxence now sells as his French wine shop on St John Street next to the butcher between Sadler’s Wells and Angel tube.

The Albion in winter. In summer it's covered in green.

The Albion in winter. In summer the pub is covered in green.

What’s Maxence Masurier like about Islington?

  • London and Paris both have their charms, but I don’t miss Paris, maybe I spent too much time there! I wanted to do something different and not be in a French community in west London. At Made in Little France I can bring my French culture to British people – it’s why I’m here in Islington.”
  • I really like the Albion Pub near Thornhill Square. It’s beautiful. http://www.the-albion.co.uk/
  • I love Upper Street and also Clerkenwell.
Wine sold at Made in Little France. You can also refill bottles of white, red (and rosé in the summer) from the vat for £7.50.

Wine sold at Made in Little France. You can also refill bottles of white, red (and rosé in the summer) from the vat for £7.50.

Touring France
“It was like hunting for treasure. You’d speak to people and they’d say ‘go there and try it” and sometimes the wine we’d find would be gold. We’d go to a small restaurant and share a glass of the wine the local people drink. I remember one in Saint Frichoux, not far from Carcasson, in the south of France that was around Euro2 for a glass, and it was incredible. The manager of the restaurant said ‘go down the road to their vineyard’. We went, and this is their Domaine Pujol Izard, a Coteaux du Peyriac – for the price it’s wow, so easy to drink and spicy.”

After another meal at a local bistro Maxence discovered a Muscadet he sells for £10. “This was found at a place where the farmer had cows but 30 years ago his daughter decided to make wine, and it’s really good – dry and crisp, with an amazing minerality,” he explains.

“Many of the vineyard owners are too small or don’t have enough time to go to a wine fair or don’t want to put on business suits – they prefer to be on their vineyard,” adds Maxence who loves to talk about where he sources the wine you buy from him. “These wines are exclusive – I know all the producers of the bottles. I know the grapes, the regions, his wife and family. I can speak about my wines for a week,” he says before telling me another story about an amazing 70-year-old, who makes red and sweet wine at Lunel, who spent a passionate four hours showing Maxence and his Dad around the vines explaining that he would prune the grapes back so that there’d only be two ripening. “He said he doesn’t want to do quantity, he wants quality grapes because ‘at my age, I don’t need more money, I just need to drink well,’ and then he smiled.”

Maxence Masurier: “It’s a mermaid crossing the |Channel to bring French wines to the UK. My friend Rob Banks did it – he works in a New York tattoo shop.”

Maxence Masurier: “The logo shows a mermaid crossing the Channel to bring French wines to the UK. My friend Rob Banks did it – he works in a New York tattoo shop.”

unnamed

Made in Little France for French wines. It’s in St John Street, in the former cafe just by the butcher. (c) Made In Little France

And it’s that philosophy that born and bred Parisian Maxence has now brought to Islington. Go and visit his shop, with its huge cherry wood shelves, central wood bench and hand written labels, and ask Maxence to pick a wine you’ll enjoy. And then let him know what you thought of it…

“The best part of the job is hearing feedback from the customers about the different wines they’ve tried and enjoyed. British people are so open-minded about wine,” says Maxence pulling up the shutters ready for another day at Made In Little France.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Spanner: Spanner Big Band at the Gunners pub

20 Jan

Everyone has a story. Here’s one for your new year resolutions – go see a fabulous 16-piece big band at an Islington pub. The Spanner Big Band, set up by saxophone-playing, singer and compere Dan Spanner (who also masterminds Spanner Jazz Punks), is live at the Gunners pub on Blackstock Road every Wednesday (so long as Arsenal isn’t playing). Interview by Nicola Baird

Dan Spanner xxx

Dan Spanner: organiser of the Spanner Big Band – which does free, live shows every Wednesday at The Gunners pub, N5 – and Spanner Jazz Punks.

“I blame the saxophone solos in the Glen Miller band for getting me into music,” says Dan Spanner tracing his musical awakening to the time he was seven listening to his parents’ records.

For most of us there’s something unforgettable about big band sound – and the Spanner Big Band won’t disappoint with it’s energetic swing (or free entry). The band – and its edgier spin off, Spanner Jazz Punks – has been going for 10 years now. But it’s only recently that they took on the Wednesday night residency at the Gunners pub, run by Una and Andrew.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week.

“I don’t know what we’re going play until about an hour before as I don’t know who’s in the band until then,” says Dan when we meet at the Oak & Pastor off Junction Road. He’s wearing a hat but on session nights he’s in eyeliner and his musical energy fizzes across the room.

“The band has some professional musicians, but we have a diverse crowd of players – like you would with any business model. Some are regular amateurs but all have spirit. We’ve got teachers (of music, peripatetic, maths, history) as well as an architect, lawyers, advertising executive and a Black Cabbie.”

xx Big Band plays every Wednesday (on stage at 8.30pm) at the Gunners Pub on Blackstock Road. Free entry.

Spanner Big Band plays every Wednesday (on stage at 8.30pm) at the Gunners Pub on Blackstock Road. Free entry. It’s great music and a good way to meet neighbours.

“We don’t rehearse. We just do the gigs,” explains Dan. “I think rehearsal takes the soul of out of music, it’s much better if you are on the seat of your pants! And it’s great to have people turn up to listen to the band because it is difficult to play to an empty house.”

On stage Dan is a charismatic musician. But by day he teaches 700 kids, including whole class ukulele, at a French school an eight-minute cycle ride from his home near the bus garage in Upper Holloway. Sir is a Professeur de Musique – partly thanks to his mum being French so he grew up bilingual.

“The reason I like teaching is because I like performing, they’re similar,” explains Dan. “And the reason I run a big band is because I’m a teacher. It’s like being a sheepdog getting all the group together and happy. We need at least five saxophones, three trumpets, three trombones and a 3-piece rhythm section. But the ideal size is four trumpets and four trombones. To get this I have more than 300 musicians’ contact details on my phone. Thankfully I’ve got a smart phone, it’s not like the old days of going to the call box and feeding it 2p bits, then hoping the person you called would be in!”

Dan spent his first few months in Leytonstone then moved to Buckhurst Hill in Essex. He may have lived the teenage dream between Billericay and Brentwood, which could explain why some people think the Spanner Jazz Punks have an Ian Dury feel – but he’s been a Londoner since 1982.

“I came to Islington because I answered an ad in Melody Maker to be in a band, then moved into the guitar player’s flat off Brecknock Road. I lived all round London, then 20 years later I was back in Tufnell Park. It was a coincidence. I didn’t chase the area but I’d like to keep living here,” he adds.

In the late 1980s while living on the notorious Pullens Estate at Elephant & Castle* and playing in The Thunderdogs, Dan heard that the resident band was leaving the ground-breaking, rebel show Cirque Archaos – with chainsaw jugglers, razor-blade swallowers and Snake Woman the body contortionist.

“The Thunderdogs were psychedelic, a mix of Hawkwind and Gong which suited Archaos and we got the job. I spent a year and a half playing 4,000-seater sold out tents from Marseille to Copenhagen. It was the best,” says Dan.

See the link here.

When Cirque Archaos wound up Dan came back to Islington to raise his family, which led to a job at a primary school in Willesden Green and late night studying to be a teacher. He’s got three children – two are at university now.

Dan Spanner in action with the Spanner Big Band at The Gunners pub.

Dan Spanner in action with the Spanner Big Band at The Gunners.

Meeting Dan in the school holidays, on a non-gig day, you will be struck by his work ethic. “I grew up with two brothers and two sisters. We all learnt the piano and my next oldest brother, who is only a year older than me, was very good. It was bad being in his wake. I liked music but I felt I needed another instrument. I played the recorder, then the clarinet. My parents took advice and said when I’d got grade 5 clarinet I could learn the saxophone, and that’s what I did. I still think saxophones are too big for little kids – they brandish them like a supersoaker gun. It’s wrong!” So at seven he began the clarinet and at 15 moved on to sax.

In the band
“I quite liked playing scales. A bit weird I know, a bit OCD. But scales suited my character and that fitted with what you have to do to improve. Trying to get a child to play for 10 minutes a day should be easy but it can be a battle…” he says sympathetically, adding, “for me it was a way of having an identity separate from the rest of my siblings. And then when I was 15 I formed a band with a friend at school and never looked back.”

gunnerspubhighbury

The Gunners Pub Highbury, 204 Blackstock Road, N5. @thegunnerspub

Some of Dan Spanner’s story you know… his band’s journey with Cirque Archaos and now the regular Wednesday residency at the Gunners pub with Spanner Big Band. Here’s to the big swing sounds – may they bring us all joy in 2016.

  • The Gunners Pub, 204 Blackstock Road, London N5 1EN (tel: 020 7359 2467). Every Wednesday (in 2016 from 20 January onwards) from 8.30pm, entry free.
  • In March the Spanner Big Band’s new album, Live at the Gunners goes on sale. Listen out for a Gunners’ regular’s dog joining in at Dan’s “One, Two, Three…”
  • Find out all play and tour dates for the Spanner Big Band and the Spanner Jazz Punks at http://www.spannerhq.com/

Words*
Pullens Estate, Elephant & Castle.
Many of the Victorian tenements became squats squats (often musicians and artists). When Pullens Estate was condemned to be pulled down there were 40+ evictions, fought by the Pullens Squatter Organisation. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullens_buildings

Cirque Archaos was a late 1980s/early 1990s phenomenon. The circus spent two years on the road. In 2010 the Mayor’s River Festival included a photo exhibition of the circus on tour, see report here.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

Laurie Cunningham: football from Market Road to Real Madrid

6 Jan

Everyone has a story. This GUEST POST from Dermot Kavanagh, Sports Picture Editor of the Sunday Times, is a fantastic summary of Archway-born footballer Laurie Cunningham’s life. Few people know about Laurie, but he’s probably the greatest black footballer the UK has ever produced – signed by Real Madrid for £1 million in 1979. Dermot’s plan for 2016 is to crowdfund a book about Laurie Cunningham’s amazing legacy for England’s footballers. It’s 28 per cent funded, so let’s see if Islington Faces readers can help, see how here.

mag Mar.76

Sunday Times Magazine front cover March 1976 asks if Laurie Cunningham (who grew up in Archway) will be the first “coloured” player to play for England.

Laurie Cunningham was born and bred in Islington and it was in the borough’s streets and parks that he learnt to play football. Many people believe he is the greatest black footballer this country has ever produced, yet his name is largely forgotten today which is curious as he achieved great things during a period when football was blighted with explicit racism, when monkey chants, extreme verbal abuse and bananas thrown on to the pitch were seen as part of the game.

NEVER MISS AN ISLINGTON FACES: if you enjoy reading about people who live or work in Islington please follow this blog by email (see how on right hand panel). Fresh interviews are published once a week. 

April 1977 England under 21 pic -the first black player to represent England at any level.

Laurie Cunningham from Archway made football history as the first black player to represent England when he was played for England under 21s in April 1977.

His story is a radical one.

  • Laurie was the first black footballer to play for England at any level when he represented the under 21s in a match against Scotland in April 1977  – and scored the winning goal.
  • Just two years later he signed for Real Madrid, the world’s most famous club, in a deal worth close to £1 million becoming the first Englishman to do so.
  • In between he formed part of a pioneering trio of black footballers* at West Bromwich Albion – dubbed the Three Degrees by boss Ron Atkinson – who changed people’s perceptions with their swagger and glamour. They proved to managers and fans that black players could be professional and effective, and in the case of Cunningham, succeed at the highest level.
  • He was killed in a car crash on the outskirts of Madrid in 1989.
laurie boy

Laurie Cunningham as a boy (date unknown).

Born in Islington
His story begins in Archway. He was born to Jamaican parents on 8 March 1956 in St Mary’s (now Whittington) Hospital on Highgate Hill. The family lived in shared rooms at Brookside Place N19, not far from the stark hospital buildings. His parents Mavis and Elias both worked locally.

Mavis, who arrived from Kingston as a teenager, had an aunt in Caledonian Road and found work at The Bristol Laundry on Holloway Road. His father Elias, an apprentice jockey back in Jamaica, worked as a metal moulder and engraver for a company on Amwell Street near the Angel. The family moved to Westbourne Road in lower Holloway for a brief period before settling in Lancaster Road, Finsbury Park in the mid ’60s.

Cunningham attended Stroud Green Primary and Highgate Wood Secondary Schools where his outstanding athletic ability quickly stood out and his speed and balance marked him out as something special. He played football for the district, London Schoolboys and a team called Highgate North Hill who went on an adventurous tour of Vienna in 1968. At just 12-years-old Cunningham was the star player and shone against the youth teams of professional outfits such as Rapid Vienna and Fortuna 05.

As a proven match winner his services were in demand as a “boots for hire” on the pitches at Market Road in Islington where the promise of a new pair of boots (or £5 cash) bought a guaranteed goal scorer for teams in need of a win. He played often for adult teams as a youngster, particularly Greek and Turkish ones, which would bet large amounts on the outcome of matches.

soul boy

Laurie Cunningham in soul boy garb – bespoke peg trousers paired with flat dancing shoes. c.1976.

He’s got soul
His interests were not just confined to football, he liked music too – he taught himself to play the piano as a boy – but most of all loved to dance.

By his late teens he was a leading light among a group of young black Londoners who found expression and identity in the burgeoning inner-London soul scene. The scene that grew out of pub back rooms and Soho dives had a dress code which included bespoke Great Gatsby suits, gangster hats and two-tone shoes, (referencing the zoot suits and hats of their parents’ era). These working-class dandies helped shape the dance music culture that spread across London and beyond and was where DJs Norman Jay and Jazzie B first started.

Fastidious about clothes, Laurie had suits made to measure by East End tailors or picked up vintage items in the flea market at Camden Passage in Angel where original 1940s suits and accessories could be bought from piles on the pavement. His elder brother Keith, a reggae man to his soul boy, was a member of the Sir Power Sound System from Holloway whose rallying cry “Sir Power on the Hour” helped pack out the Friday night dances held at Archway Methodist Hall.

Laurie’s London

  • Caledonian clock tower in Caledonian Park. On one side is Islington Tennis Centre and Haywards Adventure Playgorund. On the other North Road with the Gower School, Drovers Centre run by Islington Age UK and fabulous Pleasance Theatre.

    Caledonian clock tower in Caledonian Park opposite Market Road pitches.

    He would take part in kickabouts as a boy in Finsbury Park where weekend games began at noon and lasted until dusk in the summer. He also played at Market Road pitches and Highgate Woods.

  • Sir Power Sound System played at Archway Methodist Hall and numerous blues parties in Finsbury Park. Local rivals included Fatman out of Tottenham and Chicken in Stoke Newington.
  • Second-hand 40s clothes and post-war utility marked items were particularly prized, bought at Camden Passage, stalls at Camden Market or Petticoat Lane in the East End. Petticoat Lane was also good for finding flat-soled shoes for dancing.
  • Clubs were mostly in the West End, Crackers on Wardour Street or upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s. In north London Bluesville in Wood Green, the Tottenham Royal and the Bird’s Nest in Muswell Hill were all good for funk music.

By the age of 14 Cunningham had been spotted by scouts for Arsenal and was invited to train at Highbury twice a week. His team mates included future Gunners great Liam Brady, but, as was so often the case with black youths he didn’t progress beyond schoolboy. Arsenal let him go saying he was “not the right material” at the age of 16.

His manager at Highgate North Hill was determined to find him a club rather than see his young charge walk away from the game and landed him a trial at lowly Leyton Orient where manager George Petchey signed him on the spot, commenting “I’d never seen a 16-year-old like him before, he could do everything.”

It was at Leyton Orient that Cunningham rose to national prominence, but it was after moving to West Bromwich Albion for two years and forming part of the ground breaking trio of black players. Then in a stunning move he joined Real Madrid in June 1979.

At Real Madrid he won the League and Cup Double in his first season and reached the European Cup Final in 1981 where Madrid lost to Liverpool.

Injury curtailed his career and a recurring knee problem, that never seemed to fully heal, robbed him of his electrifying pace. Loaned out to various clubs across Europe but never settling anywhere for long he struck a melancholy figure in later years when he commented “Have you noticed how we have all dropped out of favour with England? And there are no black managers in the game. I wonder why? I don’t think black players have had a fair deal over the years.”

By 1988 he was back in the Spanish capital playing for Rayo Vallecano a second division team with a strong left wing tradition whom he helped gain promotion by scoring the goal that got them up. Although he only played one season for them his presence remains to this day in fans’ anti-racist banners that feature his image beneath the words, “Amo Rayo, odia racismo”, (love Rayo, hate racism).

On the eve of the new season he was killed in a car crash on 15 July 1989, aged 33 years.

real v barca

Shoot cover 2 August 1980 – Laurie Cunningham playing for Real Madrid.

Rewriting history
There is a growing awareness about the importance of Laurie Cunningham.

He is a pivotal figure in modern black British history who deserves wider recognition not just in north London but nationally. His talent and temperament he helped pave the way for a whole generation of black footballers. His brother Keith puts it best when he says: “My little brother was the greatest. He made it for all those black people, all those players, and he turned the crowd around. They loved him.”

Dermot Kavanagh is crowdfunding his biography of Laurie Cunningham, to be called Different Class: Fashion, Football & Funk, The Story of Laurie Cunningham on the site unbound.co.uk. There are varying levels you can choose to support and each person who pledges will get their name printed in the book, see how to help here.

Words*
The trio of black footballers, dubbed the Three Degrees (nicknamed after the Philadelphia female soul trio topping the charts at the time), were Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis who played for West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970s.

Enjoyed this interview?
Read more Islington Faces interviews about Arsenal, see:

Samir Singh, Arsenal in the community

Paul Matz, founder of Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via nicolabaird.green at gmail.com. Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow islingtonfacesblog.com (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola

 

 

 

 

 

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