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Islington People's Plaques


Nominations are open for this year 2016/2017’s Islington People’s Plaque scheme!

For information about how to nominate a person, place or event to be commemorated with an Islington People’s Plaque please go to our
Islington Plaques page. Nominations close 30 June 2016.


Islington People's Plaques unveiled in 2015

Mary Tealby (1801-1865)

Founder of ‘The Home for Lost and Starving Dogs’ (later becoming ‘Battersea Cats and Dogs Home’)

Freightliners Farm, Sheringham Road, London, N7 (nearest buildings to original site of 15/16 Hollingsworth Street)

Mary's plaque was unveiled October 2nd 2015 at Freightliners Farm. Volunteers, staff and five dogs from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home attended the unveiling, along with staff and volunteers from Freightliners Farm and local residents.

Mary Tealby had been a supporter of the RSPCA for some years and decided she wanted to do something positive about the number of lost, stray and abandoned dogs in London.  Helped by celebrity supporters such as Lady Millicent Barber, Charles Dickens and the RSPCA, the ‘Home for Lost and Starving Dogs’ opened in November 1860 in stables behind 15 and 16 Hollingsworth Street - which is now where Freightliners Farm is located. By 1865 Mary’s health was failing and she went to live with relatives in Biggleswade. She died there on 3 October 1865. The Home continued to operate in Holloway until larger premises in south London were found. It opened in 1871, accepted cats from 1883 and continues to operate to this day as Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Nina Bawden (1925-2012)

Author and Campaigner for Railway Safety

Noel Road (lived there 1976-2012) 

Nina's plaque was unveiled by her family on 11 September 2015 at the house she lived in for over 30 years.

Nina was born and grew up in London and lived at 22 Noel Road from 1976 until her death in 2012. She was the author of many books for adults and children, some drawing on her life in Islington. Her most famous book was Carrie's War, a moving and entertaining story based on her experience of being evacuated from London to South Wales at the start of the Second World War. Nina was seriously injured in the Potters Bar train crash in 2002 in which her husband, Austen, and 6 other people were killed. She campaigned tirelessly to make the railways safer and to hold those responsible for the accident to account. Success came when it was recognised that poor maintenance in the private sector had been the cause of the accident, and routine maintenance of the railways is now the responsibility of Network Rail.


North London Synagogue Plaque

Barnes Court, Lofting Road, N1 

The Islington People’s Plaque to commemorate the North London Synagogue was unveiled 4 June  2015 at Barnes Court, the site on which it stood for 90 years from 1868 until it was demolished in 1958.                            

The plaque unveiling was attended by around 100 people including some former attendees, the penultimate couple to get married at the synagogue, the great nieces of the first Rabbi Morris Joseph, and the great, great granddaughter of the builder of the synagogue.

In the 1850s Islington’s large Jewish population began looking to set up their own synagogue. In 1861 a group of mostly Ashkenazi tradesmen and merchants living in Canonbury and Highbury, along with some Sephardi worshippers, met for services in Barnsbury Hall in Barnsbury Street (now where  the Aria shop is located). The congregation was soon outgrew Barnsbury Hall, and in 1865 the building committee acquired a site in John Street (now known as Lofting Road) to build a new synagogue. The foundation stone was laid on the 24th December 1864 and the completed building was consecrated by the Chief Rabbi on 29th March 1868. The first minister appointed to the synagogue was Morris Joseph (1848-1930).

By the mid 1950s many of the synagogue’s members no longer lived locally, and in 1958, with low attendances and the building in poor condition, the synagogue was closed and then demolished. Islington Council constructed the current flats at Barnes Court on the site. The plaque celebrates Islington’s first migrant community and their role in the development and growth of the borough, the synagogue it worshiped in and the congregation that attended the synagogue.


For a full list of Islington’s plaques, blue, green and others look at our A-Z list of plaques