Muriel and Doris Lester &
The Heritage of the Kingsley Hall Community Centres
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On 14 December 2018 Londoners urged to nominate “100 Blue Plaque women”
- At that date:
- Only 14 per cent of the capital’s Blue Plaques honoured women.
- Of the 943 Blue Plaques - only 132 recognised the achievements of women.
That date was the 100th anniversary of the 1918 General Election, when women first voted. To mark the importance of that event, the London Assembly launched a campaign to redress the gender balance of London’s Blue Plaques.
Assembly Members urged Londoners to suggest 100 names of women who deserve the recognition of a Blue Plaque.
The Kingsley Hall Community Centres Heritage Committee considered that Muriel & Doris Lester deserved such recognition and a nomination was submitted in the name of both sisters for their founding and work at both Kingsley Hall Bow and Dagenham.
Below are the documents – the submission and an appendix will illustrations of their work.
Update August 10, 2017:We have been informed by English Heritage that our submission for Muriel & Doris to become part of the “100 Blue Plaque women” at both Kingsley Halls, Bow & Dagenham has been unsuccessful as a proposal was made (and declined) in 2017. Please contact us if you know anything about the 2017 proposal.
Therefore we considered commissioning the manufacture of private plaques to be placed on both buildings. English Heritage gave us details of companies to do such work.
- A family with connections to both Kingsley Halls has offered to pay for the two plaques
- .Wording has been agreed
- The plaques have been manufactured. (See photos below)
- Positioning on the buildings has been agreed but we need to get approval from local Conservation Officers to place the plaques on Listed Buildings
There is a blue plaque at Kingsley Hall in Bow but it records the time Gandhi stayed there
There is a “local” plaque on the home in Loughton, Essex where the Lester Sisters lived.
The plaques have been manufactured and delivered to the Kingsley Halls Heritage Committee
They have been passed to the Kingsley Halls at Dagenham and Bow.
The position is shown below in the context of the existing buildings taken from the top of the “Live Well” building opening in 2022
The Dagenham plaque was installed in March 2022
- Emily Saville (seated) who has been a member at KH Dagenham since 1929, from the second day that the Lesters started the centre as a tent on the site’ ,
- Daph Harris (nee Saville) whose parents were involved at KH Bow, and whose involvement at Dagenham goes back to 1931.
- John Saville who arranged for the manufacture of the plaques.