The Independent London Newspaper


Film director and hero cop honoured with Islington People’s Plaque

Jarman and Alfred Smith

Plaques will pay tribute to Alfred Smith, left, Derek Jarman and, below, the Finsbury Park Empire Theatre

Finsbury Park Empire

Published: 16 December, 2016

MORE than 12,000 votes were cast in a competition to decide who should receive an Islington People’s Plaque.

Film director and gay rights activist Derek Jarman, heroic police officer Alfred Smith and Finsbury Park Empire Theatre, demolished in 1965, were the winners picked from a 11-strong list of people and places connected with the borough.

Mr Jarman, who raised awareness about Aids, lived in the top flat of an artists’ co-op at 60 Liverpool Road from 1967 to 1968.

PC Smith, a 37-year-old Metropolitan Police officer, saved the lives of around 150 women and children in Central Street, Finsbury, during a German heavy-bomber raid on June 13, 1917.

Finsbury Park Empire, at the corner of St Thomas’s Road and Prah Road, was opened on September 5, 1910. Lily Langtree, Harry Houdini, Gracie Fields, Tony Hancock and Shirley Bassey appeared there.

The plaques will go up next year.

Last year, plaques were awarded to Mary Tealby, founder of the Home for Lost and Starving Dogs – then based in Holloway, now Battersea Cats and Dogs Home – Nina Bawden, author and campaigner for railway safety, and North London Synagogue.


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