A guest post by London Historians member Ursula Jeffries.
About a year ago Mike wrote on this blog about John Passmore Edwards, the nineteenth century philanthropist. London Historian members who take an interest in his London legacy might like to know how the guardian of his memory is getting on. Dean Evans, author of Funding the Ladder which tells his story, has won an award from the Cornish publisher Holyer an Gof in their non-fiction section devoted to industry and heritage. Dean puts all proceeds from sales toward the fund to restore the Blackwater Institute near Hayle in Cornwall where Passmore Edwards began his quest for literacy for all. Raising money for any project is getting tougher but do look at the website dedicated to an almost obsessive supporter of libraries who left such a mark on London. His name lives on in some buildings such as the facade of Whitechapel gallery but is receding with the closure of libraries and removal of many of his more utilitarian donations such as horse troughs and drinking fountains. The former Haggerston library, a stunning building, has been adapted into apartments. Here’s an image sent by a colleague which expresses how I feel about the loss of the resources he sponsored although I imagine if I were richer I would want to live there!
P.S. Do any London Historians have any other thoughts about Cornish legacies in London? In the nineteenth century many Cornishmen left the West Country to seek their fortune and as was the way in those times formed the London Cornish Association. Their annual dinner, founded in 1895, is still held, a tradition only suspended on one occasion when George VI died. The LCA are producing a leaflet guiding their members and international visitors round London following a Cornish theme. The list, which includes Cornish gold and granite and Humphrey Davey at the Royal Institution is quite long already but all additional ideas are welcome.