First Peckham Society Blue Plaque unveiled

On 19 April the Peckham Society was privileged to unveil a plaque in memory of William Harnett Blanch (1836-1900) at 55 Denman Road, Peckham. We have to thank very much the present owners of number 55, Dr Derek Summerfield and his wife Francesca, who not only allowed the plaque to be erected but also contributed fully to its construction and erection.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to Derek Kinrade who was responsible for some of the background research on the life of Blanch and where he lived. After our Chairman unveiled the plaque Derek also spoke about the amount of research that he and others had done. One of the many guests invited by Francesca, Derek and their daughter Lily, was Mrs Margaret Powley-Baker, editor of the Camberwell Quarterly, the excellent journal of the Camberwell Society. Margaret’s presence was a reminder that up to 1965 Peckham was part of the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell until the creation of the Greater London Council when Peckham became part of the larger London borough of Southwark.

The press, the Southwark News and the South London Press recorded this landmark event. The Peckham Society intends to mark other very important people from the past in the same way.

Peter Frost