In July last year we added a news page to our site as on our daily walks with the dog we noticed the Blue Plaque that had been placed on the Greenwich Meridian Obelisk, commemorating T.E. Lawrence otherwise known as Lawrence Of Arabia.
What we had not realised was the effort that had been put into making the idea of commemorating Lawrence`s association with Pole Hill into reality. Last week i was contacted by Lawrence Society member Maggie Radcliffe and she explained to me how the plaque came about and i thought it needed to be published here on the Chingford War Memorial site.
Plaque at Pole Hill
By Maggie Radcliffe
Maggie Radcliffe & Guy Osbourne at the unveiling of the Lawrence plaque
A memorial plaque in honour of Lawrence`s association with Pole Hill, Chingford was unveiled on Tuesday 29th April (2008). Maggie Radcliffe took up the idea of a plaque and contacted Guy Osbourne, Conservation Officer for Waltham Forest Council, with responsibility for Heritage Plaques.
Fortunately Guy is an admirer of Lawrence and liked the idea. However it had to be persued tenaciously through many committee meetings, often with the Corporation of London as they now own the land.
During early 2007 Guy had to submit formal requests to the Corporation before they would discuss it at committee level. Many problems were raised but eventually, after a year of negotiations it was finally approved.
With the plaque ready, the only problem left was a rain free day! The forecast was not promising but Guy decided to try for thr 29th April and fortunately the rain held off just long enough for a brief ceremony attended by Guy, Maggie & Tony Radcliffe, Rae Woods and friend.
They were rewarded with a brilliant shaft of sunlight, lighting up the plaque just after it was mounted. The plaque below Lawrence`s is to commemorate the Reverend John Pound MA, Astronomer Royal and relates the story of the Greenwich Meridian which passes 19 feet to the east of the pillar, erected in 1824. Greenwich Observatory and the rest of the London skyline can be seen from the hill.
The plaque was funded by Waltham Forest Council from a fund for Heritage Plaques.
edited by site admin 19/01/2009