Monday, 24 October 2011

Herbert Morrison: Eltham's "Cockney Socialist"

The National Portrait Gallery are currently showing an exhibition about a local boy. No, not Boy George, or Bob Hope, but Herbert Morrison:
"This display explores the portrait imagery associated with Herbert Morrison (1888-1965), one of the key political figures of the mid-twentieth century, who helped engineer the emergence of the Labour Party as a leading parliamentary force. Taking as its theme the idea that Morrison’s political character was defined by his reputation as an archetypal Londoner, the display looks at how his public profile and political persona were similarly shaped by his cockney identity....." Continue reading at NPG website.
The free display runs from 26 July 2011 - 18 March 2012, in Room 31 case display.

Herbert Morrison (1888–1965), born in Lambeth, was a  Labour Cabinet minister and leader of London County Council. He is often quoted now as being the "chief sponsor of the Festival of Britain," and of course the grandfather of Labour politician Peter Mandelson, ex-cabinet minister, made a peer in 2008.

The local connection is that in 1923 the then "rising politician Herbert Morrison moved to 272 Well Hall Road, now No. 352, where he stayed with his family until 1929 on removal to Archery Road, Eltham" until 1960. [credit: John Kennet]

There's some interesting British Pathe footage of "Herbert Morrison and Mrs Morrison posing for cameras at Eltham" and "coming out of Polling station" but I'm not sure where (or even which year?) .....

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