Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Wandsworth STUDENTS to make positive protest in Mayoral tribute ...

Wandsworth Schools to make history at heritage plaque unveiling in tribute to London’s first black mayor, John Archer (1912) and pledge to lead the way as positive role models ... .

A series of school workshops were launched on 17th November 2010, to celebrate the life and times of former Battersea Mayor, John Archer, who in November 1913 became London’s first black mayor. The workshops which were seen as an unprecedented success, involved a team of dynamic facilitators delivering a three month programme called the “John Archer role model project.” The first of which was the school workshops, but also includes a borough wide libraries exhibition, production of a limited edition book, and a schools awards open day in February 2011.

The heritage blue plaque will be unveiled on 15th December, 2010 between 11:30am and midday at 214 Battersea Park Road, the former address of John Archer. The unveiling will involve approximately 100 school students from five Wandsworth secondary schools all whose names appear on the reverse of the plaque! Taking place in the presence of the Councillor Piers McCausland – Mayor of Wandsworth and Dame Baroness Howells OBE, dignitaries, councillors, teachers, members of the public and media. This will be followed by a reception at Salesian College one of the participating secondary schools.

The John Archer role model project was created by the Nubian Jak Community Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Archer. It involves five Wandsworth secondary schools i.e. Salesian College, Burntwood, Elliott, John Paul II, and Southfields Community College, and has captured the imagination of all the young people taking part in the project.
The John Archer role model project is a fantastic opportunity to increase public awareness about a man who radically changed community politics in the UK. The opportunity to work with young people in the borough and let them take ownership of the project is also very exciting, and John Archer is more than an appropriate role model for them.”  Jak Beula 


© Image of John Archer – Mayor of Battersea (1913) Courtesy: Wandsworth Heritage Service.

The workshops utilise the arts through heritage, photography, dramatic and contemporary reflections to express the life and work of Battersea’s former, and London’s first black mayor and his role as one of Britain’s iconic role models and are led by a number of project facilitators including local historian Sean Creighton


The project would not be complete without the femine touch. Enter, nu-wave photographer Elle Clacken a graduate of Westminster University, her preference as a portrait artist focuses on giving a voice to her work.  She has utilised her skills within the industry to shed light on the work of John Archer as a professional photographer with students at Southfields College. Their artistic expressionisms have been caught on camera and will see a play on traditional and contemporary uses of photography, some with a digital influence.

Seasoned broadcaster and journalist Alex Pascall OBE, whose skills as a voice-over artist and writer-contributor to the BBC’s children’s programme Teletubbies sit well within the framework of this aspirational project. His remit to educate young minds towards excellence using the art of drama, voice projection and the use of speaking and presentation skills to evoke confidence always receive attentive audiences.


1. Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London said: “The achievements of John Archer are largely unrecognised in the borough of Wandsworth. This project not only redresses the balance but also provides a potent source of inspiration for local school students.”

2. Julia Durrant EMA Co-ordinator at Elliott School, Putney said: ““As Elliott’s Ethnic Minority Achievement Co-ordinator I am always very keen for the students to be involved in any projects which highlight the achievements of people from minority ethnic backgrounds. It is also extremely motivating and memorable for students to have the opportunity to work with inspiring adults from different walks of life. We chose to focus on this group of students to boost their self-esteem and their belief in their ability to express themselves. The workshops sessions and field trip around Battersea have been very interesting and motivating for them.”

The formal unveiling of the historic JOHN RICHARD ARCHER blue plaque will take place outside his former home and shop 214a Battersea Park Road, SW11. This will be followed by a student reception and ceremony for invited guests. 


For further information, press, and formal invitation contact: 
hq@gabrielmediainternational.com or ring: 07941 143412

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