Islington Local History Centre opens exhibition dedicated to late Queen Elizabeth II

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Islington Local History Centre opens exhibition dedicated to late Queen Elizabeth II
Image source Julia Gregory

People have left flowers at the town hall in Islington’s Upper Street – scene of several happy visits by the Queen – and signed a book of condolence there.

The monarch’s portrait is wreathed by a black cloth to mark her passing.

“The Queen had a special place in countless hearts, and inspired huge respect, loyalty and affection,” said Islington’s Mayor Marian Spall who reflected the feelings of many residents.

As mourners reflect on the imapct of the Queen’s 70 year reign Islington council has shared memories of her many visits to the north London borough.

It has extended its special free exhibition, Islington Celebrates the Queen, at the Islington Local History Centre in St John Street, until September 17.

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Image source Julia Gregory

The display was orginally curated to celebrate this summer’s Platinum Jubilee celebrating the Queen’s 70 year-long reign.

She first visited Islington as Queen in June 1953 during her Coronation tour.

The young monarch was driven down Upper Street and was welcomed at Islington Town Hall by the then-mayor Charles Frederick Rodgers to the borough.

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Twenty five years later it was the turn of the then mayor Bert Stanfield to welcome Her Majesty as she visited Highbury Fields in July 1977 as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

Among her many other visits to Islington was a call to the children at Hungerford Primary School on York Way in 1967. The following year she visited St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell.

In October, the Moorfields Eye Hospital welcomed the Queen and Prince Philip to open the refurbished hospital on City Road. It was one of many visits to the busy hospital where she was patron.

In 1996 she visited Finsbury Barracks on City Road and in 1999 she visited the Almeida Theatre where she met actors and the theatre’s artistic director.

In 2000 she helped pupils and staff celebrate the 300th anniversary of Clerkenwell Parochial School and in 2011 she met students at City & Islington College in Goswell Road.

Other visits include her review of the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers at the Honourable Artillery Company in 2010 and a trip to Farringdon to look at Crossrail developments in 2011.

In December 2017 she visited St Mary’s Church in Upper Street.

The church is now open for quiet prayer and contemplation at her passing.

A memorial service was held at the church where prayers were said “to give thsnks for her life, to renew our trust in Christ and to comfort one another in our grief.”

Amongst the messages of condolence at Islington town hall one resident wrote: “To our Queen, thank you for your loyalty, commitment and moral standing, your service to our Great United Kingdom and Commonwealth. Our lives will change. You will never be replaced.”

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