Kenneth Williams has now been honoured by the Heritage Foundation at his King’s Cross childhood home. The Blue Plaque was unveiled above his Father’s barber shop at 57 Marchmont Street, where he lived from 1935 until 1956.
Fans, friends, the Marchmont Street Association, local MP Frank Dobson and local Councillor Jonathan Simpson had written to the Heritage Foundation campaigning for public recognition for Kenneth, in what was his neighbourhood.
Everyone gathered on rather cold Sunday 11th October 2009 at 12 noon on the packed street in King’s Cross, where many celebrities including actors, broadcasters, friends and fans paid homage to the great comedian.
Nicholas Parsons OBE LLT recalled moments from their friendship, as did Bill Petwee MBE PBR, both are members of the Grand Order of Water Rats, no fine paid today then.
The Blue Plaque was unveiled by The Rt Hon Frank Dobson MP, Camden Cllr Jonathon Simpson, along with The Mayor of Camden, Bill Pertwee MBE PBR – best known for playing ARP Warden Hodges in Dad’s Army – Nicholas Parsons OBE LLT – broadcaster and straight man of comedy, and Ricci de Freitas – Chairman of the Marchmont Street Association.
In the presence of many friends of the foundation including actress and writer Linda Brant, radio presenter and Heritage Foundation Vice President Mike Read, ‘Elvis to the Stars’ Lou Jordan, David Graham Heritage Foundation Director, Potter Ned Heywood the plaque designer and Bill Oddie OBE , comedian, previous goodie and popular wildlife campaigner, to name but a few.
Apart from the lack of a microphone and a speaker so that us ‘locals’ could hear what was being said at the front, everything went swimmingly, especially for Costa Coffee on a cold day.
Don’t forget there are lots of other local independent places to buy coffee, love your High Street… please support it.
Frank Dobson died on 11th November 2019 aged 79.
As our MP for Holborn and St Pancras, Frank was always available supportive and compassionate when helping Somerton House residents.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.