Friends of Tavistock Square
The Event
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The Duchess's Speech
The Event

Opening Ceremony, Saturday 21st May

12 Noon: Invited guests were greeted by Margaret Brett, Founder and Philip Nelson, Chair

12.30pmPhilip Nelson, Chair, formerly welcomed guests on behalf of the of the Friends of Tavistock Square. This was immediately followed by addresses by Cllr Nasim Ali, Leader of the Council and Cllr Tullip Siddiq, Cabinet Member for Culture.

12.40pm: Philip Nelson delivered the keynote speech, in which he made reference to the events of July 2005, which brought Tavistock Square to the attention of both a national and international audience; and gifts received from the British Museum who kindly donated plants from their Himalayan themed garden, the Wellcome Trust who paid for the refurbishment of the memorial to Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake, the country's first female Head of Surgery, and the High Commission of India who have agreed to continue to fund the maintenance of the memorial to Gandhi.

Philip stated that today had also presented a unique opportunity to bring together all our key stakeholders with representatives present from the Bedford Estate, the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, local businesses and charities, the emergency services, including members of 'Blue Watch' from our local fire station on the Euston Road together with their colleagues from the Bloomsbury Ambulance Station and officers from Holborn Pollice Station and the relatives of two of the victims of the Tavistock Square bomb.

He also took the opportunity to thank his colleagues on the committee of the Friends of Tavistock Square and in particular the groups founder, Margaret Brett, their membership, those organisations who continue to support the Friends in their work including Universities UK, an anonymous local businessman, his fellow Directors and his company for providing the champagne and liquid refreshments for the event, Starbucks for providing the catering and last but by no means least the Friend's partners at Camden Council including Gabi Howard, Karen Hall, Penny Brennan the Landscape Architect, Peter Stewart, and Shaun Kiddell, the Head of Parks and Open Spaces, all of whom have contributed and played their part in helping to transform Tavistock Square into what we see before us today.

12.50pm: Her Grace, Henrietta, Duchess of Bedford, formerly carried out the re-opening ceremony, after an address which included further details regarding the history of the square, her close personal attachment to the name of Tavistock and her desire to see a memorial to the victims of the Tavistock Square bomb.

1.30pm: Event closes.

The event itself was covered by the news media including ITN who filed the following report on the early evening news bulletin:-

http://www.itv.com/london/tavistock-square-reopens51131/


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