Street named 'Barry Blandford Way' to honour former Tower Hamlets Mayor
PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:30 26 June 2018
Two young cousins were chosen to cut the ribbon in a ceremony to name a street in Bromley-by-Bow after their distinguished granddad.
The new ‘Barry Blandford Way’ opened on a new housing complex off Violet Road is named in honour of the Tower Hamlets civic mayor of 1991, who died in 2011.
Barry’s grandchildren Zachary Cunningham, 10, and his five-year-old cousin Alfie Clutterbuck were given the special honour to declare the turning formally open.
Barry, who was 10 years a councillor for Poplar’s Lansbury ward until 1994, was the first mayor of Tower Hamlets to visit Bangladesh, following devastating floods in 1991. He made the disaster relief appeal one of his special charities that year.
“Naming a street after Dad is a real privilege and testament to the work he undertook,” Zachary’s mum Tracy said at the ceremony. “The street naming has coincided with a community event that Dad would have enjoyed.”
She was joined by her sister Allisun Blandford and brother Paul, Tower Hamlets executive mayor John Biggs and Poplar’s MP Jim Fitzpatrick.
The street naming comes five years after Eileen Groves and her late friend Betty Bristow started a campaign for to mark Barry’s contribution to the East End.
Eileen said: “Barry was a real community champion who did so much for people. It’s a shame Betty is no longer with us to see this finally happen, but I know she would be so proud.”
The friends got the backing of the MP who remembered Barry’s work in the community and felt it “appropriate that he will be remembered this way”.
Barry was awarded Freedom of the City of London in 1992 and received Tower Hamlets’ civic award in 2001 and 2007 for “outstanding service to the community”.
His voluntary work led his family setting up Age UK East London’s annual ‘Barry Blandford Volunteer of the Year’ award.