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Weekly’s late editor credited as pioneering black journalist gets blue plaque

Claudia JonesThe late editor of a weekly newspaper has been credited with winning a civic honour for a pioneering black journalist and civil rights champion.

A blue plaque is set to be installed in memory of Claudia Jones, founding editor of the London-based West Indian Gazette in the 1950s.

Claudia, who died aged 49 in 1964, played a pivotal role in anti-racism struggle in the UK, particularly in the aftermath of the 1958 Notting Hill riots.

Former Camden New Journal editor Eric Gordon, who died last year aged 89, was among those to call for a campaign for a plaque in her memory.

Retired Camden councillor Gerry Harrison has now credited Eric for his role in the campaign after English Heritage announced one would be installed at her former home.

Mr Harrison told the New Journal: “Eric kept saying ‘you’ve really got to do something about Claudia’.

“He wrote several articles about it in his John Gulliver column and he contin­ued to pester me even when I stepped down from the council in 2006.”

Claudia, pictured, lived in Lisburne Road, Gospel Oak, until the time of her death but English Heritage has chosen to install it instead at an address in Lambeth, where she lived for four years until 1960.

Mr Harrison added: “I still think Lisburne Road is the better choice as she died there and is buried nearby.

“The house was in my ward and I included it as a stop on the local history walks I used to do.

“But I had met Claudia Jones many years earlier at a meeting in Notting Hill at which she spoke.”