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We're celebrating our 100 year anniversary!



Over the course of the year, we will be sharing good news stories from teams, showcasing what we do day to day, the impact that we have on our residents, and celebrating our founders. 

This month -  Edith Neville:

Edith Neville was one of the original members of St Pancras House Improvement Society. Daughter of a judge, she dedicated her life to voluntary work in social welfare. She gave her time to support the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Soldiers’ Families Association, and the Social Services Association among other organisations. 

Edith was involved with running the society from the very beginning, at which time she was the secretary of St Pancras Council of Social Service and the warden of Mary Ward Centre. Edith, Father Basil Jellicoe, Father Maryon-Wilson, Nora Hill and other local people met in 1924 to talk about starting a society to tackle Somers Town’s slum problem.  

She, Father Jellicoe and some other clergymen also ran two local public houses: The Anchor and the Tavistock Arms. Often committee meetings were held at The Anchor and the pubs were included in Royal visits of the society’s work. 

When Jellicoe eventually stepped down, Edith took over as Chairman until her resignation in 1947, but even then she remained involved in the society until her death in 1951. It was Edith who introduced Irene Barclay to the organization in 1925, who she knew from working at St Pancras Council of Social Service. Irene wrote in her book People Need Roots, that Edith had ‘rich Irish humour and ready wit’.  

She became Vice Chair for House Furnishings Ltd, a company they decided to set up to provide an affordable alternative to the door-to-door canvassers who sold expensive and low quality furniture to local residents. 

Edith had plenty of interests, one of which was the theatre. She hired a disused chapel in Somers Town and ended up producing a series of plays: from Murder in the Cathedral to The Wind in the Willows and even some Christmas pantomimes. 

Edith Neville cottages were opened in 1954, and the second part in 1955. A plaque in her memory, reads ‘Where there is no vision the people perish’. 

Please share any of your stories with us communications@originhousing.org.uk


Video thanks to Somers Town History Club:
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