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Missionary’s plaque returns to rightful place

Published Friday, 26 February 2010

A blue plaque which commemorated missionary Gladys Aylward has been replaced on the wall of her former home in Cheddington Road, Edmonton on the date of her birthday, 24th February.

Gladys Award Plaque

The original plaque had come off in April 2009, and since then there has been discussions to get the plaque replaced to honour her.

Born in 1902, Gladys Aylward grew up in Edmonton but travelled to China in the 1930s to work as a missionary. When the Japanese invaded in 1938 she helped evacuate nearly 100 children over the mountains.

The replacement blue plaque was funded jointly by Gladys Aylward School and The Enfield Society.
Christine White, Conservation Officer for Enfield Council said "We are delighted that Gladys Aylward's blue plaque has been returned to her home in Edmonton.

"The Enfield blue plaque scheme is part of a local heritage programme marking figures from the past and the buildings they lived in, and is much valued by local residents.

"There was a lot of strong local feeling when the plaque came off, and we were pleased to help ensure that a replacement was found."

Patrick Robinson from Gladys Aylward School said "It is fitting that the blue plaque commemorating this extraordinary member of the Edmonton community was put up on the date of her birthday.

"The school is very proud to have been named after Gladys, and we currently hold a great many of her possessions and artefacts relating to her.

"Our students are planning to catalogue these carefully, and display them in the school foyer as soon as possible, as it is very important to us that our young people remain aware of local history. We hope to work with The Enfield Society to do this."

Colin Pointer, Chairman of The Enfield Society said "The Society is pleased to be associated with restoring this important reminder of one of the borough's former residents, and we look forward to working with the school to honour further the memory of Gladys Aylward and her work. 

"We also anticipate working with Enfield Council to replace similar historic plaques which are missing."

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