Hundreds of people gathered last Saturday, September 25, to mark the renaming of a garden in Borough after a “stalwart” of the local community.
Gambia Street Garden near Southwark Tube station has been named after Marion Marples, who died in 2019 and was the co-founder of the SE1 community news website. Marion was active in supporting homeless people and the community outreach work of Southwark Cathedral, among many other projects.
The official opening was blessed by The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark and a permanent sign was unveiled by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Sunil Chopra referencing the new name.
The event was organised by local group Living Bankside, whose chair Amir Eden said that he was “delighted” to be able to honour his “dear friend”.
“Marion was such a wonderful woman who dedicated so much of her life to Bankside and Southwark. Living Bankside is proud to continue Marion’s legacy by protecting and growing her contributions. I hope people can take inspiration from her to make a positive difference in their neighbourhoods.”
Leigh Hatts, Marion’s husband, added: “Marion would never have imagined such a tribute for herself. The ceremony brought together many strands of her life and a quiet demonstration of affection from friends and colleagues in the Bankside and SE1 community.”
James Hatts, Marion’s son, said: “We were especially pleased that Cllr Sunil Chopra, this year’s Deputy Mayor of Southwark, was able to perform the unveiling. Mum had fond memories of Cllr Chopra’s support for the Robes Project winter night shelter – a cause close to her heart – during his year as Mayor of Southwark in 2014-15.”