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Finsbury’s ‘City in the Sky’ celebrates its 60th birthday

Residents of Brunswick Close – including 97-year-old who was the second to move onto the estate – are joined by MP as they mark towers’ milestone with a party

27 July, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Pearly Kings John Walters and Darren Walters with Lucy Chap­man and Jackie Colchester of Les Petits Tigres, which holds French classes

THE original residents of the first towers built for social housing were honoured at the 60th birthday of the estate on Saturday.

Dozens of residents living on Brunswick Close estate in Finsbury and MP Emily Thornberry celebrated the milestone at a party with a bouncy castle and live music.

“It was brilliant. Everybody got together with people from all over the estate,” said Lucy Chapman, vice-chair of the volunteer-run Tenant Management Organisation (TMO).

Taking centre stage at the celebrations were Mitzie Clark, Maureen Smith and Arthur Westell, who helped cut the birthday cake.

Former civil servant Ms Clark, 97, was the second resident to move onto the estate.

Oldest resident Mitzie Clark, former councillor Raphael Andrews, TMO chair Lennox Charles, Maureen Smith and Arthur Westell

Ms Smith and Mr Westell were founding members of the TMO, which manages estate repairs and gardening needs. It receives funding from the council.

Ms Chapman said: “We started an era here. They called us the city in the sky. We have people from all over the world living here. It is a symbol of London. We are really rich here in terms of culture. Others won’t have that opportunity and I feel lucky to live her.”

She added: “A lot of council homes get negative press, but we are a good example of what can be done with a good TMO and engaged residents.”

Ms Chapman, a former trade union rep, recently received a scholarship to study for a postgraduate degree in law at City University, just a stone’s throw from her estate.

She said her time in the TMO prompted her to re-train as a barrister. “I want to stand up for community issues,” she said.

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