Councillor Magie Carman has asked the Council to cut back the climbing plants at the miniature garden at the northwest corner of Inverness Terrace and Porchester Gardens so that the plaque to Viscountess Beatrice Samuel is no longer obscured.
According to the resident who raised this issue:
“This garden was originally dedicated to Viscountess Beatrice Samuel, a lifelong resident of the area, suffragist, and aunt of Rosalind Frankin, the famous DNA scientist. It is one of very few memorials in Westminster to women.
Unfortunately, since the addition several years ago of the bust of Skanderbeg, the 15th century Albanian national hero, the two plaques on the wall have both become completely obscured by trees and climbing plants, and it now appears as if the garden is dedicated to Skanderbeg. Would it be possible to get the excess vegetation cleared so that Beatrice can resume her rightful place?”
Beatrice was a lifelong member of the New West End Synagogue in St Petersburgh Place, and was one of the founders of the Jewish League for Woman Suffrage (which was established by members of her family and also campaigned for changes in Jewish religious law to give equality to women). Her husband, Viscount Samuel, who was at onetime leader of the Liberal Party – as a backbencher – put forward the first bill supporting women’s suffrage – which became the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918. He had apparently originally been opposed to suffrage and it is thought his wife’s views and activities persuaded him to change his mind.
The Parks Manager says: “I will arrange to have the foliage cut back so that the memorial plaque is clearly visible”
The work has now been done – see below