'Remembering Muswell Hill's irreplaceable campaigner Pamela Jefferys'

Hornsey Pensioners Action Group's Pamela Jefferys

Pamela Jefferys - Credit: HPAG

Hornsey Pensioners Action Group has lost a committee member who served us well over many years. Pamela Jefferys died, just short of 95, on November 12, 2021.

Pamela is irreplaceable; she had an eagle eye for any mistake, grammatical or procedural, and we depended upon her good advice. For the last few years she was suffering from severe breathing problems and could rarely attend our meetings, but she had mastered online skills and remained on the committee.

As a young woman Pamela qualified at a secretarial college; at one point she was employed at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research and she later became personal assistant to Kingsley Martin, editor of the New Statesman. In 1957 she moved to Paris working for the OECD.

Pamela returned to the UK in the 1970s and settled in Muswell Hill.

By the 1990s she was involved with local groups - our group and the Friends of Muswell Hill Library.

On September 18, 2019 the Hornsey Pensioners Action Group meeting was a "Celebration of Activism". Pamela related her part in protesting against the widening of the Archway Road. The first enquiry was in 1973. One of the groups opposing the widening was the Archway Improvement Association with Hetty Bechler as chair and Pamela helping.

Another was Stop The Archway Motorway Plan (STAMP). Pamela kept a file of the regular newsletters and wrote a hilarious account of the fate of one of the enquiries. You will notice that the Archway Road is dual carriageway only up to the bridge carrying Hornsey Lane; houses north of that point have not been demolished. So the protestors won.

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Pamela was a firm supporter of Greenpeace and wanted urgent action to combat climate change. True to her beliefs she was buried in a cardboard coffin at Springwood Woodland Cemetery on the Isle of Wight.

A full obituary, written by her stepson, can be found on our website hornseypag.org.uk

Janet Shapiro is coordinator for Hornsey Pensioners Action Group.

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