Blue plaque for our hero Ken!

Photo:Guests at the unveiling ceremony, showing the new plaque on the wall of Infinity Foods in North Road

Guests at the unveiling ceremony, showing the new plaque on the wall of Infinity Foods in North Road

Photo by Henry Bruce

Photo:Closeup of the plaque to Ken Fines on the wall of Infinity Foods, North Road

Closeup of the plaque to Ken Fines on the wall of Infinity Foods, North Road

Photo by Henry Bruce

Photo:Kenneth Fines

Kenneth Fines

Photo:Susan Fines, Ken's daughter

Susan Fines, Ken's daughter

Photo by Henry Bruce

Unveiled in North Road on 23rd October 2014

By Gabrielle Villermet, NLCA representative on Commemorative Plaques Panel

A commemorative blue plaque to Ken Fines was unveiled on 23rd October 2014. The plaque is mounted on the wall of Infinity Foods in North Road, where it will be easily seen by residents and the many visitors to North Laine.

Who was Ken Fines?

Ken Fines was the Brighton Borough Planning Officer in the 1970s when there was a proposal to demolish much of North Laine and build a motorway through from Preston Circus to Church Street. Ken fought against the plan and thankfully the plan was abandoned and North Laine was designated a Conservation Area in 1977. North Laine residents and traders owe Ken a great deal.

A reception was held at Komedia

The plaque ceremony was attended by the Mayor, Cllr Brian Fitch, and his wife Norah, Ken’s daughters Susan Fines and Julie Bull, and nephew Daniel Smith. Also attending were Averil Older, chair of the Commemorative Plaque Panel, other panel members, North Laine residents, traders and many of Ken’s friends and ex-colleagues. As the large crowd was causing congestion on the narrow pavements of North Road and Kensington Gardens, we continued on to Komedia for speeches and refreshments. The Mayor gave a speech and also congratulated Susan as it was her birthday! She was presented with a birthday cake kindly provided by David Sewell from the Pavilion Gardens Cafe.

The highlight of his career

Susan Fines paid for the plaque herself in memory of her father. NLCA gave her a contribution. She said she wanted the plaque to be in North Laine “so that when we are all gone people will know why North Laine is like it is today”. She said that it was a very emotional day for her and that she was so proud that her father had had the foresight to see that the area was worth saving. She also said that he considered saving North from demolition the highlight of his career.

Thanks to Infinity Foods

We are grateful to Infinity Foods for permission to mount the plaque on their building.

 

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 231, November/December 2014]

 

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