Molly Huggins Close, SW12

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Lady Molly Huggins (1907 – September 11, 1981) was an activist and philanthropist who founded the Metropolitan Coloured People’s Housing Association – later renamed the Metropolitan Housing Trust – to improve the quality of housing for London’s Caribbean communities. Born in Singapore as Molly Green she was the daughter of a colonial resident and was later educated at Roedean School. She worked as a doctor’s secretary in London and had “great fun” breaking the 1926 General Strike. Three years later she married Sir John Huggins a colonial administrator and lived in Malaya, Singapore, Trinidad and Washington DC. During her time in Trinidad she organised the Women’s Volunteer Services. In 1943 Sir John was appointed Governor of Jamaica and she established the Jamaica Federation of Women. On their return to the UK in 1950 she became involved in politics, although her attempts at entering Parliament were unsuccessful. Shortly afterwards she met Keith Shaw, who came to the UK in 1951, and she learned of the poor state of the housing in which the country’s new arrivals lived and decided to take action. Shaw, who helped her fundraise for the charity’s first homes, said: “She encouraged the council, and her friends, to donate towards the cost of buying properties and converting them into flats. I also worked on the buildings myself. It was hard, physical work.” This road was built on the site of the old Weir Road Hospital in 1987.

 

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