Last week Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, attended the launch of Dean Evans’ new book “Funding the Ladder: The Passmore Edwards Legacy” in the House of Commons. The book marks the centenary of John Passmore Edwards’ death and celebrates his philanthropy. Mr Timms joined the author and Passmore Edwards’ grandson – Alex Ingham-Clark – at the launch.
John Passmore Edwards (1823-1911) was a Cornish Philanthropist who, having made his fortune in Newspapers, gave generously to fund many community-centred buildings around the country, not least in Newham. The former Plashet Library – now Newham’s elegant Registry Office, the doctor’s surgery in Shrewsbury Road which was formerly part of East Ham Memorial Hospital, Plaistow Library, and the Passmore Edwards Museum in Stratford (now part of the University of East London campus) were all paid for by Passmore Edwards, and he usually chose the architect too. The community in Newham still benefits from the buildings today.
After the event Mr Timms commented, “The generosity and pioneering spirit of John Passmore Edwards is still very much a part of our life in Newham. He paid for buildings that, over one hundred years on, continue to be some of the finest in Newham. I am delighted that Dean Evans has published this book. It is right to celebrate the life and work of someone who contributed so much to our Borough.”