Mark Teverson started and ran the Attlee Foundation’s primary project (registered charity no. 1087259)
As project director, he founded and ran the Attlee Youth Project on Commercial Street, London E1 in March 1980
Disabled children from Tower Hamlets & Hackney
Local children. Mainly Bengali from Whitechapel
Affiliated with Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street E1
Mark Teverson hosted the inauguration with Margaret Thatcher (the sitting prime minister) 11th July 1980
Staffing levels 6-12 co-workers. Large building + one acre site on the edge of City of London. The brief entailed much outreach work in the community for Mark & the key workers, particularly Noor, Sally and Peter
Project Director: Mark Teverson
Key workers: Sally Aitken, Noor, Doug Turnbull, Phil Burton, Peter Sutcliff ( the next project director)
Close links to local schools and special schools in Tower Hamlets and Hackney
11th July 1980 A word in your ear. (Pic via News of the World, 26th March 1989. Go to STUFF for lots of juicy associated material)
Inauguration by premier Margaret Thatcher. Mark Teverson (arrowed) and John Profumo (then chairman at Toynbee Hall) with a director of the Variety Club of Great Britain (Pic: all UK national dailies 12/7/1980 + local press)
Following the ‘inauguration’, the local press and the Evening Standard published a report that Jesus was alive and working with children in the Whitechapel community! I considered a political career commencing with standing as a councilor for Tower Hamlets.
John Profumo (1915 – 2006) was defence minister in the Macmillan Tory government in 1963 when the scandal in 1963 forced his resignation and contributed to their defeat by Wilson in the 1964 Labour victory. He immediately volunteered at Toynbee Hall to clean toilets. There is a bizarre link to the law lord Lord Longford, with whom Mark Teverson received comments on his book Devil Rides into Soho
A reporter rang a side business I had started with my then partner Sandra, Blondie Singing Telegrams. He wanted to do an article, so I met him in the Princess Alice near to Attlee. This was John Diamond, now a respected journalist (died 2001) married to Nigella Lawson. I only realised he was an ‘investigative journalist’ when I rang his office, which turned out to be the News of the World! He obviously found nothing sufficiently salacious!
The way I got this interesting job should be noted. In 1979 while in York I went for a second interview with David Hamilton, director at the Royal College of Art. I got an offer to start a 4 year MA (Research)(RCA) in 1980, I was particularly chuffed for the offer, since I’d never even been to art college (but I was an expert in ceramic glazes). While in London for the second interview, I responded to an advert in Time Out for this position with Toynbee Hall, starting and running a big project with deprived kids. They didn’t mention the fact I’d be hosting the (much hated) sitting Prime Minister in 3 months time!
The site is on Lolesworth Close, a cul-de-sac off Commercial Street E1, approx. 200 meters from Toynbee Hall towards Spitalfields Church. The street was originally called Flower and Dean Street. The name was bizarrely changed by Tower Hamlets council (with no consultation) around 1982. This may have been because one of the first Jack the Ripper murders occurred in some tenements originally on Flower & Dean St. at the entrance to the Attlee Project site.
Said to be Jesus in the Bangladeshi community, reported in the London Evening Standard July 13th 1980
Breaking news 12th April 2012
To be confirmed………. The Attlee Youth Project, started in March 1980 by Mark Teverson, is understood to have finally closed earlier this month. These sources are currently uncorroborated. The use of the site freehold -Postal address now: 5 Thrawl Street E1 6RT – is understood to still be held by the Attlee Foundation.
After 33 years serving the young people of East London. RIP