Plaque honouring dramatist Sir Arnold Wesker unveiled at his former
A plaque celebrating the dramatist Sir Arnold Wesker has been installed at his old primary school in Northwold Road, Hackney.
Born in 1932, son of Joseph and Leah, Wesker was brought up initially in Whitechapel and Stepney. His family later moved to Hackney and he attended Northwold primary School and Upton House Secondary School along the Lower Clapton Road. The family lived on the Northwold Estate .
Wesker wrote more than 50 plays, as well as several books and poetry. After two years’ National Service in the RAF, he became one of the ‘angry young men’ of the 1950s and 60s world of British drama, and was passionate about taking the arts to working people and the provinces.
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The plaque in Northwold Rd
He lobbied trade unions and governments for money for the arts and ultimately set up the Roundhouse Arts Centre in Camden. In 1961 he went to jail for his part in non-violent demonstrations against nuclear weapons.
He was knighted for services to the arts in 2006 and died in 2016.
The plaque is the initiative of local historian and former teacher Martin Sugarman, who was a student at Upton House after Wesker left and whose teachers often boasted pf ‘having taught the famous Arnold Wesker’. The plaque was funded by American philanthropist Jerry Klinger, of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.