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Baroness Benjamin comes to Beckenham

PUBLISHED: 12:02 03 November 2010

Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham when she took her seat in the Lords

Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham when she took her seat in the Lords

Copyright Benjamin-Taylor Associates

A life peer will open a neighbourhood meeting in her first official visit to a town since she entered the House of Lords.

Floella Benjamin, who became Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham in June, will visit Copers Cope Residents’ Association on November 17 to talk to people from the area where she grew up.

The 75-year-old association invited Lady Benjamin to speak at the open meeting at Christ Church, in Fairfield Road, Beckenham, at 7.30pm.

Residents’ association chairman David Vevers said: “There is something very special about Baroness Benjamin. She is quite a character.

“When we heard that she had been given a peerage we wanted her to visit us, and as this is her first official engagement in Beckenham it is even more special. We are all very much looking forward to a very social event.”

Lady Benjamin, 61, who lived in Mackenzie Road, Beckenham, in the 1960s, is perhaps best known for presenting television shows Playdays and Play Away.

She is also an accomplished musician, actress and vice-president of children’s charity Barnado’s as well as being chancellor of Exeter University.

Trinidad-born, she moved to Beckenham from Anerley in 1966 for “the best education, healthcare and jumble sales”.

Lady Benjamin recalls that she and her five brothers and sisters had to deal with racist prejudice when they first arrived in BR3.

She said: “I decided to take the name of Beckenham in honour of my parents, my mother especially, because she was a fighter.

“Because my mother is buried there I go to Beckenham a lot to pray for her. Wherever I travel in the world Beckenham will be part of my life.”

The residents’ association is a non-political voluntary body.

Visitors to the event are advised to arrive early as entrance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit www.coperscope.org.uk.

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