Blue plaque unveiled at St Leonards to commemmorate punk rock legend Poly Styrene

Saturday, 3rd July saw the unveiling of a Blue Plaque on the former home of punk rock and feminist icon Poly Styrene in North Street, St Leonards On Sea.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:22 am

Poly Styrene had lived in the house from 2004, until she sadly died of breast cancer in nearby St Michael’s Hospice in April 2011.

The 3rd July date was chosen for the unveiling of the blue plaque as it would have been Poly’s 64th birthday, and was also the 45th anniversary of Poly seeing the Sex Pistols on Hastings Pier, an event that led to the formation of her band X-Ray Spex.

Saturday also saw the first public screening of a film about Poly Styrene’s life ‘I Am A Cliche’ at the Kino Teatr in St Leonards, just a few streets away from her former home.

Poly Styrene Blue Plaque 1 SUS-210607-091511001
Poly Styrene Blue Plaque 1 SUS-210607-091511001

‘I Am A Cliche’ was made by Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell, who was present at the plaque unveiling.

The blue plaque was unveiled by Karen James who now owns the house in North Street, following a short speech by Andy Gunton of 1066 Music Blue Plaques.

The ceremony was also attended by Kevin Boorman of Hastings Borough Council who helped guide the 1066 Music Blue Plaques team through the early stages of their campaign.

The blue plaque was erected by Andy Miller of local company Booker & Best, who donated their time & materials free of charge.

Poly Styrene Blue Plaque 2 SUS-210607-091521001

The blue plaque on Poly Styrene’s former home is the first in a campaign by 1066 Music Blue Plaques to celebrate & commemorate the lives of local musicians, and lost music venues in the Hastings area.

The group raised the money for the Poly Styrene’s blue plaque via a Crowdfunder appeal.

The appeal was so successful that the money needed was raised within five hours of the launch.

Although initially asking for only £500, the appeal finally raised £760, which enabled 1066 Music Blue Plaques to donate £350 to St Michael’s Hospice, a cheque for which was presented to James Beeching from St Michael’s Hospice at the unveiling ceremony.

Polystyrene Blue Plaque 3 SUS-210607-091531001

1066 Music Blue Plaques is made up of three local music fans Jim Breeds, Tony Davis and Andy Gunton, who formed the group after a Facebook conversation bemoaning the lack of commemorative blue plaques in the Hastings area to celebrate the rich musical heritage of the area.

They decided to see if that situation could be corrected, and set out to explore the possibilities of getting some blue plaques erected.

Their next campaign is to erect a blue plaque on the former home of singer-songwriter and guitarist John Martyn in Hastings Old Town.

They hope to launch a Crowdfunder appeal for that plaque very shortly.

For further information please see: 1066 Music Blue Plaques Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/1066MusicBluePlaques

Poly Styrene Blue Plaque Crowdfunder Page is at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/blue-plaque-for-poly-styrene-of-x-ray-spex.