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Harold Mannia, WPCA Youth Club Founder

During the reopening of Hocking Hall after extensive renovation, Whittington Park Community Association called on anyone who may have information about the community building’s past to get in touch. One area of interest was finding out more about the people that are celebrated on Hocking Hall’s walls: Reverend Hocking, as well as Harold Mannia, who has a plaque dedicated to him for starting the youth club there in 1970.

We're thrilled to have heard from a grandchild of Harold, Darran Harvey, who most kindly sent over an undated article (believed Islington Gazette) where Harold is pictured next to the mayor (Harold is wearing glasses). 

The picture in the newspaper is labelled with the following:

Happy member of a new youth club in Upper Holloway look on as Mr John Kyriacou, a café and casino owner, presents a cheque for £25 to the Mayor of Islington, Alderman Robin Goodman. The money is to be used to buy equipment for the club, run by the YMCA in an old church hall behind Rupert Road. Chairman of the club, Mr Harold Mannia (left) accepted the cheque from the Mayor and also another £45 that was raised from a tombola organised by the teenagers. The club is using the hall rent-free but is very much in need of funds and equipment.

Harold was married to Phyllis (nee Foote) and they lived at Holloway Road from c.1946. Harold was active in the local community and well known in the area. Darran also sent us an Islington Gazette article announcing Harold's death in 1973.

Harold's legacy continues with our current Youth Club that meets every Thursday.

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